Dalhousie Farm

Annemaree Docking

Dalhousie Farm is a mixed farming enterprise at Willowmavin, on the outskirts of Melbourne. The operation includes cattle, horses and laying hens, as well as an associated but separate farm with 3 acres of market garden. Annemarie explains that soil conservation and health is central to all decisions on the farm. She mentions a few focus areas:

  • Managing stock to benefit the clay soil type and its characteristics, such as a tendency to waterlogging and pugging.

  • Using land classing to manage the grazing impact of the livestock on areas with similar needs and potential.

  • Practising biomimicry through rotation of animals – cattle (or horses) first eat the bulk of the herbage, then chickens scratch and spread their manure. Finally, a long rest and recovery period helps to regenerate the soil microbiology and soil structure.

Concepts in this video include:

Soil Structure, Design Decisions