The livestock are busy on the Farm these days! This is the time of year that we are able to move the cows, chickens, and sheep around the Farm a lot. Not only do the animals love moving to fresh ground often, they are also busy building the soil with nutrients, munching down old crops, digging up the roots of invasive weeds, and aerating the dirt with every step. Integrating livestock into the Farm is at the heart of regenerative agriculture. But it has to be done safely and in balance with nature. At Aspen Moon, we do this safely by taking great care to keep the animal work away from the vegetable work so that veggies never get contaminated. We use separate vehicles, crates, gloves, and even change our shoes when working with the animals. To keep in balance with Nature, we make sure the animals have plenty of space to graze and always have access to fresh grass or high quality organic hay and extra produce from the farm. The cows love pumpkins and squash. The sheep love roots and greens. The chickens love zucchini and greens. This also creates a system where little waste occurs. What doesn't go to feed the animals, goes to the compost to decompose over time into food for the soil. It is really quite simple (except for the hours of moving, repairing, and building fencing and endless time planning and replanning where and when to move them within the cycle of the Farm), though it has been lost from most of our agricultural system. We believe these animals contribute a great deal to what makes Aspen Moon veggies so delicious and nutritious. Though biologists have been studying soil for generations, there is still a lot unknown about what occurs underground. A teaspoon of healthy soil can contain some 6 billion living microorganisms. Mind boggling, really. May we take comfort in the ever surprising complexity of Nature.