Circular livestock farming
Within agroecology and therefore also at the Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke, the aim is to achieve sustainable circular livestock farming. This refers to a circular form of livestock farming, in which fodder supply and manure disposal remain strongly soil-bound and as local as possible.
Today grass-clover and forage crops such as grain-bean combinations (as roughage or concentrate for ruminants) are already being cultivated at PHAE, and sold to neighboring livestock farms where the manure is later reused to maintain soil fertility at PHAE.
Currently, a scenario is being investigated in which a goat farmer allows his herd to graze on PHAE's grassland. Around the castle or in the field edges there are several interesting fodder trees that could help the goats get enough minerals and trace elements. The goat's milk would be processed on the site itself into delicious goat cheeses. And the manure goes back into the soil, processed or not as part of the farm compost.
In the somewhat longer term, the platform members are considering breeding layers or broiler chickens locally.