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Wild Farm Alliance

Hidden Springs Ranch Case Study
Farmer Catches Hedgerow Bug
Mimbres Valley Southwestern Case Study
Predator Friendly Case Study
Willamette Wetland Case Study
Split Rock Wildway Case Study
Yolo Land Case Study
Foster Ranch Hedgerow Case Study

What is Wild Farming


Photo courtesy of Daniel Imhoff Photo courtesy Daniel Imhoff    
Hedgerows and Barn Owls at the Foster Ranch

Curious to discover whether hedgerows could increase biological diversity and augment production on his home ranch, Phil Foster decided to plant two mixed native hedges on opposite sides of his organically managed vegetable fields in the mid 1990s. He made this decision after hearing about Robert Bugg’s work in documenting various beneficial insects associated with native shrubs. After observing predatory insects on the newly planted natives, and no destructive impacts to his nearby crops, Foster installed more hedgerows in the following years, for a total of 3,000 feet. Near his house, he planted a windbreak to moderate the strong winds that blow through the San Juan Bautista, California, countryside. Besides attracting beneficial insects, Foster has enticed barn owls to move in by placing nest boxes high above the now 15-foot-tall sequentially flowering hedgerows. During nesting season, many regurgitated pellets replete with gopher and mice bones can be found at the base of the barn owl boxes.

For information, please visit www.pinnacleorganic.com or write Phil and Katherine Foster Ranches, P.O. Box 249, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045.

To see more about Integrating Wild Margins, go to “Agricultural Cropping Patterns” Briefing Paper


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