2. Extensive meadows

What are Extensive Meadows

The on-site slope has not been fertilized since 1992. That is why this meadow is relatively poor in nutrients (lean). The grass grows only patchily, leaving room for rare flowers and meadow herbs. In addition, the area is mowed only after July 1, so that the seeds of late flowering plants can still mature and fall to the ground. This allows plants and insects to complete their reproductive cycles.

Why do we need extensive meadows?

Extensively used meadows represent a valuable enrichment of the native fauna and flora. Although the benefit for feed production is rather small, they still have a big ecological value. This meadow is home to a great variety of insects and spiders, and is also a suitable habitat for lizards and blindworms.

What’s in it for the farmer?

Farms applying for direct payments are obliged to designate at least 7% of the agricultural area as biodiversity priority area. This includes not only the extensively used meadows, but also various other areas that promote biodiversity.
On our organic farm this is about 16% of the agricultural area.

Which plants benefit from these meadows?

In the slope located on site, you can find, among others, the following plants:

upright brome
sainfoin
rattle
mullein
marguerite
knapweed
ragged robin

More plants in this meadow:

  • oregano
  • blackweed
  • meadow salsify
  • hawksbeard
  • ribgrass
  • burnet
  • bluebuttons
  • thyme
  • meadow oatgrass
  • sedges
  • golden oatgrass
  • crested dogtail-grass

Image sources:
Cover Photo: pronatura.ch
(1) tropengarten.de
(2) Foto by: Schwoaze, from: pixabay.com
(3) Foto by: Hans, from: pixabay.com
(4) Foto by: Hans, from: pixabay.com
(5) Foto by: manfredrichter, from: pixabay.com
(6) Foto by: Couleur, from: pixabay.com
(7) Foto by: sternbea, from: pixabay.com