Useful Medicinal Plants of Texas and the southern plains – part 1

Most of the time people seem to believe powerful plant medicine comes from deep in the Amazon rainforest or some high hidden mountain in Peru, so it often comes as a surprise that functional phytochemistry is to be found in all kinds of plants wherever you are. Perhaps you may have wondered about the hidden mysteries held within your local plants. In this article I decided to start with four kinds of plants [Black Walnut – Mesquite – Juniper – Prickly Pear] that can be found almost anywhere in the state of Texas, the southern plains, across most of the … Read more

Southern Plains Bison: Jan 2014

Well… we got hit early and the assault continues as old man winter takes toll on, and tasks survival of the southern plains. We’ve only got another 20-30 days of having to put up with his polar rant. Food plots will re-emerge and bolster the nutritional regime for southern plains bison by mid march, after which it will turn into a stocking rate problem by not having enough grazers to manage the bounty. For now: we are simply charged with watching body score, feeding when necessary and letting them do [their thing] and make it through, which they will. It’s … Read more

Tree Ranching Dec 2013

Tree Ranching Not only are trees lovely to see, they can be an important integral component to your grazing regime. If you’re looking for something new this year, try out agroforestry and silvopasture which is simply utilizing trees to extend your land’s potential. This can include many things but the basics for this discussion are to use browseable woody species to feed livestock. Trees can tap into moisture and nutrients deep in the ground and maintain high quality edible foliage through drought periods as well as take advantage of the vertical space overhead and provide shade for the soil and … Read more

Perennial Pastures and Prairie Forbs

Prairies/pastures are more than just grass, but actually an entire community of diverse broadleaf wildflowers as well. Several of these happen to provide excellent forage for bison. Quite a few native legumes such as purple or white prairie clover, Illinois bundleflower and daleas contribute nitrogen to the soil and serve as high protein fodder. Perennial sunflowers and goldenrods are commonly observed and nutritionally important to grazers. Compassplant is a personal favorite of mine. Of course, pollinators are definite fans of the wildflowers. There are literally hundreds of valuable native American broadleaf species available for beneficial uses. Ben Tyler,    

Native Texas Prairie

Native Texas prairie is the gift that keeps on giving. Bison and grassland are like a hand in a glove. Native grass species require little water, less fertilizer and last forever if managed properly. Unfortunately, relatively little prairie remains today after decades of plowing, overgrazing and urban sprawl. The dominant species in tallgrass prairie are Eastern Gamagrass, Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, Indiangrass and Muhly grasses. Mid to shortgrass species include Sideoats Grama, Texas Bluegrass, Buffalo Grass and Blue Grama. Efforts to restore native prairie can bring lasting benefits to bison and the bottom line. Ben Tyler,