This book is a story about an Australian farming family’s journey, from the late 1700s until today. Convict beginnings led to land grants, and founded a family and the Seis farming dynasty.
This is the story of how mid-20th-century agriculture failed, with the adoption of industrial agricultural practices and high rates of use of fertiliser and pesticides inflicting severe ecological damage on the land. The decline threatened to spiral the farm and the family into financial ruin.
In 1979, as the Seis family steadied the ship, a massive bushfire decimated the property, destroying the homestead, farm infrastructure and killing 3000 of Winona’s merino sheep. This set Colin Seis on the path of developing new agricultural methods to restore the family farm.
Out of the ashes came ‘pasture cropping’, a unique method of growing crops that also restored native grasslands, as well as farm and soil ecosystems, and brought financial profit.
This is the story of one man and one family’s journey, and how, out of unimaginable disasters, they would go on to triumph and then share their methods with the rest of the world – sowing the seeds of plenty for more than 3000 farmers to date and improving hundreds of thousands of acres of farm land across the globe.
The story of the regeneration of Winona and the Seis family are one and the same. Custodians of the Grasslands is replete with rich historical detail and photos of past and present, all interspersed with family anecdotes, agricultural science, and a palpable love of the land. It is a book for historians, farmers, agricultural scientists, agronomists, and lovers of a rollicking good yarn.