Category: No Till

A Reverence for Soil

How Two No-Till Farms Cultivate Soil Health By Holli Cederholm Farmers Yoko Takemura and Alex Carpenter of Assawaga Farm in Putnam, Connecticut, have built their entire farm system with the goal of minimizing soil disturbance. “When we pull root crops, those are coming out of the soil,” said Carpenter. “That’s probably the most destructive act.”

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To Till or Not to Till

A heavy hay mulch, as promoted by Ruth Stout, smothers weeds (until some, such as quackgrass, creep in) but is not suitable for closely set plants or for grain crops. English photo By Will Bonsall No-till is the rage now and for some good reasons. Plowing, spading and rototilling disrupt the natural soil structure and dilute richer

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Permanent Raised Beds

Transplanting into a permanent bed at Foundation Farm. Note the mulch pulled to the shoulder of the bed, to compost in place. Photo courtesy of Foundation Farm Original pasture vegetation remains in the paths between beds at Foundation Farm. Photo courtesy of Foundation Farm Farming with no-till permanent beds can improve soil structure, reduce weeds,

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Tillage Trials

By Ben Hoffman Minimal tillage is essential for healthy, productive soils. In a seven-year study at the University of Western Australia, total organic carbon in the top 4 inches of soil increased by 1.7 tons/acre with no-till and 1 ton under conservation tillage but decreased by 0.2 tons under rotary tillage. (“Tillage, microbial biomass and

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No Till Certified Organic Vegetable Production

An aerial view of Four Winds Farm in Gardiner, New York. Photos courtesy of Four Winds Farm. By Jean English Jay and Polly Armour of Four Winds Farm in Gardiner, N.Y., practice certified organic no-till vegetable production. They grow crops in permanent beds – some in place for 17 years – that are never plowed

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