Mixing in the cover crop

Cover cropping is a major tool in an organic farmer’s toolkit. Last week, we brought one round of cover-cropping to a close by incorporating our winter rye and vetch into the soil, where microorganisms will go to work breaking it down into available nutrients in the coming weeks.

Cover cropping is a relatively low-cost, low-impact, and low-maintenance means of protecting and restoring soil health and texture, or “tilth.” This particular rye/vetch mix serves a few purposes: Adding organic matter, holding onto nutrients to prevent runoff, adding nitrogen, and protecting the soil from erosion in the winter floods.

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