Did you know that a huge part of organic farming is building and maintaining healthy soil? Without the addition of chemical fertilizers, organic farmers rely on an array of methods to create and nurture a soil ecosystem that nourishes their crops. In fact, our growers spend a significant amount of time testing and amending their fields, not to mention all the planning that it takes to properly rotate crops and account for fields that needs cover cropping. I’ve included some pictures this week of the cover crop process in action at Willowbrook Farm. Cover cropping gives a field the chance to rest and adds nutrients back into the soil. Soil without nutrients simply equals food without nutrients, so cover cropping and adding compost and other organic soil amendments are imperative. An organic farmer’s first job is creating a soil ecosystem that will grow the delicious, nutritious produce we all love so dearly!
This week we are taking a break from peppers so everyone has a chance to catch up. My husband made a delicious green chile sauce last week and threw in a whole assortment of other peppers while he was at it. Yum! Don’t be afraid to substitute and try new things if you are unfamiliar with different varieties or colors of produce than you are used to. It pretty much always turns out great. We are super excited for green beans this week. Along with some fresh garlic, these will probably be the first item that my family eats this week.
What’s in your basket – September 15th
Cucumbers – Willowbrook Farm
Garlic – Willowbrook Farm
Green beans – Willowbrook Farm
Potatoes – Whipstone Farm
Radishes – Whipstone Farm
Summer squash – Whipstone Farm
Swiss chard – Whipstone Farm
Tomatoes – Willowbrook Farm
Whipstone Farm potatoes freshly dug and headed your way.
Willowbrook Farm’s cover crop a few weeks back. Cover crops add nitrogen and other nutrients to soil and are like living compost. When the crop matures, they test the soil to see what else should be added for maximum soil health.
Then the crop gets mowed.
Here is Hope hauling a bag of compost to add to the mowed field. Then the whole field gets tilled so the mowed cover crop and compost can break down in the soil. In another month this field will get planted with next year’s garlic.