A radical new type of agricultural method
Something furrowed, something new
Here's a little update on what we're working on at the farm.
We're using the most traditional piece of agricultural equipment -- the plow -- to try a pretty radical new type of agricultural method.
We're plowing up narrow (~3' wide) planting strips in established pasture grass. The strips are 15-20' apart, so the vast majority of the pasture is left untouched. We will lay down compost and irrigation tubing on each strip, and then cover with mulch.
For the moment, the mulch will be plastic ground cover. But once the grass has grown ~24" tall, we'll remove the plastic, cut the grass, and rake it onto the strips using our horse-drawn haying equipment. The mulch should suppress weeds, conserve moisture, feed the soil biology, and eliminate erosion.
Once the strips are mulched, transplants (cabbage, tomatoes, squash, etc.) will be set directly through the mulch. The goal is to use these same strips every year to create a permanent, mulched, no-till system. If all goes as planned, this new system will reduce erosion, increase diversity, minimize hand labor, and be very beautiful. We'll keep you posted!