One of the things we’ve been committed to experimenting with in the past few years is reducing tillage on our farm—in other words, fewer tractor passes through our fields and less turnover of the soil. We normally use tractors to cull weeds, turn under our cover crops, and make beds ready for planting after we have disked a field. We’re trying to reduce the use of tractors and soil turnover in two ways. The first is by using black poly mulch on our beds, and the second is by using our cover crops as mulch.
The cycle of a year’s labor has come near full circle. Last week we had a day of Thanksgiving – a time for reflection about the many gifts received this year. Our labors this past year upon this generous land have yielded a remarkable bounty of beautiful and tasty crops.
As I drive around the valley, everywhere I look tomato plants are quickly growing larger. Watching them grow is torture because tomatoes have been on my mind since they went out of season early last fall. The funny thing is, I didn’t even like tomatoes until I moved to the Capay Valley last August.
from Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop
by Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop
I was recently in Detroit for a food and farming policy meeting. While there, our group took a field trip to meet local leaders in the urban gardening and farm to school movement. On the way, looking out the windows of the bus, we saw abandoned, decaying homes, empty factories, the shell of a once-majestic train station and vacant lots.
By Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop