The climate models predict that here in the Northeast, we will be seeing increased precipitation overall, but with less regularity, meaning periods of intense rain interspersed with periods of drought. This week has showed us am example of that; we received close to 4 inches of rain in the last week, before the remnants of Hurricane Elsa came along to soak us all day today (this is out of a yearly average of 40 inches; 1/10 of the year’s rain and counting in 1/52 of the year.) The transition we are making to no-till production is in large part inspired by the need to adapt to these changing conditions. The higher organic matter and less-disturbed soils are able to suck up more moisture when it rains a lot, and then better able to hold on to that moisture when times get dry on us. The organic matter in the soil acts as a giant sponge. We are seeing a clear contrast in our fields between the no-till and tillage sections in how they have dealt with the deluge.
We had people out to the farm from American Farmland Trust, and NOFA/Mass. You can learn more about what we are doing through these links:
Wonderful! And that’s our own Caro who was such a great intern at SGF in the photo in the first article, manning the penetrometer — what a sexy tool! Cool to read about her as Soil Health Specialist at American Farmland Trust! And is she part of NOFA/Mass at the same time?
The video of Dave doing that fancy mulching was very cool,, though I had to repeat it several times to manage to read the captions — hard to watch and read at the same time!
So proud to see Simple Gifts as a national model for how to do no-till farming and how to build up soil health – especially knowing how poor that soil was at the beginning!! Congratulations to both of you and all the crew!!