I’m on my way back from my annual pilgrimage to California for the Board meeting of the Organic Farming Research Foundation. This time I am honored to announce that I have been elected to serve as the President of the Board! OFRF has been doing fantastic work to champion the cause of organic farming and organic farming research for almost 30 years, since back before organic was the household word that it has since become. We are currently working on a whole host of projects including championing the Organic Agriculture Research Act into the Farm Bill (Jim McGovern has already signed on as a co-sponsor, but if you wanted to thank him for that the next time you call to advocate for any of the many issues facing us today, please do so), and producing a set of soil health guides for farmers that will be widely distributed through USDA. It’s truly an honor to be asked to lead this organization! You can find out more about OFRF, including how to support our work, here. One of the high points of every Board meeting is the chance to get to tour a local farm. This time around, we visited with Tom Broz of Live Earth Farm. Tom raises about 50 acres of vegetables and fruit in Watsonville, CA for sale through a CSA program and lots of PYO. Here’s a picture of Tom showing us his super-cool trellised apple trees!
While in California, I also took a side trip to Sebastopol to visit Singing Frogs Farm, an innovative small farm that is doing a lot of work with small-scale no-till farming. They manage their farming beds without tillage by simply cutting out the old crops and adding a thick layer of compost that they can then plant right into. No-till systems have a lot of potential to increase the soil tilth and sequester carbon to an even higher degree than we see under our more typical tillage regime. We have spent the last couple of years studying some of these small scale no-till systems and will be running some trials this season on how to incorporate some of these techniques on a larger scale on our farm this year. Stay tuned!
Here’s a picture of Singing Frogs Farm. Yes, you can see the entire thing in this picture! It’s so tiny!