Categorysoil management

Tips on Succession Planting for a Continual Flow of Product

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Succession planting refers to strategically planning out a sequence (or succession) of crops that will be planted one after another in a designated area throughout your growing season. On a small-scale bio-intensive market farm, the goal is to maximize the yield of a limited growing space. This makes strategic succession planting of utmost performance. The more rotations of high-value crops you...

TARPING STRATEGIES FOR MARKET GARDENING: SILAGE TARPS VS. CLEAR TARPS

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Over the last 10 years or so, the use of black silage tarps on small farms has become more and more common. This growing popularity of using tarps can largely be attributed to Jean-Martin Fortier from his book, The Market Gardener. JM was, and is, a huge proponent of the benefits of tarping when it comes to weed management and no-till soil preparation for new plots. Occultation is the term for...

Old School Row Cropping Vs. Permanent Beds

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A 30” wide bed is the most common standardized width in the world of market gardening today. It’s an easy width to straddle for most body types, doesn’t hyperextend the back when reaching into the center of the bed from the pathway, and most tools and supplies are built to accommodate this size.  If such is the case, it would seem that it would be counterintuitive for a grower to deviate...

Farm Hacks for the BCS Walk-Behind Tractor

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For those of you who have worked with a BCS walk-behind tractor, you have learned that the heavier your implement is, the harder it is to turn the machine around at the end of a bed. The Power Harrow, for example, is an extremely heavy implement. In order to turn the tractor at the end of the bed, the operator will typically disengage the PTO for safety, lower the handles for leverage, and then...

Vermicompost: A Practical Guide On Worm-POwered Compost

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How to Use Worm-Powered Composting for Improved Soil Health, Stronger Seedlings & Higher Yields on the Farm – By Jordan MacPhee of Maple Bloom Farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Simplifying the Journey to Soil Health We all want healthy living soil to make our job easier as farmers. Living soil makes it easier to grow plants that are more resilient to pest and disease pressure and...

Building a Nursery GREENHOUSE Out of a Caterpillar Tunnel

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When you are leasing land, or on a tighter budget, constructing an adequate nursery space can be a challenging prospect. While a beautiful high tunnel with cement floors, a drainage system, permanent plumbing, polycarbonate end walls, and automated heating and cooling systems would be IDEAL, it’s often not within reach–at least when starting out.  When I was faced with this dilemma at the...

ON-FARM COMPOSTING

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Is it worth the effort to make your own compost on a small-scale farm? If you decide that it’s not, what do you do with your old crop residue?  Most would agree that it’s often not feasible to create enough compost to meet all the fertility needs of your farm, especially on a small piece of land. This is especially true for those trying to increase the organic matter in their soil, or for...

BUILDING BEDS WITH THE DEEP COMPOST MULCH SYSTEM

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After exploring what the deep compost mulch system is, looking at the pros and cons, and how to source your compost, it’s time to get into the details of building deep compost beds from start to finish. The ideal progression of steps is as follows: 1. Leveling the Ground & Ensuring Good Drainage2. Test & Amend the Soil3. Preparing Soil with Silage TarpsOccultationWater Before...

THE DEEP COMPOST MULCH SYSTEM

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Deep Compost Mulch: A No-Till Approach The deep compost mulch system has been most used and promoted by many well-known farmers in the no-till farming space. Jesse Frost of Rough Draft Farmstead and the No-Till Podcast, Richard Perkins of Ridgedale Farm in Sweden (author of Regenerative Agriculture), and Josh Sattin of Sattin Hill Farm have all provided fantastic models of successfully...

Market Gardening Bed Flipping Systems: Full-till, Low-till, and No-till

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In this article, we will go over some different systems for flipping beds in preparation for the Paperpot Transplanter. From full-till to low-till, to no-till, different approaches require different systems and tools. What is Bed Flipping?Bed Prep Depends on What’s Being Planted NextPaperpot Transplanter Needs Prepared SoilFull-TillFull-Till bed Flipping System:Flail MowAdd Soil Amendments...

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