Even though the final freeze is still a month or two off, we are beginning to prepare for the spring growing season. In the seed house we have started seedling trays of cold-hardy crops (and sorting potatoes) to be transplanted out into the field in the latter half of February. Meanwhile in the field, cover crops that were sowed last autumn were mowed down to improve the soil structure and add nitrogen and organic matter.
In organic farming, it’s more about farming the soil than the crops. In order to support a natural soil structure, reduce erosion, and promote a healthy ecosystem, Rural Studio Farm is completely no-till once the beds are established. Cycling cover crops through the beds in summer and winter is a vital step in building and amending the damaged soil we are left with here in the Black Belt, as most of the rich topsoil, from which the area got its name, was washed away from unsustainable agricultural practices. Since the field is mostly cover crops, all the Studio’s salads and greens are grown and harvested in the passive solar greenhouse.