Soil Health

  1. Building Soil Organic Matter for Robust Systems

    Inherent in High Mowing’s mission of providing high quality organic seeds is a dedication to building soil health in our production systems. Because our seed is developed in organic conditions with robust soils, the varieties we offer demonstrate characteristics that allow them to thrive in similar organic systems, on farms and in gardens that also recognize the importance of soil...
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  2. Mastering the Art of Soil Nutrients: Blending Intuition and Science for Optimal Soil Health

    I grew up in a family of strict recipe followers; every baking project followed a structured procedure. Flour was always sifted twice – once before measuring, once after – and we used a special knife to accurately level flour in the measuring cup. Every instruction was followed precisely. As a rebellious teenager and young adult, I improvised everything in...
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  3. Crop Rotation for Diversified Vegetable Operations

    Crop rotations are an essential farm tool. If planned and executed well, a crop rotation can establish long term soil health, break pest and disease cycles, diminish weed seed banks, balance nutrient levels, and create a vigorous overall farm system. Even if you’re a well-established farmer, chances are you’re frequently making adjustments to your crop rotation in order to...
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  4. Putting Cover Crops to Work

    Growing vegetables is hard on a place, and it’s important to put something back for all that we take out. One of our responsibilities as growers and gardeners is to be good stewards of the earth that we use. Feeding the soil is an important piece of increasing the health of our fields. One can add compost, but increasing levels...
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  5. A Guide to Planting Spring Cover Crops

    Planting cover crops is a powerful way to improve your soil. Cover crops perform a host of valuable functions like increasing soil organic matter, fixing nitrogen, breaking up compaction, suppressing weeds and preventing erosion. In this guide we'll discuss your options for spring cover crops and the benefits of each, when and how to plant, and how to manage the...
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  6. Integrating Livestock and Crops at Good Heart Farmstead: Sheep, Pigs and Poultry to Increase Soil Health

    Organic farmers know that healthy soil means healthy plants. At Good Heart Farmstead, everything we do is based in the soil. We even named our farm in honor of it—when soil is “in good heart”, it is alive and healthy. But organic farmers will also know that the name itself doesn’t transform depleted, acidic soil into living, healthy soil overnight...
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  7. Disease Prevention in High Tunnel Production

    Organic growers are increasingly choosing to grow year-round in high tunnels, in part to avoid the diseases encountered by field crops. Not only do high tunnels provide physical exclusion from airborne disease, but the environmental conditions necessary for the presence of many disease pathogens simply do not occur in high tunnel production. Of course disease is not eliminated entirely...
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  8. Cover Cropping on the High Mowing Organic Seed Farm

    I first heard the old adage of “no bare ground” while working for Gordon Tooley and Margaret Yancy at Tooley’s Trees in Truchas, New Mexico.  Gordon espouses many philosophies on life and farming.  However, the philosophy of “no bare ground” didn’t completely resonate with me in dry-land New Mexico.  Not long after I started on the Seed Production Farm at...
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  9. Growing Fertility

    Kathy Ciarimboli is a Sales Associate and Special Projects assistant at High Mowing Organic Seeds. She and her husband homestead on several acres in rural Vermont. Before working for High Mowing, she was the farm manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Palmer, Alaska. When I got the soil test results back in early April, I...
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  10. Weed Control – or Loss of Control – in Mid-Summer

    Becky Maden is the Assistant Farm Manager at Intervale Community Farm (ICF), a thriving member-owned CSA farm in its 21st season of growing organic produce in Burlington, Vermont. Becky has worked on several diverse vegetable farms throughout the country and around the world. At ICF, Becky is either found in the greenhouse, on a tractor, or jogging between the two...
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