By Peter Bacchus To grow healthy plants and animals and high-quality food products, you need fertile soil. Soil fertility in turn is related to the growth and reproduction of soil organisms and to the plants that grow in the soil. In due process this affects the health, well-being and fertility of the animals and humans […]
Conventional thinking holds that vegetable farms must be fully mechanized and produce on a certain scale to provide a livelihood, except in extraordinary circumstances, but Les Jardins de la Grelinette (Broad Fork Gardens) in Quebec, busts this myth, using biointensive growing methods. For more than a decade Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Helene Desroches have operated a […]
The book Hands-On Agronomy, by Neal Kinsey and Charles Walters, is a comprehensive manual on effective soil fertility management providing many on-farm examples to illustrate the various principles and how to use them. The function of micronutrients, earthworms, soil drainage, tilth, soil structure, and organic matter is explained in thorough detail. The excerpt below details […]
In 2016, after a long period of trial and error, I quite by chance tried out a “vibrating weeding broom” for weed control that uses a rake with thin, spring steel wires and was able to carry out continuous (down the row) early interplant weeding without damaging the crop.The weeding was successful using the vibrating […]
To limit soil damage, reduced tillage was steadily adopted over the years. This took the form of permanent bedding and wheel tracks with chisel plowing and very shallow rototilling of the bed surface. We then moved into prepping the beds’ surface with harrows only: disc, spring-tooth and rod weeders, combined with a roller.
Weeds seem to have a pecking order. Once the conditions that permit foxtail and fall panicum are erased, there will be other weeds, but none of them will be as difficult to control or as hazardous to crop production.