Use of Cover Crops / Smothering

21 Feb
cover crops on silver reef farms

From the beginning, it has always been very important to us to care for and nurture our land through sustainable action. As a farm, we must build on what we have learned over the years. One thing that we have been very aware of is our need to reduce hand labor weed pulling costs, and find a more sustainable way to build nutrients in our soil. Our solution is cover crops. Beginning in 2018 we will be using cover crops to build soil heath, cut labor costs and increase land vitality.

During harvest every year we take vital components out of our soil.   These components need to be made up for and that is where cover crops come in. Cover crops will build nutrients, soil structure, and organic matter while we are waiting to plant in the coming season.  Cover crops help unbind the bio nutrients in the soil and reduce soil compaction.   Cover crops will also prevent erosion as the Cold Colorado winters come though and weather away at the land.  This weather would normally cause for the soil to shift; yet the cover crops will prevent the break down by bonding the soil together. And last but not least it will reduce hand weeding labor cost.

One encounter we have every year as an Organic Farm is the excess amounts of weeds that grow in our fields. It is important to note that weeds are not bad, yet they do provide us with a challenge. We are meeting this challenge with what! You got it!  Cover crops! Cover crops are known for their ability to create a strong foundation within the soil helping reduce the amount of weeds able to break through the surface.  What cover crops are doing to the weeds is also known as smothering.  The use of cover crops will provide us with less labor costs since we will no longer have to have workers in the fields pulling weeds.

Use of cover crops is one strong sustainable step in the right direction. Our goal is to run on a leaner platform allowing for less negative feedback into the environment and more positive feedback into the world. Keep in mind these are all theories but implementation will give us more information over the years. 

 

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