Cover Cropping, Grapes & Planting Between Rainy Days

Planting Cover Crop

Cover cropping is a very important part of cultivating healthy soil for growing healthy produce. This area of land is where we grew all of our produce last year and we are now rebuilding this soil for next years planting. Our cover crop mixture is 71% Peas, 15% Oats and 14% vetch. The oats are the trellising for the pea’s and they also will store phosphorus from the soil. The vetch will smoother the peas and oats to produce up to 8000 lbs. of green manure to be tilled back into the ground in addition to the nitrogen fixation that the pea’s, and vetch will be doing.

Obtaining nitrogen from cover cropping is a sustainable and balanced way to add nitrogen to the soil, while feeding microbial life and adding humus, which is the organic material that is a product of the decomposition of the peas, oats and vetch. The humus also helps to absorbs water when it rains so that you do not have erosion problems and during drought it holds water for longer periods of time in the soil.

Beautiful Clover Between Grapes

Clover is planted between the grapes to help pull some of the 45 tons of nitrogen from the air to the ground to help feed the grapes…..it also is yummy to add to carrot juice and aids in the health of our blood…healthy for soil and for our bodies…what a coincidence.

Happy Clover

Gerhard Pienarr, Grape Specialist from South Africa

Gerhard is visiting us from South Africa for 3 months and will be helping us with our grapes this season. Many of our CSA members may remember when Larry and I were in South Africa last year in March to learn sea water agriculture from Gerhard. Before farming hydroponically Gerhard owned a vineyard that was his fathers. He has many years of experience with grapes and we are so grateful to have his help this year.

Working Hard Planting Lettuce Before More Rain Comes

Here the interns are working hard to plant lettuce and the brassica family before it rains again. We have been blessed with several windows of opportunity to plant between the rainy days…..and we give God all the glory for these opportunities. After all it is His garden!

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7 Responses to Cover Cropping, Grapes & Planting Between Rainy Days

  1. I especially like the photos in this post. Thinking of you all, and hoping the rest of your season is full of bounty.

  2. theDaniel says:

    Do you have a bug season? Black flies?, ticks?, midges?, mosquitoes, etc?

    • sowing4him says:

      Sorry we never responed to this question…yes we have bugs potato bugs, aphids, white fly you name it we have them. The key is that if you have healthy dirt, you have healthy plants. And if you have healthy plants the bugs don’t bother the plant as much.

      • Daniel says:

        Black flies, ticks, midges, mosquitoes eat you!! not the plants….
        Are you saying these bug don’t exist in a locale if the soil is healthy??

      • theDaniel says:

        I responded to your reply but it was deleted. I was asking about bugs that are pests to people, not plants. You deleted my post, so I guess I stepped on someones toes, sorry!

      • sowing4him says:

        Sorry that your response was deleted inadvertently. No, we are not saying that there are no bugs in the garden that are human pests if the soil and plants are healthy. However, if there are fewer plant pests in this instance (which there should be) then beneficial insects and animals who prey on these smaller insects would have to dine on those little human-pesty ones instead. When you create a healthy, bio-diverse environment nature should balance things out and no population be over-run. That being said, we do have some human pests here, mostly ticks and mosquitoes. For the most part the ticks stay in the trees and near the water and are only a threat to our sanity for a couple of months in the spring-time. The mosquitoes, of course, are everywhere, mostly at dusk.
        I hope this answers your question. Thanks for reading our Blog!

  3. Leanna says:

    This is my first time visit at here and i am really pleassant to read all at alone place.

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