Frequently Asked Questions
The Village Farm at Harvest Green
Why is the ground cover in the vineyard/orchard so tall?
One technique that is making big waves in both conventional and sustainable agriculture is cover cropping. This is the use of certain plants for the purpose of improving soil quality as opposed to providing a harvestable product. These can be utilized in a number of ways. In the orchard and vineyard we use them to keep the soil covered which retains moisture and keep soil temperatures down. These plants also fix nitrogen from the air in root nodules which improves soil health by their symbiotic relationship with rhizobia (beneficial bacteria) and the natural addition of plants largest nutrient requirement. Nitrogen is plant’s version of nutritional protein. Deficiency causes stunted growth and poor health in every part of the plant. Cover crops usually grow taller than a traditional mowed lawn, but are beautiful in their own regard. It does take time to establish a good cover crop cycle which can overcome the natural weed population already present. For this reason, you may see other weeds visible as we work to manage them out of the system.
Why is there grass on the North farm and not the South farm?
On part of the farm, you will see a natural group of local plants in the spaces between our beds. We do this because it is good for soil health to always have plant roots in it. Roots prevent erosion, encourage decomposers, provide shelter for insects, and are crucial to microfauna. It also allows us to work in the fields when they are wet by providing support. Frequently we are scrambling to beat the rain as mowing, weeding, cultivating, and planting are often put on hold a few days after it rains until the soil dries up. We will try to keep these furrows mowed tightly, but we ask that you be patient with us if it goes undone from time to time.
The South Farm showcases a more conventional method of agriculture which uses a tractor with a cultivation implement to tackle most of the weeds. Because the tractor can only get so close to the crops without damaging them, you may see weeds standing in the row where crops are planted. These must be taken out by hand. The furrows, or the spaces between the beds, are also cultivated with this implement, allowing a farmer to manage more space with less time, also creating a clean, classic farm look.