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Soil Health Field Walk at Atlas Farm: Tillage-Reduced Cover Cropping and Planting Methods for Brassicas
September 28 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Join Gideon Porth of Atlas Farm and Julie Fine of American Farmland Trust for a field walk exploring innovative approaches to tillage reduction on organic farms. Gideon will showcase the initial results of two trials. One trial is utilizing multiple cover crops, including oats and peas, followed by buckwheat, to prepare for no-till transplanting fall kale. The second trial is using a zone-builder to plant brassica crops into rye-vetch cover crops. Gideon will share the background of the trials, the equipment, and the operations involved, and participants will be able to compare each treatment with its standard tillage control.Julie Fine, New England Climate and Agriculture Specialist will discuss challenges and innovations in regional efforts at tillage reduction on mechanized organic farms, and share resources for farmers. We will round out the afternoon with farmer-to-farmer Q&A and discussion.
Gideon Porth has been farming since college and has been the owner/operator of Atlas Farm since 2004. He has grown Atlas Farm from a 2.5-acre rented plot to a 120-acre certified organic farm growing year-round for the local and regional produce market. Gideon and the Atlas Farm team strive to constantly evolve their farming systems to serve as a model for resource-conscious, ecological farming methods.
Julie Fine, New England Climate and Agriculture Specialist for American Farmland Trust has worked on dairy and vegetable farms in MA, CA, and New Zealand over the last 20 years before settling in western Massachusetts. In 2018, she earned an MS in plant and soil science from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst researching the effects of winter-killed cover crops on nutrient cycling, weed suppression, and soil health. Through relationships with farmers across the Northeast, Julie has seen the agricultural and climate challenges that food producers face and is dedicated to working together toward site-specific solutions for climate adaptation, soil health, and sustainable food production.