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rain is a good thing (I'm even glad to hear snow is on it's way)

It may not look like much to some but it's beautiful to us. This is the garden area this morning. We cleared off the nasty, hard, fibrous weed stalks from last year's neglect (lesson learned) and ran a field cultivator through it. Just in time for the rain!

We're still working through details of how we want to prep the ground, this year and in the future but the field cultivator worked for now.

Now that we have a tractor I could do it myself instead of asking the neighbors. They were happy to let me borrow it.

Rich  – (February 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM)  

About ten years ago, somebody gave me a big box of about 6 years worth of 'Small Farm Journal' which had an ongoing column written by Anne and Eric Nordell.

Soil fertility was mainly built and maintained with cover crops, with half of the farm in either cover crops or fallow at any given time.

There is a little information about their farm at:


I can't seem to find any reprints of their columns (I learned about most of it by reading those old 'Small Farm Journals"), but some of the information might be available if you look hard enough (I think there are some videos on YouTube about their farm).

I don't have a market garden, use horses, and I'm not completely organic, but I manage the garden in a similar way with cover crops and compost. Plant winter wheat in the fall as a cover crop, plant oats in the spring, sorghum (or sorghum-sudangrass) in the summer. Winter peas, blackeyed peas in the summer, turnips or canola in the winter, etc.

I don't know about Nebraska's weather, but I would start by broadcasting some oats and running the cultivator over them as a green manure crop. Let them grow and till them in before planting your garden this spring.

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