Ellen Polishuk manages one of two locations for Potomac Vegetable Farms – hers is the “west” location, in the exurbs of Washington, D.C. Potomac Vegetable Farms has been around for about 50 years now, but Ellen joined it in the late 1970’s, first as a farm worker, and later as a manager and co-owner of the farm. Potomac Vegetable Farms runs two farmstands, attends farmers markets in DC, and has a CSA. We cover a lot of ground in this episode, including how Ellen got adopted by the farm, the weed control rotation she uses, making over 200 tons of compost on the farm each year, and how organic mulches work for Ellen as a weed control and labor-management tool.
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Weed the Soil, Not the Crop - An article by Anne and Eric Nordel about their year of cash crop, year of cover crop rotation.
This article provides in an introduction to the Luebke composting method described by Ellen in this episode.
Ellen’s project with Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group about record-keeping and cost of production with Southern SAWG is Growing Farm Profits.
Ellen also mentioned Veggie Compass, a related project based out of the University of Wisconsin.
- Ellen’s website about her own consulting and education work is ellenpolishuk.com.
- Ellen recommended two books for beginning farmers looking to learn more about soil: Building Soils for Better Crops and The Biological Farmer by Gary Zimmer
- We didn’t talk about it in the show, but here’s a beautiful video about the history of Potomac Vegetable Farm.
Ellen loves her Imants Rotary Spader
Ellen’s Favorite Resource:
Ellen is a big fan of the Southern SAWG Annual Conference, where she says it’s super important to build your contacts and networks. This conference moves around from year to year.