Anne and Eric share their experience farming with horses, something that they’ve done since Beech Grove Farm’s start 35 years ago, and how they set the farm up from the start to be manageable for the two of them. We talk about their strategy for reducing weed pressure, including their reduced tillage system, and the year-on, year-off rotation of vegetables and cover crops that allows them to build soil while minimizing weed issues.
We also dig into their low-input system for making compost, their low-input wood-fired greenhouse, and the changes they’ve seen in their rural community.
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Quotes from the Show
[Anne] We were very cognizant of designing our farm that we could work together, on a scale that could be manageable and that we would enjoy our work, and we've kept that.
[Eric] I think it would be fair to say that we are tilling frequently, but not deeply, and it's not intensive tillage.
[Anne] If we were fighting weeds all season long, it would get very stressful.
[Eric] Unless we're going to import a lot of compost to radically improve the stable organic matter in the soil, we need to keep reconditioning it, with the root system of cover crops.
[Anne] We could have easily designed some amazingly efficient system, and we would be able to expand, and we'd have all kinds of things going on, and we'd probably not be having fun anymore and enjoying ourselves.
Anne put in a plug for Turtle Tree Seeds, her source for Ermosa and Colora lettuces.
And while it’s not an internet link, you can can get Anne and Eric’s book, Weed the Soil, Not the Crop for $10 plus shipping and handling if you send a check to Anne and Eric Nordell, 3410 State Rte. 184, Trout Run, Pennsylvania 17771. They also have a DVD of their presentation at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference for $15, plus $3 shipping and handling.