No-Till Intenstive Vegetable Culture: Pesticide-Free Methods for Restoring Soil and Growing Nutrient-Rich, High-Yielding Crops

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No-Till Intenstive Vegetable Culture: Pesticide-Free Methods for Restoring Soil and Growing Nutrient-Rich, High-Yielding Crops

by Bryan O’Hara, 272 pages, 7x10, softcover. Bryan O’Hara and Anita Johnson have made a living growing vegetables for market at their Lebanon, CT, farm since the 1990s. During that time, with careful observation and meticulous attention to detail, they developed a method for growing nutrient-rich, high-yielding crops, allowing them to use their three acres of vegetable plots to support themselves and their crew. Their method revolves around two main components: no-till culture and the creation of a biologically rich soil through enhancing indigenous microorganisms using methods based on the principles of Korean Natural Farming. Creating the necessary conditions for a successful no-till culture is covered in depth, no pun intended, in Chapters 3 and 4. Introducing indigenous microorganisms involves cultivating local microorganisms from the woodlands surrounding one’s plots, allowing them to ferment grain-based media and then applying them to the growing plots through irrigation, foliar spraying, mulching and potting soils. Because these nutrients are applied to a no-till system, they are allowed to colonize without disturbance and improve the soil and subsoil. Over the years, the O’Haras have experienced a marked improvement in the structure and composition of their soil, increased crop yields, improved flavor and nutrient profile for their vegetables.

Because the cultivation of annual crops means that one is constantly removing nutrients from one’s plots, the O’Haras recognize that it isn’t possible to wean oneself entirely from adding inputs to one’s soils, so the book includes chapters on best-practice fertilization methods and materials and composting. And because life is a cycle and there are always unwelcome guests, there are chapters on best planting methods, crop rotation, weed and pest control and, once the crops have grown, harvesting and marketing. There are many reasons to look forward to MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair and in the last several years I’ve added one more to my list: a visit from Bryan and Anita and their daughter Clara who bring with them the bounty of their garden and the wealth of their farming experience. -David Shipman



9688 No-Till Intenstive Vegetable Culture: Pesticide-Free Methods for Restoring Soil and Growing Nutrient-Rich, High-Yielding Crops
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