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LAST DAY OF FARMING SEASON ON MAINE’S WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. With Maine in the crosshairs of two major wet weather systems merging on top of us this weekend, we decided Veteran’s Day was a good time to finally incorporate our last Organic Cover Crop and put away the tractors for the year. These home farm fields will be planted to Organic Certified Seed Potatoes in 2023.
We received an inch of rain last night, and another inch or two is in the forecast before our storms finish up Sunday night, possibly as snow.
In this shot Caleb is driving the silver White 105 tractor (essentially the same machine as an Oliver 1850 with its 92-HP Perkins Diesel engine, except the 105’s Perkins has a Turbocharger which amps it up to 105 HP plus that boxy silvery cab). He is pulling a 7-foot Woods Bushhog Mower to chop up the knee-high crop of soil biofumigant Rapeseed. The Brassica family member Rapeseed is especially rich in natural ‘glucosinolates’ (GSLs) which researchers have proven – including after a multi-year study performed by UMO and USDA scientists on our farm – reduce soil borne pests such as pathogenic nematodes, and funguses, plus it inhibits weed seed germination.
Jim is driving the green Oliver 1850 Diesel which is pulling the red IH 7-tooth Chisel Plow. The teeth have ‘twisted shank’ feet which not only rip into the soil 12 inches deep but turn under 90% of the crop top residue. As that residue decomposes in the soil it gives off the natural cleansing gas which science has proved is AS EFFECTIVE as bad-boy-farm-toxin Methyl Bromide, a perennial candidate for getting banned and a known deadly Ozone depleter.
Almost 50 years of organic farming has taught us that there’s usually a good organic solution for challenges faced by farmers. A good solution benefits the environment and doesn’t poison the soil or the food we eat or the seed we sell.
A good solution is Win-Win. Caleb, Megan & Jim