Sunday, April 18, 2010

Field Day

On Friday I spent the morning with some local farmers at a field day sponsored by the Potter-McKean County Conservation Districts. The purpose of the field day was to demonstrate the use of cover crops and the no-till planting method.
Last fall, after a corn planting had been harvested, the Conservation District planted several cover crops using several different methods on a beautiful field in Coneville.
It was an interesting morning and I learned a lot about conventional agriculture and new processes (like no-till) that focus on conservation of the soil. However, the process, like most of conventional agriculture, is heavily dependent on herbicides and chemical fertilizers. 
As we all introduced ourselves, I was pleased to note that I wasn't the only one who used the word "organic." I was, however, the sole female workshop participant.
Pictured at left is Joel Myers from the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance. His cap says "Soil Is Meant To Be Covered.:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring on the Hill

Awakening to snow on the skylights yesterday was a bit of a shock after a week of 70+ degree days! But by mid-day, the snow had melted away. Everything outside is well ahead of schedule and I fear for the apple blossoms if we get a really cold snap. Last year we lost our entire apple crop when a late-season freeze moved in after a very warm spring.
The photo of Rowan Day published first here accompanies a nice little article in the Endeavor newspaper about the Pennsylvania Path to Organic program and the two Potter County farms embarking on this ambitious project.
The new greenhouse should be at a place where I can move my little tomato plants from their sunny windows in the house. For those of you who know our place, you'll see that Arthur has converted the southeast corner of the shop into a lovely sunny space.