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from the Field

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December 10, 2017
A Beautiful Week in December
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
Dry ground in December, or during any month in the winter, is a rare treat on the farm. So, what do we do with that special time? We tackle tasks that we don't have time for during the busy growing season that require tractor use, such as spreading compost and mowing buffers and pollinator habitats. We basically stockpile compost ingredients for a year or two, turning it every once in a while to help introduce oxygen and speed up decomposition, then spread it during the fall or on fallow areas during the active growing season. We don't attempt to spread it on the entire farm every year. Rather we try to spread it on portions that we observe to need it and also rotate its application so that every field will receive it once every four years or so.
There are many benefits to compost application including the addition of organic matter, nutrients, and minerals plus it slightly acidifies the soil, which we need to do now after spreading aragonite for years. Introducing compost also feels like a successful completion of the food production circle/cycle.
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