SPRING VALLEY, WIS – Farmers curious how/why to grow cover crops will want to attend a free field day July 21 near Gays Mills, Wis., organized by the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). The event shows how Sweet Springs Farm, 43199 Patton Road, grows 14 different cover crops in its vegetable fields.
Farm hosts, Harriet Behar and her husband, Aaron Brin, have a 216-acre certified organic farm where they grow a variety of vegetables and medicinal herbs for the wholesale and retail markets. They currently grow “living” mulches—chickling vetch between tomato and squash rows, and Dutch white clover under cabbage—and a wide selection of other cover crops, including barley, rye, spring wheat, oats, field peas, yellow blossom sweet clover, red clover, crimson clover, buckwheat, sorghum sudan grass, tillage radish, and Japanese millet.
They’ll explain how they select cover crops, and the various uses and benefits of these crops throughout the season, such as nitrogen-fixing, prevention of soil erosion, habitat for beneficial insects, and weed suppression. They also will talk about their solar energy project—they produce all the electricity for their home and farm—and how other farmers can find grants to fund similar projects.
The field day will begin with presentations about the cover crops, and include a one-mile walking tour of the growing fields. MOSES and Organic Valley will provide lunch. This event is funded by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation, which has selected Behar as a “Cover Crop Champion” for 2015.
Pre-register for this field day by July 16 online at mosesorganic.org (click on the “Join us in the field” image), or call 715-778-5775.
MOSES is a nonprofit organization that provides training, resources and practical advice to help farmers succeed in sustainable and organic farming. Field days are just one of the services MOSES offers farmers. Learn more at mosesorganic.org.