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Posts tagged: crops

Dirty Boots Farm: Transitioning the Land and Growing Healthy, Local Food for New York

Posted by Suzanne Pender on May 02, 2016 at 05:57 PM
Shayna Lewis examines the winter greens growing inside her high tunnel.

Shayna Lewis examines the winter greens growing inside her high tunnel.

The six-acre Dirty Boots Farm in the town of Chester is the first farm Shayna Lewis and her partner Matt Hunger have run on their own, though both have plenty of organic farming experience.

Shayna said, “What I love most is this is the first time I’ve been in charge and worked for myself. I get to make decisions and see what happens. It makes you better and makes you try harder.” It’s going well, she said. “Last year, our first here, we had a bumper crop.”

They started working with NRCS after hearing about the agency’s High Tunnel Initiative, and Shayna and other local farmers went to the field office to learn more. The plastic covering provided by high tunnels enable farmers to grow in-ground crops year-round, ensuring a healthy local food system, and reducing inputs. Read more >>

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Tags: Environmental Quality Incentives Program, beginning farmer, crops, financial assistance, technical assistance, soils, greenhouse, organic, New York

categories Farmer & Rancher Stories, Conservation Programs


Ready to Quit, Farmer Thrives on Soil Health

Posted by Ron Nichols on April 21, 2016 at 06:46 PM
Jonathan Cobb says that with a new focus on soil health, we got rid of all of the tillage equipment, and just dove in.

Jonathan Cobb says that with a new focus on soil health, we got rid of all of the tillage equipment, and just dove in.

Jonathan Cobb had made up his mind. He was leaving the farm.

“I was disillusioned with farming in general because we were just pushing long days and chasing acres and it didn’t seem like there was very much reward,” Cobb said. “That quality of life was not very good. My wife was having to work a lot of hours full time and really support the family. Twenty-five hundred acres really didn’t support two families, and we weren’t living extravagant lifestyles by any means.”

Then came the drought of 2011.

“I thought, maybe this is a sign from God – maybe we shouldn’t be farming. Maybe we should move on to something else,’” Cobb said. “I was looking into moving down to Austin, Texas and being involved in some urban farming setups.”

In time, he and his wife Kaylyn put their house on the market and prepared to move, abandoning a century-old tradition of Cobb family farming. Read more >>

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Tags: soil health, no till, cover crops, soils, farmers

categories Soil Health, Discover Conservation, Farmer & Rancher Stories