Soil Born Farms, a nonprofit farm in Rancho Cordova, CA, grows 45 different vegetable crops and 9 different varieties of fruit on 55 acres. Their $5,000 grant helped them move toward a no-till system focused on increasing organic matter and improving soil quality. They purchased a bed mower and 4 occultation tarps to aid decomposition without tillage.
“At the outset of the tarps implementation we hypothesized a decrease in weed population. We were proven correct in compounding fashion. Weed pressure was diminished at rates far greater than expected and plants growing areas treated with tarps were healthier, higher yielding, and exhibited less insect damage.The ability to showcase an accessible, low cost, highly effective method of garden and field preparation. Topsoil loss happens most often during times of tillage. Specifically during field preparation. Through implementing and showcasing this technique we have the potential to significantly reduce soil erosion rates at our farm and in the back yard gardens in our community.” ~ Melanie Choy, Programs Manager