It’s early spring on the Allegheny Plateau. Spring’s farm work is to prepare the fields and sow the crops. It sure helped to plant a cover crop after the mid-summer garlic harvest last year. Our crop rotation is potatoes, alliums (garlic, shallots and onions) and curcurbits (winter and summer squash).
Here’s a look at the fields as they come out of their winter slumber. The fall-planted cover crops of Daikon radish and white mustard residue is decomposing rapidly to release its stored nutrients to increase topsoil fertility. Some of the crimson clover has over-wintered. For this field, we need only to do a shallow cultivation for seed bed preparation. Our rotation says to sow squash seeds in this field. One slide shows rows of fall-planted garlic with the squash field that will be planted later this spring in the distance.