Author Message
Beau M. Davidson
Post     Subject: Building Habitat with Cover Crops

In this excerpt from the Garden Master Course, we take a closer look at habitat building, both above and below ground. Six organic farms are evaluated and their use of the 14 different habitat building tools and strategies are discussed.

It is important to provide the right kind of diversity, as the quality of diversity is more important than the quantity.

Designing on-farm diversity is a strategic process that depends on each farm's scale, farm and landscape ecology, economics, and the farm's specific goals.

The network of beneficial relationship is more important than any individual element.

Helen studied crop diversity and cover crop strategies used by the six farms, with a focus on the percent of total farm in cover crops each year and how the cover crops are managed. The priority for three of the farms is to grow their own fertility, and Helen discusses the importance of having all farms focus on this goal for a better planet and how we must avoid practices that decrease biodiversity like the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, which is the reason why it was necessary to make this update to the Master Gardener Program.