Conservation & Safety on the Farm
Conservation is something we take seriously here at
None Such Farm. We have started to switch some crops over
to a ‘No-Till’ planting method. This is where
you plant into a cover crop or crop residue from the previous
year. Not all of the crops we grow can be grown this way,
so we use other methods to promote soil retention. We
make use of ‘water ways’, which are sections
of a field that are prone to soil loss, these are planted
with grass and clover to hold the soil from eroding. These
need constant maintenance to keep them working properly.
Another form of soil retention is the use of terraces.
This is where a big field with drainage problems is broken
down into smaller fields and ‘water ways’
are incorporated into each terrace.
Cover crops are a beneficial way of preventing erosion.
After the harvest of a crop, such as sweet corn, a winter
cover crop is planted. The cover crop is predominantly
a rye, wheat, or barley. These crops can also be planted
in the fall for spring/summer harvest. The cover crop
does many things. It helps to prevent erosion. It can
build up the level of organic material and nutrients in
the soil. It can also help break up the soil due to compaction.
None Such Farm has two creeks (streams) running thru
the middle of it. The Watson and Lahaska. These two creeks
come together forming the Mill Creek. This happens in
our pasture where the cattle like to spend most of their
time. Up until 2001 the cattle were able to walk into
the creeks. This was deteriorating the creek banks and
widening the creek beds. The Bucks County Conservation
District and Ducks Unlimited helped us fence in the creeks
and put in cattle crossings so the cattle could cross
and not harm the creeks in any way. The Watson, Lahaska,
and the Mill Creek have never looked better, at least
when they pass thru our farm.
The majority of vegetables we raise are planted using
plasticulture. This is where a 5 foot wide plastic film
is laid in rows across the field. Underneath the plastic
is trickle tape, which is used to irrigate and fertilize
the crop. This saves on water and fertilizer by putting
them at the plants roots and it also boosts the productivity
of the crop. The only problem with this method of growing
is water run off from heavy rain. We have remedied this
by seeding between the rows of plastic with a grass mix
to hold the soil from eroding.
The two people that are responsible for handling the
chemicals and pesticides are both certified by the state
and have a pesticide applicators license. To maintain
the license a certain number of credits are needed per
year. Attending meetings hosted by the Penn State Extension
and other agencies accumulates the credits. This is where
you learn the best use and handling practices. We also
follow what is called IPM, Integrated Pest Management.