Video Clip: Summer Seeded Hairy Vetch from Vegetable Farmers and their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques

This is a Vegetable Farmers and their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques video clip.

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Will Stevens, Golden Russett Farm. Shoreham, VT.

Audio Text

Another way I’m working legumes into my rotation is using hairy vetch. This was a field of winter squash last year that I over-seeded the hairy vetch on the fourth of July last year and then rotary hoed it in, and it was dry then so I irrigated that in. The vetch is able to live in the shade throughout the summer as the squash vines over it. Then at harvest time, we come in and we harvest, frost takes the squash out, the vetch continues to grow in a typical fall for a couple months, way into November in some years.

So now it’s the end of May about 10 months have gone by, it’s not quite budded up yet, but I’m ready to use the field so I’ll be plowing this down. Traditionally organic systems have recommended 50% of your acreage into vegetable production and 50% out of production in a given year. If I can do 40% as a cover crop fallow and 60% vegetable production, that’ll be good for me.

This video project was funded in part by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (USDA).

Published June 15, 2011

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.