Can tarping work for your vegetable farm?
“Tarping” or covering the soil with plastic silage tarps is becoming more popular with smaller scale vegetable farms as a way to help reduce tillage and control weeds. During this webinar, you’ll get an overview of tarping systems at two vegetable farms.
The farmers will share why they decided to try this production method, how they make it work for their farm operation, and the benefits as well as the drawbacks.These farms are also both participants in Pasa's Soil Health Benchmark Study, so we’ll also touch on key aspects of their soil health data and discuss how tarping may or may not be contributing to each farm’s soil health journey.
Liz Krug co-manages Fullers Overlook Farm with her husband, Mike. Over the last seven seasons they have worked to build soil for a 10-acre market farm: five acres in annual vegetables and five acres in cover crop/pastured poultry rotation. Partially out of necessity (i.e. slope and soil structure) and their desire to increase soil health, they have found success with tarping and cover cropping to reduce tillage. Liz has been using tarps for three seasons.
Nina Berryman is the farm manager at Weavers Way, a cooperatively owned grocery store in Philadelphia with two community-centric, urban farms. She has been farming over 10 years with Weavers Way and has experience in techniques ranging from hand-scale, walk behind tractors, full size tractors and no till. Nina has been using tarps for four years.
Sarah Bay Nawa has been Pasa’s Research Coordinator since 2018 and supports the organization’s farm-based research projects. Sarah has more than a decade of combined farming and farm-advising experience in south central PA at New Morning Farm, the Fulton Farm at Wilson College, and Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative.