Healthy Soil Is Happy Soil

By: Julia Holup, Assistant Manager
We’re finding lots of earthworms in our small hoop house today as we turn over the soil and prepare to seed. They may be small, but earthworms deliver huge benefits to the soil, improving nutrient availability, drainage, soil structure, and productivity.
Ever wonder how you prepare beds in tight spaces? We have two hoop houses on our farm, each of which relies on passive solar heating to provide a warmer environment for growing crops. But when it comes to turning over the soil in preparation for a new planting, it can be tricky navigating large equipment in a confined space. To get around this, we use a small walk-behind rototiller in our large, 30′ by 72′ hoop house. In our small hoop house, we prep beds by hand. First, we irrigate the soil. Then we aerate and gently turn it over using a series of tools beginning with a broadfork, followed by a spading fork, and ending with a sturdy rake to get rid of any large debris and to make a final, smooth seed bed.
Check out the time-lapse video below to see how we create a seed-ready bed!