Dirty Girl Farm and Healthy Soil

Or maybe I should write, “dirty vegetable farm”, ‘tho we girls did get pretty dirty during the harvest. The lettuce we harvested this morning for the CSA had more soil on it than usual. The much needed rain earlier this week — about an inch on the farm — came down hard, and it splashed a lot of soil onto the lettuce. I dunked the lettuce and gently sprayed it and dunked it again, but I think some of my shareholders took home something more precious than fresh veggies today: healthy soil.

Speaking of healthy soil, in year three of my growing food on this acre, the earthworms have returned. During my first two years, the rare earthworm sightings created excitement and always led to conversations about their absence. Some growers I spoke with suggested that the conventional fertilizer long used on this land may have created a caustic environment for the worms. Others wondered if the deposits of grass clippings from local landscapers may have contained chemicals that were not earthworm-friendly. I’m not sure if either of these hypotheses is true. But after two years of organic fertilizer and a heavy application of composted manure, there are earthworms everywhere!

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