Dynamic Cover Crop Strategies video

Live Workshop with Patryk Battle, Director of Living Web Farms Nov. 2, 2021 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

As the existential challenges of climate chaos require growers to evolve beyond the ideal of sustainability to the imperative of regeneration, we will thrive only in so much as we partner with and emulate natural systems. The purpose of this workshop is to explore ways of mimicking the incredible productivity of natural plant communities. To this end, cover crops are essential tools.

Plants are the engines that convert solar energy to the nutrients that sustain all life. By expanding the selection of plants we use for cover crops, we can ensure the ability to have growth virtually everywhere there would otherwise be bare ground. The more cover crops we have, the more solar energy we are capturing, and by way of root exudates, are pumping into our soils to invigorate and expand our soil food web.

We will explore multispecies cover crop combinations for all seasons, the use of cover crops for animal fodder, using cover crops to smother persistent weeds, and growing our own mulch in place. We will also look at other ways cover crops can benefit our farms and gardens: how their respiration provides essential cooling, how their flowers and extrafloral nectaries ensure the diverse abundant, and well-balanced insect populations essential to pollination, and why their residues are the raw materials for the formation of humus and other soil aggregates. By means of symbiotic relationships with bacteria and fungi, cover crops actually power the processes that make atmospheric nitrogen, water, and minerals available to plants.

Our new workshop format welcomes live participants via this website and our YouTube channel. No registration is necessary. Workshops will average less than 2 hours in length, with a 10-minute intermission after the first hour and a Q & A period at the end.