Re: Sustainable Vegetable Production Systems (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 07:38:31 +0600 (GMT)
From: Ernesto Mendez (G.T.Z.) <mendezer@computo>
To: Steve Groff <sgroff@epix.net>
Cc: sanet-mg@computo
Subject: Re: Sustainable Vegetable Production Systems

Dear Steve:

Use of cover crops and living mulches has been tested in California.  I 
know at UC Davis, there are several people working with cover crops, 
including living mulches.  I did my B.S. thesis on living mulches of 
white and strawberry clover.  A similar M.S. thesis on tomatoes was also 
done at the same school.  This is California Polytechnic State 
University, San Luis Obispo.  If you are interested I can provide 
references for these two studies and a bibliography.


Ernesto Mendez
Agroforestry Consultant
CATIE-GTZ Agroforestry Project
Turrialba, Costa Rica

On Wed, 5 Mar 1997, Steve Groff wrote:

> Last week I attended the "Integrated Sustainable Vegetable Production 
> Systems" symposium at USDA's Agriculture Research Station in Beltsville 
> MD. Being a fulltime farmer, it was great to see the USDA pulling 
> together many researchers, scientists, and farmers to provide imput into 
> the direction they should go regarding research in sustainable 
> agriculture. The envirnmental impact of soil erosion, pesticide use, and 
> plastic mulch were discussed in great detail. It looks as though there 
> will be a 4 year project dealing with these issues and comparing a 
> "Systems Approach to Assess Envirnmental Impact of Sustainable and 
> Conventional Vegetable Production". Recent work at Beltsville by DR. 
> Aref Abdul-Baki has shown that a no-till system of planting 
> tomatoes into a cover crop of hairy vetch/rye/crimson clover reduced the 
> need for nitogen, lowered insect pressure, and helped reduce early 
> blight while increasing yields and quality. This study will build on the 
> work that Dr. Abdul-Baki has done and compare the sustainable system 
> with a high imput system of plastic, fertilizers, and pesticides. I 
> personally have been waiting for researchers to "pick up the ball and 
> run with this", because I've been experimenting myself with a similar  
> sustainable no-till approach. Is there any other farmers or researchers 
> who have results to share regarding this type of farming?
> Thanks!
> -- 
> Steve Groff
> Cedar Meadow Farm
> Holtwood PA
> http://www2.epix.net/~cmfarm/