Grantee Blog

No-till Farming a Surprise to Redwood Elementary Gardeners

The first task many students at Redwood Elementary wanted to do in their new garden was “dig!” And while they had many shovels and hoes with which to work, their biggest surprise was when their garden teacher told them that planting the soil with the least disturbance was the best practice.

No-till farming has been steadily growing thanks to the work of professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington David R. Montgomery. It relies on making a row with the least disturbance, so students learned to make a straight row using a guide and a hand trowel. The other part of no-till farming is covering the soil with organic matter. Tack straw has been used at the Redwood Elementary gardens, but chopped leaves or other organic matter would work. Over the winter, the tack straw will break down and replenish the soil for spring planting.

Another part of no-till is crop rotation, so students are learning how to keep records of what was planted in each bed.


About the Grantee

Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges- Franklin

The West Essex YMCA has something for everyone in our community, from infants to seniors. Our facility features an indoor pool with aquatic programs and swim lessons, cardio and strength conditioning equipment, fitness classes for all levels, sports and enrichment classes, and a supervised child watch.