Buckwheat cover crop after a thunderstorm.
We grow cover crops for stewardship of the soil. A cover crop is a plant grown specifically to till back into the soil. Nothing is harvested, it is all returned to the earth. Cover crops build organic matter, add fertility, increase water retention, and improve the tilth of the soil. They are also referred to as green manure, meaning that the plant is grown specifically to increase fertility. Buckwheat is very fast growing and has the ability to choke out unwanted weeds. This photo was taken on June 2. In a couple of weeks it will be knee high.
We take a piece of land out of vegetable production ever year, to dedicate the entire growing season to cover crops. This gives the land rest, allows us to grow our fertility in place, increases biodiversity and improves our crop rotation.