Conference Sneak Peek: Spotlight on Natalie Lounsbury, researcher, cover crops and no-till vegetable production

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natalie-212x201Natalie Lounsbury is the extension coordinator for a University of Maryland project on Low-Residue Winterkilled Cover Crops for No-till Vegetable Production.

She researched this system for her M.S. and is currently is continuing research and outreach from her family’s farm in (much colder) Maine. Prior to graduate school, she worked as an organic inspector and a vegetable farm manager.

You can keep up with her work at www.notillveggies.org.

Why do you want to join us Orillia?
I have been working for the past few years in Maryland and most of my work with farmers has been in the mid-Atlantic, but I’m excited to take my research on no-till vegetables and cover crops farther north!  

What can attendees expect to learn/take away from your workshop?
Some people have dubbed me “the radish lady” because I end up talking a lot about the primary cover crop we’ve used in our research: forage radish. Attendees will learn a lot about forage radish. But I also hope to present information that will help people start to think about tillage differently and how we can get cover crops to do some of the work for us in farming systems.

What do you enjoy/love about your work/research?
I love sharing a tool with farmers that really works and shows measurable advantages. I also just really love cover crops.

Are there any other fun or interesting facts or a story about your work that you’d like to share?
Even though forage radish is a cover crop, it is delicious and can be prepared many ways. In fact, I like it better than the cash crops like spinach that we work so hard to grow.

Natalie’s workshop:

December 6, 2014: No-till Vegetables: Harnessing the Power of Cover Crops
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Vegetable production generally involves numerous tillage events each season both for weed control and soil conditioning, but tillage has detrimental effects on soil quality. In some cases, cover crops can eliminate the need for tillage prior to vegetable seeding or transplanting. This workshop will give an introduction to both high-residue winter-hardy and low-residue winterkilled cover crops that can facilitate no-till production without herbicides. More detailed results and information on using forage radish as a cover crop prior to early spring vegetables will be presented. Topics of discussion will include: equipment, nutrient cycling, cover crop establishment, and soil quality.

Don’t miss the ecological conference of the year!
To learn more about Natalie, the other presenters and workshops, and to register,
visit https://conference.efao.ca/.

Celebrating 35 years of Learning, Farming and Sharing!