Friday, August 3, 2007

Cover Crop

In starting our vineyard I had a goal of impacting the natural environment as little as possible and if I could, even leave some of it in better shape. One of my goals has been to use a cover crop between the rows for soil fertility and vine nutrition. This is hard to do in an arid area as I didn't want the crop to use the precious irrigation water. With lots of expert help I chose tepary beans, a legume grown in Southern Arizona by the Tohono O'odham people for centuries. This is the second year we planted them just before the start of the monsoon rains. The beans are growing with only the natural rainfall. As soon as they flower the beans will be tilled into the soil to enrich it with nitrogen. We also planted some on the side of the winery building for harvest. So far the experiment is going well.

1 comment:

  1. Glad those little beans are doing well. Nathan says his neighbor is growing them in Tucson, too!