With three acres of land, the University Farm’s Organic Vegetable Project has the space needed to grow different crops one after the other to keep the soil healthy–otherwise known as crop rotation.
The farm grew hybrid sorghum sudan, a summer grass that suppresses weeds, this past summer and winter squash last semester.
Sheep grazed the summer crop, and the winter squash gave the soil nitrogen, said Lee Altier, a Chico State College of Agriculture professor.
With more land, the project has time to plant different crops each season, adding organic matter into the soil through green manure, or crops that are tilled back into the ground, Altier said.
All the land has increased the project’s student involvement. The project went from having one student working to 12 students, said Tina Candelo-Mize, the field manager.
More students can participate with the project’s new Friday market, which opened in response to more vegetable production, Altier said.
Yessenia Funes can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_yfunes on Twitter.