For quite a few years, we have not had frozen ground during the winter. Most years this was due to deep snow before cold weather. This lack of frozen ground causes a build up of fungus that causes root rot in berry crops and actually can harm many native plants , native scrubs, and native trees. We are cheering the recent cold weather as it will aid our farm and farms in the region. Our natural defense against the soil pathogens is ground freeze. In regions where the ground does not freeze, soil fumigation is necessary to grow certain crops especially strawberries. Methyl Bromide is the only fumigant which has been successful although alternatives are being rapidly tested. Although Methyl Bromide was suppose to be banned by 2005, exemptions have been made yearly to continue use until an alternative is found. Methyl Bromide is a known ozone depleter. Ground freeze also aids soil condition by adding tilth, which is aeration of the soil. The lack of production which has decimated the strawberry growers in this region during the last decade is primarily due to root rot. Hopefully Mother Nature will bless us with further ground freeze to alleviate this critical problem.
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Food For Thought…
- "In my view, homeland security derives from having enough potatoes."
- - Barbara Kingsolver,
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle