One would think that fields, abandoned for nearly 30 years, would offer an easy transition to natural or even organic production. But the traditional farming practiced on our fields for over 80 years depleted the soil of organic matter and the experts and seasoned organic farmers who visited us on site suggested that our initial production will require some limited chemical and nutrient supplements as well as some good old fashion cover crop rotation.
To guide our transition toward natural and sustainable methods, we are working with the Michigan State University Extension to become a third party verified Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Farm.
In the meantime, we immediately put most of our dormant fields into natural cover crop rotation to build up our organic nutrient levels. Wildlife soon appeared, enjoying the red clover, oats, sorghum, mustard and turnip. We must be on the right track!