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Farm Photos: Piedmont Farm Tour

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April 19-20, 2008

Photos by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

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In business since 1984, Maple Spring Gardens produces over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs, berries, and cut flowers on what was once a tobacco farm.

You can find Maple Spring Gardens at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and the Durham Farmers’ Market. They also offer produce through their community supported agriculture program.

Visit the Maple Spring Gardens website to learn more about the farm.

Maple Spring Gardens

One of the high tunnels at the farm. The tunnels are passively heated and provide season extension for both cool-season and warm-season crops.

Tomatoes and cucurbits get a head start inside the tunnel.

Ken talks about his soil

Farmer Ken Dawson tells how he converted an old tobacco farm to a diversified organic farm by slowly building healthy soils that support a variety of crops.

Newly incorporated winter cover crops decompose and provide organic matter and nutrients while improving soil health. Ken uses cover crops to build populations of beneficial arthropods and microorganisms below ground, which helps protect crops from pests and diseases.

Ken in field with spring crops

Spring crops include kale, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cut flowers, arugula, strawberries, and much more. Black plastic mulch warms the soil and provides a little earliness, keeps crops clean, conserves moisture, and helps with weed and disease management.

Another view of spring crops.

Ken encourages visitors to sample the lettuce crop.

Wild Hare Farm

Wild Hare Farm produces cut flowers, vegetables, and strawberries for theCarrboro Farmers’ Market as well as local restaurants and florists. Visit the Wild Hare Farm website to learn more about the farm.

Leah Cook and one of her high tunnels

Much of the production at the farm is inside these high tunnels, also called hoophouses. Farmer Leah Cook demonstrates how the sides of the high tunnel can be rolled up for ventilation.

Leah checks on her Delphiniums and other cut flowers inside the tunnel.

Don’t these tomatoes look healthy?

Leah picks strawberries

Customers flock to Leah’s stall at the farmers’ market to snatch up her yummy strawberries!

Leah with tulips

Okay, I snuck this photo in, even though it was taken about a month before the farm tour. But I wanted everyone to see Leah with her tulips – aren’t they lovely?
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