Skip to main content

NC State Extension

Farm Photos of the Week

en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

April 24, 2006

Photos and text by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

Spring Cover Crops at Harland’s Creek Farm 
Pittsboro, NC

Cover crop off crimson clover and forage radish

Farmer Judy Lessler grows a variety of vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers on her certified organic Harland’s Creek Farm. Cover crops may not bring in cash at the farmers’ market, but they bring in lots of indirect benefits to the farm. The photo above shows the cover crops crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) and forage radish (Raphanus sativus) in full bloom. Both are cool-season cover crops that help improve the soil and improve the quality and yield of cash crops. The cover crops were planted in the fall but put on most of their above-ground growth as temperatures warm up in the spring.

Close-up of forage radish seed pods and crimson clover

This photo shows the seed pods of forage radish with crimson clover in full bloom in the background. Crimson clover is a legume that will provide slow-release nitrogen to the following cash crop. Forage radish has a deep tap root that acts as a biological drill to break up compacted soils and allow water, air, and cash crop roots to penetrate deeper. This is especially important when the soil becomes hard and dry during the summer or in times of drought.

Mowed cover crop

Half of this field has been mowed in preparation for planting edamame, or vegetable soybean.

Honey bee foraging on crimson clover

Some cover crops attract bees which serve as important pollinators of many of the farm’s crops. Above, a honey bee gathers nectar from crimson clover blooms.

You can find Harland’s Creek Farm at the Fearrington Farmers’ Market and the Durham Farmers’ Market. Judy also offers shares through a Community Supported Agriculture program. Learn more about Harland’s Creek Farm by visiting their website.

Page Last Updated: 10 years ago
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close