Strategies for small organic tomato farms: the effects of different mulch treatments on tomato production and soil health

I am learning a lot about agricultural systems and how to apply basic research principles to management challenges through an interdisciplinary, collaborative project with Dr. Heather Reynolds, Dr. James Farmer and three local small organic farms. We are evaluating the ecological and economic costs and benefits of various mulch treatments (black plastic, cover crops, and plant litter) on tomato productivity and soil health. Several excellent undergraduates have driven the soil health component of this project forward, including Hongxi Liu who completed an honors thesis as part of this project.

Undergraduate student, Hongxi Lyu, sampling soils at Strangers' Hill Organic Farm