Keyline Plowing

In the next week we are going to begin some messy projects! The dig will begin for Laura’s parents’ home on the hill and we are initiating some serious tree cutting, restoring the former pasture and fields where young succession forest has taken over.  In the wake of the mess we’ll be rich in chip, destined for new fruit planting which will follow.

Keyline Plow

Other restoration work is more subtle.  Two weeks back, on tornado Thursday, Mark Krawczyk, of Keyline Vermont, used a keyline plow to sub-soil plow our pastures.  In addition to the deep reach of his specialized Yoeman’s plow, he read the slope and aspect of our hilly sight to determine keyline points and plowed in a pattern meant to transfer water from our wet zones to dry areas.  In one pass we have increased the amount of air in the soil, decreasing significant compaction likely from the farming decades ago, and managed moisture.  Alsike clover was simultaneously planted where the plow sliced the land, thus the keyline pattern will be maintained biologically.

It does mean that you should watch your step when you go out to see the animals grazing on pasture as we are left with some ripples!