Franklin Farm experiments with new no-till garden – Valley Breeze

franklin-farm-experiments-with-new-no-till-garden-–-valley-breeze

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5/12/2021

David Ho, an employee at Dell, spreads mulch delivered by Frank Matta in the new no-till garden being installed at Franklin Farm on Abbott Run Valley Road in Cumberland last Friday. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)CUMBERLAND – Volunteers from Dell Technologies visited Franklin Farm last Friday to help install a new “no-till garden,” an experimental venture that requires no digging of existing soil.
Mike Fallon, of Dell, said the company has been partnering with Franklin Farm for the last four years, and employees love helping to get ready for the planting season each year (seeds go in the ground May 22). He said Franklin Farm does “fantastic work supporting the community.”
Pam Thurlow, president of the The Historic Metcalf Franklin Farm Preservation Association, said this work would have been difficult to get done without the help of so many volunteers from Dell.
This is a new type of gardening the volunteers at Franklin Farm are trying out this year, Thurlow said, where fresh dirt is placed in thick rows above the existing ground and plants then go into that dirt. The no-till gardening method now being tried out on this small portion of the farm avoids soil depletion and breaking up of roots, a process that releases carbon, she said. This is a method of carbon sequestration.
“We’re going to try it out and see how it goes,” she said.
Soil was donated by Lewicki & Sons Excavating of Plainville, Mass., and organic straw for the project was donated by Carpenters Farm Stand in South Kingstown.
Produce from Franklin Farm supports a number of Rhode Island nonprofits, including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
For more on Franklin Farm, visit www.franklinfarmri.org .

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