The Farm Systems Intensive is a 10-day program that explores the agroecological practices that will help beginning farmers learn and establish regenerative practices. Workshops cannot be attended individually, but are available as a complete curriculum, or as crops-only or livestock-only sessions. Explore the full curriculum here.
crop rotation and cover cropping
This workshop will introduce the use of cover cropping as a practice in agroecosystems. We will touch on why cover crops are used, how different species of cover crops impact ecosystem functions, and how cover crops can be used to increase the multifunctionality of agroecosystems. A survey of current cover crops research topics in the Northeast will also be presented, including case studies from both vegetable and grain farms integrating cover crops into their systems. Jack Algiere will speak about the practical applications that have led to the development of the cover crop and crop rotation plans at Stone Barns Center which focuses first and foremost on the health of the soil. Understanding how to manage soil for optimum health by thinking through the intersection of its physical, biological, and chemical properties is essential for success in regenerative agriculture systems.
Sarah Isbell is an Ecology Ph.D. candidate at Penn State studying agroecosystems and soils. She is involved in several interdisciplinary projects focused on cover cropping and reducing tillage in organic grain cropping systems, within which she focuses on nitrogen management and soil ecology. Sarah is also an alumna of the Stone Barns apprentice program (2012-13), which subsequently led her to several farming opportunities on diversified vegetable and flower operations in the Hudson Valley. Since transitioning from grower to researcher, she has worked with farmers and scientists from around the globe, including participating in research in Italy in Mediterranean silvo-arable-pastoral ecosystems, presenting research at national Ecology and Agronomy conferences, and participating in the newly formed Northeast Cover Crops Council.
Jack Algiere is farm director at Stone Barns Center. Jack graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in horticulture and has been actively farming since the early 1990s. His lifetime of experience in organic, biodynamic and ecological systems brings a broad diversity of experience in greenhouses, orchards, fields and pastures. At Stone Barns Center, Jack oversees the extensive and diverse farming operations, integrating multispecies pastured livestock, grains, field crops, greenhouse, fruit, flowers and compost in a four-season agroecological system. He also oversees the greater public and wild landscape as elements of the whole farm system. Jack is a leader in the farm’s innovation programs and is integrally involved in training beginning farmers.