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Springfield community gardeners and Gardening The Community attend cocktail cover cropping workshop

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2016 September Issue Newsletter

By Anna Gilbert-Muhammed

Maggie Payne, Anna Gilbert-Muhammed and Bettye Frederick

On July 25, community gardeners from Springfield’s Mason Square Library Community Garden and Ibrahim Ali from Gardening the Community attended NOFA/Mass’s cocktail cover cropping workshop at Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, MA.

The workshop provided a great opportunity for community gardeners to learn about a technique that can save watering, weeding and assist with returning carbon back to the soil. In urban areas like Springfield and Boston, this is a valuable technique as soil is often very depleted or lead filled, creating a challenge for community gardeners.  Soil carbon can be particularly useful for cities because it can reduce climate changes and pollution, as well as improve soil so that communities that don’t have access to nutritious food can take charge and grow food for themselves. The participants were very excited to learn that tilling was not needed to create a great growing space.  Ms. Gloria Glapsie, of Springfield said, “ I learned so much! I did not realize how detrimental tilling can be to the soil.” Ms. Bettye Frederick’s, one of the Master Gardeners for the Mason Square Library Community Garden expressed, “It was wonderful to learn new techniques. I am looking forward to bringing this information back to our community for our residents.”

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