Remember that rye bundle from your first CSA delivery? Here’s ours now!
Through the years, rye has been nothing but good to us. We’ve bought certified organic rye seed from our great neighbors and friends, Terry and Polly Persells at Stardust Hill Farm.
We most often plant rye as a fall cover crop. It’ll sprout and grow green in the fall, continuing to grow late into the fall. It overwinters and grows tall, wide and strong come spring. We’ll have a great green carpet ankle to knee high by April or so. By June it’s often so tall and thick our rototiller can’t handle it without first mowing it down.
It’ll keep growing taller, up to chest height or more. It seeds out and dries back come late June, early July. That’s when we cut you a bundle of it. Just for decoration. It did create some good conversation on the curbside too!
Our pastured pork has grazed lots of green rye grass. Also hogged down dry seed heads. We pasture our pigs and then broadcast rye seed behind them. It takes well enough, especially if rains come.
The rye as a cover crop has helped build our soil organic matter and our tilth too. It’s been hearty and forgiving – always growing pretty well no matter what! We’ve grown rye and tilled it in, grown it again and tilled it in. This progressively adds more and more material. (by the way, we’ve also cover cropped and green manured with buckwheat, sunflowers, clover, and oats).