No-till Community Garden at Wendemuth Meadow

25 Bates St., North Brookfield

Practice regenerative, carbon-positive gardening with straw bales.
Virtually no weeding all summer long!
  • Price: $30 for 4 strawbales – each bale can hold 2-3 veggie starts. Seeds can be sown using recommended spacing for each variety.
  • What’s provided: water, conditioned strawbales, and guidance on planting in strawbales.
  • What you can plant: any veggies you’d like! Tomatoes, zucchini, beans, leafy greens, carrots, and peppers grow wonderfully in strawbales. Squash will be grown separately by EQLT and shared with all garden members.

Why No-till?

Tilling damages soil health and contributes to climate change.

  • Soil microbes, including bacteria and fungi, help store the excess carbon absorbed by plants through photosynthesis.
  • When soil is tilled, CO2 releases into the atmosphere.
  • Carbon loss reduces soil’s ability to retain water and disrupts microbial activity, which decreases soil fertility.

Benefits of No-till Gardening:

  • Increased carbon and organic matter improves soil health

  • Healthier and more productive plants

  • Decreased need for water and fertilizer

Source: Grassroots Carbon

Source: USDA

Learn More about the Process

Vegetables in the community garden are grown in straw bales topped with compost (organic matter used as fertilizer).

These straw bales undergo a special conditioning process to kick-start their decomposition. The straw and added fertilizer feed the plants, turning the straw into compost by the end of the season.

The composted straw adds a new layer of organic matter, building up the soil carbon for when seeds can be sown in the ground in the future.