How Do You Keep the Soil Healthy on Your Sod Farm?
Being good stewards of the land as sixth-generation farmers has always been a priority on our farm. Our grandfather Louia Pittillo began as a dairy farmer and taught us the value of land conservancy at a young age. We are blessed in North Carolina to have many different soil types. Over the last 30 years, we have learned oodles (something Mrs. Louia Pittillo said often) about being stewards of our soil to grow a quality product for our consumers. We grow cover crops to replenish the soil, and grass clippings also help. Farmers know when you harvest crops like corn and soybeans all the fodder from the plant stays with the land, and only the kernel or bean comes off – some years we plowed the entire plant back into the land. Recently, we’ve learned the value of other plants such as radishes in the fall and winter. We also get asked about chemicals and the environment, which is easy to answer because we live on our farm. We like to say that we were the first green, organic, eco-friendly folk since we make our livelihood where we live, breathe and eat our meals. Fred Pittillo is still on the farm along with his two children. Two of his grandsons are back working on the farm as well. We are blessed by God to be farmers and extremely grateful for our heritage.
– Wayne Pittillo and Linda Bradley are brother and sister, first, and co-farmers of Turf Mountain Sod in Henderson County, second.