Steve Groff is owner of Cedar Meadow Farm. Growing up, Steve Groff wanted nothing more than to be a farmer like his father and grandfather, so after graduating high school he eagerly joined the family business. Over the next 25 years, he took on more and more responsibility and today he farms 215 acres. What started in 1935 as predominantly a hay, oats, and clover farm has transitioned to a larger, more diversified farming operation that includes vegetables like tomatoes, sweet corn, and pumpkins, as well as a successful cover crop business.
These cover crops are what Steve attributes largely to his farm’s success. In the mid 1990’s, he saw that cover crops can fertilize soil, suppress weeds, and impede pests – all things that might otherwise require chemicals like fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides. Most cover crops are planted in the fall during which they aid in the uptake of nutrients that help bolster the soil’s health for the next season’s crop. Simultaneously, their presence impedes weed growth and reduces the rate at which water flows off the field, thereby keeping the soil in place. Some cover crops have the added benefit of attracting pests away from a crop that they would otherwise damage.