Continued no-till research with locally sourced biological and mineral inputs for greenhouse tomato production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2024: $24,984.00
Projected End Date: 10/01/2025
Grant Recipient: Sweet Hollow Farm
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Jonah Sloven
Sweet Hollow Farm


  • Vegetables: tomatoes


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, high tunnels or hoop houses, no-till
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Soil Management: soil microbiology, soil quality/health

    Proposal summary:

    In 2021, Sweet Hollow Farm was
    awarded a WSARE Farmer/Rancher Grant #FW22-393, “Cardboard
    layering deep compost mulch for weed suppression, soil health,
    and profitability”. Driven by weed pressure on our own farm, our
    research focused on weed suppression, improving soil health,
    profitability, and education. We asked, can a cardboard layering
    and deep compost system (CLDCM) be used to reduce bindweed
    pressure while encouraging productive soil health and crop yield?
    We determined that a CLDCM system is an effective practice in
    suppressing weeds, improving harvest yields, and lessening
    involved labor, but the question of how the implementation of a
    CLDCM system impacts the microbial content of the soil, and
    subsequently the health of the soil, was not answered.

    Continuing our research this
    project will study the use of Jadam Microbial Solution (JMS), a
    homemade biological input, and JADAM Liquid Fertilizer, a
    homemade mineral amendment, from the alternative farming method
    within JADAM’s practice, to determine how natural inputs impact
    soil microbial health, harvest yields, and farm profitability.
    Working with Michigan State University, we will answer; Can
    homemade amendments be used to increase soil health,
    profitability, and sustainability for commercial growers? This
    project will help validate and share alternative farming methods
    such as JADAM, allowing growers to limit use of external inputs
    while growing more nutrient dense food. This has the potential to
    be a triple line net positive, showing benefits for people,
    profit, and the planet for growers. As part of the project, Sweet
    Hollow will host workshops on creating and using JMS/JLF along
    with project collaborator and author Nigel Palmer. Jonah Sloven
    will travel to Central Wyoming College to instruct their
    Beginning Farmer and Farm Incubator programs on the use and
    potential benefits to this system. Results will be shared
    Growing for Market
    and “No-Till
    Growers Podcast”.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Increasing crop productivity
      and efficiency leading to increase profitability and economic
      sustainability for farmers.
    2. Improving soil health by
      developing more readily available and resilient systems that
      are accessible for all.
    3. Reducing soil inputs cutting
      costs for farmers while increasing their bottom line and
      quality of life.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.