Swallowtail Farm, started in 2009 by Noah Shitama, markets a diverse range of produce largely through a 220-member CSA and restaurant sales. "We're trying to establish as much diversity as possible throughout the farm," Shitama says, and cover crops are an integral part.

They are grown primarily in the summer down time to protect the soil and are incorporated as a green manure. Shitama also adds cover crops to the forages that support cows, sheep and chickens, which helps close the nutrient loop on the farm. Sudangrass, sunn hemp, clover, rye, iron clay peas and buckwheat are typical cover crop species.