Compost and compost teas are integral parts of organic farming. The large populations of beneficial bacteria, nematodes, fungi, and protozoa found in compost can correct deficiencies in the soil food web, create healthy and fertile soil, and act as an organic/natural pesticide. Compost is a sustainable method for erosion control, plant health, land and stream reclamation, and environmental remediation.
Compost containing beneficial microbiology is not commercially available in Southwest Missouri and represents a large gap in our community’s ability to create healthy soil, regenerate our ecosystems, and engage in sustainable, organic agriculture best practices. Composting best practices require training to identify and create optimal soil microbe ratios for use in crops and permaculture systems. This project will provide training and education to Southwest Missouri farmers and at-risk homeless youth to develop small scale replicable compost and compost tea systems with measurable microbe health using demonstrated best practices. Using a highly successful train- the-trainer model developed by Springfield Community Gardens through a National Association of Conservation Districts grant, workshops will include education on soil health and creation of compost and compost tea systems. In conjunction with the project, an abandoned urban lot in an impoverished neighborhood will be remediated and revitalized.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Develop an economical and replicable small farm process for compost and compost tea recipes with optimal soil health for plant disease.
- Create positive environmental impacts and a strong foundation for a resilient intergenerational food system by increasing soil life and and resiliency.
- Empower and educate the community with practical tools to positively transform the environment and local food production using soil science and regenerative.
- Build on previous collaborative efforts of individuals and organizations in the community who are skilled at implementing and teaching sustainable agriculture and conservation methods.