La Placita Gardens Composting Research Project

Project Overview

FW09-047
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Abino Garcia Mayordomo
La Placita Gardens
Co-Investigators:
Andrea Botero
LA PLAZITA INSTITUTE

Annual Reports

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Soil Management: organic matter

    Summary:

    “ Composting, Sustainable Agriculture”

    The purpose of this project was to develop an effective compost method appropriate for our site. We wished to restore the health of the soil, creating appropriate conditions to built new top soil in our site. We also wished to create and develop different methods of composting as part of our compost demonstrations. Through this project, LPI wanted to engage our youth and develop ties with the community, especially in our neighborhood. We wanted to engage area schools and nonprofit organizations in land stewardship by having classes come to our site. These students could test the soil, observe the microorganisms, and we could teach them how to develop their individual or class compost or vermiculture bins.

    Introduction

    This region was historically agricultural, but the community has lost much of its capacity to produce its own food. Our farm will be highly visible through our multitude of outreach programs, and a model for sustainable agriculture, integrating the best of the traditional methods with new methods of farming we explore through projects like our Compost Research Project. Our farming has grown to include area unused private plots. In these agreements we clean the space, revive acequia rights and farm crops. LPI believes that by utilizing this unused urban space we are are revitalizing the environment, cleaning our community’s visual and physical space, while reviving the South Valley agricultural history and providing a sense of pride and ownership for the community. These positive outcomes can directly influence the behavior of the community, thus aiding in La Plazita’s goal of deterring violence through tapping into the history, culture and roots of Albuquerque’s South Valley.

    Project objectives:

    1)Promote good stewardship:

    Goal: Reduce green materials transported to land fills.
    Goal: Dedicate five acres to wildlife habitat.

    2)Enhance quality of life for farmers and ranchers:

    Goal: Provide composting education to farmers and back yard gardeners.
    Goal: Sell organic produce to area farmers market.

    3)Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems by reducing, where feasible and practical, the use of toxic materials in agricultural production, and by optimizing on-farm resources integrating, where appropriate, biological cycles and controls:

    Goal: Composting project will strengthen our ability to produce a
    maximum amount of produce without the use of pesticides and synthetic
    fertilizers.

    4)Promote crop, livestock, and enterprise diversification:

    Goal: Supplement our soil in order to diversify crops.
    Goal: Integrate worm and worm casting vendorship.

    5)Examine the regional, economic, social and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems:

    Goal: Strengthen the regional foodshed by reviving a 300-year old
    farm and its acequia, along with water rights that might otherwise
    have been lost to development.

    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.