Optimizing Composting to Enhance Soil and Garden Production

Proj. #:4814
Description: Abbey Gardens (AG) is a not-for profit charity with a goal to transform a spent gravel pit (300 acres) into a green space that provides economic and recreational opportunities for our community. Everything done on site helps further AG’s mission to create opportunities to learn about living more sustainably. AG offers information and hands-on experiences about: local food; gardening; energy; sustainable construction techniques; heritage agricultural animals; land restoration and cooking techniques. The purpose of this project is to assess the compostable waste streams generated on site at Abbey Gardens and how they can be combined to generate effective compost to improve their soil and garden production. Examples of research questions include: How can the compostable waste generated on-site at Abbey gardens be combined and used to increase the fertility of their gardens? What are some small scale options/methods of composting that could be implemented? Can these handle compostable packaging such as food containers and paper etc.? The information collected will be useful to anyone in the community that is interested in composting beyond the household scale. This project would be appropriate as a group project for undergraduates or a single graduate student - possibly working together.