Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Urban Soils Quality and Compost

16.10.2013
With higher populations and limited space, urban areas are not often thought of as places for agriculture.

A recent surge in community gardens, though, is bringing agriculture and gardens into the cities. And certain byproducts of urban life – food and yard waste and municipal biosolids – can benefit those gardens, and the soils in them, tremendously.

Sally Brown, associate professor at University of Washington will discuss the use of compost and biosolids in urban agriculture on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 9:35 am. Her talk, Urban Soil Quality and Compost, is part of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings, Nov. 3-6 in Tampa, Florida. The theme of this year’s conference is “Water, Food, Energy, & Innovation for a Sustainable World.” (www.acsmeetings.org)

Urban soils can present various obstacles for gardeners. Sometimes, the soils are contaminated, most commonly with lead. Also, many community gardens are built on vacant lots. Because those soils were misused or abandoned, they are often unhealthy and compacted.

“These soils have been treated like dirt,” says Brown. “They’ve been ignored in terms of growing things, and often buildings or cars have been sitting on top of them.”

The U.S. Composting Council recommends that soils contain at least 5% organic matter, a number that soils in many urban areas fall below. The addition of compost and biosolids can raise organic matter and in turn improve the structure of the soil and the amount of water it can hold. Compost and biosolids also slowly release nutrients that crops need.

In addition to making soil healthier, compost can also help decrease contaminants in the soil. By mixing in compost, contaminants are diluted out. And some contaminants, such as lead, often become less hazardous when compost is added to the soil.

“Compost can change the form of the lead in soil so that if you actually do ingest the soil, the amount of lead that’s available to do harm is reduced,” explains Brown.

In Tacoma, Washington, the reuse of a byproduct is already providing great benefits to urban growers. The city provides a biosolids-based soil product to gardeners free of charge giving growers the motivation and tools they need. Since 2010, Tacoma has built nearly 30 new urban gardens. Brown wants to see more cities realize the potential of their byproducts and use them to help residents grow fresh produce close to home.

Media Invitation: Members of the media receive complimentary registration to the joint meetings.

Contact: Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org. Please RSVP by October 25, 2013

If you would like a 1-on-1 interview with Brown, contact Susan Fisk at the email above.

Susan Fisk | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.sciencesocieties.org

Further reports about: Little Brown Bats Science TV Soil Soil Science Urban Soil Quality

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>