Understanding and Managing Urban Soils for Healthy Food Production Workshop

Event Date: 
Sun, Jul 27, 2014

Chris Lent, Agriculture Specialist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Urban soils are exposed to conditions that can affect the ability of the soil to grow healthy plants. Dense populations, building materials, and water runoff can all have an impact on the quality and condition of the soils in urban areas. As interest grows in providing more fresh food to urban populations by growing food where the people live, it becomes important for producers to understand soil quality and how it relates to food quality. When urban growers understand the issues surrounding the quality of their soils it can help them support healthy soil practices and opens up possibilities for utilizing urban land for growing healthy food. This workshop will first focus on urban soils by identifying both problems and opportunities of managing soils in an urban context. Specific types of possible urban soil contamination will be discussed along with soil sampling and testing options. Common contaminants and their sources will be uncovered, and we'll discuss practical strategies for how to remediate soils when contaminants are found. Secondly, we'll discuss how to support healthy soil practices in urban production systems, and how good soil management practices affect the soil ecosystem, nutrient availability, and plant health. Please note: This workshop will be offered twice. The second workshop is a repeat of the first workshop.

Chris Lent is an Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). After graduating with a BS in Business, Chris started and operated Lent's Organics, a certified organic vegetable and livestock operation in Pennsylvania. He marketed his produce through a CSA, at farmers markets, and to restaurants, and used compost and cover crops to support soil fertility for his intensively planted crops. Prior to working at NCAT, Chris designed and installed solar livestock watering systems, solar PV systems and solar thermal hot water systems.

Date: Sunday, July 27
Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Conservatory Classroom
FREE: Pre-registration required