A Graduate Exit Seminar by Josh Beniston will be presented Thursday, July 25, at 9:00 a.m. in 333 Kottman Hall. His presentation will be Assessing and Managing Soil Quality for Urban Agriculture.
The formerly industrial cities of the North Central region have become a rapidly expanding frontier for urban agriculture (UA) in the US. Through this dissertation project I have worked to address the topic of UA by generating important background data and management recommendations for urban soils. I will present results from two projects. The first is an experimental garden in Youngstown, OH where we evaluated soil properties in an urban soil following the demolition of vacant houses, and documented the ability of amendments produced from organic waste materials to improve soil quality and support vegetable crop production under these conditions. The second project is a field study of nine urban market gardens in Cleveland and Youngstown, OH. Soil samples were collected from these sites, analyzed for a number of agronomic soil properties and an index of overall soil quality was calculated for each site.