See more from this Session: Organic Management Systems Community: II (Includes Graduate Student Competition)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Localized food production and community gardening in cities is increasingly becoming a way to reduce the environmental impact of urban lifestyles and provide a source of fresh food for urban dwellers. The community garden at Hammer Time Projects, a social center in Fort Collins, Colorado, provides a model for urban food production, food distribution, local soil enrichment, and sustainable urban community development. Horticultural vegetables were cultivated organically for two seasons. Techniques such as composting and mulching were implemented to improve organic matter and fertility. A drip irrigation system was built, and on-site graywater and rainwater collection was used to irrigate. A composting toilet was installed both to reduce water use at the facility and to recycle organic wastes from community members. The vegetables were distributed to volunteers in trade for time or monetary donation. Concentrations of soil organic matter and plant available nutrients were measured at the inception of the project and after one year, and there was a net increase in soil organic matter and plant available nutrients in response to management practices. This community garden, and the social center as a whole, represents a way for people living in a city to collaborate, share knowledge and experiences, conserve natural resources, and generate locally grown produce.