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About Our Project

What is this project’s direct connection to soil?

  • This project had a direct connection to soil because the food was being grown in it. We were at the oak creek center for urban horticulture where they grew various types of crops. The crops need to soil to grow because all of the nutrients and carbon and water and energy are stored in the soil.
  • The project gave us a first hand opportunity to work in various soils, allowing us to get our hands dirty while learning to appreciate the the many uses of different soils in agriculture. Not all soils are good for all crops, and this was very apparent during the tour–areas were separated for different purposes, only some being suitable for vegetable production while others far better suited for nursery stock. We also were given a holistic view in agriculture, including the importance of honeybees and proper year-round soil preparation and care.
  • This is just about the most direct it gets. At Oak Creek everything being done was using soil. All the different types of plants including vegetables and flowers can only be grown using soil. The soil was also used for less obvious reasons like supporting landscaping projects and giving us a solid material to walk on.
  • This projects direct connection to the soil is the growth of fruits and vegetables. All vegetative growth get nutrients and water from the soil. Also, the plants help protect the soil from erosion.
  • This project was mainly focused on the soil and the plants that grow in it. We helped pull up a garden and all of the plants in it. With out the soil helping the plants get nutrients, they would die. Also the soil provides protection for the roots.
  • This Project was directly related to soil because without soil the plants that were being grown out at oak creek would not be able to grow the way they do.
  • its a farm…

How does soil make this project work?

  • The soil makes this project work because food needs the soil to grow. Soil has become even more valuable since the world population is increasing steadily while the farming of hectares is decreasing. Since the soil is mainly bashaw, which is a vertisol, the clay contents are very high. The nutrient content is also very high for the crops to grow.
  • As mentioned by Levi, there are a plethora of websites that discuss the importance of soils and their relationship with the ever expanding population–which means less food production and available soils as the human species builds more structures and habitats over this precious commodity. This is why soil management is of an ever increasing importance, as it is an extremely important world resource. Carbon and energy, photosynthesis, organic matter…it’s all interrelated to everything in life…food, clothing, air quality, water purification…soil is life! The project clearly showed this holistic concept and approach to preserving it for future generations.
  • Soil makes this project work because it is able to sequester carbon to give to plants and organisms, provide habitat for Nitrogen fixing organisms, holds water and other nutrients for plants, and provides a place for the plants to grow.
  • This project would not have been possible without soil, besides the obvious reason that plants would be unable to grow. There is also the underlying reason that we (humans) would not be here and able to carry out the project if it weren’t for soil. Soil is where we came from and is the cause of us having the capability to grow plants and do research using them to teach us how the universe works.
  • The soil made this project work by providing nutrients for the plant and also lots of Organic matter. When we were tearing down the garden, we just cut the stalk down at the base of the plant. We wanted to leave the roots in the soil to provide Organic material for the next planting season.
  • Soil makes this project work becasue it mainly is the project. If you have good soil you will be able to grow bigger and healthier plants. We saw this directly with the plants out at oak creek.
  • vegetables need the nutrients and water from the soil to grow
  • Cody makes this project work

Is there a way that soil management changes could improve this project?

  • Cody is already doing a great job of soil management. His methods are flawless
  • Since bashaw is a vertisol it has a tendency to shrink and swell. While we were on the project I noticed some cracks in the ground. Since it is a nutrient rich soil that doesn’t need to be changed. The only thing that could make it better is try to make the soil not shrink or swell so much. You could do this by changing it to a vermiculite by adding different minerals to change the isomorphic substitution rate.
  • I was impressed learning about OSU’s strategies by deep discing instead of using a rototiller, and although it is not specifically focused on organic practices–it did acknowledge the practice of reducing the uses of chemicals. The poly tunnel was great, and its purpose and limits were clearly explained–its need for careful and higher maintenance offsets the ability to start early and extend the growing season. Opportunities for helping are good, so they tend to provide education to people–that itself is soil management! I am anxious to see how their plans for expanding come to fruition.
  • Some soil management changes might improve this project could be to use animals as rototillers instead of an actual machine to disc up the plots before planting. This would have the added benefits of adding back OM while the critters (chickens, pigs, etc) would be cleaning up some of the leaf litter and possibly reducing plant diseases through digesting the plant materials and eating bug larva.
  • One of two things that I noticed was it was mentioned that they might be doing research in order to go completely organic. Although I don’t always eat organic I think that this could potentially help reduce health issues, grow healthier stronger plants, and could maybe lead into new findings. The second thing I noticed was the forgotten research where we did our project. Although there is research going on, I feel that this area of land could be improved by encouraging graduate students to pick up old research projects and expand upon them. Our entire world has changed because of research and without it we would be missing many things (e.g. Antibiotics).
  • Soil management changes which could be changed to improve this project would be to space out the plants more than they were. The cosmos were bushy and tended to overcrowd the midget marigolds at the bottom. This prevented the marigolds from getting the maximum sunlight. I noticed this happened with several other plants as well especially with the zinnias and cosmos so big and bushy.
  • Add OM!!!!! The soil out at oak creek is very fertile, but there could always be more OM in the soil which would make the soil richer and produce more plants.

From this project, what did you learn about soils that you did not know before?

  • That Oak Creek existed. We had no idea it was there and how cool it actually was.
  • What I mainly learned was that vertisolls can be a good soil to farm in. I only thought that the soils used in most agriculture was mollisols and alfisolls. I now can see how vertisolls are good in agriculture because they are very high in nutrients. With the nutrients the plants can thrive. I also learned why farmers sometimes leave the stems of the corn and wheat plants in the ground over the winter. One for the organic matter and the other is to control runoff of rain water.
  • I have learned a great deal in this soil course, labs, field trips, and this project. Practices presented in class were put into use during the project, such as leaving the roots rather than pulling crops in the fall. It really does all boggle my mind a bit, overloading with all the details; however, an understanding of the importance of soils, as well as the practices used in various soils to restore and protect them are what I can appreciate most. The project truly reinforced and gave perspective to textbook and lecture materials.
  • I learned the reason for leaving roots in the ground is to keep the nutrients that are surrounding root in the soil, so that next years plants will be able to use them.
  • I learned a lot during our project. Although we learned a lot of the same stuff in class, being outside and experiencing it first hand made it “come alive”. One of the things that I learned was using deep discing instead of a normal rototiller, this allows the soil to not be destroyed as severely and helps it to maintain aggregation without compaction. Another thing that I learned was that plants can be grown much earlier in a “green house” because of a summer-like simulated environment. This “tricks” the plants into believing spring/summer is here and they can begin to grow. The last thing I learned was that plants are re-utilized as fertilizer. The plants that grow are cleared at the end of the season and composted, this is then used to fertilize next years crops. This is an incredible process and extremely eco-friendly.
  • I learned that it is better to leave the roots in the soil to decompose on it’s own. I always thought it was better to pull up the whole plant but, after taking this class and working out in the garden I now know that the roots provide A lot of nutrients and make for good organic matter.
  • I learned that you can actual grow a cover crop over the soil that you are planning on planting the next season to protect from the harsh winter conditions and also to add OM to the soil structure.

What is the broader impact of the organization or project you helped with?

  • OSU gives a lot of food of homeless and less fortunate people
  • We were also allowed to take any vegetables we could find. They were delicious
  • The project we worked on supplies food to different areas on campus which helps towards a self sufficient campus. Also, at the same time it allows for research to be done on soil and how things grow. On top of these two aspects it appears there have been several different classes that utilize the area for learning and projects; for example, a certain class goes there once a year and designs many unique types of landscaping or (the obvious) CSS 205 uses the area to learn about soil and how it affects plants and the entire ecosystem as a whole.
  • The project that we worked at helped supply food to the various dining centers on campus. I learned that they are trying to go all organic with the food that is being grown at the occuh. This means that there won’t be any pesticides or herbicides to help the plants. This is difficult to do, but in the end be healthier.
  • Providing produce to Food Share, helping to feed needy individuals had the most impact on me–it is what I like to see and hear about! It provided fresh produce as well to West on campus as well, and that is about as local as you can get–fresh produce grown and sold for consumption by students right here at OSU. I was interested in finding out that they did not participate in selling to the public Farmers Markets; however, a clear and precise reason was given–that they did not compete due to economic reasons within the community. Foremost is the knowledge they provide…grow a crop and feed the hungry, but teach others about soil and feed the world!
  • The broader impact of the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture includes providing fresh produce to the Linn Benton Food Share on a weekly basis and growing food for campus eateries and local restaurants. OCCUH also provides students with the hands on experience to learn the application of horticultural practices. Some of the other things OCCUH does is annual plant trials, living fence trials, permaculture education, and they conduct research on green roofs and Honey Bees.
  • The impact I made by helping clear the garden probably wasn’t that big but when we all helped clear the garden we got rid of the old plants, left in the roots and made it ready for the spring Horticulture class to come in and replant the garden. We also cleared a row of soil of rocks so now hopefully some raspberry plants can be put in.
  • It is amazing what the people out at oak creek are doing for their community. This last year they provided our community with thousands of pounds of fresh produce and helped some of the local food banks when they were in need by providing them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
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