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Clemson University Study

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Who are the players in your turf?

A study by Clemson University found greater thatch control in turf systems using Soil ProVide. Clemson University performed a research trial on thatch control for turf systems.  It is known that moderate levels of thatch and soil organic matter are desirable for turfgrass systems due to enhancement of soil structure, improvement of nutrient retention, and increase water holding capacity (especially in sandy soils). However, in many high maintenance turf situations, plant tissue is produced faster than broken down, resulting in thatch and organic matter accumulation. Excessive thatch can cause decreased playability of turf surfaces, mower scalping, increased disease pressure, reduced pesticide efficacy, and poor water infiltration. The objective of this research was to evaluate various chemical/biological thatch control programs using Soil Provide, and industry standards molasses and Thatch-X, to determine their effect on thatch and organic matter decomposition.  Conducted from fall 2011 to late summer 2012, the study objective was to evaluate chemical thatch control in a Tifway bermudagrass fairway. The experiment was located in a golf course fairway at Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina, where excessive thatch accumulation has occurred after numerous years of overseeding with perennial ryegrass. At research completion, Soil ProVide had significantly shallower thatch depths (43.4mm) than the untreated control (60.3mm).  Soil ProVide decreased the thatch depth by 2mm, and reduced organic matter weight by 45 grams. The conclusion: a Soil Provide program has great potential for turf thatch control, as this program lowered thatch depths and organic matter weights than the untreated control, and also significantly reduced thatch depths and organic matter weights for the duration of the study.
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Soilscape Solutions Greenscape Project

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Restoring Habitat from the Soil Up: Soilscape Solutions Greenscape Project

Earthfort’s tools help Soilscape Solutions remediate neglected land to become thriving, usable greenspace. Soilscape Solutions’ Natalie Faris and Sam Dayton are changing the world, one over-run strip of weeds at a time.  They are Soil Stewards through Earthfort’s Soil Stewardship Program.  Their challenge: remediate a weedy drainage ditch that contained a belowground culvert and many invasive weeds. After remediating their soil with our technology, it can now be a usable garden space that can grow green manure cover crops, biodynamic preparations, and food crops. Photos show their vision turning into reality, and before-and-after soil biology test results from Earthfort show vast increases in protozoa, nematodes, and active fungi and bacteria. Increasing the diversity of soil biology yielded a 100% increase in their nitrogen cycling potential. Says Natalie: “We have both learned so much and are excited about the progress we have made. It is nice to see this progression on paper and recognize how we are utilizing the tools we have gathered in our work. We both realize also that this case study would not have been possible without your help and guidance over the past year. We are both very satisfied with the education we have received from Earthfort and the Soil Consulting Program. Thank you for providing such excellence.”  We’re happy to help them make a difference!
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Composting Project Kerala, India

India Project - hospital yard before composting India Project- Hospital Composting site India Project - Yard after composting

From Garbage to Growth

At a hospital waste dump in South India, Peter Ash has been volunteering to mitigate years of toxic medical and human waste by Municipal Solid Waste composting (or MSW).
 
Municipal Solid Waste Composting of Hospital Waste in South India  – Read Published Paper Under intense management from American Peter Ash, heavy-metal contaminated, biohazard garbage dump soil is being transformed through composting and biological remediation practices. Ash has been mitigating years of toxic medical and human waste by mulching, adding compost and fresh soil, and phytoremediating with vetiver and other plants. Within three years, soil heavy metal concentrations have been reduced drastically, and changes in the upper portion of the soil are remarkable. Plants grown on site showed little heavy metal uptake, perhaps due to soil microorganism consumption. Ash is currently testing the site for DDT, PCBs, and dioxin to determine how the microbiology is affecting these toxins.  Birds and wildlife have been increasingly observed on the site, adding to its rehabilitation. Also on the horizon: quadrupling the site’s vermicompost (worm castings) output. The demand for clean compost outweighs their supply at this point, as an on-site hospital garden on the site needs it to grow fruits and vegetables. The hospital near Cochin, Kerala in South India, is now a state-of-the-art, 1000-bed facility and medical school that has been using the wetland landfill for all manner of biohazardous waste for at least 20 years.  Peter Ash is an American with over 40 years of agricultural experience, and he’s applying his skills to first clean off the surface soil where waste had been dumped and burned, then mitigate the buried toxic mud by building thermal compost windrows. These are turned and spread over the dump site, and clean soil is imported to mix with the composted waste. Ash has been testing the dump soil for toxicity since 2010, as the hospital staff has planted a garden on the site including fruits and vegetables. He now is testing the soil to understand and use the soil biota to manage the waste with the New York Soil Foodweb laboratory.  “We have made many improvements in the recipe and methods,” Peter says, and has built his own compost windrow turner and trammel filtering equipment.  He is a volunteer, or ‘seva’ from a nearby ashram, using his time and knowledge so that the soil can eventually be put to more healthy use. Read Published Paper
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Fukushima Soil Restoration Project

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Restoring Nuclear Radiation in Japan

Earthfort was asked if our bioremediation technology could help mitigate the radiation in Fukushima’s contaminated soil. The nuclear meltdown and release of radioactive materials following an earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, was the worst nuclear disaster in history since Chernobyl. When the radioactive dust began to settle, agriculture producers were left with soil tainted with cesium fallout. Some 7000 hectares of rice and other crops around Fukushima are affected, and harvests from 2011 were deemed unfit for consumption. Earthfort was asked if our bioremediation technology could help mitigate the radiation in these contaminated soils so that tested harvests could be free from radiation. We engaged Oregon State University’s nuclear physics department, where Dr. Kathy Higley’s Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics students agreed to conduct experiments to determine the effect of our products on the mobility and plant uptake of radiocesium in soil. Radishes were grown in radioactive soil that mimicked Japanese soil, and treated with and without Earthfort’s biological inoculants technology. Results showed a 55% reduction in ground water radioactivity with our product, and 42% reduction in radiation uptake of radish when treated with Earthfort products. Field tests in Japan also show reduction in measured radiation. These findings have opened new avenues for soil bioremediation of nuclear fallout-contaminated soils. In fact, an OSU Masters student is following up with her own research based on this work. Yes, we can help! Radiation Testing
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Avery Park Rose Garden Corvallis, OR

Avery Park Rose Gardenrose gardenAvery

Stop and Smell the Roses…

…and they smell sweeter without fungicides! Avery Park’s Rose Garden is the gem of the Corvallis city parks system. Frequented by rose enthusiasts, wedding guests, and children who want to smell the roses, the Rose Garden was created in 1956 and has 1200 plants featuring over 250 varieties of roses. They had been maintained with traditional fungal and insect control products until late summer of 2011. The Corvallis Parks Department made a switch to Earthfort products. These all-natural products are registered with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and made with close attention to quality control.   When she came to Earthfort for a local fertilizer source, the city’s Parks Landscaper, America McMillan, didn’t yet know that she would also save the city money by not using fungicides and other chemicals on the rose garden– but that is exactly what she did. “All they’ve gotten is water,” she says of the roses after last years’ treatment with Earthfort’s ProVide and ReVive. She points out the Europeana roses that are particularly susceptible to powdery mildew, show new growth that is healthy, mildew-free, and more importantly, fungicide-free. Inoculation with soil biology appears to be improving the health of the roses so much that their scents are more potent. “When the rose garden was in bloom last year, I could smell them from the parking lot,” says McMillan.   The Park staff applies the products monthly with both soil-drench and foliar methods. The plants continue to exhibit strong growth and healthy blooms. Beneficial insects abound and are available to pollinate the flowers; harmful insects are controlled in a non-toxic manner. The staff does not need special protective gear during the application process, and park visitors can enter the treated area as soon as the staff is finished. McMillan is very happy with how the city’s roses have been responding to soil biology inoculation and is appreciative of the cost savings she has experienced in applying this effective organic treatment.
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Woodland Park Zoo Seattle, WA

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Toxic Animal Waste

Woodland Park Zoo came to Earthfort in 2005 with a unique challenge: could we help them mitigate the toxic dung of their popular Komodo dragon exhibit?
 
At Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, cleaning up after the animals is always a messy business. Yet in some cases, it is a dangerous task. Managing the Komodo Dragon’s habitat in the Zoo was extremely difficult and expensive due to high levels of hazardous E. coli and Salmonella bacteria in the dragon’s dung. At the start of this project, zookeepers had 25 yards of contaminated sand and soil that needed removal by hand and with protective equipment. Then this needed to be disposed of as ‘hot soil’ – hazardous waste. The exhibit soil was tested by Earthfort for E. coli and other biology in the waste soil, before and after application of our ProVide and ReVive product line of bio-process technology. After the very first application of the technology, the Komodo dragon exhibit’s high E.coli populations (540 mpn) were reduced to insignificant, normal levels (less than 2 mpn).  In addition, Zoo’s animal management staff were left with about 3 yards of contaminated latrine sand, rather than dispose of 25 yards of contaminated substrate. This saved about 30 hours of labor, $1000 in waste disposal fees, and about $250 in substrate cost. With product applications, adding fresh, quality compost, and applying compost tea on a regular basis, the zoo’s regular tests now show normal E. coli levels, and odor is kept to a minimum. As a result of the huge success they had with the Komodo dragon exhibit, the Zoo uses our products and compost tea in interior exhibits of ocelots, monkeys, jaguars, snow leopards, and goats, and throughout the Zoo’s garden areas to eliminate odor and control unwanted or hazardous organisms.  Zoo staff now request soil tests in advance of changing exhibit substrates to remediate the hazardous organisms, reducing unnecessary substrate removal and monitoring progress of healthy, well-managed soil. Overall, application of the technology in the Komodo dragon and other exhibits has saved the zoo about $100,000 per year, and more in time and labor. We are proud to support the mission of Woodland Park Zoo, as each dollar saved on waste disposal is a dollar used to meet their conservation goals worldwide. For more information about Woodland Park Zoo, visit www.zoo.org.
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Onsite Workshop

This 2 day Biologically-Based Soil Management Workshop is for businesses, schools and other organizations who want to have our instructor come to your location as a cost effective option for training groups of 10 or more people.  We will provide an in-depth overview of soil biology, testing, and remediation, because if you can measure it, you can manage it. In this workshop, we will explore the physical, chemical, and biological processes of the soil.  Learn about the interrelationships between soil biology and soil nutrient chemistry, so you can better manage the soil system thereby improving your crops and soil remediation practices.  Your own soil’s history, chemistry and biological makeup has unique management implications.  We’ll give you the tools to work with your system rather than against it, saving you time and money. You are encouraged to send in a soil sample to our laboratory to have the soil biology and chemistry tested prior to the workshop so we can take a more in-depth look at a soil biology report.  (Find sampling instructions and testing form here.) This item cannot be purchased online.  Please call 541.257.2612 or email chandra@earthfort.com to schedule this training visit with our office.
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Onsite Consultation

Bring in an Expert Earthfort’s Director comes to your location to see your operation and answer your site-specific questions.  Other clients have found this time together very helpful for discussing soil biology challenges across diverse fields and/or crops, identifying potential local composting components, trouble shooting compost tea equipment, improving timing of applications of compost, teas and/or biological products… just to name a few. $1150.00 per day + travel & lodging expenses (This item cannot be purchased online.  Please call 541.257.2612 or email chandra@earthfort.com to schedule this consultation visit with our office.)
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Onsite Speaker

Earthfort Speaks at Your Event Earthfort’s director travels to your event and speaks about soil biology as it relates to agricultural, horticultural, landscaping and/or soil remediation topics.  Some of the topics he has covered are practical soil biology, understanding biological testing services and how to integrate your current cultivation practices with biological practices. $575.00 per half-day + travel & lodging expenses (This item cannot be purchased online.  Please call 541.257.2612 or email chandra@earthfort.com to schedule a speaking engagement with our office.)
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Phone Consultation

Spend time on the phone with Earthfort’s Director discussing your operation and ask him your site-specific and testing questions.  $30.00 per 15 minute time increment (This item cannot be purchased online.  Please call 541.257.2612 or email chandra@earthfort.com to schedule this call with our office.)
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