Ocean View, DE – A new event lawn at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View hosted the 2019 Native Plant Sale and Green Living Expo on May 4, thanks in part to compost derived from poultry. Perdue AgriRecycle donated 80 cubic yards of compost to the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays for the installation of a new event lawn at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. The event lawn is part of the implementation of the James Farm Master Plan, a community-developed initiative designed to protect the Preserve’s diverse collection of ecosystems, while safely accommodating and educating a growing number of visitors.
The compost provided by Perdue AgriRecycle was a critical component in completing the event lawn, which will provide an open, flexible, and easily accessible space for outdoor recreation and community events at the Preserve. Through a practice known as subsoiling, the Center will be able to maintain lush, healthy grass without the use of synthetic fertilizers that leach excess nutrients into the Bays.
“Compost is an excellent soil amendment for horticultural purposes,” said Bob Collins, Program Manager for the Center for the Inland Bays. “In addition to adding nutrients, it helps retain soil tilth and moisture and maintains beneficial microbial populations. This will be particularly helpful at the James Farm Ecological Preserve, where sandy soils make surviving summer drought and foot traffic difficult.”
The microSTART Premium Compost provided by Perdue AgriRecycle is a new product which is made by converting poultry byproducts and fresh forestry products into organic fertilizers that are listed by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) and meet the requirements of the USDA/NOP (National Organic Program). While there is no single solution to declining soil and water quality, microSTART Premium Compost reduces the impact of the poultry industry by providing a stable organic product that keeps nutrients from leaching and provides rich organic matter to improve soil qualities.
Because excess nitrogen and phosphorus are a major source of pollution to our Inland Bays, the use of this compost adds the necessary nutrients in an organic, low-concentration, and slow-release form that is an alternative to the annual application of high nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.
“The microSTART product is consistent, making spreading and rototilling easy, and it has a pleasant earthy aroma,” said Collins. “At the James Farm, we take a low-input approach to promote bay-healthy techniques and we believe this product will help us grow quality turf without degrading our water quality.”
The Center would like to thank Perdue AgriRecycle for their generosity and partnership on this exciting project. The event lawn is a feature of the Preserve’s new gateway area, which was the primary focus of Phase 1 of the James Farm Master Plan. Phase 2 will involve much-needed updates to the Preserve’s campus area, which hosts the James Farm Education Program for middle school students in the watershed. Fundraising for Phase 2 is now underway. For more information about subsoiling and other bay-friendly landscaping practices, or to contribute to the James Farm Master Plan, visit www.inlandbays.org or call 302-226-8105.
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.
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