Making Market Gardens And Local Based Food Systems More Sustainable
Linking soil organic matter to plant chemicals thought to be important to human health
The goals of this research are to: 1) identify the fate of organic matter inputs (green manure and straw) with differing carbon to nitrogen ratios, typical in vegetable production in Montana; 2) determine the effects of different soil organic matter content on vegetable crop antioxidant concentrations; and 3) determine the impact of enhanced nutritional value marketing on the sales of locally grown vegetables. Our research hypotheses are: 1) The contribution to the complex carbon pool will be greater with high C:N inputs (straw); 2) The contribution to the labile carbon pool will be greater and subsequent nutrient cycling will be faster with lower C:N inputs (legume green manure); 3) Soils with greater total organic carbon content will produce vegetables with higher antioxidant concentrations and 4) Produce marketed with nutritional information will increase sales.
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