Poster Title

Soil Characteristics of a Permaculture Orchard in the Jackson Purchase

Presenter Information

Kevin GoheenFollow

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Murray State University

KY House District #

6

KY Senate District #

6

Department

Hutson School of Agriculture

Abstract

Permaculture is the development of agriculture systems that are sustainable and self-sufficient. Addressing conservation issues such as diminishing natural resources and changing environmental conditions, permaculture allows for adaptive and resilient agriculture ecosystems that are able to cope with environmental stresses while reducing inputs. The objective of this research is to evaluate eight different zones in a permaculture ecosystem for selected soil attributes, in Briensburg, Kentucky (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b, approximately 51.1” (129.5cm) rainfall/year). As this is the beginning of a long term longitudinal study, only preliminary baseline measures were collected originally, including soil water retention and soil organic carbon. Sampling, processing, and analysis started in December, 2016 and was repeated in September, 2017. A general increase (although not significant except in the case of site 5) in measures of soil organic carbon (SOC) was observed. Measures of soil water holding capacity (SWHC) of the sampled sites increased significantly in 6 of the 8 sites sampled.

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Soil Characteristics of a Permaculture Orchard in the Jackson Purchase

Permaculture is the development of agriculture systems that are sustainable and self-sufficient. Addressing conservation issues such as diminishing natural resources and changing environmental conditions, permaculture allows for adaptive and resilient agriculture ecosystems that are able to cope with environmental stresses while reducing inputs. The objective of this research is to evaluate eight different zones in a permaculture ecosystem for selected soil attributes, in Briensburg, Kentucky (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b, approximately 51.1” (129.5cm) rainfall/year). As this is the beginning of a long term longitudinal study, only preliminary baseline measures were collected originally, including soil water retention and soil organic carbon. Sampling, processing, and analysis started in December, 2016 and was repeated in September, 2017. A general increase (although not significant except in the case of site 5) in measures of soil organic carbon (SOC) was observed. Measures of soil water holding capacity (SWHC) of the sampled sites increased significantly in 6 of the 8 sites sampled.