Facilities services hopes to eliminate artificial fertilizers and herbicides
“Our team hopes to eventually see the complete elimination of artificial fertilizers and herbicides used on campus,” says Fred Johnston, Whitworth resource conservation manager. “We want the Whitworth community to enjoy a healthier landscape that is just as beautiful as it is today.”
Compost tea comprises humic acid, fish fertilizer, molasses, kelp meal and specially mixed compost. The ingredients are brewed and aerated for 24 hours in a homemade compost tea machine, based on a similar model used at Harvard University.
“The compost tea program seeks to increase the long-term health of the Whitworth campus grounds,” Johnston says. “Our campus is known for its great outdoor environment. We are increasing the soil biodiversity in order to sustainably maintain a healthy, rich landscape that allows plants and trees to flourish and be enjoyed.”
To educate the Whitworth and Spokane communities on the compost tea program, facilities services has invited soil microbiologist Elaine Ingham, founder of Soil Foodweb, Inc., to campus to share her expertise in fall 2014. Ingham will speak on the compost tea program and will host an educational workshop to help further develop the program at Whitworth.