The Future of Soil Amendments--GR in the trenches of science
Durability is just as important to landscape installation as beauty. Graceful Roots strives to implement it's projects in a manner that will provide years of joy and contentment. Additionally, traditional petroleum-based fertilizers and soil amendments are often not ideal to clients for philosophical, health or environmental reasons.
Because of this, Graceful Roots has been participating with strategic partners to develop and implement soil amendments which push the envelope of science, sustainability, and durability. Specifically, with co-tenants at ReVenture Park, GR is acting as field and content experts for a collaboration between local companies Fat City Organics and the Power Resource Group to study advanced composting techniques and the introduction of an extremely absorbent, beneficial carbon source called bio-char.
The operation takes food waste from the NASCAR building in uptown Charlotte and utilizes dual advanced composting methods---bokashi, a Japanese fermentation technique--and in-vessel vermiculture (worm castings). Both methods create an extremely rich fertilizer free of any of the toxins in standard petroleum-based materials.
This compost is then mixed with bio-char. Since ancient times, native populations from around the world have utilized charcoal as a soil amendment; it adjusts the Ph, retains water, and stores fertilizer through multiple seasons.
Currently, these two great companies have contracted with Graceful Roots to help manage field experiments using their soil amendments---for the initial period they will be used on the GR living wall experiments (see a description of the first phase here); then they will be used on ornamentals around the ReVenture site. Finally, they will be utilized with GR clients who have a strong desire to support sustainable plantings and eliminate petroleum and other chemicals from their soil amendments.