Food Security and Soil Health Projects: Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District

This post is part of a three-part series highlighting conservation district projects that aim to reduce hunger and increase food security in their communities.

Conservation districts play a critical role in bolstering food production, increasing agricultural resilience, and improving nutrition in rural and urban communities across the country. NACD, along with the conservation districts that the organization represents, looks forward to playing a key role in supporting the country’s efforts to reduce hunger and improve health outcomes.

NACD and districts have supported hundreds of projects to enhance soil health, bolster resilience on farms, and improve nutrition in rural and urban communities. In this blog series, learn about projects facilitated by conservation districts that have supported the reduction of hunger in communities across the country.

Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative

The Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District (FSWCD) in Central Alaska hosted a successful workshop on soil health and fertilizers with Calypso Farm and Ecology Center’s Community Roots Program. The Community Roots Program is a garden leadership, on-the-job training opportunity for young adults ages 16 to 24, that provides training and tools to help participants prepare a market garden and sell fresh produce. The NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation grant and Interior Community Gardens Network project provided support for FSWCD to host the Soil Health workshop focused on garden soil sample analysis and fertilizer recommendations.

During this workshop, an Alaska NRCS agronomist educated participants about micro and macro nutrients and demonstrated how to blend organic fertilizers based on soil analysis recommendations. The workshop also allowed participants to explore the garden, feel the texture of soils in different areas, and identify nutrient deficiencies based on specific indicators. It also facilitated a lively discussion about soil characteristics after participants were provided first-hand experience preparing the ground for planting. Experienced participants were also able to share useful information regarding the land use history. The Community Roots Soil Health workshop sparked ideas for further collaboration between FSWCD, Calypso Farm and Ecology Center and future Community Roots cohorts.

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