Soil Nutrient Analyst Internship

Overview

Partridge Creek Farm (PCF) is seeking an intern to conduct soil tests of their garden plots. When operating a natural, regenerative garden regularly scheduled soil nutrient evaluations are crucial for both the success of the plants and the surrounding environment. If too little nutrients are present, the overall health of the plants and organisms within the soil are compromised. Organisms such as bacteria and fungi survive on nutrients like nitrogen. Alternatively, if the soil has excess amounts of nutrients it becomes toxic for both the organisms and plant life. Excess nutrients can also leach out of the garden space and into wetlands or aquifers. Finally, excess nutrients can cause other nutrients to become unavailable to the plants. This process sis sometimes known as “nutrient lockout” or “nutrient immobilization.”

Projects/Goals

  1. Measure and record levels of nutrients such as Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous in raised beads/field samples and compare.
  2. Monitor the nutrient levels in beds before and after PCF vermicompost applications.
  3. Analyze the relationship between settings and nutrients (hoop house, fields, raised beds, etc.) and develop suggestions for improvement.

Specifications

Interns will perform a soil nutrient analysis, and work with an analysis team as part of a larger soil quality evaluation. The test will be performed at most beds on the PCF sites and others will be performed on ground-level fields.

Additional Information

Materials provided by farm: Soil test kit, soil test equipment, drying combustion equipment, penetrometer. 

Materials provided by students: Writing materials, personal internet access, transportation. 

Questions or concerns? Contact Jesse Semph, Farm Manager: jsemph@partridgecreekfarm.org

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