Future Farmers and Urban Agriculture

Much of the soil study and mapping of the South Bay areas from Compton to Seal Beach has been researched specifically for soil responses during earthquakes. With lots of historical data from the Long Beach earthquake of 1933.  But the results give us the information we need from an agricultural perspective too.

The surface deposits are Quaternary.   The Pleistocene strata are mainly of marine origin and consist of slightly to moderately consolidated beds of silty sand, clayey sand, and sandy silt.

Up to 50 m of Holocene sediment occurs in the valleys eroded by streams. The upper parts of Holocene deposits usually are fine grained and consist mainly of unconsolidated to partly consolidated deposits of sand, silt, and some clay, mixed with estuarine and marsh deposits near the coastline.

Lense deposits composed of medium to coarse sand and gravel occur occasionally in upper Holocene but predominate at depths of 5–12 m in Holocene, which is designated as the Gaspur aguifer zone. Subjacent Tertiary sediments are composed of shale, siltstone, chert, and limestone.  At a depth of 2100 m in the southwest corner of area-the Tertiary section overlies the northwest-trending axis of Wilmington anticline, so that the depth to the basement ranges from 2100 m near Terminal Island to 6100 m near Compton.  West of the Newport-Inglewood fault zone, the Tertiary layers lie over the Catalina shist.

What does all of that mean?  Let’s find out!  I for one would love to talk to geologists about our soil, and understand the science of it all.  Our food safety and maximum production per square foot all begins with soil health.

The Soil Kitchen art installation in Philadelphia is a brilliant temporary project that we would love to make a more permanent feature at our Spring Street Farm Project.

This project was put together by the Futurefarmer collective of twelve individuals – a blend of artists, engineers, gardeners, scientists and illustrators—Futurefarmers has used civic art to respond to social, economic and political systems for nearly two decades, to discuss urban agriculture.  They tested over 350 soil samples from all over the city, discussed the results with EPA scientists and held work shops on a variety of topics such as how to build a wind turbine and composting.  Fascinating!

Agriculture has been pushed out of our urban areas for decades and people are beginning to recognize the value of welcoming it back in to our midst. We should do everything we can do to help move this process forward.  Please join this site for information about future soil events….and please let me know if you would like to be a part of the LB Soil Study group…I would welcome partners in this effort!!


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