Alaskan Eco-technology For Commercial

Period of Performance: 01/01/1997 - 12/31/1997

$55K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Moose Creek Farm
P.o. Box 1321f, Mile 6.7, Petersville Rd.
Trapper Creek, AK 99683
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Alaskan Commercial agriculture presents many challenges including extreme weatherconditions, isolation from cost-effective distribution, and availability of plants suitable forcommercial application. Clearing requirements for agricultural tracts resulted in a loss of topsoil.Using commercial chemical fertilizers further depletes soils resulting in greater increasing soiladditive requirements. These costs continue increasing as more fertilizer is needed each year tosustain yields.Moose Creek Farms, an agricultural tract in Trapper Creek, majors in sustainable development ofcommercial stands of indigenous-type plants. Lingonberries (vitas idaea) were identified for tworeasons: similar species were indigenous to the area, and local surveys substantiated their highmarket value and commercial potential.A Farmer Rancher Project grant (SARE) was awarded testing use of forest mulch as the primarygrowing medium for lingonberries. Fish wastes, delivered by processors, better promotedsustainability than traditional chemical fertilizer. Fish waste removal is a major environmentalproblem in Alaska. Therefore, use of fish wastes for fertilizer has widespread benefit to otherAlaskan industries. Results of treatment were inconsistent varying from increased production todamage to plants. We will conduct a study to identify the optimum substrate for cultivation oflingonberries using the natural forest organic mulch with local fish waste fertilization.