The Food Forest History
The KSU Food Forest is located at the KSU Field Station. The KSU Field Station is in Hickory Grove about five minutes from KSU’s Kennesaw campus. Interestingly enough, before the area became a farm, it was a cement mixing plant owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). While toxic chemicals were not necessarily dumped into the soil, enough damage was done to strip the soil of active microbial communities.
Once the site came under the control of KSU, Michael Blackwell (Operations Manager
at the KSU Field Station) has remediated the soil. This remediation was done in a
number of ways: trucks from KSU occasionally pick up leaves from campus and take them
to the farm to mulch the soil. Originally this organic matter was being disposed of
in the landfill. Another form of bioremediation using mushrooms is carried out at
the KSU Field Station. Straw also used in this remediation method comes from Fall
and Halloween decorations on campus, the leaves come from campus facilities vacuuming
them up off the grass, and the wood chips comes from a timber company. In this situation,
the KSU Field Station is using materials that would end up in a landfill and, instead
are used to create the perfect growing medium for mushrooms which in turn prepare
the earth for production.
Today, the KSU Field Station is managed by the Office of Research and provides a number of teaching, learning,
and research opportunities for faculty and students.