Linkages Between Soil and Food Quality in Traditional Plant Systems

Poster Session
, Jessica - Northwest Indian College

Increased access to traditional plants in Washington State and place-based, nutritional information on these plants will enhance food sovereignty resources in the region. This study aims to determine if i) organic soil management techniques affect soil quality parameters (i.e. organic matter, soil biodiversity) in delta restoration habitat and ii) if these soil quality parameters enhance food quality (i.e. antioxidants, phytonutrients) in cultivated, traditional plants. Organic soil management techniques include fish emulsion nitrogen applications (high, low) and compost applications. Plants selected for cultivation include camas (Camassia quamash), nodding onion (Allium cernuum), service berry (Amelanchier alnifolia), golden current (Ribes aureum), indian plum (Oemleria cerasifromis) and blue elderberry (Sambucus caerlulea). A field site is established on tribally owned farmland (La Conner, WA) and soil and plant samples will be collected for analysis over multiple growing seasons. This presenation will review the project background, objectives and experimental design and report on initial data collection.