Upcycling and green-outlooks
Hartley Prosser, a native of New-Brunswick, is finishing up his Plant Science and Agricultural Business degree hoping to change how a locally-sourced waste-product is viewed. Chitosan, a naturally occurring compound that comes from shellfish industry waste, has been receiving praise as a “plant-enhancer”. The chemical has been reported to make plants stronger and promote healthy soil-ecosystems for plant growth.
Hartley is looking to better define what we know about chitosan. He is specifically looking at using this chemical to improve vegetable production by making kale plants stronger and more resilient to pests and disease. After his degree finishes up at the Faculty of Agriculture, Hartley is looking to Urban Agriculture and Urban Forestry for future studies.
Urban-greening efforts are faced with tremendous challenges in adapting native plants to “grey landscapes” which are mainly made of cement and degraded soil. Unique strategies will be needed to sustain plant growth in these new “grey-conditions”. Innovatively using chitosan for promotion of stronger plant communities and soil-ecosystems may just be one piece to accomplishing our green- goals of the future.