What UD does on the STAR campus will impact all Delawareans, as a critical mass of experts and resources is brought together to make the state a healthier place for all of us. The new campus will foster collaboration and provide space for state-of-theart equipment that can be shared by the scientific community. It will facilitate new models for strategic business partnerships in a variety of areas, including clinical care, health and wellness, and devices and materials. Similarly, new educational opportunities will open up in the form of internships, service learning, training, and cooperative learning. To make the existing building more suitable for clinical, research, and academic activities, the architect, Tevebaugh Associates of Wilmington, has added two-story wings of 45-foot- wide space on the front and north end of the building. This column-free space will allow greater flexibility in providing areas for large classroom, clinic and assembly spaces. The two wings connect at the corner of the building in a two-story glass-walled student lounge and gathering space. The exterior walls of the building will be clad in limestone masonry units with bluegreen window walls. Located at the main entrance, the building will provide a contemporary gateway to the STAR campus. The Chrysler assembly plant was a very important part of the local and regional economy for decades, and what UD is about to launch on the STAR Campus will play a similar role in the decades to come.
Se pt e m be r/ Oct o be r 2012
Blessing, a former farmer, knows how to create healthy soil. PHOTO PROVIDED BY BLESSING GREENHOUSES
Compost continued from 9 ently. When mixed with soil, the soupedup soil acts like a sponge, allowing water to drain slowly through it, absorbing pollutants and cleaning the water as it empties into nearby waterways. Blessing grew up on a farm in Houston, Delaware. Forced into action at a young age, he never anticipated a future in farming. “My dad never made much money farming but there was always plenty of food on our table,” he says. “He saw something noble in growing the food that fed your family.” After deciding that he had no future in farming, Blessing worked a number of jobs, most associated with the chicken industry. Blessing discovered his compost blend by trial and error. While mixing batches of potting soil for his flowers, the idea for premium compost appeared. Blessing eventually settled on a product with a 10-1 carbon to nitrogen ratio. He
claims the higher nitrogen content gives his compost more oomph. Handled separately, Blessings’ ingredients are pretty rancid: poultry and hatchery waste, rotting grass clippings and decaying leaves. But mixed together they become a fine, black, odorless material that acts like a multi-vitamin for the soil. “The key to our compost are the consistent ingredients,” Blessing says. “Other composts are made from whatever comes through the gate that day. But because of our proximity to the chicken processing houses, we get a consistent mix of chicken byproducts to use in our compost.” Blessing knew that if he was going to be competitive in the market, he needed a quality process to make his products. He developed an in-vessel system where he could mix consistent batches of compost and then let it cure for 12 months. For more, visit www.blessingsblends. com.
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