Saturday, July 04, 2009

Heavy metals and urban gardens

One of the trusty garden blogs I follow noted that Mother Jones Magazine had an article about lead content in the White House Garden soil. Lead is a problem for urban gardens, and in places that were cities before the 1970’s when leaded gas was still legal.

As an urban gardener I have been cognizant of lead issues and other heavy metal contamination issues. These should not ne ignored. Googling bioremediation, one will sooner or later find charts and information about what plants will take up what heavy metals.

Sun flowers, are workhorses in the bioremediation line. I compost a lot, and have not yet developed protocols for my own garden in respect to what to do with plants that will take up heavy metals. Some folk have burned plants and looked for heavy metals, the science is not well developed or widespread. I am counting on universities who have the lab space do this research and develop protocals.

For urban gardeners, and probably for all of us, developing testing for our soils and bioremediating is an important consideration. It is important to grow food meatime, as universities and others get to work on this important consideration.

One more note: most of us have toxics and heavy metals in our systems. It is virtually impossible to live on the planet in the 21st century and not have.


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