Urban Agriculture on Brownfields

I was going to post this to Facebook, but I thought I’d take into consideration those friends of my who already are spammed by my interests and articles far too much and go ahead and put this on my website. I doubt anyone will click the link any ways.

Within the last 5 years there’s been a tremendous push for urban agriculture and production.  There’s new community gardens, orchards and allotments popping up everywhere. While this is obviously a positive thing, in the back of my mind I’m really concerned about the uptake of contaminants by the plants which may find their way into the food. I honestly don’t know much at all about the way plant uptake metals, minerals or other substances, but I think it’s something that needs to be taken into consideration. It worries me to see happy kids chomping away on fruit just picked from a community garden and I see a large auto depot or some dilapidated factory in the back ground. Has a full soil survey been done on that property? More than likely not as these soil tests are really expensive.

I guess the EPA is in agreeance with me as they have put out some preliminary guidelines on the subject in the last year and a half.  You can read them here. That’s what I’ve found myself doing recently.

This isn’t meant to frighten anyone. Hopefully I haven’t done that. I just want people to be cognizant of risks to growing crops in a city, especially on previous brownfield sites.

On a related note, I planted a load of seeds last weekend.  Tomatoes, peas, lettuce, and courgettes. I didn’t test the soil. If I get lead poisoning from my raised beds here in sunny (that’s a joke) I will let you know.

I’m ready for summer and hopefully being able to harvest some crops in a couple months!

Pots and beds planted with goodness

Pots and beds planted with goodness

Categories: Garden, I'm 29 | Leave a comment

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