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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Urban Gardening

Urban Gadening is a wonderful way for people to learn about growing food.  It is also a great way to provide inexpensive food to economically disadvantaged people.  I have always enjoyed gardening.  It gets me outdoors in the ealry spring to work the ground and see what I can grow. 

The down side of urban gardening.  I recently read an article that said chances are good that disturbed soils in urban areas contain heavy metals.  Lead is the most common culprit.  Even though lead is not essential in any way, plants will take up lead.  Green leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach are among the worst culprits.  Things like corn, beans, squash and other plants where we eat seeds or fruits are less likely to be contaminated.  A special test is required to test soils for lead.  300 ppm is considered acceptable, but some states say it should be no higher than 100 ppm. 

You can also avoid lead contamination by maintaining pH near neutral and by thoroughly washing all vegetables to remove possible contaminated soil and dust. 

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