Washington, District of Columbia 2021-07-28 12:53:11 –
July 28, 2021
This year, many rediscovered their interest in gardening, digging soil and even harvesting vegetables from garden plots. However, not all garden soils are made the same around Puget Sound. Urban soils in particular can carry pollutants that are unhealthy for those who handle them and those who eat what they grow on the ground.
Interested in testing the soil in your garden? Dr. Malone’s guide How to do it here.
Chemicals left by vehicles, air pollution and heavy industry can appear on the ground and plants.Soil can reflect our human activity, says Melanie Malone, Associate Professor, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Bothell. Even the compost and wood chips we add to our gardens can bring in pesticide residues that were once applied to those materials.
Malone’s recently published work Investigate these pollutants and their prevalence in shared garden spaces such as community gardens. She launched the Urban Gardens project as a way to measure soil pollution and share information with community garden sites around Seattle. She focuses on areas and communities that are often affected by pollution, and states that polluted soil and marginalized populations are often closely linked. Not surprisingly, southern Seattle, Duwamish River Super Fund Site And within reach Tacoma’s historic Asarco Smelter Plumes are usually pollutant-rich areas.
The chemicals that Malone most commonly look for are glyphosate, a herbicide found in products such as lead, arsenic, petroleum products, and Roundup.
When Malone meets the gardener, she suggests ways to limit the harm caused by the pollutants they identify — bringing in new soil, wearing gloves to limit contact with the soil, where to plant vegetables and Solutions such as determining which parts of the plant can be eaten more safely Concentration of pollutants in the soil. She also began teaching gardening groups how to sample their own soil so that they could inform themselves about the land they were already using.
In this video, Malone works with Lynnwood’s Renew Church Gardener and the Duwamish Valley Youth Group in South Park to collect soil samples from a popular nearby park on the Duwamish River.
“The fact that they are really crazy about it and then they can get their own insights into what’s in their soil and plants and how to do it exactly is really deep,” Malone said. Told.
“I really value this element of social justice. Scientific literacy is very important to this project.”
Most of the gardens she sampled had pollution levels that exceeded safety guidelines, so it makes a difference when community members know the potential risks and how to take precautions.
“I want to say I test your soil, know the history of your site, and know what you put in your yard,” Malone said.She created and shared this Online toolkit Instruct gardeners interested in soil testing.
Scientist tests soil for hidden contaminants in community gardens Source link Scientist tests soil for hidden contaminants in community gardens