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Vegetable Gardening: How to remove heavy metals from the soil

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Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 28, 2012
12:23 AM

Post #9221106

After watching this and other videos concerning the high (60,000 times normal) levels of aluminum in the soil and water (and elevated aluminum levels in an ultra-organic family's child's hair sample) being found now by researchers and scientists, my question is how do I deal with this in my garden? How do I remove these metals/chemicals from the soil in order to have a sustainable garden? Research is revealing that forests are dying, the rate of Alzheimer's is way up (even though most people no longer cook with aluminum pans), health is declining (in an age where there is more preventative knowledge than ever before), so how do we, as gardeners deal with this problem? Below, is a link to a video I just watched. It will scare you, because it's changing the soil ph, plants uptake the metals or won't even grow as the aluminum accumulates more and more in our soils, it's been shown to cause cancer, dementia, and is highly toxic to all forms of life. I've been studying this for some time, not understanding why anyone would put tons of aluminum microparticles into our air - but a possibility was revealed in this video. The question remains: how do we deal with this now, as gardeners (especially organic gardeners and those who grow heirloom seed and are opposed to genetically modified seed)? Watch it, here: http://youtu.be/_iaVdAUhsrE

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 28, 2012
6:45 AM

Post #9221232

Have you had your soil tested? There are labs which will do heavy metal/micronutrient testing for you. Unless you have toxic or nearly toxic levels of something in your soil, there's no need to worry about your own garden.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 28, 2012
8:10 AM

Post #9221326

I agree with Nicole, test your soil. Not everything you read/see on the net is applicable to everyone, or even true. Because we are an organic farm our soil was tested for everything before we began farming, even though it had been a meadow for 20+ years we are in a high ag county with aerial spraying on a regular basis, plus 20 miles from the Mexico border. Nothing bad showed up in my soil tests or irrigation water except sodium which we have lowered naturally. Sodium is common in low rainfall areas and is highly reactive with other elements. Ours was sodium bicarbonate.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 28, 2012
9:04 AM

Post #9221396

By the way, Wallace Labs in in El Segundo, CA did mine. Good service and I could understand the results.

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 28, 2012
5:41 PM

Post #9221827

Thank you, guys. Callalily, you're really blessed! Thank you NicoleC. No, I haven't had the soil tested yet. Right now I think I have a battle with some spider mites and possibly leaf miners. The plants just now started taking off, that are in bales, one tomato is about 8" high...slow start and the plants seem to be a little stunted. After I put compost on the bales they started growing, finally. The corn, beans, squash, cukes, arugula, lemon and avocado trees are hanging in there, many still in the hothouse. I hung up fly strips in there and you would not believe how many tiny little and some bigger flies were on there. Already need more strips in there. I put Epsom Salts on everything, so hope that will help boost the strength of everything and get it to doing something. The potatoes are doing great, though, with very little fussing over them. I just look at all the produce you all are getting and it seems like it will take forever for me this year. What's weird is a couple of years ago I went and got four of those big plastic rubbermaid tubs, put them on the concrete driveway and planted squash, peppers, and tomatoes in them (I got those at the greenhouse, this year most I've grown from seed), and I couldn't believe the bounty from those tubs. You'd think things would do better in bales or the ground, but so far, not. I still am hoping everything takes off, and hope I can have a greenhouse up by the end of August so I can transplant some things. You all are doing wonderul things with your gardens. What a great blessing!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 30, 2012
12:59 PM

Post #9223824

Solace - I watched the entire video from the link you gave.

My hubby and I concluded that we are glad we don't have grandchildren.

Beam me up, Scottie!

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

July 30, 2012
2:14 PM

Post #9223891

I don't have grandchildren, either Honeybee. I feel sorry for that little girl on the video. Even with parents that are careful what she eats, she's filled with aluminum. Can you imagine the children who DON'T eat organic, how bad it is? Kids don't have a chance, and the days of wholesome food seems to be coming to an end. If people would just pay attention... Someone once said that the most dangerous place in the world now is the grocery store. Very sad. Yep, beam me up, too!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 30, 2012
4:31 PM

Post #9224030

I hate it when I see people at the farmer's market buying produce from growers I KNOW use chemicals, especially if they have little children. One of our regular customers said "well, the guy said he didn't spray." No, he didn't "spray" but he was hydroponic and dumped it into the growing solution! They just assume everyone is chemical free. I tell my customers not only are they welcome to tour my farm, they're more than welcome to tour my "chemical" shed where they will see only very safe, very earth friendly products.

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