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Re: [permaculture-61] Bioremediaton, ideas?

From: Vladimir D.
Sent on: Friday, October 7, 2011 4:58 PM
What I understand about bioremediation is this:
 
Heavy metals are present in any soil. In neutral and high pH soil, the heavy metals are locked in, don't get absorbed, and cause no harm. As the soil pH drops, metals start to leach out and pose a threat. Unless there's confirmed reports of dumping lead and mercury in the area in the past, the most likely culprit is rain. It's slightly acidic, and gets even more acidic if you add car exhaust, and over time, with little vegetation, ruins soil. Organic processes and corrected pH will lock the metals back in and make them immobile. If you don't expect to be eating from it, it's probably a good idea to manure it, cover it, mulch it, plant legumes and natives, everything you would do, let the plants and bugs do the work, and just monitor the soil condition. If it's very acidic, Dolomite, wood ash, or finely crushed seashells can raise it to a level more favorable to the soil organisms.
 
Brooklyn College can do soil tests for you, at a reasonable price of $35 for heavy metals and pH. takes 2-4 weeks. Here's a link: http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/pub/departments/esac/1535.htm
This way you can be absolutely sure.
 
I live in East Harlem, let me know if I can contribute or take part somehow. Been itching for something hands on.
 
Hope this helps,
Vladimir
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM, Nathan Schumer <[address removed]> wrote:
Hi Permies,

 I meant to say, thank you for all of your great ideas about dirt, its
amazing to have access to such a knowledge base. Some friends and I
have been collaborating on setting up a garden for a church in Harlem,
its part of an interfaith initiative between Union Theological
Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary, local mosques, churches and
synagogues. Our basic plan is to construct raised beds, but we're
interested in doing some experimentation with bioremediation. I'm not
sure to what extent the soil has been tested, I think its been tested
for lead. The consensus opinion is that its contaminated. Anyone have
ideas on bioremediation or manuals you use? Or any interest in running
a brief tutorial session on bioremediation? Thanks for the help!
Nathan



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