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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Using Spinach to Remove Lead

Using Spinach to Remove Lead

user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 84

During my course with the Yeltons I had an opportunity to examine Mycelium Running and see for myself that it does indeed, as you said, belong on the permaculture shelf! Absolutely amazing! So I bought it.

Thank you for bringing it to our attention!

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 74
If you were in Whitefield, you were right near my house. Anyone around should stop for a visit/walk etc. Give me a buzz, I'm around a lot.

Elaine, I think you must now see a fairly startling paradigm shift.

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 319
To follow up on this topic, I was speaking to Craig at Cultivating Community which works with the Boyd Street garden in Portland (near Franklin Arterial). He corroborated the details of how they dealt with lead there. For two seasons, they planted sunflower, spinach and mustard. This was the project in conjunction with USM and the lead levels in the soil were measured before and after. After the two seasons the soil was deemed "safe" according to test results for food production. Craig noted that they were instructed not to amend the soil in any other way during this process as the more depleted soils seem to "give up" their heavy metals better than those amended with organic matter, etc.

This is a quote from Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh on the web site about the work:

We have used spinach (Spinacea oleracea), sunflowers (Helianthus annus), and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) as phytoaccumulators for lead. We sampled the garden soils before any planting took place, and then again after the plants were harvested, and analyzed them for total and plant-available soil lead using EPA methods. We also analyzed the roots and shoots of harvested plants. We found that in moderately acid soils (pH 5-6.5) with low organic matter, phytoremediation removed at least 100 mg/kg lead after one growing season.
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