Navigation Links
Fostering community gardens in an area with historic soil contamination
Date:10/19/2013

Oct. 17, 2013The soil in industrial cities is often an overlooked resource. Years of manufacturing or other industrial processes can leave contaminants in the soils and scare residents away from using the land. As the local food movement grows, though, planners and gardeners must reconcile the desire to grow food in cities with the fear that the soils are contaminated.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 10:35 am, Kristen McIvor of the Pierce Conservation District will discuss the challenges and benefits of urban gardening. Her talk, Fostering Community Gardens in an Area with Historic Soil Contamination, is part of is part of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings, Nov. 3-6 in Tampa, Florida. The theme of this year's conference is "Water, Food, Energy, & Innovation for a Sustainable World."

In Tacoma, Washington, a copper smelter operated for nearly 100 years contaminating the soil in some areas of the city. While remediation has improved soils, residents have become hyper-aware of the threat of soil contamination. But often, that fear is misplaced.

In her effort to establish community gardens, McIvor has worked with soil throughout the city. "We test all of the soils before we start building a garden," she explains. "None of the tests have shown any results to be concerned about. Even though there is the perception of soils being very toxic here, our experience is that that is not true."

While testing has shown that there is little to fear in the soils of Tacoma, residents are still hesitant to dig in and start growing food. And without dedicated growers and organizers, urban agriculture can't flourish. So McIvor and her colleagues work hard to educate growers and help them manage their gardens in ways that eliminate any contamination fears.

Raised beds are often built on top of existing land and filled with new soil or compost. And the city of Tacoma does its part to help. TAGRO, a biosolid-based soil product that contains nutrients that plants need, is provided to growers free of charge. Raised beds and TAGRO help growers feel comfortable with the soil and build productive gardens. And residents are taking notice.

"With TAGRO, you can turn a beginning gardener into someone who has a garden plot full of food," says McIvor. "When people see the amazing yields, it's not a hard sell."

The number of urban gardens in Tacoma has increased from 14 to 34 in just three years. Other cities can follow that lead and find ways to educate people about soils and contamination while encouraging growers. These efforts will give people access to fresh, local food regardless of the history of their soil.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan V. Fisk
sfisk@sciencesocieties.org
608-273-8091
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Not by DNA alone: How the epigenetics revolution is fostering new medicines
2. Study finds novel worm community affecting methane release in ocean
3. Discovery of the Plastisphere -- a new marine ecological community
4. New data support community-wide approach to addressing child obesity
5. Synthetic biology research community grows significantly
6. Drug-resistant MRSA bacteria -- here to stay in both hospital and community
7. Nevada climate, environmental data network to inform research, community
8. Synchrotron infrared unveils a mysterious microbial community
9. New book connects the human community to its cosmic roots
10. Community-based nutrition education shown to be successful in increasing calcium intake
11. FASEB urges biomedical research community to speak out against sequestration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Windsor, Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... will introduce a new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively ... place September 12–17 in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds ... to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast ... much more. Complete report on the ... profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 tables ... . The Global Cell Culture ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. The global biomarkers ... in 2013. The market is expected to grow at a five-year ... increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion in 2020. ... period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, new products approved ...
Breaking Biology Technology: