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Showing posts from July 30, 2008

Uh Oh (Maybe)

I went to the park at Harlem and I-290 yesterday to take some soil samples. We want to make sure there aren't any toxic heavy metals in the soil that can sometimes be caused by car emissions or past land use on or near the site that would be harmful to us as we work in the soil or eat the food we grow. To take the sample, I was supposed to dig down six inches in five different spots, gather dirt from each spot, mix it all together, and send it to central Illinois for a lead test. What's the problem, you ask? The problem is, in four of the five holes I dug, the shovel hit gravel about four inches down. We knew that there were homes in this spot prior to the expressway, so I can only assume that the gravel we're hitting is the pulvariezed remains of those homes. What does this mean for the garden? Well, it means that in order to use this location at all--regardless of what the soil test tells us about soil toxicity--we will have to build raised beds with at least 12 in