Lab results for 2011

Got a lit­tle too busy at the end of the year to fol­low up and soil sam­pling results we had sent to the lab in late Octo­ber. But here they are and they are bet­ter than we could have ever hoped for. All four plants have reduced the level of con­t­a­m­i­na­tion in their respec­tive plots, in some cases by more than 50% and for some of the soil it means that it is almost safe to grow food. ALMOST!

The soil sam­ples were done by tak­ing a com­pos­ite sam­ple of soil through­out each plot from 0–12 inches and mix it in a bucket. From that mix, we then sent a bag full to Brook­lyn Col­lege to test for heavy met­als. I have to admit, for the sec­ond sam­ple in the fall, we only used soil that was close to the roots of the plants. While that soil seemed to have improved a lot, the roots did not cover the entire plot, some plants died in the hur­ri­cane and the roots of the Indian mus­tard didn’t grow as deep as we hoped for. So there is no doubt still a lot of con­t­a­m­i­na­tion in the ground and much room for improve­ment in the com­ing sea­son. But nev­er­the­less, a great suc­cess for the first year.

the cir­cled num­bers indi­cated lev­els that are safe for grow­ing food.

The Mug­wort plot wasn’t tested in the spring. Instead, we use the val­ues of the neigh­bor­ing sun­flower field for com­par­i­son. It is pos­si­ble that val­ues here were lower to begin with.