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Archive for February, 2012

This may be short but it is topical for me at the moment. And not without relevance for the home garden.

I am lucky I guess because I know my block was bush before I bought it. And still is in part. So I can grow veges and have chooks and eat their eggs without worrying what they might contain. But many people on newer blocks, or even not so new, may not know their history. Land around me that was orchard for years is being turned into housing. There is certainly land in the metro area that was a dumping ground for rubbish in the past. If you’re intending to grow veges and eat them, or run animals on your land and eat them or their products whether they be eggs or meat, it may just be worthwhile getting a soil test done first to ensure the land you’re on doesn’t have any nasties in it. Old farming land may have organochlorines. Rubbish dumps – who knows what!

Then there’s the question of water. If you’re drawing water from a dam or bore also consider having it tested. Especially if there’s any sort of commercial activity nearby.

Also consider what you bring on your property. Those manures/composts you bring in may also be contaminated via the land they are from. Particularly if the composts are not made to the Australian Standard which does test for all those sorts of things. Even just simple soil may contain almost anything and its hard to go back once you’ve got any sort of contamination, especially disease. Look at the sting nematode debacle around the metro area at the moment! And of course dieback.

Finally consider the things you grow. Some crops accumulate nasties. Brassicas are known to be good at accumulating heavy metals, spinach also accumulates cadmium, tea- aluminium and so on. Plants that take up lots of heavy metals can be used for bioremediation and that is a good thing but you wouldn’t want to eat them!

So surely if you’re buying a new place its worth doing a bit of checking and testing to see if there are any potential issues lurking in your land.

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