Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Latest Dirt

Latest garden news:  Our second round of soil tests are back.  

The garden is confirmed to have high levels of lead (604 ppm in first test, 504 in second test).

The kids area and front yard are pretty safe (80 and 59 ppm, respectively).

The compost is not in good shape at 231 ppm.  

While I'm sad that it really is true that the garden is contaminated, I'm thrilled that the kids' area is not worse or as bad as the garden.  I've been pricing out various remediation strategies and mulching 1/2 of our property would be expensive!  

But it's really too bad that all that compost is filled with lead.  I suppose when you compost bits of soil and tons of plant matter from a leaded area, the compost is leaded, too.  We could still use it on flowers, I suppose.  But this also means that the rest of the unfinished compost (about 1/2 cubic yard) needs to go if we'll ever clean the lead out of our compost bin.  

Since it's just the garden we have to worry about, it should cost around $400 for the 12 cubic yards of soil/compost to fill seven 4' x 8' beds that are 18" tall (includes delivery fee).  The wood will cost about $220 if I can get it while Menard's is still having their sale this weekend.  

Then there's the landscaping fabric, straw mulch (cheapest), and lots of bolts, nuts, and washers.  
Last night I tried brainstorming ways to fundraise for the garden.  Except no one has any extra money right now, so that probably wouldn't work! I will be happy to take people's manual labor, though.  

We'll be building the beds and filling them with soil on Saturday, May 23.  I promised the kids we could go to this cool fossil digging thing in the morning, so we'll get started at around 1pm and work until we're done.  Fun!  

Email me if you want to come and aren't some crazy psycho killer who wants my address.


Catherine said...

Glad to hear the rest of the yard is safe -- whew!

I'll email you -- hopefully we can make it! (Your comment about crazy psycho killer made me giggle!)

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the garden project!

Family construction projects are the best. Last Thanksgiving we built a ramp off our deck for our elderly dog. It was rough, but good together time.

Jess said...

Awww, no good. I'm sorry to hear that but on the flip side it's super good that you found out!

Miss you already!