A professional colleague attended the talk below and said that the audience was rather shocked by what they heard. The talk by soil scientist Thomas Rathier included information about toxic metals soil contamination.
There is no recording of the meeting but there is a PDF report authored by Mr. Rathier and others entitled Lead and Other Heavy Metals in Community Gardening Soils in Connecticut . Anyone who is growing or contemplates growing edible plants in urban dirt should read this document.
I applaud the Connecticut Horticultural Society for sponsoring this meeting. Perhaps they will now be more open to educating their members and other gardeners about the very serious health treat that accompanies growing edible plants in city soils.
At this time, site searches reveal that there is no information on their website about soil contamination. There is no warning to gardeners that they should have a toxic metals soil test before growing any plants in the ground.
There is also no information about sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) that are one of the best ways to eliminate exposure to toxic metals soil contamination. Thanks to a lack of educational leadership, the benefits of growing edible plants in sub-irrigated raised beds is largely unknown by the public.
The situation regarding toxic metals soil contamination is a very serious issue in the greater New York Metro region and at the present time is highly under publicized. My ever-growing database of information about urban soil contamination is now far larger than I ever anticipated. Stay tuned for more information to come.
If you haven't watched Frieda Lim's TEDxManhattan video How to Cultivate a Logo, she talks about urban soil contamination. As the mother of a small child she is particulalry concerned about this health hazard.
The Secrets of Soil: Talk hosted by the Connecticut Horticultural Society Thursday, January 19, at 7:30 p.m., Thomas Rathier, a soil scientist in Windsor, explains how to handle soil in ways that best protect your health and enhance your garden's health. Talk sponsored by the Connecticut Horticultural Society, held at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, $10 (CHS members and full-time students with ID free). For more information, call 860-529-8713 or visit online.