2014-01-10 at 5:15 pm #38453
I may be able to access an old apple orchard of about 8 acres soon. But I hear that apple orchards used to spray lot of pesticides which may make the soil toxic with arsenic. The land has not been sprayed for over 17 years but some heavy metals stay in the soil long. I will be doing a soil test coming spring. I have looked at solutions on the internet: sunflowers, brake ferns etc. If there is arsenic should I walk away or rehabilitate the soil and how long will it take?2014-01-10 at 5:15 pm #38454
(You are receiving this message in reply to your post @ /forum/introductions)
Hello firstname.lastname@example.org and welcome to the Online Permaculture Design Course!
I am really thrilled that you have chosen to join us for this world-changing program. With many tens of thousands of enrolled students, this is the world’s largest permaculture education course, and we’re really quite excited to share this knowledge with you.
I want to take a moment to let you know about a few options that can help you get the most out of your learning experience with us:
– Our instructors answer questions on these forums, and we generally really encourage you to participate in the forums as much as you can, as it will really help you engage with this material in the best possible way. You are encouraged to post any questions you may have about the lectures or general permaculture questions.
– The course itself is offered completely free of charge (no catch, no gotcha, nothing). We also offer the same material on DVD (so you can watch it on your television) and you can purchase the DVD sets @ http://www.regenerative.com/dvd
– We do offer the internationally-standard Permaculture Design Certificate as an option with this course. The certificate program includes an experiential design project and examination; the design project can be for virtually any topic, including your own property. You can learn more about the certification @ http://www.regenerative.com/certificate
If you agree that the knowledge we offer in these lectures is worthwhile, we encourage you to support the continued development of this program by purchasing the DVD sets and the certification. The DVD sets also make truly fantastic gifts for friends and loved ones, and are a great way to introduce other people to permaculture (consider donating a set of DVDs to your local library!).
Again, welcome on-board. I encourage you to take a moment to post on the other forums. If you have any questions, please post them in the Technical Questions or the Q&A forums (/forums). On behalf of our entire team, we hope that you enjoy this program and look forward to seeing you take this knowledge into the wild!2014-01-19 at 2:50 am #40885
If it turns out you have to much Arsenic, Oyster Mushrooms may be a good thing to look into. Trying to figure how an apple is affected by Arsenic might be a good route as well. Whether it ends up in the fruit or not, whether it effects the reproduction or fruiting of the trees, etc.
My opinion is it’s good to suck that stuff out of the soil and chemically restructure it if possible into something that can feed the soil. Some say that trace levels of arsenic are okay and occur naturally, but when the land has been sprayed like that it may well have to much. This is all theory, so take that with a grain of salt and research what I have said here if you take this advice. Hope that helps.
Where are the instructors at that answer these type of questions?2014-01-27 at 10:27 pm #43988
I don’t often recommend soil tests, but in the case of heavy metals like arsenic it is a good idea. I’d relax until you got the results back. Be sure to take samples from various places throughout the orchard. The most common source of heavy metal contamination that is relevant for most permaculturists is lead that came from house paint. In that case, the danger is greater from fumes when the soil is disturbed than from the residue in the soil itself. Neither are good, of course, but you need to consider that aspect as well. The chance of the contaminant finding its way to fruit growing on a tree, of course, is much less than a leafy green or root crop grown in the vegetable garden. Check out sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes, mustard family plants, buckwheat, and various mushrooms as possible cleansers (but heavy metals are the toughest challenge of all to clean from the soil). Yes, heavy metals naturally exist in soils, but they are usually at benign levels.2014-02-18 at 4:24 pm #46774
My understanding is that arsenic is chemically similar to phosphorus. Plants only take up arsenic if there is a deficiency of phosphorus. So if your soil has plenty of P then no problem. If not, rock phosphate would be good to spread. Wood ashes & manure have some phosphorus also as well as plant material (hay ,straw, leaves etc) from clean sources.2014-05-06 at 4:48 am #50632
Hi, it might be good to look at the ability that some earthworm species have in “cleaning” soil of heavy metals.2014-05-07 at 3:37 pm #50660
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.