Housing, farmland, and pesticides - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-15-2006, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried this in TAO first, now I am trying here! Does anyone have any knowledge or experience in this area?

We are looking to buy some land and there are some parcels available nearby, but they are on land that is currently being used for row crops: strawberries, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage... you know, low pesticide crops. ha ha. The soil has to be contaminated, and I cannot picture allowing my kids to play in it. Not only that but the surrounding areas are still in production, for now anyway. This seems like an issue not just for our family, but for any family looking to buy. So much agricultural land is being converted into housing, usually high density housing, so there are a lot of people in this situation.

What facts are out there about this topic? Are there studies that show results of living on former ag. land? Is there anything that people can do to reduce the contamination in the soil (like some crop that magically absorbs it all? I can dream, right?) Or is this just a reality that families have to live with if they chose to buy in these locations? I know this thread could go in all sorts of directions, but I am primarily looking for information.
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:58 PM
 
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You'd be entitled to get a few soil and water samples for analysis. You could then take those samples to your county/city office and seek further advice. Let them do the run around for you or at very least, advise you on the next step - maybe there'd be some costs involved but it might be worth it. I'm not a US citizen, but this is what I would do in my home country if looking to buy land in a crop-growing area.

I don't know the restrictions on ag-chemicals here but I would assume the toxins used on the crops you mentioned would have a fairly short half life. There will always be residue from these chemicals - even if they are supposedly 'biodegradable'. So I would advise caution, but not paranoia. You could well be onto a good thing for a good price. Just be sure to do the homework.
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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i think "organic standards" requiere that soil sit fallow or be farmed organically for 2 yers before the certification is given. so i'd assume 2 yrs would take care of a lot of the problem. still I'd have testing done
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:09 PM
 
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How can you get organic certification after only two years when your neighbours are still using all the chemicals? I know it goes in grades, but still.... ?
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The soil and water samples are a great idea, thank you! This land is really in a great location at a great price... I like the caution not paranoia thought. If anyone else has anything to add, I am still listening!
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