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Ep. 164 Urban Agriculture & Soil Contamination with Zack Grant Part I | #GoodGrowing

Episode Number
Date Published
February 9, 2024
Episode Show Notes / Description
This week on the Good Growing podcast Ken and Chris chat with local foods and small farms educator Zack Grant about urban farming and dealing with contaminated soils. Zack describes what it's like to grow in urban conditions and how we inevitably encounter soil contamination. Plus we dive into his research on soil lead contamination and what contamination levels look like across Cook County. 

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0:28 - Hey Ken! What type of soils are we dealing with at our homes? Could it be contaminated?
3:10 – Welcome Zack Grant! Zack’s Extension demo site SoSuCo (Southside Suburban Cook County). What type of soil does Zack grow in Cook County? 
8:44 – What is urban agriculture and what type of crops are grown in these environments?
11:04 - Getting to know SoSuCo. The different demonstration plots and seeing what Zack grows there.
17:56 – Zack’s vlog Urban Ag Connect and the challenges of trying to get research-based info out in the social media world.
20:58 – How do urban soils differ from other soils? What is the primary concern?
26:58 – What about arsenic in rural areas?
30:24 – Talking about on-site (in situ) remediation of cap and fill
31:44 – Bioremediation, does it work to use plants to remove heavy metals from soil?
33:43 – Talking about Zack's soil lead contamination project with Dr. Andrew Margenot. How they used a portable x-ray device to scan soils to determine chemical composition and contamination levels.
40:15 – Results of lead soil testing in Cook County. And what thresholds of lead are okay to work in?
44:09 – What are the risks when growing in contaminated soil? What are the pathways for exposure?
45:34 – What are best practices to minimize exposure?
46:22 – Are there other datasets for other soil contaminates?

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Is there lead in your soil? New Chicago-area map tells you

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