The historic old homes in and around Dungog could have left more of the past for their present day owners than just beautiful facades.
When Ruth Dircks of Lord Street had her garden soil tested she was not surprised to find lead present.
“I was watching the ABC’s Gardening Australia show when I saw that Macquarie University does testing on soil so I sent off some samples and got a written report back,” she said.
“I have been advised it is not wise for me to eat the leafy or root vegetables I grow in the garden but the tomatoes, capsicums and pumpkins are fine.”
I have been advised it is not wise for me to eat the leafy or root vegetables I grow in the garden."- Dungog resident Ruth Dircks
With the increase in home gardening Mrs Dircks said it was something people living in older homes, which would have at one stage been painted with lead paint, needed to consider. She established her extensive garden from a bare paddock in 1999 and now armed with the information on her soil continues to grow suitable vegetables.
VegeSafe is a community science participation program run by Environmental Science staff at Macquarie University. According to the University, metal contaminants can remain in soil for hundreds of years. The program aims to inform people of potential risks of soil contamination and what they can do to reduce these risks to continue to enjoy their gardens.
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