Thursday, June 04, 2009

Salting The Earth

I noticed something the other day.

Nothing was growing on the numerous vacant lots in my neighborhood.

Not a weed, not a blade of grass---absolutely nothing was green.

And when I say nothing was green, the grass had been cut a few weeks ago and the remaining stubble was brown.

On its face and in the short term, that might be seen as a good thing. But natural things just don’t stop growing for no reason.

They definitely don’t all stop growing only on the vacant lots in Woodlawn at the same time.

Is it possible to save money on labor, gas and the wear and tear of equipment that the city may have literally salted the earth?

While I hate weeds and overgrown lots, the possibility that some type of chemical was applied to the ground makes me incredibly uneasy.

If this is what’s going on is this a new city policy? Is it safe for the ground and the water table? Hell, are we even by the water table?

What happens if a (reputable) developer someday builds on those vacant lots? If a chemical was applied will it retard any other vegetation growing?

Could you dig and put in a vegetable garden?

Note: Due to the high concentrations of lead paint in older buildings, it’s normally recommended to not use the grounds around the site of an older building or former building for vegetable planting.

I just find it extremely odd and the timing too close to be a coincidence.

Has anyone else noticed new “brown fields” popping up on city owned or vacant lots in their ‘hood?

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