VegeSafe

VegeSafe is run by Macquarie University and provides FREE soil metal testing to all Australian residents. If you have a vegetable patch or are concerned about metal contamination in your backyard, you are encouraged to participate.

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Professor Mark Taylor & PhD Candidate Marek Rouillon presenting their latest findings

VegeSafe is a community focused program and seeks to inform people about metals in their garden soils, by providing free soil analysis for domestic and community garden soils. Participants receive a formal report and links to information and advice about “what to do next” in the event of soils containing elevated concentrations of metals and metalloids.

We’ve been informed by Professor Taylor that if there is enough interest it is possible for the VegeSafe team to come to Stroud. Reply to this post if you are interested.

VegeSafe Consent Form:

Please print out and complete the following consent form
research.science.mq.edu.au/VegeSafe/VegeSafeConsentForm.pdf

Sample locations at your property:

We would like you to take 5 samples from 3 sites in your garden area. Collect the soils when dry if you can. This will help us speed up the analysis on the day.

  • Site 1: Identify 3 places for soil sampling either where you already have vegetable beds or where you plan to start your veggie patch.
  • Site 2: Identify a sample site in the front garden or if you don’t have a front garden, a site on or adjacent to the roadside verge.
  • Site 3: Identify a sample site below the drip line of your gutter, close to your house.

How to sample and store your soil sample:

  1. At each site, use the trowel or scoop to take soil from the top 2 cm of the sampled area, i.e. the surface soil. If there is grass or other vegetation cover, you will need to remove it and take the soil from underneath.
  2. Collect about a cricket ball size amount of soil (more is better than less) from an area of 30 x 30cm, or up to one meter squared if required.
  3. Put the soil sample in a ziplock bag and seal it. Don’t worry about grass or sticks or rocks—we will remove these when we prepare the soil for testing.
  4. Label the ziplock bags with a permanent marker and include;
    • The site location – ie; front yard, back yard, north paddock etc
    • Brief description
    • The date the sample was collected
    • The address and the postcode
    • Then put the bagged sample inside another ziplock bag – this protects the label and helps protect against leakage if the inner bags splits.
  5. Labeling – make sure the label makes sense to you so you can explain it to us when we receive your sample e.g. veggie patch sample 1; veggie patch sample 2, front yard soil; dripline soil north side of house, etc.

Post your samples to:

Marek Rouillon
Office E7A 831
Macquarie University NSW 2109
Australia

Prof. Mark Taylor
Office E7A 631
Macquarie University NSW 2109
Australia

For more information http://research.science.mq.edu.au/vegesafe

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