The soil test results arrived last week, from Dr. Joshua Cheng of the Environmental Sciences Analytical Center. There sitting innocuously in my inbox, a report with the deadening news the garden has lead. That is, a lot of lead. 606 ppm.
I wrote back, “I have been eating from this soil all summer—can you give any further recommendations?”
Not only have I been eating from this soil, I have been walking in it barefoot, scraping it from under my fingernails, and generally inhaling it day in and out. In my blissful oblivion, I thought the only question about soil was how well it grew stuff. But all the years of lead-based gasoline are living in my backyard, like some gruesome fossil record.
It cost $10 to test the soil, and I can’t test my blood as I don’t currently have insurance. Capitalisme.