Gardening Matters will have on-site soil screening available to analyze soil samples from the public at our North Minneapolis Plant and Seed Distribution Event on Saturday, May 14th 11:00am-2:00pm. As part of the Soil Kitchen-Twin Cities project, faculty and students from the UMN Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate are bringing equipment that will screen soil samples brought to the event for lead, pH, and texture. Interpretation of the results will be available at the end of the fair. We have room for 60 samples to be analyzed on site. Sign up now!
In addition to soil lead screening, the Sustainable Resources Center will be on-site during the event providing lead education and outreach as well as free on-site lead screening by a Registered Nurse for children under the age of 6 and pregnant mothers (no sign up required).
If you'd like to screen your soil in St. Paul, visit Frogtown Farm's site for more information!
In order to take advantage of this opportunity, please bring a dry, composite sample from your prospective or existing garden space in an open, Ziploc bag to the event (see diagram). The analysis requires a sample of 2 cups of soil or more and should be taken within the week prior to the testing date.
Here are the steps to follow in taking your soils sample:
- Choose 3-5 locations scattered within your area of interest (i.e. front lawn, back lawn, vegetable garden). Composite samples can be taken from garden spaces/growing spaces. If you want to do lead screening specifically around past or current buildings, or where cars were parked, then consider bringing a separate composite sample for that.
- Remove grass, weeds, leaves from the surface
- Use a clean trowel or shovel, and a clean bucket
- Dig down 3-4” at each of the locations and put the soil in the bucket
- Mix the samples in the bucket, remove rocks and let dry
- Put 2 cups of your mixed soil sample into a plastic bag. Bring your sample and if you are submitting more than one sample you may use a code to identify each sample for your own information. Multiple samples will be accommodated if space and time allows.
Bring it to the North Minneapolis Plant and Seed Distribution event on May 14th from 11-2 and learn about your soil! Sign up for a spot here!