Choosing land - ex banana plantation - possible Dieldrin residues - problem?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by futurefarmer, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. futurefarmer

    futurefarmer Junior Member

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    I'm looking to buy some land and every now and then I come across a property that looks very interesting, but has a history which includes commercial banana growing. One I'm looking at now for instance has a few fields which were used for such up until the mid 1990s.

    I'm yet to do some soil sampling to understand what levels of Organochlorides (most likely Diedrin) remain in the soil, but I'm wondering whether you folks would absolutely be avoiding such land altogether?

    I chatted to the district vet and he reckons that after this many years (a few decades) areas where banana crops were sprayed would be "fine" now, only concentrated areas like packing sheds and mixing sites would be a concern.
    I suspect if I did a soil sample it would come back under the Maximum Residue Limit.

    However,

    I want to raise my family on this land, and I want to plant food forests and raise livestock for food both for personal use and to sell.

    With this in mind, would most people simply avoid such land altogether, or if it is ideal in every other way would you still consider it if the residue levels came back "clear" after testing?
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    This thread may be relevant
    https://forums.permaculturenews.org...anana-Plantations&highlight=banana+plantation
    The half-life of dieldrin is said to be approximately 5 years, so it depends a bit on how much was used, how long ago.

    It may be difficult to avoid organoclorines altogether as they are ubiquitious on our planet
    Bioremediation may be an answer Check out articles like this
    https://www.agnet.org/library.php?func=view&id=20110804172301&type_id=4
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578846


    The reason Sydney Harbour is a no- fishing national park!
    https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2917562.htm
     
  3. futurefarmer

    futurefarmer Junior Member

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    Thanks Michaelangelica - I saw this thread but was hoping I might get some fresh discussion around my specific questions...I'd love to hear from the full gamut of the permaculture community :)
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    What does your local organic certification body say?
     
  5. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    That old thread always bothers me.

    I lived in Coffs on the southern-ish side of a hill opposite to aerial-sprayed banana farms and used to drink the creek water in times of drought. Hopefully the bush filtered the bad stuff before I ingested it.
     
  6. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day futurefarmer

    Welcome to the PRI Forum.

    As important as an assessment of potential soil contamination may be, I wonder if you have factored in all other opportunities and constraints into your property pre-purchasing agenda?

    Cheerio, Markos
     
  7. futurefarmer

    futurefarmer Junior Member

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    Thanks Markos, that's an excellent checklist.
     
  8. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Lots and lots and lots of compost, maintained at deep levels are good for breaking down chemicals. If you search on Bioremediation you might find some specifics, but I would put my money on compost, which ought to speed up that 5 year estimate.

    I'd be more interested to see if the water has been contaminated, not only by the plantation spraying, but by anything, even if it's bacteria. If you don't have year-round water, it doesn't really matter how contaminated the soul ....(hahahaha, good typo) ....soil is. :)
     

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