What happens to toxins in compost and soil?

Question: What happens to toxins in soil? More specifically, when I compost my banana peel, I know there is a small amount of Thiabendazole, Imazalil, Azoxystrobin, Myclobutanil, and probably a half dozen other pesticide/fungicides on it. I have to imagine that these end up in the soil. Photo by szczel (www.flickr.com) Do these things break … Continue reading What happens to toxins in compost and soil?

Do soil bacteria cause produce recalls?

Question: When there is a produce recall, e.g., because of Salmonella on cucumbers or E. coli on tomatoes, do these pathogens come from soil? This is an extremely difficult question to answer, as each food contamination event is unique. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) most food contamination events (91%) are … Continue reading Do soil bacteria cause produce recalls?

What do mulches do?

Question: I’ve heard that mulches can improve water quality—is there a connection? Aren’t they just for landscaping? Photo by Susan V. Fisk Landscape mulches come in wide arrays of colors and textures. Pine straw is common in some areas, shredded hardwood bark in others. Mulches can even be cocoa hulls or gravel. They help conserve … Continue reading What do mulches do?