Urban gardeners who’d like to grow their own produce but are afraid of soil contaminants should check out the primer published by NOW, the Toronto alt weekly. The staff gives tips on where to find supplies that will measure the amount of lead in your soil and identifies which plants store the most and least amount of lead. Tomatoes, squash, and peppers do well, but root vegetables and greens might best be avoided if you live near a factory, whether it’s functioning or not. It’s also best to plant a diversity of crops for your soil’s pH and to wash your produce with dish soap before serving.
In a similar vein, the alt weekly Pittsburgh City Pages chronicles the first growing season of a fledgling organic farm 25 miles east of the Steel City. —Eric Kelsey