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Pressure treated wood & kiwi vines.

  • Subject: [cg] Pressure treated wood & kiwi vines.
  • From: "Sean C. Gambrel" scg@ceimaine.org
  • Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 16:55:04 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

Hello once again all.

Things are coming along nicely with the Bath Community Garden, though we are
still wrestling with the groundhog issue - a fence is too expensive for us
at this point, and we're worried we may outgrow our boundaries...  We also
believe we may have two groundhogs on the property, one being a very
pregnant female (we think), so extermination is not as appealing as it once
was - though it never really was in the first place.  So we continue to work
with that, to what end, I'm still not sure.  But thanks for all the advice
on the issue...

The latest issue is that of pressure-treated lumber.  I know this has been
an issue of discussion in the past and again lately, but I couldn't find
anything in hte archives dealing with my specific questions.  So, PT lumber
is all we can get donated, and in my opinion is probably OK (though
obviously not most-desirable) for things like the toolshed, which we want to
be long-lasting but cheap, and that don't come in direct contact with the
veggies.  A friendly co-worker has donated three mature kiwi vines (the
hardy variety) to help us screen the "Water buffalo" trailer-tank theat
we'll be using for water, and we're hoping to support these vines on a
wooden T-shaped trellis of sorts, using what lumber has been donated - all
is pressure-treated.  At first I wasn't too concerned about people being in
much contact with the wood, and I liked the idea that the trellis would last
as long as the vines (which can fruit for up to 40 years).  But I am worried
about the fruit being in direct contact with the lumber and also worried
about toxic stuff leaching through the soil into the roots of the vine,
because two of the vines will be planted within a foot of each support.

I'm hoping that gardeners and kids will pick fruit from the vines and enjoy
them while in the garden, but I don't want them eating tainted kiwi!
Anybody know the liklihood of the nasty stuff leaching through the soil and
being taken up into the plant via its roots?  Anybody know if the fruit (you
eat these smaller, non-fuzzy kiwis whole, like a grape) that is in contact
with this wood would retain any toxins?  Or can I just warn folks to wash
the fruit before they eat it?

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.  Myself and the many residents of Bath
all thank you!

Sean Gambrel
AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
P.O. Box 268
Wiscasset, ME  04578
(207) 882-7552 ext. 185

CEI's mission is to help people and communities,
especially those with low incomes, reach an adequate
and equitable standard of living, working and learning,
in harmony with the natural environment.

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