• long running

Free Soil Testing (Postage Payment Required) @ Macquarie University

1810

Given some of us may have started veggie patches in our backyards to pass some time during COVID, it’s good to have the peace of mind that the soil we’re growing it on is healthy soil and low on lead and other toxins.

Send your soil samples in (pay the cost of postage), and have your soil tested for free. Results will be sent to your email within 3-5 weeks.

From the website description:

The VegeSafe program began in September of 2013 at Macquarie University’s Open Day event, where we offered free soil metal testing to attendees. Since then, we have analysed over 15,000 soil samples from 3,200 Australian homes.

In order to keep the program running and accessible to all, the VegeSafe program needs your support. We ask that you consider making a small donation to cover the costs of the soil analysis, time involved, and laboratory consumables. Donations of $20 (or more!) can cover the cost for up to five samples submitted for testing. To donate, click here: Support VegeSafe https://secureau.imodules.com/s/1404/afc/event.aspx?sid=1404...

If you have a vegetable patch or are concerned about metal contamination in your backyard, we encourage you to participate. Follow these three easy steps:

Step 1: Complete the necessary VegeSafe
Consent Form https://research.science.mq.edu.au/files/file/VegeSafe/Conse...

Step 2: Collect your soil samples by following our Soil Sampling Instructions https://research.science.mq.edu.au/files/file/VegeSafe/VegeS...

You can also watch our brief sample collection video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vYDWcvbxXg

Step 3: Together with the completed Consent form, send in your soil samples to:

VegeSafe
Professor Mark Taylor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Macquarie University
NSW 2109 Australia

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Comments

  • +45 votes

    Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.

    • +10 votes

      not unless you plan on living in a beanstalk

      •  

        What if you have a wife you want to keep in a pumpkin shell?

        • +1 vote

          let's get married and find out

  • +6 votes

    Perfect, need to have the right soil for the weed!

    • +10 votes

      I’m interested to know if you grow
      Cheers,
      Detective Kimble

      • +2 votes

        Detective Kimble, do you love your car?

      • +1 vote

        My garden is full of weeds.

  • +11 votes

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/the-melbourne-su...
    literally just read this on the news that a lot of old area has high lead due to the paint used on the external walls

    • +7 votes

      Don’t forget the exhaust fumes from all of the leaded petrol.

      •  

        Free Benzos? Woot.

        But seriously the benzene in the air causes blood cancers. We quickly get used to it in city air, and as much as we might like to offset this by the high it gives (An OzBargainer has to consider every possible form of value), the reality might well be that more people die from pollution than from SARS-Cov-2 each day :-(

  • +1 vote

    My Covid garden is on the balcony, so I assume all the store bought soil is safe and I shouldn't check right?

    • +2 votes

      That's right.

    • +3 votes

      Anytime you bring in outside materials you risk contamination.

      toxic compost

      Not lead but other chemicals

      • +6 votes

        Some use Green Waste. God knows what people throw in their green bins…

    •  

      Probably fine, but a lot of lead contamination in gardens is from exterior paint containing lead (on older buildings). So it could potentially build up.

  •  

    Cheers mate good one

  • +9 votes

    Professor Mark Taylor

    Thanks OP, can't let this deal go through to the keeper!

    • +2 votes

      This offer valid for only the first 334 samples sent through.

    •  

      I declare that Macquarie University have opened up a really good deal here

  • +4 votes

    Mine will be clay and top soil mix with a hint of dog poo

    •  

      im sure they will appreciate the variety

  • +1 vote

    Everyone knows all you need is a bit of plutonium to make things grow real big, real fast …

    • +7 votes

      Mmmm… Tomacco! Refreshingly addictive.

  • +5 votes

    this is also a noteworthy issue

    Hundreds of Victorian home gardeners angry and out of pocket after using toxic compost from major recycler Suez
    - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-14/toxic-garden-compost-...

    Recycler Suez says herbicides in contaminated compost came from Melbourne council waste
    - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-21/suez-herbicides-conta...

  • +2 votes

    gee, why don' they have a similar cheap service in QLD?? i want to test the soil in my property. i investigated this a while back but it costs $$$$

    unfortunately it is illegal to send soil from QLD to NSW :(

    •  

      lol ship to me and i will send it in for you

  • +1 vote

    This is a brilliant initiative.
    I remember trying to tell my neighbor that 80 years of lead paint sanding would have to have an effect on his soil and getting nowhere with him.
    I am glad this knowledge is becoming more widely known

  • +3 votes

    They also have a service for testing of vacuum dust samples for harmful contaminants which doesn't appear to cost anything besides postage either.

  •  

    Thanks for sharing!

  •  

    how much is postage just out of curiosity?

    •  

      Don't ask us, Ask you local Post Office.

    • +1 vote

      $9 give or take from NSW .

  • +1 vote

    I just tested my soil.. tasted bad needs more soy sauce.

  •  

    the real question is it cheaper to grow your own food or is it cheaper overall to let the mass producers just do what they are good at?

    I figure with the time invested and money spent on soil, the pots, the plants, the beds, ingredients etc you end up paying 10x more so this is more of just a hobby wholesome good nature thing or maybe something to bond with over with the the grandkids right and not a frugal save money thing or am I missing something here.

    •  

      Its rarely cheaper but more about knowing you grew it yourself. Herbs are often cheaper as they can be expensive to buy by the bunch and often get wasted. if you only need a handful, having your own allows you to pick only what you need.

      •  

        I see.

        Yes when I looked into it for money saving opportunities I could not see how you would save money from having a garden so I assumed people with gardens then only did it as a hobby and bonding opportunity rather than money saving convenience.

        It is nice to know you grew it that is for sure but honestly in my area I am afraid I would have to heavily invest in anti possum, anti bird and anti rodent safety measures which have already been a pain on the house already so I went against it.

        But maybe a nice coriander pot would be fine.

        I can live without most of the other herbs but coriander I find adds a nice touch to most dishes.

        •  

          Basil is another good one especially Thai Basil which can be hard to get and expensive. A nice Lime tree would be nice as they are expensive to buy individually…….and so on.

          •  

            @Borg: As long as your garden isn't infested with pests. I know of a Kaffir Lime Tree that did nothing over five years because it was continually infested, despite the efforts of the owner.

    •  

      Relatives as gardeners tell me its cheaper to buy food. Mass production has excelled at providing cheaper food, smaller producers who can't compete tend to get squeezed out.

      Gardening is a hobby.

      •  

        This is what I thought.

        So if you know a gardener then they are already well off or they just really like the hobby or both.

    •  

      Pros of self gardening:

      • Can be very low cost; I don't buy organic soil; I make it from browns (free leaves from parks in autumn and newspaper) and greens (kitchen scraps, prunings, lawn clippings).; many seeds and cuttings can get free/swap; seeds are dirt cheap (bit over $1 can get you a 1000 rocket seeds!). You can even get free mulch from arborists.

      • If you're whole food plant based (that is, don't eat processed crap), it's a cheap way of getting a lot of greens in your diet.

      • Fruit trees are free and you might feed it by peeing around it or throwing coffee grounds/lawn clippings once in a while.

      • Relaxing, sunshine, fresh air, benefits of micro-organisms in the soil; walk bare feet in warmer months.


      Having said that, I happen to live near a big green grocer and other grocers who sell very cheap veg depending on season/weekly special, so I couldn't compete against them if I had to sell my produce for what they sold, but I take the opportunity to buy cheap fruit and veg to supplement my diet.

  •  

    Been meaning to grown my own ginger, the price is ridiculous these days.