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Cleaning wasteland

 
Posts: 2
Location: Campbell Hall, NY
forest garden books urban
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What’s going on everybody? I live about 50 miles north west of NYC in a small town named Campbell Hall. I purchased a house on 6.5 acres and recently purchased another 7 acres adjoining my property.  Of those 7 acres 6 are woodlands and 1 is considered wet and waste land.  There is about 140 feet of railroad track that runs along it.  They must have dumped oil or something along the track in the past because if you step in the mud you see a faint oil slick in the puddle.  Does anybody know of any trees or plants that will help extract the oil from the ground?  If not any solutions?
 
garden master
Posts: 3533
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Hi Bill! Welcome to permies!

From this video, some possible organisms that could be used include:
-Oyster mushrooms
-Sunflowers
-Tobacco
-Bonfire moss
-Alpine Pennycress



Some other plant species for phytoremediation would be:
-Indian mustard
-Indian Grass

Some tree species for phytoremediation include:
-poplar
-willow
-eucalyptus
-mulberries
 
pollinator
Posts: 941
Location: Victoria BC
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Welcome to permies, and congrats on the new land!

It's possible for 'oil slicks' to be caused by bacteria, rather than actual oil. The location is suspicious, but one can hope...

As the below link describes, the way to distinguish is by disturbing the sheen; true oil should recoalesce smoothly, while bacterial residue will not.

http://www.loyno.edu/lucec/natural-history-writings/rainbow-sheens-woods
 
Bill Kramer
Posts: 2
Location: Campbell Hall, NY
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Dave thank you for the list and the informative video.  I will see what can work in that area.  Dillon I am hoping for the best.  I will go back there in a few days take some pictures and gather soil and water to be tested.  Results will be posted.  
 
Dave Burton
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You're welcome, Bill! I look forward to watching your updates! I think it is admirable the awesome feat that you taking on!
 
gardener
Posts: 5946
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Bill, I think Dave has given simply awesome suggestions for remediation of "railroad land".

Odds are that the oil slicks are diesel fuel from leaking fuel tanks on locomotives (I've witnessed it literally pouring out of some both in the yards and because of derailments).
First thing to do would be to get the fungi growing, (there are specific "oil eating" bacteria that are used for major spills, I'll see if I can get you some info on which and how much they would cost if you like).

Redhawk
 
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