Wow so many great replies . I wish I knew how to quote the posts so I could reply to each , and thank you all.
Looks like first step will be to get some testing done (by an independent lab) soil samples , creek water samples, and we'll samples. Maybe also a radiation test to see if the nuke sites are giving the entire town cancer. ( I can't tell you how many people in Versailles have cancer , it's crazy)
There are a few other areas on the property, one where a neighbors lagoon overflows into a field , another around our lagoon, old burn sites. Property lines where neighbors spray herbicide etc. These are areas where I'd probably put in plant barriers , maybe clumping bamboo, willows , reeds, bio accumulators like you suggested. Also I've been a huge fan of Paul Stamets since highschool so if I get my mushroom farm going I could throw spent cakes and wood chips in these areas for myco filtration and remediation. Possibly use Korean Natural Farming or other bacteria, maybe probiotics or the kind made for septic tanks ..
As for the main dump I think I'll have to go and assess more. I hate going into this area , it feels so toxic and is heartbreaking for me to look at, but it's best to do it before mosquito season starts , they are really bad in this area. I'll pick through for metal and take what I can to scrap . Recycle bottles when I can ( I like old stuff so I may find some treasures as I get deeper. Once I've hauled off all the stuff that can be done by hand ( if any of it can be) I will look into renting a backhoe or something. Dig out the area . Then plant reeds and other filter plants in the creek where it goes down stream , maybe another up stream . On the banks I will plant some bamboo or other plants to soak up water and keep the soil in tact so it doesn't spread down stream. Fill in the pit with woody debris , and maybe oyster mushrooms on straw bails , and if I grow other mushrooms the spent logs or substrate could be added. I guess build a giant bio filter. I'll also out some fencing around the area to keep livestock out.
I'll also try and dig out old burn sites possibly. Maybe put in a concrete base and make a WOOD outdoor fireplace and not burn trash , or even a boggy pond with filter plants.. I just don't want water sitting and being contaminated, but I guess water could also be a medium for plants to remediate the area.
I just hate thinking of the entire farm probably having some level of plastic pollution , like little strings off feed bags or tarps , tiny bits of styrofoam, aluminum cans , rusty metal , cigarette butts. General trash being in the field of under them . Even worse of course would be to find out the water and soil have radioactive or chemical pollution that makes the whole farm unliveable. In that case I'd have to consider selling the farm my father was raised on. That would be devastating . If I didn't sell I'd have to give up all my hopes and dreams of turning it into a sustainable/regenerative working farm with livestock and food production and turn it into massive bioremediation project, possibly timber or nursery production I guess , or maybe just an ornamental landscape garden for human enjoyment and wildlife habitat .
Idk when we'll get the test done but hopefully sooner than later. I guess I'll start cleaning it up before then.
The worst part is my uncle who owns half the farm (and my dad owning the other half) ((btw this is a 50%share if the entire farm not like one owns field a and the other owns field b)) is still stuck in his own ways . Maybe even more stubborn now that he's in his final months or year of life. Just the other day he wanted me to go burn some fence row overgrowth, and he had trimmed some trees on a fence row and then used styrofoam and other trash to try and burn the brush pile. Watching the styrofoam melt into the field was infuriating. The other problem is he has 4 kids none of which want to farm so idk how this will be dealt with when he's no longer with us. He and my dad got into it over him wanting to brushing and cut trees in a field and my dad (who I've mostly converted to holistic grazing) said we didn't need to do that , and let the trees grow and mob graze the field. I thought there was going to be a fist fight. Cancer has a way of really messing with people and their families, everyone is on edge and depressed and scared and all these emotions. My uncle is also 8years younger than my dad , but he stayed in Versailles and my dad moved to KC . We always had a house in Versailles also , until my grandpa passed in 2008 . Since then we moved my grandma back into the house and we stay there. I studied sustainable ag two years in college and then dropped out . Since then off and on I've done a thing here or there but since the farm is owned by both my dad and uncle trying to get the farm going again has been almost impossible. My dad recently retired and I've managed to get him 80-90% there on sustainable regenerative farming. The two of us have been there since January working on the house for my grandma who had some falls and can't use the stairs anymore. It's a huge family mess. I know I'm not the only one who's had similar struggles. Not to mention in 2017 we moved in with my great uncle on my mom's side. He's 86 and never married, and has Parkinson's.(my mom's parents both died young so he's like my grandfather. ) So we moved in with him so he wouldn't have to go to a nursing home. He lives in KC 2.5 hours away from our farm . Trying to care for two elderly relatives , two houses , one with a farm , with a 2 and a half hour drive between them , plus the added stress of cancer , my dad being retired my mom still working (both are 60 years old) .. it's been so stressful.
And of course in addition to all this family stress , the stress of upkeep on two homes and all the renovations for each home , plus the floods we've had , and other minor disasters , and every other stress you could imagine.... We have a giant junk yard to deal with.
So in someways it doesn't seem important. But it still is important to me.
Wow , I apologise for going of script and dumping all this on you poor strangers of permies. This feels more like a diary entry than a forum post. I guess I needed to get some things off my chest. Thanks for listening.
Please feel free to ignore all that stuff and only reply to the threads topic of handling a junk like or other debris and toxic spots on a farm.
Also happy to discuss the stress of dealing with family on this issue and others. Or perhaps I should find a different place to make a thread for that.
One last thought .. balancing zero waste and toxicity and general junkyness. I've always been a scavenger who would find great things on the major trash days in the suburbs, ping-pong tables chairs etc. I love the Craigslist free section. But when you collect or save all these materials that may be useful someday , bottles , old scrap wood or metal , etc etc. When does the storage of these items become an eyesore , a toxic leeching rusting mess, a mosquito breeding ground , a junk pile. For example my dad got some old salvaged windows, he stripped the paint and sanded outside . I was very concerned that the paint was lead based, and it was sending it all over the farm . Am I too concerned with toxicity? I'm so afraid if lead , asbestos, even nano particles of plastic and heavy metals. Maybe I've become to afraid.
Sorry for the rant . I think that's it for now. Looking forward to all your thoughtful replies.