Free soil testing expands throughout Capital Regional District

April 12, 2018

Free soil testing has expanded to residents throughout the Capital Regional District through a continuing partnership between Royal Roads' Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program and the Compost Education Centre.

Applications to participate in the Healing City Soils project are open to urban agriculturalists and those aspiring to grow food on their property, boulevard or community plot in all municipalities within the Capital Regional District.

“With growing concerns over food security and food access, many people are turning to their own backyards and boulevards to grow food for their families,” says Marika Smith, soil ecologist and executive director of the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. “To establish a thriving and productive urban food garden, there is a need to know your soil before you grow your food.”

Urban soils can contain heavy metals or contaminants, which can turn up in produce. The goal of the project is to empower people to grow food safely and heal the soil with compost, plants and mushrooms. Test results from earlier phases of the project show soil from most backyard and community gardens in Victoria and Esquimalt pose no risk to human health.

Interested gardeners should apply soon as the expanded project is accepting only 100 applications in this phase.