Planning a forest garden/urban farm in Greensboro NC. Soil had been tested previously, reported to be clear of heavy metals, and more samples have recently been pulled for further testing. Coal bits can be visiblly seen on the surface and just below the surface in certain areas of the 1.16 acre ( half a hectare) property. We were unsure if the spot was a a coal depot or dump (as in for old coal ash from the cities homes) but with the limited soil tests showing that no heavy metals were found we now think it was depot, especially since the property sits next to the railroad tracks.
So we now think that we are dealing with unburned coal from the late 19thcentury to early 20th, meaning it is simply anthracite, or hunks of carbon. We have several ideas on what to do with this product as it may be useful. We are planning on importing several tons of compost, but unsure if we should layer the compost on top of the coal areas of remove the soil laden with coal and reserve it as some sort of amendment.
Any thoughts would be helpful.
K. David Myers