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Safety Question

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Safety Question

Post  CapeCoddess on Sun 20 May 2012, 7:21 pm

I’m using large not very old discarded kitchen cabinets for my SFG. The 5 cabinets
are 12 inches high, and I find I love the height. I drilled holes in the backs which became the bottoms, and filled them with sticks, leaves, seaweed, then 6 inches of Mel's old recipe from the old book before I bought the new book.

Being a newbie to veggie growing, I planted seeds too early, didn't see anything happening, so planted over them, thought I'd remember the 2nd
plantings but don't. Now both the first plantings and the 2nd plantings are growing and it's a menagerie out there.

But so far what has sprouted are romaine, buttercrunch, kale (I keep eating it so it never gets very big), nasturtiums, beets, cabbage, swiss chard, carrots, radishes (3rd batch), onions, sugar snap peas, cucs, spinach & bush beans. (The tomatoes, zucchini, spag squash and strawberries are in a different area.)

My question is this: Even though it's too late now, I keep wondering if the laminate that the cabinets are made of is safe for growing vegetables in? I figured since laminate is used around food already it would be OK. What do you think?
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Re: Safety Question

Post  Turan on Sun 20 May 2012, 7:49 pm

I don't really know, never worried about that before. My oldest bed (10+ years) is an old book case of laminate laying on its back with out shelves. I raise mostly lettuce in it because it is so handy early in the spring.
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Re: Safety Question

Post  CapeCoddess on Sun 20 May 2012, 7:57 pm

TEN YEARS??? And you're still alive. Laughing Thanks for telling me about this!
I was thinking I'd get about 2 yrs out of these cabinets before they fall apart. Ten yrs would be fantastic! *crossing my fingers*
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Re: Safety Question

Post  GWN on Sun 20 May 2012, 8:55 pm

If you have concerns, you can always line the cupboard with plastic.
But really the fact that Turan is still alive, really should be proof that they are safe Smile
You seem to have a beautiful garden and things are really thriving. welcome
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Re: Safety Question

Post  CapeCoddess on Sun 20 May 2012, 9:13 pm

Thanks for the welcome, GWN! I just arrived to the forum and I'm hooked...it's already past my bedtime. Shocked

I think mid March planting may have been too early here...not sure. But probably some of these veggies survived because before planting I placed a window over the boxes to heat up the soil faster. I also used the window on frosty days like a cold frame, and whenever it got too cold at night I threw on some tarps. What a mess it was! I'll see if I can find a photo...
Here's one on a frosty night back when it was only 3 boxes. I used window, tarps, drywall, cupboard doors...what ever I could find to keep those babies safe...oiy...
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Re: Safety Question

Post  GWN on Sun 20 May 2012, 9:23 pm

I used window, tarps, drywall, cupboard doors...what ever I could find to keep those babies safe...oiy...
lol
that is what I love about all of this stuff.
There are so many ways to "improvise"
Improvising is fun.

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Re: Safety Question

Post  acara on Mon 21 May 2012, 8:45 am

I wouldn't worry about it .. your veggies wont be ready to eat for another 77 years, so if your still around at that point, a couple leeching chemicals probably arent going to be your primary concern Very Happy

looks at yr 1st picture date ...LOL
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Re: Safety Question

Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 21 May 2012, 1:10 pm

Took me a minute to figure out why it takes 77 yrs. Laughing Stupid camera. It only did that yesterday for about 5 photos then went back to normal.
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CapeCoddess

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Re: Safety Question

Post  acara on Mon 21 May 2012, 1:58 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Took me a minute to figure out why it takes 77 yrs. Laughing Stupid camera. It only did that yesterday for about 5 photos then went back to normal.



Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy



In all seriousness..... and completely an opinion based in ignorance & ambivalence.....

With what your growing & how short of a time it will be in the ground .... it probably wont matter.

...and it's probably no better/worse that whatever your neighbor sprayed on their yard, that drifted over on the wind



... and its' certainly got to be better that whatever comes on grocery store produce Razz



There's no right/wrong ...just whatever level of effort/concern you feel is appropriate for you and your family.
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Re: Safety Question

Post  Triciasgarden on Mon 21 May 2012, 8:35 pm

Ok, this is just my opinion and I am not a scientist or an expert gardener either. Your plants look absolutely wonderful, btw! I do have a concern about the finish on your cabinets. I would suggest that when you finish growing your garden this year that you empty it out and sand that finish off. Then for next year start with new soil or leave the soil that is closest to the wood (and chemicals) and dump it out, saving the soil that is in the middle.

As my wise mother-in-law would say: "Its just my opinion, you don't have to do it."

I think using the cupboards is an amazing idea and looks wonderful! The chemicals leaching into the soil does cause me some concern though.
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Re: Safety Question

Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 21 May 2012, 9:08 pm

Tricia, your post echoed my own original thoughts about these cabinets. So I finally did what I should have done last year before starting this project...I researched it online! I found out that particle board and the glue that is used seems to be more of a concern that the laminate. At safechild dot org I found this:

Should I seal my particle board cabinets?



QUESTION:
Our home has a lot of particle board cabinets with white laminate. Is
there something non toxic I could use to seal it and prevent glue
molecules from leaching into the air?

ANSWER:
I don't think it's necessary to seal your cabinets. If laminate is
covering the particleboard, I don't think formaldehyde will go through
the laminate. Nor would glue molecules leach through laminate. If you do
have any exposed particleboard, AFM Enterprises makes a product called
Safe Seal that will block emissions from particleboard.

Debra



This answer was provided by our friend, Debra Lynn Dadd,
Hailed as "The Queen of Green" by the New York Times, Debra Lynn Dadd
has been a pioneering consumer advocate since 1982, specializing in
products and lifestyle choices that are safer for human health and the
environment. She is the author of Home Safe Home.


CC here...now whether or not this means it's safe to grow in I don't know for sure. But if the laminate keeps the toxins from leaching out into the air, I'm thinking it could keep them from leaking into the soil too. So I'm feeling better about it for now...until I hear otherwise.
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Re: Safety Question

Post  Rob C on Tue 22 May 2012, 9:40 am

I don't think the laminate leaching would be a concern. Particleboard is basically sawdust and glue hot-pressed together. Depending on where it was manufactured, there could be some nasty stuff in the glue.
The main issue you will have with the particleboard is if gets wet, it will swell up like a sponge and your cabinets will self destruct over time.
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