Is a garden near roads/toxic areas better than no garden at all?
I've been thinking about this today as I watch TED talk videos like this one: http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_centr al_la.html
While I DO think that gardening near toxic areas is likely better than none at all, what exactly is the danger? How much should we consider exactly where we put urban/community gardens? Is an edible plant exposed to toxic materials better than no plant at all?
Obviously, the basic nutrients will be stronger than those of, say, the tiny piece of lettuce on a fast food burger...but how much does toxicity really affect plants and the people who eat them?
I am asking this question on a few forums (Vegetable Gardening and Community Gardening) because I'm very interested in the conversation AND how we can protect plants from toxicity but still be able to plant them in toxic areas?
There are so many community gardens in urban areas that are beside roads, railroads, etc. But maybe the pollution from that urban area would leach into the plants regardless of the garden's location because of the amount of pollution in the are.
What do you all think about this? Do you have community gardens in your area? Have you been concerned about this?
I started a community garden at my apartment complex this year, and the landlord provided the soil and bed...but it was railroad ties (and I was not asked if it was okay to use these). While we have been eating the food produced from this garden...I sometimes worry about how much creosote has leached into my plants...