freetown fred wrote:For myself, I use a hand held grass seeder & spread around 2 gallons of coal ash on my garden before tilling it up. My garden is around 25X30--I've had a good crop for the past 6 yrs. Probably better then before putting a mild ash mix in it. No adverse effects. Coal comes from our Mother Earth, hence to be returned to same in moderation. For the record--if we look hard enough, we tend to find one link/study that agrees with our preconceived notions.
One positive thing you have introduced is explicit fairly careful moderation. If you also know where your anthracite came from, that adds a level of comfort.
I never know where my anthracite came from, PA yes but the quality (composition) of anthracite varies dramatically, even in PA as one moves west.
By far, the most publicized concerns over coal refer to bituminous coal.
These are both anthracite coal (not from NE PA)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ibbenbueren_Anthracite.JPG
(Germany and visually resembles NE PA coal)
and the VERY differenthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anthracite_coal_%28Photo_by_John_Mortimore%29.jpg
I previously stated I once received a lot (only marked as from PA) that was very different than I normally get. Thus I can't trust what I will receive.
The only statement you made in this post I take issue with is "Coal comes from our Mother Earth, hence to be returned to same in moderation." That doesn't make sense, physically and chemically bonded coal came from the earth, you are returning free ash, not coal. Yes, most indigenous soil has both, but does one intentionally wish to increase the level? Levels stated in anthracite don't state the levels in the remaining ash. Safe levels stated in previous posts refer to safety just by soil contact. They state nothing about inhalation or ingestion of produce. I know inhalation of fly ash really irritates my lungs thus wear a dust mask when using it. Also, ash is acidic which increases plant absorption of metals and minerals.
If my supply had a stated amount of impurities, I might feel differently.