This house was built by a DIY'er in the 1960's. It's a funny little house. Low ceilings. But very sturdy although there are some oddities here and there. If you're over 5'5' better duck under the ceiling fans. Be careful not to bump your knees on the door knobs. (lol)
It looks like they used the land as a landfill for whatever they couldn't burn, like plastic, broken appliances and glass jars and bottles. A lot of beer bottles and whisky. Wherever I dig with a shovel I find plastic bags filled with crap. What a shame they couldn't see the value of the land for anything other than a land fill.
When I turned the earth in the garden area for the first time in 2017 it was overwhelming the amount of crap. I managed to pick most of it out. Everything and anything was under there if you can picture how this had gone on since 1960. There were no earthworms only red ants. I covered the area with cardboard and then leaves and grass clippings. The soil began to heal.
I will not have to turn the earth again. Just keep piling the leaves and grass clipping as the previous layers become composted and enrich the soil.
Already there are so many earthworms and the soil is black and rich. It's wonderful to see and that is just since 2017.
There were six old tires in the mess. Old tires are a problem for the soil. They are very slow to degrade. And when they do they leech out all sorts of nasty poisonous chemicals. That is why burning them is definitely a no-no. What to do? I mean how can they be used? Some people turn them into raised flower beds. But there is a lot of controversy about how healthy that might be for vegetables since the plants would absorb chemicals, like arsenic etc. I'm placing them on top of black plastic and then lining them with black plastic trash bags allowing for drainage holes in the bottom. They will need to be painted white otherwise they become like ovens.
I need raised beds for the sweet potatoes since they run wild all over the place and finding the potatoes is a major project in the fall. I had to dig through as least 500 sq ft to find them. They don't need so many vines everywhere and the vine and leaves can be harvested through the summer. The leaves are a great subji and the stems and vine can be juiced and made into a fantastic soup.
The bags themselves aren't the most desirable way to do this but better than the tires. Next year I will make some traditional raised beds. And bring the tires to the recycle center and let them deal with it.
I might change my mind about this project if I feel too uncomfortable that this is taking an unnecessary risk. I'll do some more research.