on its own it is unlikely to last more than 2 seasons before it breaks down and won't really hold any appreciable amount of water in the soil.
I'll add my experience of using newspaper here. When I was planting the tree field I tried to mulch around the new trees with newspaper covered with haylage. It was partially successful, but I was short on haylage, so I have acquired piles of newspapers in various places. These aren't buried, although they get grown over by the creeping grass. Even after 5 years you can split the newspapers and read them, although degraded at the edges and weathered on the exposed surfaces, they are surprisingly durable. I'm now using them as path substrates, covered with wood chippings. I even wonder whether they have been treated with an anti fungal agent, although they do grow some sort of fungal growth after a while, and I can't see why they would bother for short term media like that.
That's very interesting Nancy, and obviously not what I'd expect. Did those newspapers get irrigation over the top at all? And how wet is your environment? Now I want to bury a newspaper just to see what it does!
But really my thoughts came from a garden where I laid newspaper down and then covered with woodchips for paths and even after one season they were very much disintegrated. That was a place in Michigan with ample water
Putting aside issues of what sort of toxic gick might be contained in any random books, the biggest short.coming that books (or cardboard, school notes, packaging material, etc...) have for replacing wood is that they won't last.nearly as long or soak up nearly as much water as true, full, logs and branches. That kind of material could be appropriate to use as filler.between the bulky wood pieces but on its own it is unlikely to last more than 2 seasons before it breaks down and won't really hold any appreciable amount of water in the soil.
William Bronson wrote: We just started a huge pot of bone broth, I'm hoping to get plenty of softened bone from the process.
Does anyone know if it will still have phosphorus in it?
My understanding is that the physical matrix of bones is comprised mainly of calcium and phosphorus. I know that the point of bone broth is to extract the minerals, but I'd suspect that what's left is still fairly high in phos.
Elle, I know you've talked about trying lots of different things so perhaps you've gone this route before, but if I'm look king at investing money into a garden I'm looking at investing in high quality innoculants. That might mean investing in commercial products from reputable companies or it might mean investing in the equipment and inputs to make your own high quality biologicals. The combo of organic matter and robust soil biology seems to be the way forward with heavy clay soils. I've seen annual gains of 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch into solid red clay at the border of engineered soil holes that were juiced regularly with compost teas. The hard red clay would turn into a light brown, very crumbly texture.
Just donated. I'm really excited about this book. Plan to donate one of the physical copies to the library of the home school collective we are building out. The kids are all youngsters now but my dream is that they will be well on their way through this program by graduation and hopefully teach some of their wayward parents a thing or two along the way as well
I'm experimenting with including these biodegradable plastics in my home.composting that starts with bokashi. So far i haven't seen anything really break down much. Although take out beverage lid does.seem to have begun the process. Its gotten very.brittle and shattered up and the small pieces can't all be accounted for.
I also have , some thin film plastic from a local bakery that is supposed to be biodegradable and that has shown some signs of starting to host biology on it so im hopeful. The plastic silverware looks unchanged other than being dirty
Ah ya if they're some kind of metal it probably isn't worth the hassle of cutting more holes. The worms and other soil life should do the work. I don't think some fresher wood would hurt but as long as you pack it well so that the settling is more gradual I don't see any real major problems. It sounds like it will make a great garden for people that don't do well with bending over. Definitely try to share some pictures, I'd love to see the process and how they turn out
I'll be very curious to see how those play out. I don't know that I've ever seen such a tall, narrow raised bed. The only issue that pops out to me is to make sure that all the woody layers are packed well with clay/food scraps filling in major air holes. I could imagine settling/decomposition of the wood causing some serious internal collapse mid season if there's not a good amount of support that wont be decomposing.
How the water behaves will depend on the type of pipe you use and the volume of water. It sounds like you are planning to have a fairly passive trickle running into a pipe with holes drilled in it? In that scenario I would expect that most of the liquid would seep through the first holes. If it was pumped out in a greater volume then the liquid would flow out through the holes at lower elevation faster than those at higher elevations. I would think that having zones would give you more control, especially if you use a pump to move the liquid
I would be in the camp of not using it personally. However, what to do with it is a conundrum. Selling it or giving it away just ensures that it will.be put into the environment in a likely harmful way (and depending on your world view, may make you complicit in that harm). Throwing it away just compounds the environmental harm done in its creation.
This is what I would do. Use it on ornamental plants in containers and eliminate/minimize run off from those containers. Then make compost out of those ornamentals. If you wanted to make use of it quickly you could set up some large containers and use the miracle grow to produce fast growing cover crop type stuff to use for a big compost pile.
Phil Grady wrote:the only thing you can do is get a vet to check it out.
and if you know who's dog it was give them the vet bill.
Its a weird situation, they're not my goats and I don't have a reliable way to get a hold of the owner. They belong to the neighbor of the farm I work at, but he's rarely around it seems and these goats.have been getting sporadic care for at least a few years now. I'm open to doing a little to help the poor little goat but I've been really not wanting these.goats to become my problem at all.
There are some goats that.get largely neglected next door to me. The doe recently had twin kids. 2 days ago someone's dog got into the pen and attacked one of the kids, they were maybe a week old at the time. The kid was laying down and trembling and slobbery but there were no puncture wounds apparent and it didn't seem like any bones or areas of the body were super sensitive as I examined it. I also have no idea about animals and was being extremely gentle.
Today (2 days later) the kid is walking around gingerly and has a badly swollen right shoulder/neck. Its not a happy camper and seems super low energy. Any help is appreciated.
It sounds like you've got a solid plan for micro composting. I would encourage you to look at adding a bokashi fermentation step before kitchen waste goes into the worm area. From what I've seen, the fermented food scraps are highly prized by worms and are absolutely attacked and devoured. Much faster than my old dedicated worm bin for dealing with kitchen scraps.
Sounds like you are already most ng this direction, but I'd recommend subsoiler/chisel plow. On contour if you can swing it. If not, just ripping along between the rows at least once a year to get good channels for air and water and let your microbial allies start to convert that clay into soil.
All the other stuff too, with thoughtful cover and mushroom inoculation
Sorry to hear about your herbicide issue, that's a real bummer. Around here we can occasionally get organic rice and/or organic wheat straw, but its expensive. You could always cut your own out of the pasture, probably cut to feed to the alpacas and then use the soiled leftovers as a mulch. You could also just seed a cover crop onto the hugel and then use a chop and drop approach for mulching going forward.
As far as other potential sources of mulch for your hugel, woodchips are always an option. Lawn mower clippings can work but can be kind of hard to work with in my experience. And even shrub or small tree prunings or windfall can work, especially if they have thiin stems and are leafy when cut.
It should work more or less the same. I know a couple veggie farmers who use black plastic to solarize the grass to death inside a new tunnel. It might be a little late for that this year though. Although maybe not
Personally, I would put the manure down now and let it get rained in a little bit ahead of planting. What form of wood did you spread over the top of everything? Is it chips? The only thing I'd worry about from your description is burying that wood too deep, but I think spreading the manure on it soonishly and then clearing down to dirt when you plant ought to work well
Thanks for the clarification. Could you do a track system and move thje strip over every few weeks or whatever once the horses have thoroughly trampled the grass down? This could also allow the other grass to grow a bit larger and less sugary. You could mow anything that got too tall
We also compost a lot of citrus, mostly lemon and lime peels. We use bokashi for all our food scraps but that is mostly to help manage kitchen waste while we are building up enough to make a compost pile.
I'm not sure I fully understand what you're describing, or rather what your goal is for the strip in the spring, but is there a reason you couldn't just now it periodically to keep the grass at the level you want?
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Experimental Farm Network is distributing my seeds this year. That fees me up to act more like a seed elder. Therefore, I'm writing the book that people have been asking for. Today's big news is that I received an ISBN! At my typical rate of 1100 words per day, I'm about 5 days from finishing the rough draft.
Glad to hear that Joseph, I'll give that a try. I've got some .more of your potato seeds to plantt too, and 3 tubers from your potato seeds that I started two years ago. I love the variety and resilience I've gotten from true potato seed
I have a single potato fruit that I collected this year and was planning to try to plant the seeds of this spring. Its been sitting out in my garage since fall and I just discovered that it us now dried up like a prune or a date. Its hard to tell what's seed and what's mushed up flakes of dried potato berry flesh.
What should I do? Are the seeds ruined? Should I just plant some fleshy clumps and see if seeds germinate? Is it too late to try to squish it up and soak it all in water?
One thing that I've been noticing as I cook the crop this year, and will try to get a picture of here soon, is that there are many kernels that I expect to be fairly dark actually have very white kernels beneath the skin. The most vibrantly colored flesh has been in the yellow spectrum and the best blue flesh I've found seems to come.from more pastel blue raw kernels. I'm going to try to be more diligent about separating seeds from different individual plants next year.
As I'm tracking down these richer colored kernels iso there a good way to see beneath the seeds skin without rendering it not viable?
I'll second Permaculture; A Designers Manual. It is a great text on the basics of land stewardship planning and the tools and techniques needed to find your best plan. It also has some great detailed info about specific techniques
I've mentioned Dr. Zach Bush before, but I just listened to a recent interview that he did with Acres USAs tractor time podcast and one thing that he talked about was the insane potential of our soil to be THE key carbon sink, and in so doing, restoring it to the role of central source of human health and thriving. I'd strongly encourage anyone here to listen to it as a great reminder that increasing our self (and community based) sufficiency, improving our soil, and eating food we grow with love from our newly invigorated soils is a great way to save money (on groceries and the doctor) while doing the actual work of restoring the cycles that support life in this realm.
Leah Holder wrote:A friend recently sent me a Bokashi kit and quite frankly I’m a little skeptical. How can promoting anaerobic organisms help the overall well-being of my plants? Won’t that just stifle the growth of the good stuff? I know you explained a bit Dr. R, but I could use a little more if someone doesn’t mind.
My original question is actually about pigeon manure. Can using Bokashi kill pathogens in my pigeon manure, making it safe enough to add to my working compost, incase I don’t make temperature? Will the flush of anaerobic EM counteract the aerobic progress of my pile? And lastly, would a bucket of Bokashi be beneficial dumped into the center of my hugelkultur mound? Thanks in advance, I’m loving it here.❤️
My experience has been that the fermentation with bokashi has two major advantages. The first is that it allows for a contained process to build up food scraps until they are at a volume that will compost instead of just attracting rats. The second is that I have found that I can compost everything from our kitchen including meat, bones after theyre made into stock, cheese, cardboard/to go packaging, grease, everything.
My observation is that when the fermented kitchen waste is put into our drainage barrel it is quickly colonized by what I believe to be actinomycetes. Then, when it is combined with the browns into the original compost pile it heats up really well and is absolutely swarmed by fungi (which often fruit prolifically once the pile cools a bit) and worms. When it is turned once there is still some larger chunks that aren't broken down but it is quickly swarmed by fungi again and I am left with a dense compost that my garden seems to love.
I don't know that it would be worth it if we had more space because I could make simpler compost systems, but the ability to compost animal parts does , I think, make for a particularly humus rich product. I also think that using bokashi could allow for a very easy no turn system. I turn mine because we have so little space that I often need to make more room in the compost system for incoming kitchen waste.
As for buying stuff, I don't think you need to. I've had great success by making my own bokashi (just seems to mean a fermented grain bran, basically a substrate to house the em and dose it into the food you want to ferment) and even buying organic wheat husks and commercial EM1 I could make a years supply for less than $100. Of course you can also source free options for the substrate, coffee chaff worked really well for me, I've also heard cocoa husks work well. Both can be found free from local places that make coffee or chocolate.
I have grown tobacco for 5 or 6 years. I don't live in a tobacco region. The best technique I've hit on is to stack the fresh leaves in a cardboard box. Every few days I flip the leaves and every few days some of them seem to "flip" from green to brown.
Even after that, I haven't found that they satisfy real smokers until they have "cured" for 2 years or so