Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Seems like I've heard of ash being used as part of the process for making hominy?
marina phillips wrote:
Well, of course I'm not going to expose my skin to it. I was asking him what I could use instead of bleach, because that is the gold standard of dairy cleanliness nowadays.
What about lye water in a grey water system? Just as bad as bleach?
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:It is used in food preparation, sometimes as a matter of life or death. It can make lysine more available from hominy (quicklime works, too), which can help corn-fed livestock as much as corn-fed humans.
Emerson White wrote:
I think you mean niacin (B3), I am unaware of any lysine deficiency Pellagra being in any way related to corn intake.
plants fertilized with urine produced four times more tomatoes than nonfertilized plants and as much as plants given synthetic fertilizer. Urine plus wood ash produced almost as great a yield, with the added benefit of reducing the acidity of acid soils. "The results suggest that urine with or without wood ash can be used as a substitute for mineral fertilizer to increase the yields of tomato without posing any microbial or chemical risks," the report says.
paul wheaton wrote:
I have heard of a lot of folks using it in compost or in outhouses, and I've heard from even more folks that it isn't good for the compost pile and does nothing in the outhouse.
Jonathan Byron wrote:
I wouldn't recommend making lye out of this ash, unless you know EXACTLY what kind of trees were burned to make the ash. According to what I've been told, ash from soft wood is used to make soft soap, while ash from hard wood is used to make hard soap. The reason is that the softer woods have higher levels of potassium -- potassium hydroxide is used to make soft or liquid soap; while hard wood has higher levels of sodium -- sodium hydroxide is used to make firm or hard soap. Generally, the colonists used whatever ash was on hand, which produced a yellowish soap that you scooped out with a dipper.
Cloudpiler Hatfield wrote:Wood ash is the best thing I can think of to insulate the spaces within a rocket stove that you don't want to get really hot. Makes it possible to build the actual structure out of earthblocks or cob, which would simply melt over time if you used them without insulation from the intense heat of the rocket.
Michael Mathews wrote:I believe that ash can be used with urine to make saltpeter. Saltpeter is an ingredient for gunpowder. I've read that you can make your own gunpowder and musket ball ammunition in a sustainable way without having to buy ingredients not available on a homestead. I would think that a good amount of scrap metal for the ball ammunition could be found at a junkyard. If this is possible, I could see it being used for hunting, controlling predators or maybe slaughtering cattle. Has anyone ever heard of someone making their own gunpowder?
Opportunity Hatfield wrote:Well... the old Indore method is really considered out-dated. More modern methods focus on trying to obtain peak efficiency. While layering is a good way to begin the process, all the material needs to be mixed together in order to achieve any real efficiency. Layering isn't going to decrease nitrogen losses because the moisture in the pile is going to melt the ash and raw nitrogen together anyway, and without moisture there's virtually no decomposition taking place. We've refined this now to where we add various supplements at specific stages of the composting process, just like a good chef adds various ingredients to the recipe at the correct times.
In some ecosystems the nitrogen issue isn't such a big deal. But in regions where nitrogen management is a problem, we do have to conserve as much as we can -- it's expensive.