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Medusahead Grass

 
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Western Idaho
27
earthworks greening the desert ungarbage
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Along the lines of abundant materials, this is one I have an almost unlimited supply of, as does probably most people in the western U.S.
I am looking for ideas on what one could use this stuff for. I was entertaining the idea that it could be an alternative to straw in cob, or light straw clay, or even bailing it up?
 
pollinator
Posts: 378
Location: Montana
97
forest garden trees
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It has an interestingly high silica content.
 
Aaron Tusmith
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Western Idaho
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I was just reading through the native/non-native thread and I definitely don't want to get knee deep in that! but my ideas, towards building at least, start with looking at looking at what are the most abundant materials right under my nose. First is clay, and second is this Medusahead. It covers the range land where I live, rolling hills of this stuff literally as far as the eye can see. It just makes sense to me to experiment on its possibilities.
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
967
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Aaron Tusmith wrote:I was just reading through the native/non-native thread and I definitely don't want to get knee deep in that! but my ideas, towards building at least, start with looking at looking at what are the most abundant materials right under my nose. First is clay, and second is this Medusahead. It covers the range land where I live, rolling hills of this stuff literally as far as the eye can see. It just makes sense to me to experiment on its possibilities.



Baling it as you mentioned sounds interesting and then using for a straw bale house?

I wonder about the seeds and how many stay in the straw itself if one used it for garden mulch?

Paper making? Biofuel?

I like the idea of trying to  find a use for it.  

The high silica content might make it particularly good for something?
 
Aaron Tusmith
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Western Idaho
27
earthworks greening the desert ungarbage
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That brings up a thought I had, could there be some type of natural additive that could be mixed in with the clay slip recipe that would neutralize any seed viability in slipstraw type construction? This could open up the doors for other usable materials since it is my understanding that straw is best because, among other reasons, straw contains little or no nutrients for insects or microbials to live on. As opposed to using a material that will contain seeds that could germinate during and after the construction process leading to a whole list of problems. Medusahead becomes so golden, dry, and brittle in late summer and lays in thick mats on the hillside and is easy to rake into a huge pile. However from what gathered, such a pile would contain a great number of seeds, which would have to be mitigated somehow.
 
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