Deborah Harr

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since Mar 10, 2012
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Recent posts by Deborah Harr

There are four types of phosphorus.

If left exposed to the air, it catches fire on its own. It also glows in the dark. Today, its most important use is in the manufacture of phosphoric acid (H 3 PO 4 ). Phosphoric acid, in turn, is used to manufacture fertilizers and a number of other less important products.

White: Which is very volatile, easily forms a gas is most commonly used in fertilizer applications. And has increased dramatically in price when China (2008) attached a 135% import/export tax upon it. Until this "tax" the United States produced roughly 84% of the world market of phosphorus rock.

Red: Which is most commonly used in things such as fireworks and munitions

Yellow and Black. Black is formed by refining white at high temps. Yellow is really just a "dirty" version of white. It appears yellow because there are trace amounts of Red phosphorus in the White Phosphorus.

Gleened from the USGS website:

Legislation and Government Programs
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) proposed
classifying red phosphorus, yellow phosphorus, and
hypophosphorous acid as controlled substances or List I
chemicals because they have been identified as being important
chemicals for the illicit manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Handlers of List I chemicals are subject to the Controlled
Substances Act regulatory controls including registration,
recordkeeping, reporting, and import/export requirements. The
DEA determined that these controls are necessary to prevent the
diversion of these chemicals to drug laboratories. The agency
did not propose a threshold limit for reporting because there are
few legitimate uses for the compounds, and only small
quantities of the substances are required to manufacture
methamphetamine. Industrial uses of red phosphorus include
pyrotechnics, matches, incendiary shells, tracer bullets, and
other phosphorus compounds. Red phosphorus and hypophosphorous acid are derivatives of P4 and the DEA
estimates that only 2% of the P4 produced domestically is
converted into a form that will be subject to the regulation (U.S.
Department of Justice, 2000).

Because of this under the patriot act, municipalities, if they are acting in the "better good of public safety" can place limitations and in the case of my over zealous city, they did just that. And we aren't the only city. I wished someone with a chemistry degree could get through their thick skulls that phosphorus and dust are not the same.

There are millions of types of cancer, our medical world and pharmaceutical worlds understand you cant call all cancer under one term of "cancer" it simply doesn't fit. But it seems when the DEA gets involved, if cancer were a drug, there would be no various types or "grades" of cancer, there would just simply be "cancer". Sadly, just like the story of chicken little with the "sky falling", people start running around and are so "sky is falling" that they can not stop being frantic, slow down and educate themselves.....they are too busy trying to avoid the perception of "OMG, DRUGS BEING MADE" that they simply don't hear anything but the D word.
8 years ago
Paul, I loved your article on no coop or run. I have no run, but do have a coop where they freely enter and exit. At first I didn't have the coop because there are plenty of sheltered areas for all the girls to hide out from the weather. However, they became masters at hiding their eggs. So we built a coop to house their laying baskets in. They were not interested. So I put some golf balls where I wanted them to lay around the yard. I selected places they layed eggs in that were easy for me to access, removed the eggs and replaced with the golf ball. It took a few weeks but now all the ladies only lay where I placed those silly golf balls
8 years ago
One of my old bosses used to say "Rules are for those that lack common sense" But then I guess in some countries where water may be hard to find, drinking from urinals might be considered common sense? Life sure can be funny sometimes.

I like this one.
8 years ago
Poker Chips for the win. I started out like my parents did, paying an "allowance"...then discovered the kids either didn't think allowance was enough so they wouldn't bother with chores or that they would do nothing but the bare minimum to earn said allowance. So we went to poker chips. You want to watch television, that will cost you a chip for 30 minutes. Want to play on the computer or game station, that will cost you poker chips. To keep the kids from stealing each others chips, I applied finger nail polish (each kid assigned their own color). At the end of the week you could exchange chips for a predetermined cash value or hang onto them for future use.

It was really sad when my son burned all his chips and wanted to purchase a new game, but had used up all his chips playing his old games........he was always asking for more chores, difficult ones for a higher value poker chip. This way they set their spending and earning limits based on how they felt any given day or week.
8 years ago
Okay had to go to the city to pay the utility bills today, got a copy of this years "illegal plants" Which Castor bean (ricin could be manufactured from it) plant and scarlet runner (kids could feed to parents to poison them and or neighbors pets) plant and shockingly Coleus (evidently high school kids eat the leaves for a 3 second high) plant made the no no list. Petunas made the list because "if planted prolifically enough, it can smell like an illegal plant" (she wouldn't tell me which one) And while there I asked them why the decision to make rock dust illegal here and was given the following information.

"Different regions and quarries produce rock dust, some of this dust contains high phosphorous levels, rather than testing and regulating every single company and manufacturer, who may at will; change without given notice their supplier for individual products, we opted to simply ban all phosphorous rock as well as rock dusts to avoid a change in suppliers by any previously approved company/and or product to avoid going against the DEA and phosphorous rock being a controlled substance. "

When I gave her my totally confused look, she leaned over the counter and whispered, "phosphorous rock is used by druggies to produce ill legal drugs"...still confused I replied, "but phosphorous rock and rock dust is not the same". She said "you are right, but some rock dust contains high levels of phosphorous and we decided not to take the risk."

As to where I am, I am located in the great old State of Utah, in a town having a mess of a time trying to keep things safe so (as it appears to me) our elected officials in our town seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The guy who was caught with enough Ricin in Las Vegas lived a few houses from me (they shut down our whole neighborhood for days because there was enough found in his home to kill the population of Salt Lake City. Evidently I have not been a good citizen and have not been watching the news enough or I would have known that two drug cartel houses were located and shut down within my city limits in the past three months.....and evidently this means we can not control ourselves and must be controlled by our government for our own safety.

Edited to add: I mean come on folks. If we banned or made illegal every single product out there that may or could be used in a "non designed" way, or that "may or may not be dangerous"....there would be little left that was legal......I am not a native of this state and sometimes I think too many people here live far too sheltered lives. I often tell my husband that if you wanted to start a panic, all you would have to do is come out with some silly conspiracy, let the teens in on the story and watch the chickens run around some more.....lmao.
8 years ago
Rock dust to millions of people is a simple aid in building up great soil. But, just like traveling on an airline with a full bottle of shampoo is now a no-no, evidently someone in the offices above us felt that rock dust could be used to make dangerous things that would harm the "people" or maybe co it has been regulated and controlled to the point that it is really hard to find any more. All it is really is dust from mining, why on earth this seemingly simple little item should be controlled I will never know. Oh and I forgot when I put the post up top, its 1 cup of rabbit poo, 5 tablespoons of molasses and 5 gallons of water.

As for other stupid laws. It is illegal to plant a simple petunia plant in my city......go figure.

There have been many talks in here about improving soil that has been depleted in order to grow healthier crops from that soil. There is a website that teaches you all about the various types of rock dust as well as a video on youtube. (the website teaching about rock dust and its value) Click the tab on upper right to find sources to your area.

I am sure most of you guys know this gentleman, Don is a great source when going to organics. Great little "introduction" into the values of rock dust and regenerating our soils. If you live in my area, you will have to go on a road trip in order to purchase it. Again, still don't know why, but here in our area, you can not purchase it for the greater good of "social safety"---lmao.
8 years ago
Rock dust is difficult to find any more because of the patriot act. I have however (if you have time) pounded the snockers out of perlite. As for the Azomite, this is simply micro nutrients. A cup of rabbit poo and 5 tablespoons in 5 gallons of water to make a batch of compost tea does the trick for the micro nutrients Hope that helps. Locally we have a product called Dynomite, which is reported to be the same as Azomite. The downside is that it runs $50 for a one pound tub of it.
8 years ago
I use two organic methods for slug control.

1. Chickens, they love the things. However, I can't allow them into the garden beds as they will eat all of the goodness.

2. Little pixie cups, get the paper ones that you can toss into the compost bin. They love beer, up here in the north they love a good lager or Guinness (though the husband calls this a beer foul). Bury the pixie cup up to the rim in the ground. Pour in beer, they will come running, drink and die. All I do from there is either fish them out with tweezers, or leave them there if the plants are being turned under for green manure. Pixie cups come in plastic, paper, dyed or natural. I use the 2 ounce natural ones with no coating on the paper. They will hold the beer if you walk around them carefully for about 6 days before they fall apart.
8 years ago

Chris Kott wrote:Deborah,

Paint is poison, you're absolutely right. I'm still looking for places you can just buy mushroom spore or culture like you can seed, so if anyone can help us out here, I'm sure I'm not the only one. I am wondering if there are any pre-paint wood treatments that would save the outer structure of a wood-based raised bed without contamination. The only thing I can think of besides the beeswax mentioned above is probably linseed oil, but one without polishing additives. I wonder if food-grade flax oil (the same thing but cleaner) would work?


Lots to select from and the best quality I have ever found. Have yet to get anything bad from them! Even when I was a total tard and ruined one....they replaced it for me.
8 years ago

Matthew Fallon wrote:

Thank you so much for sharing those links. I loved the wall felt gardens. Recycled pet bottle felt in these parts goes for about 45 cents per yard. I doubt I could get much more than two seasons out of them. But I think it would be easy enough sew these up on the machine. Only concern would be the backing to keep moisture off of the wall and of course, watering so that it won't drip. Thank you so much for sharing those links.

I have been growing in recycled bottles that I use at the house.

I cover them with flour and water over scrapbook paper.

A close up

Edited because I typed in the second image link wrong.
8 years ago