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Jonathan Pynchon

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since Mar 22, 2012
San Francisco born, married, two boys, focused on gardening for now.
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Recent posts by Jonathan Pynchon

The lens may have developed a leak...a bit of moisture and a layer of mold will result.  

The internal elements and their coatings are rarely designed for cleaning so a replacement lens is called for.  

Taking the time and the extra effort required for film processing rather demands it, eh?

3 weeks ago


A unicycle is not a bicycle, so Chip, you might indeed have the meaning of life 42, but with that many, how can you be sure they aren't breeding more when you aren't looking?

5 years ago

Bob Anders wrote:Could it be rock wool? It was made with asbestosis for a lot of years.

This was installed in 2010 after a PG&E audit found our dwelling inadequately insulated... pretty sure it isn't asbestos-based.

After spending an hour hunting online, it does seem prudent to not use this insulation in a California hugelkultur bed. Boric acid is indeed the major component of fire retardant treatment of it and as John noted, California (or at least southeastern California) has a bountiful accumulation of boron and not enough rain to make it disperse very quickly.

If I were in the rainy Pacific northwest, I'd have no qualms about building beds and reusing old cellulose insulation.

I'm going to see if our waste and recycling people accept it as compostable or not. As it is, I've decided, "Not in My backyard".

Thank you for your input!

6 years ago

We are replacing our blown-in with batt insulation during a remodel... can I bury the loose cellulose in my next hugelkultur bed or is it better going to landfill? I can't detect any additives; it feels a lot like lumpy sheep wool, and there's no odor, but there might be some flame retardant treatment on it.

We're in California, if that makes a difference in the requirements of blown-in flame retardant treatments.

Anyone else here burying non-wood things, or rather highly processed wood things in their beds?


6 years ago

Regarding your bamboo question and hugelkultur bed containment... bamboo likes slopes. Depending upon the variety, it may climb the slope quickly or it may be slightly slowed by it. For instance, Moso works well at up to a 15 degree incline and not so well steeper than that.

You might have good luck with a shrubbier variety (growing to 6' tall or less, such as Pleioblastus humilis) to help stabilize the slope of the beds if you find the sometimes-heavy rains are eroding your beds into the low bits. Most of the short bamboos like shade, so they'd be better on your north-facing hugelkultur slopes, if you have any of those.

The easiest (is there really an easy way?) to contain bamboo is dig a one foot deep trench around the bed you want to keep it in. Fill the trench with sand or compost to keep from falling into it. Every June and September, spend a day and use a shovel along the inner side of the trench to cut any escaping rhizomes, when you feel you've hit one, make sure you cut all the way through it and then pry it up out of there. It isn't a lot of work until the grove gets large, hopefully by then you've made friends with some crafty people that will be willing to help you with it in exchange for some culms they can make stuff with.

Thirty percent grove harvest about six years after you put your first division in... annually thereafter. If there is enough water and Cheyenne doesn't freeze you out or blow your stand down (yes, those *are* semis laying on their sides by the road a couple of times a year), it's a fantastic producer.

Pay attention to the minimum temperature of the bamboos you are interested in... it wouldn't do to put some in that can't survive a winter there, wind or no. And bear in mind that while there are some bamboos that are labeled "drought tolerant", when they don't get enough water, the stand grows much more slowly and the culms don't reach for the sky like they would if they were properly hydrated.

I lived in Douglas for ten years, a two hour drive north of Cheyenne. I wish you the very best with your endeavor, but you really will need at least ten foot tall hugelkultur beds to get some protection from the wind there. Paul's comments about twenty foot beds in that windy part of Montana had me thinking of Cheyenne when I read them.

Best of luck!

7 years ago

Stepping through the video shows the horizon changing position in the screen; the camera is tilting/handheld so much of the vertical motion of that light is in-camera. Without more light in the sky to indicate the horizon through to the end of the take there is insufficient data to take a guess at what it is. Just another unidentified (possibly flying) object.

7 years ago