Geoffrey Angle

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since Jul 19, 2012
Farmville, VA
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Recent posts by Geoffrey Angle

Okay, specific question for those who grow under and around Black Walnuts.  

The guilds I build on my property have Eighty year old black walnuts as the dominant canopy.  I am taking that and running with it.  I use this as my primary planting guide for physical arrangements:  

Black Walnut Toxicity to Plants, Humans and Horses
Richard C. Funt Jane Martin

I have some medicinals that I'm trying to "tuck in" here and there, and can't find a solid reference for Valeriana off. so I'm wondering if someone with better botanical knowledge than me knows if I can plant them under the drip line or not.  They are surviving in pots in proximity, but they need to get in the ground, the heat in Central Virginia is atrocious lately (and I would love to argue what the weather stations are reporting another time...It's much hotter than reporting IMO).

Anyhow, Valerian in proximity to Black Walnuts or not???  Go!

2 years ago

DIY gutters.  Is there such a thing?  I really really really really don't want to go buy some.


If there was timber bamboo handy, sure I know what to do.  

But i thought there would be a handy thread on the permies forum that I could mimic.

4 years ago
Ok, finally found some resolution to the problem:

1. Feeling rather stupid for not sifting DE for crystals in the first place. After consulting with a friend who has a degree in chemistry, he suggested, as did others that in order to form such large and well formed crystals (if copper sulfate), the water would have to be saturated, hence, blue. The water was never blue.

2. So, in sifting through a fine sieve, the crystals showed up. Same friend thought they might be silica gel, as in a pack of desiccant tore open and spilled in.

3. I wrote the company back. Turns out I was right about what the crystals were (dumb luck). It is copper sulfate in that batch. The company repackages it and somehow it must have spilled in...caught caught in a fold of clothing or something...

4. The company has been very quick to respond, and like I said, sent me a new batch, copper sulfate free... They have also assured me they have changed their procedure to insure this would never happen again.

Thanks for all the interest, it's always fun sleuthing with the members of Permies!
6 years ago

Got three new, out of the package, unwashed jelly jars and repeated the experiment. Tsp of DE added to my well water, Crystal Springs and Distilled. Blue crystals formed in all. So, not my dishwasher soap I would think. This puts it back on the DE?
6 years ago
So, to check things out a little further, I tried mixing the DE in some Crystal Springs bottled water, and the crystals formed again. I tried in distilled water and only a tiny blue crystal formed. I am using the same proportions of water to DE, and the same type of container, small canning jars. Beginning to think it might be what the jars are washed in (the dishwasher soap), or the DE itself...
6 years ago
Hi, Everyone!

Recently purchased Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth from the recommended folks at Earthworks Health that Paul has promoted in his article on DE. Wife and I intended to use it to start a detox regimen. When I first mixed up a teaspoon with a glass of water, I found some blue crystals at the bottom and thought, "Great...I must have gotten a cup that had dishwasher soap residue in it...."

All fine and dandy, except that the crystals appeared in every subsequent glass since (don't worry, there weren't many). I can watch the reaction occur when I stir it in, the crystals form instantly. They are definitely not present in the mix. I sent some pictures to the nice folks at Earthworks, and they feel confident there isn't any contamination in their product, though they are going to send me some more free of charge.

So I've begun the bureaucratic runaround with my extension agency (I live in Farmville, Virginia) to see about getting my water tested. It being Friday, it might as well be Sunday, or so it seems. They have referred me to the Health Department for a testing kit. So as usual, no one is really listening to me. I'm making some other inquiries to some local ranchers I know, but I doubt they use DE themselves.

The blue crystals are not in my water already. In other words, I don't think there is an issue with the anode in the water heater, it's only a year old anyway. My concern is that it could be copper sulphate, a pesticide. We don't seem to have any apparent health issues, and have been living and drinking the water for well over a year. Yes, it's well water, and all we had it tested for was bacteria. We don't use any pesticides, and I don't think the previous owner did any gardening or farming. Our neighbor does however, but I doubt its on a scale that could affect the water table.

What appears to be happening is an instant chemical reaction between the DE and my well water. What I want to find out as soon as possible is if it is a symptom of something potentially harmful in my water supply and what steps to pursue to find out.

Any help from the super-sleuths at Permies would be GREATLY appreciated.

6 years ago