Nick Kitchener

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since Sep 24, 2012
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Nick Kitchener

Leona Dubois wrote:   here is a source for mulberries in Canada

Link was broken. Here is the general berry page:
2 days ago

Leona Dubois wrote:   here is a source for mulberries in Canada

Link was broken. Here is the general berry page:
2 days ago
Here's a handy article:
Burning Garbage to Generate Electricity
and some guidelines:
Canada Guidelines for Burning Solid Waste

It appears that a rocket mass heater at full operating temperature should produce the right environment for proper waste combustion.

Since you're more selective with regards to what goes in, I doubt heavy metal emissions like Mercury or Cadmium is an issue.

That leaves acidic gasses like Sulphur Dioxide. The normal method of dealing with that is by using a lime scrubber through which the exhaust gasses pass.  I would be inclined to run a experiment first to see if that's necessary by making an "acid rain box" on the exhaust outlet to see if you can produce acidified water.

Finally, I didn't realize that marine driftwood was such a significant producer of chlorine compounds, as bad as plastic. That beach bonfire is probably not such a great idea...
5 days ago
By the look of that photo, the land around the pond is only a few inches above the water line. Be aware that the water permeates the soil at roughly the same level as the surface of the pond, and will wick up to the surface of the soil somewhat.

If you want dry ground surrounding that pond, you will need to raise the surrounding land up by adding soil from elsewhere.
6 days ago
My guess the land is on muskeg right? Either that or you have Canadian shield close to the surface. Best to dig down in a few spots to find out.

You can check out this blog on exactly what you're asking about:
Thunder Bay Permaculture - What To Do With Swampy Land?

There's also a post about dealing with Canadian shield hardpan here:
Thunder Bay Permaculture - Improving Soil on the Canadian Shield

Finally, there is a good series on youtube that documents a crater garden installation among other useful things. The first episode is here:
6 days ago
Based on your methods, you most likely have inoculated the mead with lactic acid bacteria. Every time you stir the mead, you introduce more oxygen which benefits the propagation of the bacterial colony.

BTW, yeast will only produce alcohol in an anaerobic environment. When you stir the mead and introduce air, the yeast will consume the sugars and simply reproduce and multiply. You will end up with lots of yeast and very little alcohol, which also reduces the preservative qualities of the finished mead.
1 week ago
Yeah I add coffee grounds a lot since I use it to accelerate snow melt. Just beware that if you leave them on the surface to dry out they form a crust which prevents seedlings from pushing up, and also prevents water from penetrating the soil. I've found the seedlings most inhibited but this are my veggie seedlings, not the hard working immigrant plants lol.

So you'll need to either incorporate the grounds into the soil, or much over the top to keep them moist.
It looks to me as though there is nobody currently gardening here?

I would look for areas with the most broad-leaf weed presence. In community garden beds, people are free to spray all sorts of stuff on their plants and soil. since this plot looks like it's been fallow for some time, the areas with the most vegetative growth probably have the least amount of residual toxic gick in the soil. Beware the clear spots. They might be weed free growing beds ready for planting or they could be dead zones. I would plant these with a cover crop. Mustard, barley, rye, field peas, whatever and see how they go in the first season.

I currently have use of an area too big for me to put into full utilization with the resources at hand. So I rotate small grains through the beds each year so I have a resource of good straw that I know is chemical free.
I also plant a lot of annuals for the purpose of seed production. Radishes, dill, spinach, fava, etc all work well. You might like to consider biannuals for seed production like beets, carrots, parsnips etc in the extra space. The plants like parsnip, cilantro, and dill attract predatory wasps which help out in the garden too.

I also plant a good quantity of brassicas like Brussels sprouts. Not because I harvest them, but because we get ground hogs, rabbits, and deer and I found that they like to eat brassicas, and if there is a good quantity of them in the quiet corner of the garden then they leave my other plants alone.

Some sort of mulching is going to save you a lot of labor. If there are beds with clover in them, I'd be inclined to leave it be and simple plant into it. It doesn't grow tall and shade out your crops like grasses do, and it acts as a ground cover and Nitrogen fixer.