S Bengi

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since Nov 29, 2012
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forest garden solar
Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Recent posts by S Bengi

It is very likely that all the earthworks that your up stream neighbor did, has somehow moderated the highs and lows of the creek on your property.
maybe it a win-win for both of you, or maybe he has depleted his top soil but enriched the sub-soil which then empties out on your property. It might have taken a year for his earthwork to charge up the soil so maybe that is why there is a disconnect.

It is also possible that someone is pumping up alot of deep aquifer water, and charging the water table.
4 months ago
Most adenine-type cytokinins are synthesized in roots.
Cytokinins (CK) are a class of plant growth substances (phytohormones) that promote cell division, or cytokinesis, in plant roots and shoots. They are involved primarily in cell growth and differentiation, but also affect apical dominance, axillary bud growth, and leaf senescence. Folke Skoog discovered their effects using coconut milk in the 1940s at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

4 months ago
SWALES: Build ditches/swales/depressions every row to collect water and give it time to soak in.
WOODCHIP: This will help house good soil life, water and minerals, cut down on evaporation and run off, help aerate the soil via soil life.
BIOCHAR: If you are worried about the hay/woodhip catching on fire, this can be incorporated into the soil, and it will hold more water, aerate, house soil life, hold mineral
ROCKDUST: This will add mineral that you soil is missing vs just the usual N_P_K fertilizer, the water in your soil will now contain extra dissolved mineral so less water needed
MICROBES: Fungi have much more water-efficient "roots" and they can mine the minerals for the trees and trade it for sugar, All those microbes, pooping/peeing/decaying is manure.
LEGUMES: These guys will fix most of the nitrogen that you need and when they die/decay/chopped/eaten-poop. they will release the nitrogen that they have.
4 months ago
They already survive a week while being shipped to me.  And they are already dormant so as long as they are kept moist you have quite a few days to plant them out

I like to soak them in a pucket of water for 1hrs with inoculant in it.
then place then in the usual 3FT WIDE hole, compact the earth
then water and compact the earth some more.
I recommend not adding any amendments to the hole, but you can top dress with whatever you want (rockdust, biochar, fertilize, etc)
You can however work in amendment into the soil as deep as possible over the entire plot of land/orchard, before planting, this will increase the fertility of land evenly.
4 months ago


In botany, a sport or bud sport, traditionally called lusus,[1] is a part of a plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant.
Sports may differ by foliage shape or color, flowers, or branch structure.

An example of a bud sport is the nectarine, at least some of which developed as a bud sport from peaches.
Other common fruits resulting from a sport mutation are the red Anjou pear and the 'Pink Lemonade' lemon which is a sport of the "Eureka" lemon.[3]
4 months ago
The roots normally produce the growth/master hormone for the top part of the tree thus inducing earlier fruiting and dwarfing. The hormones might travel and even affect the gene expression of the top part of the tree but sir layering will not give you a hybrid of the rootstock and graft.

I do however find budspurt interesting
4 months ago
Think of the "natural preservative" that we historically soaked rail way ties/lumber in. The oil that is in biochar can be vaguely similar, and so it can suppress plant life. Of course given time fungi will break it down.
Also if the pores of the biochar is filled with lets say regular cooking oil, said oil will not let water and the minerals that are dissolved in the water to enter the pores and be trapped, for later use by plant/fungi 'roots'

Why is biochar good:
1)instead of the dissolved minerals leaching out of the soil the bio-char/activated charcoal loosely hold onto it until the plants need it.
1b)with the plants having absorbing water with higher amount of mineral it will overall need less water to get all it's required dissolved minerals
1c)with all the fungi "roots" growing in the biochar, plants can just trade sugar with fungi for minerals instead of wasting time using ineffective+wasteful plant roots
2)The pores of the biochar will house alot of microbes that are all pooping/peeing (manure) and decaying so more bio-available mineral that is readily available
3)The pores of the biochar houses "good" microbes
4)The pores of the biochar holds water like "sponge" so less frequent watering
5)Regular biomass will capture carbon for 6month -300yrs until it dies and then it rots and turn into CO2 in a a season or two, at most 7yrs. But biochar will not rot for thousands, maybe millions of year. so less greenhouse gas.
4 months ago
Nitrogen fixing plants do in fact take nitrogen from the air to build their cells vs taking it from the soil like other plants.
Nitrogen fixing plants WILL NOT however just squirt it out everywhere for other plants to use it. Other plants only get it after the nitrogren fixing plant (roots/leaves/fruits/seed/stem) has been killed and it decomposes.

Now if a cow or bird or bugs comes along and eat the nitrogen rich legume and then dies or poop/pee, the nitrogen will be released from the plant and enter the soil.

All that said, just letting nature take it's course (bugs/birds/winter/etc), without you doing anything special alot of legume will release 150lbs of nitrogen per acre. I think dutch clover can release 150lbs per acre. Not too sure how much Goumi releases. But every single nitrogen fixing plant species "fixes/release" different amount of nitrogen so you would have to plant the best one for you.

But the real take away if to keep your soil life very active, with all these worms and microbes pooping+peeing and dieing and decaying you will have alot of nitrogen available. so encourage soil life.
4 months ago
You can add bio-char anytime of the year. If I had to pick a particular time, it would be in the fall:
1)The bio-char get to leach just a bit more oil from it's pores
2)It get to "steal/absorb" minerals from the soil until it reached an equilibrium without affecting growing plants.
3)It is still warm enough for the microbes to cross-colonized the bio-char and also the soil.
4)It gets to absorb water/snow melt
5)It is worked deeper into the soil over the winter, and less worry about biochar dust or drying out.

Biochar(vented sungas) is different from charcoal kiln. Charcoal is made at a lower temperate so it pore of the charcoal is filled with oil/tar that actually suppress plant growths for years, eventually it will leach out but it will take a really long time. It also releases unburnt hydocarbon into the atmosphere. From what I have read bio-char made at 450F is the best, lower temp and it contains too many oils and higher temps and the yeild goes down and the pH of the cio-char gets to high
4 months ago
One option would be to grow herbs.
A 4inch pot of thyme, rosemary, sage, etc can be sold for $5+.
Check the price for a tiny spring herbs at your usual superchain supermarket.

So with just 1000sqft you could be looking at  4pots per sqft and $5 per pot for a total of $20,000 in revenue. $5 *4 *1000.
And you could do at least 3 sets of harvest spaced 2 months apart so more like $120,000 assuming you had the market and you didn't need walkway.
you can even buy the potted hers in 4inch pots 1/2 ready for about $2 each. Easily giving you 7 harvest a year at 4,000 plants per harvest at $3 gross profit.
Unlike cut/picked harvest, the potted herbs can last for a few weeks/months if needed or cant be sold

Roasted garlic can also generate similar amount of revenue, but they are more prepared product so the red tape and paperwork might be more. And the marker would be less.

A couple bee hives that you sell raw honey from would also be wonderful.
And if you could somehow get a market (maybe online) to sell composting worms at $20/lbs that would also be good.
5 months ago