Keith Odell

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since Dec 09, 2012
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Recent posts by Keith Odell

Doug - thanks.  Until somebody recreates it, it is just a cool story.  Hopefully, you or Leora or can try it and be successful.
Good luck all.
1 week ago
We had 1-acre out of a 10-acre restorative prairie in Central Indiana - sizes are guesses.  We had very old thistle -flowering and fluffy - but it wasn't mature.  In fact it was very naughty.
We were using wood chips and compost to improve the soil, hoes, sickles and weedwhackers to fight the weeds and only tilled/mowed lightly.
We talked with the prairie experts who said chemicals, lots and lots of chemicals.  But we were a no chemical community garden.
Two large plots were completely overrun and that is where we mowed low and double-tarped for a year.  We still had runners reaching for the sun.
We started using cover crops on the active plots in the fall and noticed a lot less thistle pressure throughout.
Somebody suggested using them (buckwheat and peas) the next spring on some fallow, weed-infested plots.  
Picture knee-high, lawn thickness weeds - no bare patches to start with.
It looked like somebody put thistle in our spreader instead of alfalfa.
By the time the buckwheat flowered, most of the thistle was gone.
At this point we had a thistle or other unwanted weed every ten feet or so but we were amazed at the difference.

This was a one-off experiment and we never did plant the main area.  It was our seventh year and it seems like most non-profits get the 7-year itch.

If my memory serves (and it might not) we sowed about twice the recommended amount.  
Partly because we hated the thistle but also because that is what we had leftover from fall.
I don't think we had any inoculate (?) for the peas either.

Again, this was several years ago and I am recalling the best I can.  I do know that I hate thistle and the buckwheat/pea mix almost eliminated it in one season.

Hopefully, it can work for others.
1 week ago
Clay, very hard clay.  This was in a community garden.  
Prior to this, we had another 20' x 20' plot that we had 2 layers of tarps down with the seams nowhere near each other for a year.
Still had spindly plants ready to take off the next spring when we took the tarps off.
1 week ago
Canada thistle looks and acts tough but it's a wussy.  It hates it when something stands up to it.
We found that buckwheat and field peas made it run away like Scut Farkus in "A Christmas Story".
Your results may vary but I was pleasantly surprised.
Good luck.
1 week ago
I would recommend compost tea all over and liquid gold (diluted) in the soil.
2 weeks ago
I'm in.  trying to drag my customer base into permies as well - we're suburbanites ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
3 weeks ago
redwormcomposting.com is where I got my first batch.  He's from Ontario.

edit: wormcomposting.ca and he's only doing pickup in waterloo - sorry.
1 month ago
Jen, great job getting started.  I agree with s. lowe's advice.  My method is 1-2 quarts of worm compost and 1-2 bunches of chopped accumulators (comfrey, dandelion, dock, nettles) loose, into a 5 gallon bucket of fish pond or rain water.
My pump is oversized and the airlines are weighted.  If I'm having coffee at home, I run a second batch of water through the grounds.  This goes into the tea after it cools.
My tea is more of a stew so if I'm spraying, I strain it 2 or 3 times.  The worms get the dregs.  If I'm hand watering, it goes on chunky.
A 'bad' or weak batch of my tea is still way better than our city water and a good batch almost makes things grow before your eyes.
As a rule - no, guideline - I try not to spend money managing my composting.  So I don't buy ingredients for my tea - not judging those who do
Have fun and figure out what works best for you and the plants you love.
1 month ago
If they were carpenter bees there would be little beer cans on the ground.

Sorry, I can't help myself.
2 months ago
Lots of good advice.  

From "Field of Dreams" - if you build it, they will come.  Build up the organic material and the decomposers - worms included - will show up.
2 months ago