bob day

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since Apr 07, 2013
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Central Virginia USA
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Recent posts by bob day

Hi There,

I've been growing taro/ elephant ear for several years now -here in VA, zone 7 or so, bringing it inside for winter. obviously this is labor intensive, and I mostly have found it will grow inside if I remember the water. Trying an experiment this year, leaving one of the taro plants outside in the biofilter to see if it will survive, I doubt it will, but i have a bunch of plants to play with, so we'll see.

Also, I have even kept azolla alive outside one winter in a semi protected small pond with some shade cloth over top of the whole mess and lots of decaying organic matter around--a general mess in other words, but it survived there, winter outside, zone 7.  the next winter was not as kind, but some did manage to make it through in a more exposed situation, but  I brought in as much as i could find outside at the end of this summer, and need to keep it away from the fish, but with occasonal inputs of fish nutrient water.

One of the tricks with azolla is nutrient in the water. one summer I raised it well, but found toward the end of the summer it started to turn color, and I think that was a result of nitrogen deficiency.  The taro also does much better when it is helping purify fish waste in the water stream.

I've been working with koi and biofilters, and taro just fits in nicely.  I'm also growing  tumeric and ginger as well as some more cold hardy plants in the biofilters, and it seems that nutrient rich water is loved by all plants.  I know there are thousands of species of alocasia and colocasia and I like the idea of the 6 month ripening Japanese varieties. our oriental stores around here sell taro corms pretty cheap as a food, They even fit the description of the araime, and a quick experiment toward the end of this summer proved them viable, so depending on how things develop, that is a seed option for next year if I choose to go that way.

Of course the other alternative, rather than importing exotics is the idea of local plants like cattails, I put a few in the biofilter two springs ago, and had to pull them out of the biofilter because they were crowding everything else out in the biofilter.  I moved them down to act as a filter plant at the head of one of my gully ponds, and expect in a couple years it will be a major crop with very little care on my part.  I also started some arrowhead from a plant  at the nearby river, and two years later it has multiplied many times over as well.

Yes, the idea of having a long term property is a great idea for a permaculture experiment, and often rented land will just return to its previous state after it is left behind, and looking back at my youth I put lots of energy into short term stuff that was lost in time, experiments that partially worked whose primary function was my instruction. Still, we have to be careful about the wish to do things differently  IF.....   Those thought experiments just are to confirm that we know more now than earlier,  not that we didn't gain valuable perspectives from the "right" choice at the right time.

Note to self:Making the best choice I know how to make is always a good idea, regretting a past decision in light of new information is mostly unnecessary self flaggelation.

Remember, if you're not having fun you've got the design wrong:-)
Hello again, everybody.

Yep, still kicking, may even get my divorce finished soon. my soon to be ex stbe:)  wants me indebted to her forever, I'm hoping for a real short prison term --none at all, preferably, I feel like I already done my time. I had a little money from my mom dying, and paying lawyers 1k$ at a time is no fun. I've been scrounging used materials all my life, anything for a buck, so this just blows my mind.

Of course the land here is protected from her (I think), so with a little luck I will continue my life in paradise, but it would be a bummer if i ended up having to go back out to work.

My koi ponds and biofilters are working pretty good--finally, water actually clear enough to see the fish, and plants grew like crazy during the season-- been thinking more about wasabi growing, and with luck will get something going next spring. My first attempt was pretty half assed, and I've seen some recent utube content that may help.  of course it may be just a little too cold for having the wasabi as a perennial outside--time will tell, it has been getting warmer.

I have been thinking about biting the bullet and buying real store bought lumber for a greenhouse. Ideally I would make it bigger and attempt a design I had worked out years ago that would use a solar stack, underground heat storage, and a rocket stove setup that would keep up temps year round, but likely this will just be 12'x16', have a small pond and wetland/biofilter) and maybe a table and chairs with other plants for occasional outings in the winter --sunny days in winter can really be pleasant in a greenhouse.  This will have regular house type walls with insulation on three sides, and glass on the south--roof will be solar panels. but will likely wait to see how rich I feel after this divorce is final.

Anyway, I was still setting up the biofilters this spring when the koi were spawning, and the bigger koi were desperate trying to find some shallow water to lay their eggs, so the one pond got fresh reeds planted in the shallows, and the upper pond got lots of shallow edges added, reeds etc installed, so with luck, next spring the adults will have better accommodations for makin whoopie and the kids will have good places to hide.  Oh, I did kill about three fish eating water snakes that invaded, a male, female, and baby. I generally don't like to interfere, but i did notice all or almost all of the 80 or 90 goldfish in the wild pond disappeared, I'm guessing those snakes were responsible, of course most likely there will be some little gold fish hiding out that will replenish the population, but it's such a drag when mother nature sends in free loaders to help themselves to my fish.

The butterfly koi added about 5 to their numbers, and I thought I saw one small one up with the big koi but so far the only obvious ones are the same 6- time will tell though. The butterfly pond hides the babies well, and it seems like there are actually two or three generations represented in the few extra fish, some almost appear to be carry overs from last year, hardly seems like a 6 inch fish could come from this years spawn, but hey, I'm not complaining--actually pretty glad they can hide so well, less danger from predators.

Planted a bunch of trees last spring, red buds around the catfish pond--they theoretically attract caterpillars that will help feed the fish.  also some plums and persimmons--nothing fancy, just the native varieties.  The paw paws I planted the previous year mostly survived, and the biggest issue was just manicuring their spaces so there is easy access for watering, and the weeds don't get too crazy-- I tried planting a few tomatoes around in between some of the seedlings, but the deer really  are a problem, and the general soil is clay and rock, so cultivating a garden will also foster enriching the soil. So i really didn't expect much this year anyway (and I wasn't disappointed:)

The open pit gold mining that was a possible threat last year seems to have petered out, and with democrats in house and senate in va, we probably will have a better try at getting some good regulations, although the republican governor may block any active environmental protections.   Still, the original hype about the rich veins of gold seems to have been a sales promotion for aston bay trying to profit, and local talent says it would be too expensive to exploit the veins with tunnels and the open pit idea is equally problematic because of the pattern of the veins..

So for the time being  at least this land may be spared. Think a good thought.

Anyway, that's all for now, and remember

If you're not having fun, you've got the design wrong.

3 weeks ago
I'll second that encouragement to visit dr. Greggers' Nutritionfacts website,search for the disease or the food, and find out what good science has actually proven.

he's not in it for the money, it all goes to teaching people how to get and stay healthy.
2 months ago
If you're trying to understand color and light frequencies, try this tutorial science of color
2 months ago
I hate these discussions which inevitably lead to anecdotal specific cases where a person used this or that supplement and recovered from ________ fill in the disease.

There is lots of research out there (some better than others) but often that research is protected by paywalls and the normal person often has no easy access. There is little funding for research on Broccoli and misc other home cures, but there is some, also some debunks of ineffective or harmful "natural " cures

I like Dr. Gregger, an md who reviews research and has no profit motive in publishing what he finds. His general conclusions agree with my previous herbal / whole foods studies. A search of his site using the general term "cancer" yields  cancer.

Granted,  this is a lot of material to look at, but refining the search may help with specific concerns. (even some research on Broccoli)

In general I like the treatment approach of strengthening the organs of elimination---bowel and kidneys--followed by the deep tissue cleanses that aid the liver and circulation. Stimulating and fortifying the immune system can also work wonders.     Dr. Christopher products are generally pretty good also Dr. Schulze- Richard Schulze, aka Professor Cayenne ( a popular student of Dr. Christopher).

I don't like the standard medical approaches, although there are some tricks that can make them more effective, specifically- fasting before and during chemo
4 months ago
the post for volunteers is 7 years old
.  check the posting date just to the right of the poster's name at the top
9 months ago
Like  I said,, I haven't done any research at all for a couple years, and never got conclusive answers when I did.

Whatever non profit status you get, there may still be some taxes.

I really like the idea of a religious non profit,  that has the most complete tax exemption and I'm pretty sure those have already been granted in the vein/name of Permaculture.

Conservancies I think have some tax exemptions, but seeking shelter under them would likely be less complete than other non profit trusts you might be able to qualify for.  A non profit trust should be able to shelter your wages, land, improvements, even possibly supply you with odds and ends of spending money for your work on the property.  Again, be scrupulous with records and honest with adherence to your mission statement in establishing the non profit, and there's no reason why you couldn't totally dedicate yourself to the public good through Permaculture and enhance your own survival at the same time.

The idea of establishing a non profit and building on land it receives as donation is a simple one, but totally depends on the situation

I have land and might be interested in combining with someone else who had a completed plan and established non profit who also believed in Permaculture Principles, but the key is going to be proving yourself with stability and positive actions.

Again, the design should be well thought out, you seem to be studying a particular area, but do your research thoroughly, and be sure there is a chance of community support in the area.

At this point in time I can say, don't take my statements as if they were gospel, figure these things out as you investigate the situation, trust specifics,  and it's likely a good idea to talk with a lawyer or local tax professional to get accurate information. research the history of the properties for sale. Maybe look at a few, talk with owners, think about Permaculture possibilities, and see if there's any local support for your type of  situation.

As you go it's a real good idea to be asking yourself what you can do to improve the lives, sustainability, well being of the people in the area.  They may not know it yet, but you may figure out Permaculture tricks that can  improve their crops, their housing, even their peace of mind.

Conservancy is nice, but may cripple you as far as Permaculture ambitions and your energy might be better spent on a neglected run down piece of land that you can do erosion control, diversify plantings and really push forward the idea of People Care.  

Education is really the name of the game, get involved in the area you want to settle in even before you incorporate. For instance, there is a neighbor beside me and I approached him with the idea of creating a joint Permaculture Property, that he could keep possession of, possibly build on, and obtain a  tax exemption while still basically maintaining control of it. He wasn't interested, likely he will end up selling it,  but these are the types of possibilities you might explore, it really depends on the people and properties in the area you are looking at and the attitudes of the people.

I wish you luck, but don't jump at the first opportunity without some careful thought and research.
11 months ago
Thanks for the link. A community I was thinking of joining had joined the NC, and I thought at the time it was a deal  fraught with possible problems, but being high minded idealists the rhetoric sounded good. Seeing how they callously handle "deserted" land makes me more certain than ever that my original aprehensions were well founded.

Again, Thanks for the link.
11 months ago