Andrew Mateskon

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since May 20, 2013
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Recent posts by Andrew Mateskon

Shiitake has great flavor, but my favorite has to be Lobster. Lobster mushrooms are the best flavor, hands down, just need to scrub all the grit off of them if found wild.
1 year ago
I have quackgrass here. I imagine a rhubarb, comfrey, wood lily, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and mint Polyculture would stop the quackgrass. These are the species that seem to hold their own against quackgrass and spotted knapweed on my property.

Rhubarb has a very thick root that spreads and divides easily. A wall of rhubarb is impenetrable to other roots.

Comfrey spreads like crazy, with deep roots.

Mint and strawberry are shallow rooted and spread like crazy.

Wood lily takes the place of grass, divides, and spreads easily.

Raspberry and blackberry shade grass out, and spread from seed and from walking as tips dip down onto the ground and root.

Start with a strip of deep (12 inches) mulch, and plant these into it.

You would need to marshal some serious resources if your strip is long. I can get free arborist chips from the local composting facility, maybe you can find something similar? Call all the tree service companies and ask them to start dumping their wood chips on your property.
1 year ago
I use DoTerra LifeLongVitality. Apparently they have essential oils, herbs, fatty acids, minerals, and enzymes. I'm told that the combination of the fatty acids, enzymes, and minerals ups the absorption rate to mid-90%. Of course, that which is absorbed can always be urinated out. That which is never absorbed in typical supplements is still eliminated, but you get no benefit from it. They are not cheap, but I feel like I get what I'm paying for.
1 year ago
This seems to say that essential oil of pumpkin was effective, as was ivermectin, in control of camel nasal Botfly, a related species
1 year ago
Hi Lindsay,

These folks are right, I plant my chestnuts at 50 ft spacing, which is many times the spacing recommended for new orchards, but I want a diverse savanna-style system. They can spread 40 ft.

Blatant self promotion - I'm also in Michigan, zone 5b, and I sell Chinese chestnut trees. These are 2 year old seedlings, and well-adapted to this area. The parent trees are a commercial orchard 15 miles away, blight resistant, no winter kill, all the orchardist does is control weeds. I'm also selling Saskatoon and Siberian pea shrub.

Let me know if I can help, with trees, advice, anything.


Legacy Polycultures
1 year ago
I've seen many trees in Denver area painted white to reflect sunlight on the south side of the bark. It isn't such a big deal in summer, but that hot sun and cold air in winter can be a deadly combination. Try to moderate your temperature swings, maybe with thermal mass and paint?
1 year ago
I received the following e-mail, and I wanted to share it. This might be an amazing opportunity for someone to show the world the applicability of biochar, for example, or other appropriate technologies and design implementations.

The project website is to be found, here; Tulane Water Prize

Dear Tulane Challenge Supporter,

We are pleased to announce that the Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge has re-launched and is NOW OPEN for registration! The Challenge has expanded from the original to allow for more diverse innovators and entrepreneurs be part of the competition to win the $1 million prize!

The primary difference in this updated Challenge is that it is expanded from sensor technologies to in-field innovations. (However, in-field innovations could still include sensor technologies.)

Please see attached Press Release and Media Card for details. Please also follow us on Social Media and our website (links at bottom) for the latest updates.

We encourage you to share this information with your relevant partners and colleagues who may be interested in creating a Team and being a competitor. Feel free to print the attached card or Press Release and post or share with relevant departments (i.e. at Universities) or offices.

Note that the Registration Deadline is JUNE 30, 2016, and we welcome Teams from around the world to compete. Teams can include for-profit, non-profit, universities, government entities, individuals, or a combination thereof.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thank in advance for your support as we work to address hypoxia and the environmental dead zones.

The Tulane Challenge Team

Press release;

Tulane expands chance to win $1 million for “dead zone” solution

Tulane University has expanded its Nitrogen Reduction Challenge to allow more entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors the chance to win $1 million. The cash prize will be given to the team that presents the best solution to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the earth’s waters via fertilize-laden runoff from farmlands. Such runoff is a leading cause of hypoxia, a deadly deficiency of oxygen that creates annual “Dead Zones” in the world’s lakes and oceans, killing marine life and threatening the economies of coastal regions, including the Gulf of Mexico. Hypoxia solutions already submitted to the Challenge, which launched in 2014, will be automatically registered for the grand prize along with new submissions that must register by the June 30 at Up to five semi-finalists will be selected by November 2016 and provided a plot of farmland in northeast Louisiana to field test their innovation.

The winning entry, which must maintain or increase agricultural yields while reducing nutrient runoff, will be selected by the Challenge Advisory Committee and awarded the grand prize in December 2017. The Challenge’s grand prize is funded by Phyllis Taylor, president of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. “We are so grateful and applaud Mrs. Taylor for inaugurating the Tulane Nitrogen Challenge and targeting hypoxia, a threat to water regions everywhere,” said Tulane University Challenge Director Rick Aubry. Supporters of the Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge range from Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey at the headwaters of the Mississippi River to Louisiana’s Agriculture Secretary Mike Strain and include private industry and academic partners around the country.

The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge is a response to President Obama’s call for more organizations, philanthropists, and universities to identify and pursue the Grand Challenges of the 21st century.

Good luck!
1 year ago

Let me ask you this, how could Job with so many animals increases his possessions without selling them? If you keep reading you see where "by the sword" his possessions were taken and his servants killed. That constitutes lock and key to me...

I took the quote from Quinn much more broadly, to mean human culture post-agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago. This is an agrarian culture that replaced a hunter-gatherer culture. The Mayans, Egyptians, and Hebrews all were part of this new agrarian culture. You are correct, there. However, the point I think the author was trying to make is encapsulated most persuasively by Jared Diamond (Pulitzer Prize winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel);

From the progressivist perspective on which I was brought up, to ask "Why did almost all our hunter-gatherer ancestors adopt agriculture?" is silly. Of course they adopted it because agriculture is an efficient way to get more food for less work. Planted crops yield far more tons per acre than roots and berries. Just imagine a band of savages, exhausted from searching for nuts or chasing wild animals, suddenly grazing for the first time at a fruit-laden orchard or a pasture full of sheep. How many milliseconds do you think it would take them to appreciate the advantages of agriculture?


While the case for the progressivist view seems overwhelming, it's hard to prove. How do you show that the lives of people 10,000 years ago got better when they abandoned hunting and gathering for farming? Until recently, archaeologists had to resort to indirect tests, whose results (surprisingly) failed to support the progressivist view. Here's one example of an indirect test: Are twentieth century hunter-gatherers really worse off than farmers? Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalahari bushmen, continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?"


Studies by George Armelagos and his colleagues then at the University of Massachusetts show these early farmers paid a price for their new-found livelihood. Compared to the hunter-gatherers who preceded them, the farmers had a nearly 50 per cent increase in enamel defects indicative of malnutrition, a fourfold increase in iron-deficiency anemia (evidenced by a bone condition called porotic hyperostosis), a theefold rise in bone lesions reflecting infectious disease in general, and an increase in degenerative conditions of the spine, probably reflecting a lot of hard physical labor. "Life expectancy at birth in the pre-agricultural community was bout twenty-six years," says Armelagos, "but in the post-agricultural community it was nineteen years. So these episodes of nutritional stress and infectious disease were seriously affecting their ability to survive."


Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, non-producing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses. Skeletons from Greek tombs at Mycenae c. 1500 B. C. suggest that royals enjoyed a better diet than commoners, since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth (on the average, one instead of six cavities or missing teeth). Among Chilean mummies from c. A. D. 1000, the elite were distinguished not only by ornaments and gold hair clips but also by a fourfold lower rate of bone lesions caused by disease.

The entire article is worth a read.

I had already read this article years ago when I read the quotation referenced above, so I naturally thought that the author was referencing Diamond's work, albeit obliquely.
2 years ago
Hi, Travis

at some point we do need to feed our dairy cows and sheep fodder for the winter.

One thing some southern farmers do is stockpile right on the land for winter grazing. I know Gabe Brown has done this as far north and cold as Bismarck, North Dakota. The idea is to grow stuff specifically for winter, and unleash the cows on that pasture when the time is right. It is possible. I can't comment on the viability of the practice in your region, or on the species recommended. The benefit is the ability to grow these things in polyculture, and that the cows harvest and manure the field for you, and trample stuff into mulch, but you still need to drill seed into it in the spring. This does cut down even more on inputs and passes using a tractor, and makes 'no-till' much easier, as the animals lay down mulch for you to keep seeds for germinating and soil temperatures stable, and polycultures outcompete undesirables.

48 tons of corn silage per acre is pretty amazing! That converts to a grain yield of what, 300 bushels/acre!? This is right up there with the highest records in North America (shattered this year with 503 Bu/Ac, but the next closest yields were hovering above 300) How do you manage nutrients with so much output? As a corollary, how much organic matter is too much on your farm?

Compared to a few years ago we are really doing well.

This is awesome! A reduction of three passes with a tractor actually does sound like a lot to me. Good work.

Perhaps my information above was outdated, from the 1980s and 1990s. It sounds like you are doing much more to keep from hanging your head in shame.
2 years ago

Mike Turner wrote:In cold climate you could also consider alders (Alnus) which are nitrogen fixing and have wind pollenated flowers, so no bees. In tropical climates there is beefwood (Casuarina) another nitrogen fixing, wind pollenated plant.

Just be careful planting Casuarina species that are invasive and allelopathic. For example, horsetail tree suppresses germination of seeds underneath, and can spread quickly. The tree is useful, though. Nitrogen fixing (but that doesn't matter if nothing grows around it), and very dense hardwood.
2 years ago