Jeff R Hodgins

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since Dec 01, 2013
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Recent posts by Jeff R Hodgins

My sun-chokes are all the same kind and I have noticed some mutated patches that do not flower, these ones produce way more tubers and the above ground parts grow taller and thicker. All are in full sun. Also the leaves look more like a sunflower they are wider and darker green. Going on for 2 years now with the same plants.
Meryt Helmer That was an interesting link, I wouldn't say that they proved permanent C sequestration though. Lets imagine that I take some land that they treated with compost and I cut the hay from that land year after year. Or even better the land gets hit by wild fire 3 years in a row. After a decade or so the carbon levels would drop off and so would the production. If they had used biochar they could spray the place with glyphosphate every year for a decade and the soil would still have a lot of the original carbon in it. I really like what they are doing there at the Marin Carbon Project, I'm just pointing out that their results are based on increased growth and sufficient grazing. They are using a carbon source that is highly biodegradable (volatile) where as charcoal is more stable.
6 years ago
Paul Wheaton says don't make compost because carbon and nitrogen will be lost to the air. He says feed waste to animals. That may have some small effect on the gasification rate compared to composting but ultimately when the animal dies it still gases off. I liked what he said about putting waste under mulch, that would potentially have a nitrogen storing effect but the carbon would still gasify somewhat rapidly. He also says that he's not a fan of biochar. I'm wondering if that is because of the emissions produced when making the biochar or because of potential misuse of biochar resulting in crop failure.

Even though gases are produced during pyrolysis these gases are less than what would be produced if the wood where left to rot. Also by adding the products of slow pyrolysis to the soil more nitrogen can then be stored in that soil.

I don't even believe in the whole CO2 based climate change theory but I can see why if you did believe that you would like the idea of biochar if you truly understood the chemistry of it. Also biochar works if you do it right. Loading it with nutrients once it is made, using slow pyrolysis with some extra wood ashes mixed in with the wood that is to be pyrolysed, in order to promote the formation of larger molecules and reduce phytotoxicity.

On our home farm they/we have been making charcoal for use as fuel periodically for 30 years or so. Some of the Charcoal is lost in the soil and the results are obvious. The only negative result I have seen from char is one time we left a lot on the surface and the growth was retarded for a time until the PH/ N returned to normal. The land there produces copious amounts of every fruit and herb and we also get fodder for 6 sheep all from less than 1 acer. Biochar has amaizing potential for nutrient storage and the hydroxyl anions hold water and may help to draw water from the air into the soil and retard evaporation.
6 years ago
So I read the article and it didn't say what I thought it was going to and what I think is the best thing about manure, the worms and the dung beatle larva. pigs get high quality fat and protein from bugs in the manure. When I put my pigs where there's manure they don't eat the manure they eat the bugs. Here's a funny story chicken manure is widely used as cow food in some countries. Cows seem to like turkey poop more then chicken poop lol. The turkeys eat more grass and there poop is greenish black, almost irresistible if you'er a cow. Anyway 1kg DM of cow dung can supposedly grow 1kg of live worms WM. If I were a pig I think I would perfer the worms.

People say oh your pigs will get worms if you let them root at the dirt and stuff. Ya they will get worms if you are feeding a lot of grains but if you feed alfalfa and let them forage weeds and bug they will do fine cuz the parasites don't affect them as much on that diet.
6 years ago
Well in anaerobic decomposition you can get some phytotoxin build up like iron sulfide and stuff. So I would want to get the stuff aired out on a regular basis. Heavy metals also build up in low spots probably not an issue in a small pond but I wouldn't go dredging the Mississippi for nutrients if you know what I mean.
6 years ago
I do have a nice parged block tank it never leaks but it only holds like 1000-2000L for like $150-$200. The problem is that I need like a billion litres to wet my 5 acres for 6 months a year.
6 years ago
With my sheep I find that they will eat small amounts of toxic plants like cherry and that they will eat more of it if they are well fed already. They will also eat more if you cut fresh growth from a recently coppiced tree. I also feed them a bit of Carrizo grass (Arundo donax) also toxic but I feed it on a full stomach and only fresh shoots. I like to cut my good fire wood and throw just the twigs to them and let them trample them in to the manure. This can also protect areas of grass from being totally wiped out by the animals
6 years ago
No sorry no link, I am speaking from experience, I planted Vicia cracca in a patch of dense grass and the grass was suppressed. I also planted it it a patch of strawberries that was very weedy and was not producing fruit. After the vetch had shaded out the weeds I cut the vetch and shortly after the strawberries started to grow fruit again. With no mulch added and no manure just vetch. The patch is weedy again now but not as bad as it was. Fall is coming and the vetch is creeping up again. I expect an even better stand of strawberries next year.
6 years ago
Hey John I getting even farther off topic but, I wonder if I could use those clay papers to seal a pond we have very bad seepage where I live do you think its wprth a shot?
6 years ago
The add at the bottom is basically plain old charcoal with no additives. It is made with slow pyrolysis which is good but the add doesn't say they added any nutrients so you wouldnt want to use that straight. you would have to mix it with manure. If you put it with manure in a pail of water for a month you will get anaerobically altered forms of nitrogen and they are time released by aerobic microbes and such. You may want to aerobically activate these new compounds.
6 years ago