Everett Arthur

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since Dec 13, 2013
Gaspésie/BSL, QC Zones 4b-5a
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Recent posts by Everett Arthur

I'm well aware of the damage that antibiotic medication can cause to the microbiome, but what of the antimicrobial compounds that many plants and fungi have in the context of a healthy microbiome? What kind of biochemical black magic goes on in the gut when we eat those compounds or take them medicinally? And specifically, why the difference in healthfulness between broad-spectrum, concentrated antibiotics (often derived from natural sources) and eating a broad spectrum of antibiotic compounds in plant medicine-foods? If we see the gut as an ecosystem is it the difference between frequent, small-scale disturbances vs. catastrophic disturbances? When are biocides not all that bad?


10 months ago
Thanks Eric and Tyler. I ask this question partially because I took an ecology course that explained that conifers fix more carbon, at least in cold climates, partially because of the longer period they have to photosynthesize relative to broadleaves. My father-in-law is a forester up here and explained to me that most conifers (with exceptions, notably Larix spp.) drop about 30% of their needles/scales, which leaves them with weeks more than angiosperms to photosynthesize in the shoulder seasons.

So Eric, the conclusion in favor of planting deciduous trees in high latitudes because it increases albedo relative to conifers and reflects more solar radiation thereby decreasing temperature locally (or regionally)?
3 years ago
Hey Eric,

A guy I talked with a few years ago was working on his PhD in forestry. He mentioned that in French Canada (and likely in New England I would guess) there has been a trend since colonization toward replanting/favoring broadleaf trees over conifers. Around here a maple forest for syrup production is seen as a status symbol, which may be part of why conifers aren't favored.

My question for the professional plant geek (self-proclaimed, no malice here) is, what is the difference in the rate of carbon sequestration of conifers on average vs. angiosperm trees? And would this broadleaf favoritism make a significant difference in the northern forests' ability to sequester carbon?

3 years ago
Thanks Christine! Great info. A lot of farmers around here use various plastics, black or transparent agricultural plastic to heat the ground. I'm not a fan of plastic, and if the annual part of the system grows dependent on plastics, then you're on sketchy ground.

I've never heard of using gas. That's wild. Maybe for smaller gardens we could collect old thick glass panels and lay them out (potentially this might lead to compaction issues). Have you played around with using buried stones that catch the sun above the soil surface and conduct the heat down into the soil? Rob Avis used something similar to create a microclimate in Calgary where tomatoes will ripen outside.
3 years ago
I live in a short season cold climate, and a local horticultural fella suggested that soil temperature affected (impeded) the growth of a lot of cucurbits early in the season, even if the last spring frost had passed. Is this unique to cucurbits, or is optimal root development dependent on certain temperature ranges for a number of species?
3 years ago
Great video of a Japanese building style with interesting shots of thatch roof replacement. Keep your eye out for the guy with the giant wooden needle. Anyone have a guess as to what's going on with the big hammers?

3 years ago

Cory Allan wrote:I dunno, I've heard lint makes an excellent growing medium :)

I'll bet lint increases water holding capacity :) The quality of the lint would depend on the fibers (synthetic or natural) of the original fabric, and the dyes used, though. :) When I'm in a pinch I still put appleseeds in my pockets when I'm done eating.

R Ranson wrote:I tried the samurai style folding with a square of waxed cloth, and it makes a great way to carry dry snacks.

I hadn't even thought of that! Great idea!

I've made seed packets out of old napkins in my glovebox before, but never waxed cloth. I'll bet the stiffness makes it scale better than paper.
Thanks Dan, I fixed that bit. I'm glad that you were able to move to the next level of papercraftery.
A Jack-of-All trades, all-around excellent human and good friend of mine taught me how to make these seed packets for seeds. He learned it in one of his trades, police work, because some drug dealers use it as a cheap way to package dope or crack.

But not us gardeners! So crack is often a powder, from what I've learned in the movies, and expensive powder at that. So both the drug dealers and their poor addicted clientèle want to minimize losses. This works great as a seed packet because even small seed can be easily collected and transported. It works much better than pockets of coats and pants, and you'll see a significant decrease in the amount of lint in your seed mixes.

It's pretty self-explanatory, but if it proves unclear still, I could do a video. I'm on a computer that doesn't allow me access to any real illustration software, so I made do with paint and a mouse.

I've used this for seed exchanges, wildcrafting, and sharing seeds with friends from my own genetics collection.

Cheers and happy collecting, growing, and sharing!

(I can't figure out how to make the image bigger, but a bigger version is on my blog post. I didn't do that on purpose I promise): http://openpollinated.blogspot.com/
I ought to give my friend in Idaho some credit as well. He's a talented, trained herbalist, his site is here: Simpler
Thanks for visiting the forums Laura! There are a number of people who are concerned about the use of plastics in systems that will feed back into food. In your experience, what are some other options that could reduce system water's contact with materials that may be putting things harmful to humans or other species in the system?

Stainless steel maybe? Or copper?
4 years ago