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Dan Boone

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since Jan 24, 2014
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Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by Dan Boone

I agree with the above. In my experience allelopathy sometimes stops fragile garden annuals, especially at the seedling stage; to everything else it is at most a modest speed bump or a deterrent, not a barrier. Black walnuts grow wild where I am and you have to look mighty sharp at at species distribution to detect any effect around and under them.  IMO allelopathic effects in general are not to be ignored in designing a landscape, but as an ally against something as vital as feral berry vines I wouldn’t expect much from them.
4 months ago
Yup — but it’s actually much harder to see incorrect words than wrong letters in words, at least for me.
4 months ago
I am the kind of fossil who turns off autocorrect; I can usually see my thumbos, but not the wrong words substituted for them.

But there’s also a fiendish anti-technology  called predictive text, that guesses your intended word or even phrase from past thumbing patterns and initial letters and displays an array of word choices on a bar by your thumbboard to choose from with a press. It’s very easy to thumb the wrong word that way and not notice. May also contribute to what you are seeing.

I, stubborn old fossil that I am, have this “service” off to, mostly because I carry a small-format smartphone and can’t afford the screen real estate it takes up.
4 months ago
An astonishing number of people are using the voice assistants on their phones and kitchen counters as their primary interface these days.

“Siri, post ‘I need a lemonade recipe’.”

“OK you functional illiterate, posting “I knead a grim grenade receipt” now.”

“Close enough, thank you Siri.”
4 months ago

Gabriel Lavinsky wrote:"OK, we are recycling, but this is not the solution, it is just a part of the immediate remedy. If we want to truly change this situation, we need to change the production industry, we need to redesign and consider the post-use right in the design of the product".

Gabriel I just quoted one sentence from your post but really I am in agreement with the whole thing.  At least in theory, you are 100% correct.  It's just... I'm not recycling to change the world, I'm recycling because I am, by local standards, poor.

When I pull tires out of the waste stream (or, as I do more often, when I pull them out of the natural environment where they have been dumped by assholes as litter and pollution, because in this country there is a fee to put them in the official waste stream that many people prefer to avoid by illegal dumping) I am "solving" one immediate problem but I am not changing the world and in a way I'm even taking off some of the pressure on the producers of the problem.  I am also creating some pressure and problem for the future owners of the land where I put these tires to use, which is the biggest reason I'm not using them on a much larger scale.  That's something I've discussed with my wife in detail (it's her family land) and she's firmly of the opinion that I am creating net local improvements with the tires; this land is in terrible condition from previous abuse by oil and cattle interests so that's at least plausible. 

What's going on is that when I see this litter/pollution/waste at the side of the road and dumped on public land, I see a resource.  There's an ENORMOUS wealth of embodied petroleum energy and minerals in a used tire, taking the form of strong chemical bonds and great physical strength and durability that I can use for all kinds of projects, mostly planters and makeshift gabions (rock baskets to control erosion).  By local standards I'm not wealthy enough to drive past those resources and ignore them; and in fact, I'm not as wealthy as most of the people here on Permies who have the luxury of taking counsel of their concerns about toxins and deciding "better not take the risk".  These resources solve problems for me that would otherwise go unsolved; I don't have the money to buy equivalently strong building materials or the strength and physical fitness to build equivalently strong structures from the natural materials on my land by hand or the capital equipment (petroleum powered machinery) to assist me in doing so with the strength and fitness that I do have.  So I use them.

I do agree, though, that it would be a huge mistake to vanish the whole tire waste stream into reuse and upcycling without requiring the tire industry to assume more responsibility for the problem they are creating than they do now.
5 months ago
I am almost beginning to think that Permies needs a FAQ document about the health and safety implications of using/reusing/recycling/upcycling old tires.  Although this question was initially about earthship construction, it has already branched into tire recycling generally and into using tires as garden planters (a practice that I myself make heavy use of).  We've had several people express opinions kinda facty-like and nobody has yet brought up Paul Wheaton's clearly expressed preferences on how he'd like to see the matter discussed in advancing permaculture education at this forum.  So I have added this thread to the recycling and gardening forums and I'm going to link a few relevant threads where this has been discussed rather heavily in the past.  Hopefully all that will help a bit.

First of all, some clarity: the original poster linked to a .pdf about a toxicity study involving a ground-up "rubber crumb" recycled tire product.  Virtually all of the quantitative information about the "toxicity of recycled tires" and other scientific information of that sort has focused on that product, which is an industrial material used mostly to make playing surfaces for children.  Because so much surface area of the ground up tires is exposed to air and water, leaching seems as if it may be a serious problem with the crumb material and it is absolutely the dirtiest possible way imaginable (except perhaps for open burning) to recycle an old tire.  I certainly wouldn't mulch my vegetables or children with that stuff.

Whenever the conversation turns to genuine recycling of old tires in their original or lightly modified forms (as in, no grinding, not much cutting or drilling) be aware of one thing: there is no science.  Nobody has done any.  If somebody makes a confident statement about toxicity, they are at best incorrect, or at worst, telling you a whopper.  Nobody knows.  Because nobody has studied it very much.  (Disclaimer: that I know of.  I haven't seen any studies.  No studies ever come up in these discussions.  The studies cited always seem to be pointing at ground-up tires, or tires in water.)

Some opinions offered in this thread are that old tires used for earthship housing construction "are not really good for your health," and "are not safe for health or nature."  Another poster has opined that using tires in gardens "probably works but it is not good for the environment and is not permaculture."  My own opinions run to the contrary but I've gone into those elsewhere; I highlight these here just to point out that we are swapping opinions.  In particular, what's good for the environment depends a lot on context; when I pull old tires out of a roadside litter pile and make it into a neat garden planter, I challenge anybody to establish a net environmental detriment.  Where you end up depends an awful lot on where you start!

As you might imagine, this has all been thrashed out in some length on Permies in the past.

8 years ago: Are tires safe to use in and around gardens?


paul wheaton wrote:The recycler/re-user in me conflicts with the organic in me.   But I've had tires offered to me before and in the end I always reject the tires. 

They just aren't inert enough for me.

But .... that's just me.

5 years ago: Big tires for "Keyhole-ish" design


paul wheaton wrote:
2)  My mission with these forums to gather knowledge about stuff far beyond organic.  I don't want to publish discussions on GMOs, herbicides or petroleum fertilizers - that's for other forums.  The use of tires is something that might be considered organic, therefore I will allow it.  but just barely.  And I do want the resulting discussion to strongly favor NOT using tires. 

3)  When I first started gardening, I really sucked at it.  But I quickly learned that I needed more soil.  And one of the things I did was use a big tractor tire and fill it with soil.  It worked awesome:  the rhubarb planted in it was HUGE!  It was about a year later that I started to feel uneasy about the tire and the potential toxins.  And a year after that that I started making plans to get rid of the tire.   And now I am adamantly against the idea of using tires in gardening.   Therefore, i cannot fault this path - I've done the same thing.  And I hope that folks coming to this site and reading this thread will come to the conclusion of not using tires in their stuff - thus avoided my past errors.

1 year ago: Are tire planters safe?


Nah.  It looks too vain when I quote myself, and besides, I disagree with Paul.  You gotta click through if you want to see why I think the benefits outweigh the potential toxicities.  And maybe in a few more years I'll be further down the path and saying the same thing as Paul, who knows?
5 months ago

r ranson wrote:Maybe the question I'm looking for is simpler.

How far back do we have to go to find a diet that our bodies are adapted to? 

We're all in agreement that the Modern Western diet isn't working.

Do we really have to go back 10,000 years to find a diet that our bodies thrive on?

Could it be less?

What if, our bodies actually thrived on the diet of our individual ancestors 200 years ago?  That would give me a North Western European diet heavy in wheat, milk, pulses, cabbage, and beer.  But according to the SCD, most of these are 'illegal' foods for good health.

I think this is a really interesting question.  Whether it's the question you're looking for in particular to solve the problems at your house I'm less in a position to say of course. ;-)

For the reasons you've raised and a few more,  the 10,000 years business doesn't make any sense to me at all. Most other creatures we know respond to selective pressure in just a few generations.  We can find stable creatures in the fossil record, but when we actually take creatures and apply selective pressure, they change in single-digit generations, not five-digit generations.  None of the reasons advanced for why our particular flavor of hominids ought to be different strike me as especially persuasive.  So I'm inclined to believe the evidence in front of my eyes.

I don't know much about SCD, but I'm dubious about it on that basis alone.  I suspect that, if it's helping people, that like a lot of diets it imposes enough slightly-unusual rules that people start having to cook  special meals at home, that result in a massive reduction in consumption of prepared and processed foods. And that alone has so many health benefits that the effect can create communities of fans and believers around quite startling and hard-to-credit dietary theories ... perhaps including the set of dietary memes that have currently infected my own brain, I'm not judging here.

So, for starters, I strongly suspect that most folks on the Standard American ChemoDiet could pick *any* of the diets that were prevalent on the surface of the earth 200 years ago, hew to them, and be considerably healthier.  But there's probably a best-selling diet book in advising people to get their DNA tested, pick the majority ethnicity revealed in the DNA, research an appropriate diet among that ethnicity ten generations ago, and follow it.  I'll bet it would result in substantial health improvement for most who followed it, too.

5 months ago

According to my reading on SCD...


I know that (with a few exceptions, mostly found in politics) humans are different than vegetables, insects, and sheep.  But are we really so different that it takes 10,000 times as many generations to adapt to a new diet than vegetables, insects, and sheep?  What is it about our genetics that makes us so different than the natural world around us?

In this as in so much else, Occam’s Razor cuts keenly.  The simplest explanation is that we do respond to selective pressure in not so many more generations than onther mammals, adjusting for the factor that we tend to be resist culling fairly vigorously.

Which in turn would tend to suggest that it’s the SCD reading, if not the diet itself, that is incorrect.
5 months ago
This thread makes bizarre reading for me because I go through maybe a tablespoon of olive oil a week. There’s not a lot of spent fats to dispose of on that grease budget! Just another reminder of how differently we all do things.

But if I had them, I’d mix them in rolled oats and feed them to the birds. I don’t keep a bird feeder because of the expense, but wild birds do come in to the outside dogfood dishes, and I don’t begrudge them the calories.
5 months ago

Ken W Wilson wrote:
Dan, have you found any uses for the Poncirus?

Nope, but I don’t have my own trees of fruiting age yet, my oldest are about 4. There’s a heavily fruiting tree about 2 miles from my house in a yard full of rednecks and pitbulls, and another one that was in the next county over until the new owners brushogged the field it was in.

I got all my seed from a tree in a public park a few counties south of here.

There’s a bit of a trend in fancy bitters for cocktail mixing; I think the poncirus fruit would be good for that.  But really I am just growing it because it’s exotic and different and pretty and smells good.