matthew boersma

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since Aug 22, 2014
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Recent posts by matthew boersma

Janet Reed wrote:Just some thought.

“Hot”  manure generally means new; green; like right out of the cow’s tail.  Fresh.  Aged manure of different types is plantable but hot manure is not.

Manure is like home brew.  You need to age it to use it.

If they are telling you their manure is too “ hot” to plant in I’d listen.  

Thr odd part is i know this compost they have is well brocke down and aged.  its probably 99% wee free as well.  Maybe i should talk to them more about it.
1 year ago

Rebecca Norman wrote:I filled some beds about 8 inches with just cow manure late last winter, and it wasn't even that well composted. I direct seeded cucurbits, beets, basil and coriander in it, and transplanted broccoli into it, and all of them are doing great. My best garden yet, by far.

Some of the beds I mixed some of the underlying soil up into the manure, but the broccoli and cucurbit beds are really mostly just manure the top several inches. The medium feels spongy! The only problem I've had so far is hundreds of alfalfa seedlings because of how the alfalfa hay is done here. I'm already scheming on how I'll do more beds like this next year but then also top with a deep mulch of dried plant matter.

All in all this was my gut feeling, but the outfit that is making the compost claims that thier wood bark compost would direct seed better.  My issue with that is then i would need to then amend again to get the fertility i would need.  Seem like cow would be great out the box, right?  So a quick few questions back your way.. are these raise beds?  Also i imagine you overwintered the beds before planting or do you live in a southern region?  Ever tried lettuce seed, other brassicas, or beans?
1 year ago
Hello all,

I'm a 5-year-old Market Gardner, lol.. as in I've been into it for 5 years with a relative degree of success.  We have learned a ton on the farm, but we are looking to convert many of our beds into no-till beds.  I would love to use a Richard Perkins's style no-till method that uses a deep mulch consisting of pure compost as a way of eliminating weeds and increasing fertility.  My main concern though is direct sewing seeds into compost.  I have a outfit that can supply me with a cow manure compost and a tree bark style compost.  They tell me that direct seating into the cow manure is not as good because it is too "hot"... Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this deep mulch no dig method when it comes to direct sewing seeds?  Are there particular issues with doing it this way?  The reason why I am asking is because the cow manure would probably provide the right balance of fertility compared to the tree bark compost.. which would probably very low fertility even if it was very bioavailable.  I'm just curious what would be the best way of going about this.  Any input would be greatly appreciated

1 year ago
I would really like to know if anyone of you permaculture heads know a great seedling soil build method.  The hope is that i can do it so that it can perform  just as good or better than the store bought stuff.  I know time is often a big part of any building process and i figured this year was the year to get that ball rolling.   I am curious if this is even possible with what i have on the farm?  Or is simply doing the 1 part peat, 1 part perlite, and 1 part compost the best often used method?  Id almost hope i could negate the unatural ingrediants like perlite, and unsustainable peat.  I operate a CSA and do some market gardening to make ends meet.  So i mean business.  Thanks in advanced to any of who contribute ideas or suggestions.
4 years ago

Ben Zumeta wrote:I also am coming from my own mistakes where I bought a large amount of greenhouse poly that turned out to be very unsustainable in our 10” rain days with 70mph winds. I made my money back many times over but recently our local small town recycling company had to stop taking the plastics it used to due to oil prices dropping, and now I am looking for ways to repurpose holy greenhouse plastic. I only need so many tarps!

Are you saying that your greenhouses didn't work well?  Or specifically did you try to reuse the plastic somehow as a mulch?  Or am i misunderstanding and you mean like a black plastic poly for the greenhouse floor?  Im just curious how you mean, and how the rain and wind was a big issue more specifically.  We also have a lot of prevailing wind and lots of precipitation annually too.  My grow season is fairly short as well.  Without greenhouses i could not grow some crops.  Please expand if you can...
4 years ago
I get what you are saying Ben!  You are 100% right!  My plan for using fabrics is a temporary one at best.  I admit this is mainly a method of getting ahead quickly and is by no means a fully sustainable system to the greatest extent.  I do plan to unincorporate these types of methods as i gain ground.  I need more rotational plots to move my birds in and out of.. as i plan to have multiple gardens and plan to use more living mulches as I figure out what works best.  I am trying to crawl before i run in this area if you follow... since honestly us Americans especially as a culture have moved far from these concepts and simply I don't expect every concept to work to my advantage overnight.  Information is also somewhat limited on my scale of gardening to an extent and what works for some may not work for me.   I know i have much work to do, and am only one man.  Also, currently my rotational methods and abilities(time and energy) will leave me with a lot to be desired if i depend on my birds exclusively to solve my issues now.   As i grow my flock and grow my paddock fencing i can and will get great results i am certian.  So as i said for now it is a strategy to speed up the process even if in some regards it may be moving slightly in a stagnate sideways direction.  I love this discussion so once again don't get wrong...  my main goal IS to have zero monetary need for "products" as i develope methods that will work based on what I already have going on.  Thanks for the input!  It keeps my brain cranking.
4 years ago
Great advice!  Honestly i sort have been incorporating or at least turning them into my brain these type of idea as i have been going...  Moving feed areas, and raking the top "fresh" poop layer off for the compost heap for instance.  This makes me feel pretty good about going ahead with my plans.  Any other ideas are most welcome.  Thanks again!
4 years ago
My fabrics will be coming up every year at least once.  Cardboard sheet mulch blows around making an absolute mess of everything, and they keep rains from penetrating down to the soil level too much.  I have used cardboard sheet mulch for hundreds of square feet and it was nothing but problematic. Wood chips are a terrible option for me also since they will cost a lot given my 1.5 acre garden space.   Did i mention my ridiculous slug problem!  Wood chips would be like putting down an attractant.  Plus wood chips don't allow me to work the soil if i happen need to without an overwhelming amount of energy(working toward no till mind you).   Even broadforking will mix wood chips into the soil thus vastly increasing fungal growth(too much) in successive years.   Since they do take a long time to break down and require a very high N input and calcium buffer to balance the PH of the soil.  I won't use plastic specifically because of cost and non-reusability.  Also they tend to put small pieces of plastic everywhere, yuk!  Please come up with more specific examples if you plan to convince me not to use them.  I would love to hear all your experiences.  I want this kind of input and do thank you greatly, but so far the reasons to why dont seem to apply to my particular ideas or methods.  I do have a lot to learn so dont take this as me being combative.  I love humble pie and will down a full plate daily if need be.  

Basically, until I get my flock into better rotations(need fencing), and sqaush the weed population to a much more manageable degree these fabrics are me best option for now from what I know.  Cover cropping also will become my main mulch as i progress in this direction as well.  There is often too much water in my area that weeds just simply have a solid hold and are by far too strong for starting out leaving any bare ground exposed.  They will take over anything even cardboard and woodchips easily since they tend to shift around a bunch.  I have seen it and done it.  So my idea is if anything i do is temporary i will invest in a mulch i can bring up and put down for many seasons at my whim.  All without having to purchase or outsource of any kind every year.

Great talk, but a bit off topic i should add.  I am looking for experiences in regards to geeenhouse winter chicken homes and how it affects the soil more specifically.  Agaim, i do love any amount of imput so thanks all.  Btw, the dig a hole suggestion i love.  This makes tons of sense and seems very practical if needed. Thanks!
4 years ago

William Bronson wrote:Well, you probably won't have any weeds.
Chickens seem pretty good at devastating weed seeds.
If you fill the raised beds with compost on.the bottom and sandy soil on top, the plants could grow down to find their own food without sitting directly in it.

I will likely be tilling first then letting them run through a few days to gobble up the newly surfaced dormant weed seed and slug nests.  Then i will go through with a spade and dig our the walk ways into the raised portion of the beds.  
4 years ago

stephen lowe wrote:Ah yes Matthew you have figured the misunderstanding perfectly. Used as a plastic mulch seems like a fine idea.

Its much more durable and reusable than plastic.  That's why choosing fabric was the idea.
4 years ago