Adriaan van Roosmalen

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since Oct 29, 2014
Netherlands (moderate maritime climate)
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Recent posts by Adriaan van Roosmalen


In a windowless conference room epidemiologist Steve Wing was frantically blacking out chunks of his own research.

Wing had been working on a study looking into the impacts of industrial-scale hog operations on health for the University of North Carolina. But the state’s Pork Council had caught wind of the research, and filed a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) to gain access to his findings. “They went after Steve, asking him to turn over any documentation. They went directly to the university and got the lawyers to try and make him hand it over,” says Naeema Muhammad, one of Wing’s community partners.


The university warned Wing that if he failed to hand over the documents, he could be arrested for theft of state property and even sent to jail. The data didn’t belong to him, it belonged to the state. But handing over the identities put his subjects in jeopardy. It wasn’t unheard of for people to lose their jobs for taking a public stand against the politically powerful pork industry.

By the way, the term "invisible hand" in the title of the article is a kind of parody on the "normal"  meaning within the context of the laissez-faire economic model. See
2 weeks ago
You can create E-books in the EPUB format with Calibre, which is free downloadable software for Windows as well as for Linux.  The website:

If you are not afraid of Linux and the Linux command line you can use AsciiDoc. This is also free software and can create both PDF and EPUB E-book formats.

3 weeks ago
From the Guardian newspaper (no paywall)

Over more than 30 years in west Africa, Tony Rinaudo has regenerated more than 6m hectares – an area nearly as large as Tasmania. His farmer-managed natural regeneration technique is responsible for 240m trees regrowing across that parched continent.

1 month ago
Instead of composting you could start a vermicomposting business. That would bring you much more revenue. I recently bought Rhonda Sherman's new book "The Worm Farmer's Handbook : Techniques and Systems for Successful Large-Scale Vermicomposting" from an UK bookseller site (I am in the Netherlands). wrote:Turning waste into wealth sounds too good to be true, but many worm farmers are finding that vermicomposting is a reliable way to do just that. Vermicast--a biologically active, nutrient-rich mix of earthworm castings and decomposed organic matter--sells for $400 or more per cubic yard. Compare that to regular compost, sold at about $30 a cubic yard, and you'll see why vermicomposting has taken root in most countries and on every continent but Antarctica.

Besides how to work with worms the book has a lot of info about the business side, regulations etc.
1 month ago

Mike Feddersen wrote:I haven't went looking to hard for a Facebook alternative, but knowing Paul is master of this and his techie forums, I just wondered what the expense and techno headaches would be involved in creating a similar site for those types?


You could have a look at Diaspora. From Wikipedia

Diaspora is a free personal web server[3] that implements a distributed social networking service. Installations of the software form nodes (termed "pods") which make up the distributed Diaspora social network.
Diaspora is intended to address privacy concerns related to centralized social networks by allowing users set up their own server (or "pod") to host content; pods can then interact to share status updates, photographs, and other social data.[7] It allows its users to host their data with a traditional web host, a cloud-based host, an ISP, or a friend. The framework, which is built on Ruby on Rails, is free software and can be modified and extended by external developers.

The software is free, but you need a Linux system administrator to install and maintain. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) or an application Droplet  to run the Diaspora Software at a hosting provider like Digital Ocean would cost you USD 10 to 15 monthly. And a domain name registration.

An alternative is forum software. Many are free, a couple cost money. Wikipedia has an overview of forum software:

The forum software is JForum , it requires Java and is free.
1 month ago
Although it has been dry and warm here in the southern parts of the Netherlands, I have the same experience with fungus on my comfrey plants. It is not the powdery mildew.

But I still chop it down, cut the stems smaller and use it as topdressing on the dried leaves mulch of my raspberry plants. Up to now the raspberries do fine and are not affected.
8 months ago
From helping my daughter with memorizing Latin words for school, I remember that "agricola" is Latin for "farmer". See and

Maybe the Agricola in that book/document is just a fictional character or construct to juxtapose the two different approaches to "organic farming" .
1 year ago
The following video from Alberta Urban Garden on youtube discusses a lab report/analysis of "normal" coffee grounds and  espresso grounds:  

The report results of the coffee and espresso (tested as water) and the grounds (tested as soil):
1 year ago

At you will find the detailed steps to create your own EM and also how to use it.
You also can use the serum to create newspaper bokashi. See

1 year ago
The resulting compost was very black and had a lot of what looked like fungal spores. Experiment successful
1 year ago