Bryan Hugill

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since Mar 21, 2016
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bee pig writing
Sisaket, Thailand
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Recent posts by Bryan Hugill

Rob Kaiser wrote:OK - here's the method I've come up with for decent basemaps that are easy to use on the cheap:

This should provide some additional detail to how I go about making basemaps inexpensively.

Hope this helps!

Hi Rob - It seems like none of your images have come through...or is it only happening on my computer?
4 months ago

Sue Rine wrote:Well, it's baking hot here, but I'm game to give it a go.

Hi Sue,

Your letter went into the mailbox this morning

1 year ago

Conner Goertzen wrote:I came across some very promising studies on the use of biochar as an additive to cement. Has anyone tried mixing biochar into their cob or cement mixes and would share their results?

Not sure if this thread is still active, but we're in the process of designing our new office on the farm using adobe construction, and we intend to use rice husk char in the mud bricks (if they are able to retain their load-bearing strength) and interior/exterior plastering.
2 years ago
Thanks for the further advice. I will try to get onto this in the next few months and will hopefully have positive news to report back on, in case others are in a similar predicament.

3 years ago

Peter McCoy wrote: Amplifying these species will help speed up this natural process.

Could you perhaps clarify what you mean by this in practical terms?
3 years ago
Hi Brett -

I emailed you a little while ago, but have no heard back from you. Could you check? Maybe it got lost in your Junk folder?

3 years ago
Hi Peter -

I've been looking forward to your book for a long time, after reading your previous 2 zines about mushrooms with relish.

Quick question though: We've been looking into trying to work with fungi and wood chips to remove arsenic from rice paddy soils here in the lower north-east of Thailand...any suggestions on how we might be able to achieve this most effectively (species, soil pre-treatments, etc)?

3 years ago

Brett Pritchard wrote:As far as I know it is naturally occuring in the soil in some sunny marsh areas, so potentially you could find such an area and harvest the bacteria for addition to an IMO brew. The other big advantage of this EM is its stability, but this is more of an issue if producing biofertiliser for sale as farm-made IMO brews are usually used on site. As to the exact composition of the EM I use I don't know if even the developer of it even knows accurately. In addition to the additional purple non-sulphuric bacteria he also managed to incorporate an 8-step circular bacterial process, where the products of one group of bacteria are used by the next and so on finally circling around to the first group again. He said it wouldn't be possible to genetically test it as there are so many different bacteria involved, and that even if you could afford to get genetic testing done on all the bacteria by the time you measured it the composition would have changed.

OK, will shoot an email over to you and we can give your EM a try over here in a test paddy. We're also looking into ways to measure paddy methane emissions in real-time at the moment (N2O comes next), so hopefully everything will mesh nicely before the next growing season and we have everything happening at the same time. Cheers!

As a side-note, I am also curious to see the impacts of the microbe activity on arsenic mobility in the soil/rice, as this is also an issue that plagues rice farms when we get down to the much more specialised realm of processing rice for baby foods. But more on that another day....
3 years ago

Brett Pritchard wrote:I can assist you with brewing up some of this modified EM I mentioned in the post on stopping methane emissions ftom rice fields. It fits in perfectly with the organic / permaculture techniques you are already using, and it will stop your methane emissions and pull nitrogen into the flooded fields and carbon into the soil when the fields are drained. The same bacterial mix can be used to turn any organic matter from food waste to animal manures into organic probiotic fertiliser while producing no greenhouse gases.

Many thanks for your very kind offer of sending me a sample of the mother culture; however, I do wonder how different it is to the various IMO (indigenous microorganism) mixtures we currently make using microorganisms sourced from local forests and other relatively unspoilt areas (aka. Korean Natural Farming techniques). We make a few different mixtures which are then added into our paddies at various growth stages to encourage root growth, tillering and healthy leaf formation, strong stems, and flowering / seed setting. At the moment, we yield almost double per hectare to what our chemical farming neighbours do, so it leads me to believe that we must be doing something right. Also, I very rarely see any bubbling from our paddies except when the ambient temperature is unseasonably hot (but this is probably best confirmed with proper methane emission testing). Perhaps, we could try this another way...I will try to get a local lab to check what microorganisms (incl. bacteria and fungi) we have in our mixtures and please let me know the same for your EM...then we can try to compare in theory which might work better in our conditions here (preferred conditions for optimal performance and sensitivity to fluctuations in, for example, pH, temperature, moisture requirements, nutrient sources, possible impacts on other resident microbes, etc.) and have a more firm foundation from which to work from before I introduce a new set of non-local microbes into my soil. Sound good?
3 years ago