Andrew Wallace

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since Apr 26, 2016
Southwest lower Michigan
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Recent posts by Andrew Wallace

Thanks CK. So then, my concern with grazing Mr. Llama in with the sheep is that he’ll try to escape such a small daily paddock.

Any thoughts on that? Are llamas pretty content to stay in a smaller daily paddock as long as they’ve got enough feed, or are they likely to try to break out and roam?
Hi y’all, I’m picking up four Icelandic sheep and a 7 year old gelded llama in a few weeks. I plan on doing the best I can to mob graze the sheep, but my understanding with llamas is that they really like to be able to roam/have their own space, which, to me, sounds like I don’t want to have him netted-in with the rest of the sheep during the day.

I’ve thought about just letting him roam the larger, perimeter-fenced in area (about 27,000 sq/ft) during the day, but it seems to me that would negate a lot of the point of mobbing the sheep, as he’ll then have unfettered access to the entire pasture, eating up stuff before it’s rested long enough and the like.

Does anybody have any suggestions?
Hi Deb, thanks for the quick response.

I did do some digging for a while a few weeks back. I don't know that I'll be able to slog through every page of every topic on this board, though. I was hoping that someone remembers the page I'm talking about.
1 year ago
Hi folks! Some time ago--I want to say about early 2016--I stumbled on a post in here that had a link to a site that had excerpts from a bunch of old articles and letters-to-the-editor about biochar. This material was from the early to mid 1800s. There was a lot of material there, too; it took me about three evenings to read through it all.

I can't seem to find it anymore :0( Does anyone on here know/remember what I'm talking about and know where that site is? I'd like to reference it for something I'm working on and for a researcher friend on a KNF group elsewhere.

1 year ago
I'd love to know what you find out, so, please keep us posted!

I remember reading in Mycelium Running an account of a chestnut farmer in Canada who made a poultice of fresh birch polypore and applied it to an area of blight on one of his chestnut trees, which stopped the blight and presumably kept the tree healthy.
2 years ago
I get what you're trying to do, and I really like the idea. It seems that a lot of techniques are touted as panaceas on the one hand, and then "disproved" by skeptics who refer to poorly done research on the other.

One of the reasons I enjoy the Walden Effect blog so much is that Anna approaches many of these techniques objectively and tries them out, and she is willing to report on the failures she's experienced with some of permaculture' darlings.

I've been wanting to do a pretty rigorous experiment with biochar in pots, which goes something like this:
- create a list of various garden/orchard plants, such as grape, tomato, carrot, some type of grain, and maybe soybean
- fill 12 pots for each plant with a mix of charged biochar; the first pot would have 100% char, the next would have 1/2 the amount of char to the same amount of soil as in the first, the next would have 1/2 the char as the second, and so on. There's a name for this method, though I can't remember it at the moment.
- transplant seedlings of each plant into their 12 pots (so, one tomato gets 100% char, one gets 50% char, and so on).
- observe and record results for the season.

This could lead to other experiments on biochar. For example, we could leave the harvested (thus, devoid of living plants) pots out over winter, and rerun the experiment as before. I've seen reports of biochar working exceptionally well after having been exposed to snow and spring rains. We could also perform the same experiment, but charge the char first.

I like the idea of citizen-science on these techniques that are part of the toolbox of permaculture, especially if they are conducted well and the results interpreted objectively. It's all well and good to say, "yeah, there's no research on this or that 'cause Monsanto;" I'd rather just go out and do the research myself.
2 years ago
I'm trying to remember the mycogardening chapter of Stamets' Mycelium Running. It seems like oysters had a negative effect on some plants. I know that trumpet oysters are supposed to be mildly parasitic on carrots and similar veg. Based on that information, I've opted to exclude oysters (pleurotus, not hypsizygus/elm oyster) from the compost pile. I like to grow elm and King stropharia in the straw mulch I put in the garden, as they have a beneficial effect on the plant growth, so that's the only hang up I'd have with putting non-edibles in.
2 years ago
Hi y'all, I wanted to share some information about wagyu beef since there seem to be some misconceptions here. There is some really good info online about the breed. The special treatments mentioned are primarily a consequence of raising a large animal in confinement as is done with the wagyu grown in the Kobe area of Japan. They also periodically feed them beer to help stimulate their appetite.

That said, the beef characteristics are almost entirely a result of the breed itself, not the treatment. Wagyu were originally work animals having been selected for high endurance on marginal feed, resulting in animals that could efficiently store fat in the muscle to use during short bursts of high intensity work.

There is nothing unnatural about the meat itself, though obviously the way it's produced in Kobe is not natural. You can achieve similar quality meat on grassfed wagyu cattle--especially red wagyu--though.

Long story short: it's the genetics more than the treatment.
2 years ago