Julio Budreaux

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since Nov 09, 2017
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chicken hugelkultur urban
Little Rock, Arkansas / Bonnerdale, Arkansas
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Recent posts by Julio Budreaux

Hello everyone!

Just a few updates to make:

  • RM seems to be thirstier than AP; this could be due to the differences in location (North facing vs South Facing)
  • I plan to move the pots under a shade tent the weekend following Memorial day
  • No seedlings have broken the surface, though I can see some root growth along the air pruning holes of the RM


  • Additionally, Jeni Lee has kindly provided me with a few samples of RediRoot 1-gal air pruning pots as well as a couple of larger fabric air-pruning pots to experiment with on next year's seedlings. Thanks, Jeni!
    6 days ago

    Jeni Lee wrote:If you are interested in air-pruning you should check out RediRoot, in the interest of full disclosure, I work for them but I have honestly seen some amazing results and they offer so much aeration and air-pruning power. RediRoot



    Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe next year... I've already got my hands full with 41 seeds planted, as this is all being done at my house (in the middle of the city) and space is an issue for me.

    But, if you wanted to talk to the powers that be to donate 10 or so RediRoot pots for comparison, I'd be more than happy to oblige!
    1 month ago

    Timothy Markus wrote:

    Greg Martin wrote:For me, I'm very thankful for vaccinations.  I'd be worried that with our population density and the high level of travel in the modern world we'd experience mass suffering without good vaccination programs.  



    I understand that concern.  What I don't get is why it has to be 100% vaccinations.  If the vacs work, anyone can protect themselves by getting it.  I don't understand what the risk is for those who are vacced.  If you're willing to take the risk of not getting the shot and you get whatever it protects against, how is there an epidemic if 98% of the people are vacced?

    I've had the flu shot many times but each time I end up getting the flu.  I know it's not from the vac, as there's no live viruses, but it always happens.  I think that the vac taxes my immune system and I end up getting one of the strains that aren't included in the vac.  The last few years I haven't had it and I've caught the flu about half the time, so I'd rather take my chances there.

    edited for clarity



    The science is fairly clear on this, and the vast (overwhelmingly vast) majority of the scientific community and evidence supports the notion that vaccines are safe and effective. The beginning of the anti-vax movement was due to a (now debunked) medical article by a doctors whose licence to practice medicine has been revoked, who was being paid by attorneys hoping to sue a vaccine company, had a severely restricted subject pool, and straight lied about the condition of the subjects prior to receiving the vaccines (two of the three subjects who were later diagnosed as autistic had several annotations of "devlopmental delays" and abnormal facial features generally associated with mental handicaps). Here's a scholarly article that goes through this in more detail: https://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347

    If you went to 99 doctors, all of whom currently practice medicine, and they told you that surgery was the best option to remove a cancerous tumor, but then you went to this one former doctor who lost his license due to malpractice and he told you, "the other doctors just want to operate on you so they can charge you money. You just need to rub some dandelion flowers on tumor to make it go away" ... who would you believe?

    The chances of your independent, non-peer-reviewed research proving the exact same ingredients (as opposed to different isotopes of certain ingredients which may be metabolized differently) of certain vaccines (which have been proven to be safe in clinical trials) to be harmful is likely quite low; since I shared a scholarly article with you to support my answer to your question, I would ask that you do the same here.

    Beyond this, vaccines work most effectively when a certain percentage of the population receives the vaccine. This is called "herd immunity". If the healthy (non-immunocompromised) individuals in a given group are all vaccinated, those who suffer from immunocompromising conditions are exponentially less likely to be exposed to the contagion. If even a small percerntage of the healthy individuals in a given society are unvaccinated, they can pick up the disease and spread it to those who were unable to receive the vaccine, but would have chosen to had they been able to. This is, at the very least, putting other people's lives in danger in a completely avoidable way for selfish, though not malicious, reasons.


    All of this to say, no, I don't feel as if the noose is tightening. While the government does many things I dislike and do think it important to keep the power of the government in check, I think suggesting that mandatory vaccines and criminalizing "questioning mainstream medical messages" is a touch paranoid.
    1 month ago
    Well, after giving some more thought to Alan's post, I ordered 10, 1-gallon AirPots to plant another round of pawpaw seeds in order to compare their growth to that of the RootMakers. While this will not be a direct apples-to-apples (or rather, pawpaw-to-pawpaw) comparison due to the relative age of seed stock used (those planted earlier in March were leftovers from a purchase made in the spring of last year and kept in the refrigerator, while those planted into the 10 AirPots were freshly ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sometime in the past few weeks). However, Baker Creek actually puts 7 seeds in each package, so after planting in the 10 AirPots I had four left over to place in 1-gal tallboy tree nursery pots to act as a quasi-, if admittedly small, control group.

    Anyway, I planted these 14 today, about 2 weeks after the first round consisting of the year-old seeds.

    For this informal test, I intend to:
  • Note the sprouting dates for each group.
  • Monitor their progress against one another and compare overall vigor throughout the year.
  • NOTE: As of now both groups are isolated from one another, but both are in shade. I plan to move them all to a concrete pad and construct a shade tent for them so that they all receive the same shaded light through the remainder of the growing season.
  • Monitor fertilizer use and generalized observations on water usage.
  • Take measurements throughout the year with a 2-week stagger to account for the difference in sowing dates.


  • As noted above, this may not be exactly scientific, and the two test groups are both 1)small in size and 2)do have notable differences between them, but it will be an interested look at what differences, if any, these two styles of root pruning containers express when used to grow Pawpaw from seed, with the conventional tallboy-style tree pot for comparison's sake.

    So, yeah, stay tuned!

  • March 21: Planted 27 "packed for 2018" Pawpaw seeds in 1-gal RootMakerII Injection-Molded Air Pruning Containers (RM)
  • April 10: Planted 10 "packed for 2019" Pawpaw seeds in AirPot 1-gal Air Pruning Containers (AP)
  • April 10: Planted 4 "packed for 2019" pawpaw seeds in 1-gal tallboy-style tree nursery pots (TB)

  • 1 month ago

    Sean Dembrosky wrote:If I can be helpful clarifying or answering questions please let me know!



    Hi Sean, I enjoyed watching a couple of your videos here! One question I had was: in your "Orchard Design 6 - Guilds Develop [...]" video at the 7:22 you said you had a tree growing with some plant "leaning all in to it which has made it more or less invisible to predation through the winter," but I didn't catch what plant it was. I played it back several times and it sounds like "anna's hysthas". What is the name of this plant and how does it mask your tree from predators?
    1 month ago
    Congratulations, Devin! I hope you do a write-up of your experience at Wheaton Labs!
    1 month ago

    Brooke Bell wrote:From my reading I don’t think I can really “Ruth Stout” my new gardens with sawdust right? But other than compost, paths or mushrooms, any other innovative uses?



    You may not be able to "Ruth Stout" it per say, but sawdust decomposes beautifully. As long as it doesn't get compacted, you should be good to spread a decent layer over the allotment in the fall. If you are able to get shredded leaves you can mix that with the sawdust to help fight compaction and add variety to the food available for fungi and invertebrates, who will help improve your soil structure over time. If you have friends who raise chickens, rabbits, pigeons, etc. you could ask for their used bedding and spread that periodically, as well.

    I used no-till methods like this (in my case, it was lasagna gardening with cardboard and wood chips) to turn an area of compacted sand in my back yard into our tomato bed, blackberry patch, pollinator garden, and three-tree backyard orchard after one overwintering. All of this in an area that used to be an above-ground pool and deck for the previous homeowners. I've since topped it off with leaf litter, chicken bedding, and decomposed sawdust. I'm in my second year of growing on it (third year since starting the bed) and I still have to weed, though.

    1 month ago

    Alan Booker wrote:Hey Julio,

    I'm glad to hear you are working with Pawpaw. We need more folks working with this amazing native fruit. If you haven't read it yet, I recommend Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit by Andrew Moore.

    Are you planting one (or more) of the improved varieties? Where are you getting your stock?

    Also, what is the larger context of your orchard? Pawpaws definitely seem to do better in a diverse food forest setting where they can act as an under-story tree. What else are you working on for the other layers of your system?



    I have read the book--I bought my copy when I visited D.C. over new year's 2018. I heard about it on a few permaculture podcasts I listen to and was excited to see it in the store, though I can't remember which museum gift shop it was now.

    Regarding your other two questions, I planted three specimens of two different named varieties (one Shenandoah and two Allegheny) in the understory of a few tall pine trees in one corner of the property as my testers. They're doing well enough so far for me to continue with the project, so I have a couple PA Golden, Sunflower, Taytwo, and Shenendoah set aside for planting this year. They will be planted in full sun as they're all about 3 years old now; the Pawpaw only needs to be shaded for the first few years of its life, from what research I've found. Because of this, and because of the ultimate goal for the project (first as a you-pick-it and then hopefully supplying a local ice cream company with a seasonal product) I'm going to be planting in rows with a modified ANP (in this case, PNP) layout.

    However, the back 2 acres or so are heavily wooded and stay relatively moist due to low elevation and a creek that runs through the property. I plan on growing ungrafted seedlings from the KU project here, in deep undergrowth and amongst wild muscadine. This would allow people to pick improved varieties or "wild-type" pawpaws from the same orchard, though commercial harvest of the wild-type is likely not feasible.

    Anyway, that's the plan!
    1 month ago
    Alan,

    That is an interesting idea. I could do plant another round of pawpaw seeds in air pots next year and compare them to those I started in RootMaker pots this year.
    1 month ago
    Hello all!

    I've not ever posted in this portion of the forum before, but I lurk from time to time.

    In my response to Paul and Alan's giveaway thread, I mentioned that I have 28 pawpaw seeds planted in RootMakerII pots. I've only grown one other Pawpaw from seed and it was also in a RootMaker pot. It has been truly remarkable!

    For those on the forum who aren't familiar with Pawpaws, they have a very long taproot, and often times with seedlings the rule of thumb is that the taproot is at least two times are "tall" as the trunk. However, with the RM system I've managed to get incredible secondary and tertiary root growth on my specimen grown from seed. I will be moving it from a 1-gal to a 3-gal pot as soon as the 3-gal container comes in.

    This isn't my first foray into airpruning containers; I've used several DIY styles before. These include a fabric pot, a fabric tote repurposed to a plant container, and 5-gal buckets with holes drilled in the sides and bottom. My rankings from personal experience are as follows:

    1. RootMakerII
    2. Fabric Pot
    3. 5-gal Bucket w/ Holes
    4. Fabric Tote

    I rank them as such because the fabric tote didn't last at all under the hot Texas sun (was living in Killeen at the time), while the 5-gal buckets proved to be excellent tree containers (still have a number of named Pawpaw varieties in these guys) but there was not nearly as much effective root pruning in these containers compared to the purpose-built fabric pots or the RootMaker injection-molded pots (which certainly take the cake thus far).

    If you are not familiar with air pruning roots, it is the method of forcing root tips to hit air, dehydrating the tips and causing root branching. This provides more surface for small, hair-like feeder roots to grow and encourages a really strong root system that is better able to absorb water and nutrients, leading to larger and healthier plants. Or so the theory goes. In my experience, I have noticed really good root ball growth, but have not noticed much difference in terminal size of the plants.

    Has anyone else used root pruning containers, and how would you rank their efficacy?  
    1 month ago