Myron Platte

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since Jan 28, 2020
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Recent posts by Myron Platte

jo dakini wrote:hello,
I follow Russian Orthodox tradition but I am British and live in the UK. I love the service and find it much more meaningful than the anglican church. I would love to find an Orthodox Intentional community to be part of that isn't Monastic.

Wishing you well,


Hi! That is a long-term goal I have. On some forest-field edge. Maybe in an old abandoned village. But I'm unlikely to leave Russia to do it. One site I am helping the land owner to develop may become that community. We have a bit of an Otis-Gert  relationship. We have agreed to build an Oehler-style house on the property for me to live in, and there is an abandoned church next door that we want  to restore. It is a quite large stone church for a village, because an ancient, wealthy aristocratic family used to live on the land pre-revolution, and they built it.
6 months ago
It would have to be the permaculture design manual encoded in nursery rhymes, poetry, song, games and folk tales. All the necessary bits of information would be in this folklore, and each song or rhyme would sound like nonsense, but have a constant or principle encoded in it. Like Jack and Jill going up the hill, which actually leads to the understanding that evaporation cools.

There would be rhymes about how your ancestors will curse you with drought in revenge if you cut down the sacred forest, yes THAT forest, the one at the top of the hill that is used only as a cemetery. There would be sayings about how the different patterns mean different things in the landscape, like the sailors’ sayings about cloud shapes. There would definitely be taboos installed against blocking off rivers. I don’t know how I would go about this project, but future generations would do well with such a wealth of wisdom committed to immortal oral tradition.
9 months ago
So I dug up this article.

Emphasis my own.

The amino acid canavanine is a potentially toxic constituent of leguminous seeds. The aim of the present study was to determine the ability of different processing methods to reduce canavanine in sword beans (Canavalia gladiata). For this purpose a method for the detection and quantification of canavanine was developed using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography of the dabsylated derivatives. The recovery of canavanine using this method was 88–91%. Optimum extraction of canavanine from raw and processed beans was obtained by addition of hot water prior to overnight soaking. The results obtained with this method agree well with previously published values for raw seeds. The method is sensitive, specific and can successfully be applied to the detection of canavanine in legumes.

Overnight soaking and boiling in excess water followed by decanting gave the most pronounced reduction in canavanine content (around 50%), followed by boiling and decanting excess water (34%). Roasting as used in this study and autoclaving were less effective in reducing the canavanine content.

The extent to which dietary canavanine exerts its antinutritional effect is not fully established. However, the antagonistic activity is observed only at low arginine concentrations (Swaffar et al., 1994).

This is for sword beans. Assuming caragana is the same as sword beans in this case, a hot water soak followed by decanting and a second hot water soak that you let sit all night and then decant and then add fresh water and boil is probably sufficient. I agree that you should be getting protein from multiple sources.
9 months ago
Thank you for the concern! I’ve been looking into this. L-cavanine is water soluble, so soakage should decrease the quantity of l-cavanine present. Also in this article: under “alfalfa” l-cavanine is discussed, and apparently pressure cooking neutralizes the l-cavanine toxicity in alfalfa.

This article says under “edibility” that the seeds of this plant (wisteria floribunda, one of those mentioned as containing canavanine) are poisonous until cooked. Maybe that’s canavanine content, maybe something else.

I am having trouble finding any information about the degradation of canavanine. How hot does it need to get to degrade?

The main questions I have are: will the leaching remove l-canavanine, how much heat do you need to destroy l-canavanine, and at what point is it dangerous? Is it more like apple seeds, which are basically harmless, or is it more like a culminative poison, which slowly destroys you from the inside?
9 months ago

Artie Scott wrote:You know how great it is when two things that you love come together, like, say, chocolate and peanut butter in a Reese’s peanut butter cup?

It’s even better when two things you hate come together to solve a problem.

Problem 1:  Green June Beetles. Chomp chomp chomp.

Problem 2:  milkweed in the hayfield. (Yes, I know, milkweed is a wonderful plant, they feed the monarch butterfly’s and a host of other critters. I just don’t really want them in the hay, but tolerate them rather than spray them with poison.)

Well this year, you can imagine my fiendish glee and evil laughter when I saw the milkweed in the hayfield being chewed to pieces by none other than the Green June Beetle!  Woohoo!  I realize they are probably just snacking on the way to my fruit trees and veg garden, but I am thrilled to see them keeping the milkweed in check!

According to the nutrient dense farming literature, this is a sign of good nutrient balance in your soil. We had something similar happen with Japanese beetles and mallow. The beetles didn’t touch our crops and exclusively ate the mallow which was growing as a weed in our fields.
10 months ago
To be clear, sealing each joint with birch tar or pitch would be my method. That would hopefully eliminate any capillary action of the kind you’re worried about.
The Scandinavians are one step ahead of you, there. They use birch bark as the underlayment for a living roof.
Awesome to know! So sealing it is a good idea. Maybe a layer of clay on top of the tarred bark would be good. Need to find out the traditional techniques for green roofs using birch bark.