John Suavecito

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since May 09, 2010
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Food forest in a suburban location. Teaches grafting and helps people learn how to grow food. Involved with a local food exchange group. Shares cuttings and knowledge with schoolchildren.
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Recent posts by John Suavecito

Suburbanites often have the greatest commutes.  Many people buy a house, as a way of building equity.  Values sure have gone up in many areas, so much that we are having a huge homeless problem.  Now there are many homeless people in the suburbs.  One problem is that people buy a house, then get a better, or different job on the other side of the metro area.  Social scientists looking at this phenomenon describe it as one of the greatest obstacles to personal happiness.  Inching forward in traffic for hours creating lots of pollution is neither fun nor meaningful.  Becoming more sustainable in the suburbs requires decreasing commutes.  Of course, you could just yell at people and tell them to only take a job near their house.  Obviously, it's hard to take a big pay cut for a less interesting job with nobody you know just because it's near your house.  What are some ways that suburban permies can decrease the ecological impacts of their commutes?

John S
PDX OR
1 day ago
Yes, while it's wet is the best time to hunt for slugs.  I agree: you kill one. Go to the same spot the next night, the slug is eating his buddy's corpse.  If you go out at night right before you go to bed, that's the best time to catch slugs and kill them. We used to have a terrible time growing green beans. Now I go out as late as possible to pick them off.  They are often extremely tiny, but they will eat your vegies.  Also, they love to eat the newly grafted scions, so I check them. I will often tie on a fruit sock (small nylons that women slip on when buying shoes). Now they sell them to protect fruit, ie Maggot Barriers.  Old ones with holes in them are fine for that purpose.

Also, if you have a diverse yard, with lots of beetles, that's good.  Beetles' favorite food is slug eggs.  Not to be confused with the Beatles.  

John S
PDX OR

2 days ago
I agree, Casie.   CAFO's are creating giant cesspools of environmental destruction right now.  They reap the profits, we pay for the environmental destruction through our taxpayer funds and destroyed environment.  The animals pay in terms of cruel and painful lives.  Adding biochar in there could at least decrease some of the negative effects.  Right now, ground water and rivers are heavily polluted, ending up with giant dead zones in the oceans.  The Mississippi river delta is now known as "cancer alley".
Rudolf Steiner of biodynamic fame had it right though, I think: If you have the helpful proportion of animals on the farm to the size of the farm, it creates natural fertilizer, not an excess of toxic poollution.
John S
PDX OR
 
5 days ago
Guys like Will Harris of Georgia, Mark Shepard of Wisconsin, and Gabe Brown of N. Dakota are already changing many farmers' minds and getting them to go in a more sustainable direction.  If one of those guys gets into biochar, katybar the door! There'll be a whole lot of people paying attention.

JohN S
PDX OR
5 days ago
I live in a very drizzly part of the world, PNW of the US, especially in between November and April.   I prefer to burn really dry wood as it smokes less and gives me more biochar for the amount of wood. More carbon is sequestered and I have more hotels for my microbes.

On my second to last biochar burn, I had to take out a lot of the wood, because it was moist. I could feel it in my hands as I was going to put it in the barrel.  I decided against burning it that time and stored it for the next time.   This last time I made biochar, I noticed the same effect. However, I got an idea.   I placed it on the outside of the 55 gallon drum I use as a TLUD.  I hoped that it would dry enough quickly on the outside of the barrel that I could soon place it inside the barrel when it was dry. I noticed that it dried so quickly that it was smoking and some lit on fire within one minute.  It had never occurred to me to dry it like this as part of the process for some reason.  This is a really quick way to dry wood that is a bit too moist to burn.  Just watch it, because I didn't realize how quickly it would start smoking and actually burning flames. It burned really well and made good biochar.

John S
PDX OR
5 days ago
cob
Yes, I agree Richard Henry.

There are many uses to biochar, as there are to garlic, mint, and WD-40.  Specificity is important.  

I think that part of the reason is that for any use of biochar, carbon is sequestered.

John S
PDX OR
1 week ago
cob
I saw this periodical, Ithaka Journal, in another post on this site by another user.  This article is their most popular one, but they have a lot of information on biochar.  They list other uses of biochar BEFORE putting it into the soil.  Some of the typical ones are to reduce the disease producing effects of manure, and to prevent leaching of nutrients away from the farm and into the water stream.  They focus on carbon sequestration, but their information is useful in many ways. The site is not limited to biochar.

https://www.ithaka-journal.net//55-anwendungen-von-pflanzenkohle?lang=en

John S
PDX OR
1 week ago
With the high gas prices, my wife and dog and I have been doing a lot of hiking through different nearby neighborhoods.  We make a tour typically starting on a little trail, then going through neighborhoods, crossing school grounds,  then more neighborhoods, then crossing a park, a creek, then back to a circle. It's cheaper, uses less fossil fuels, and time travelling great distances.  We also feel more connected to our community.  It is a creative feeling to figure out a really good route that is fairly close by, goes through beautiful areas, covers different terrain features, and is fun for the dog, too.  It's also good exercise.

John S
PDX OR
1 week ago
I just read the article that Kimi Iszikala included from the Ithaka institute.  Apparently, like a lot of people on this thread, I wasn't previously paying attention to the details in it. It is fantastic, and includes a lot of specific information about percentages of biochar in different building mixes.  It also includes info about protecting from EMFs, and regulating temperature and humidity,  which I had really never thought about before.  Nice to see some people making this work and finding out which mixes are optimal for different uses.

JohN S
PDX OR
1 week ago
cob
For some reason, I am able to grow dandelions rather easily in my yard. It's probably the food that I eat most frequently.

John S
PDX OR
1 week ago