The solution to pollution is dilution.
1 sorghum seed produces a plant which produces 100 sorghum seeds. If the chems from the seed go directly into the new seeds, already you are looking at 1% of previous levels. The new seeds will be a fraction of the mass of the plant grown.
Ask around. Perhaps you can get some seeds from one of the locals before they put it into storage with the chems.
What would you add to this list?
These are not Rules. It's only a guide.
1 Limit debt to a mortgage.
2 Take on no other debt.
3 If you are in debt, pay it off.
4 Until you have at least 3 months of bills saved up, in cash, no superfluous spending.
5 Pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, or a bowl of Cream of Wheat is a fine meal.
6 If you have nothing, it's better than having things and debt.
7 If you have the space to store it and it has some use, don't throw it away.
8 It's OK to pick up a penny, especially when you have debt or nothing or not much.
9 One light bulb on at a time is all you need.
10 Vanity is expensive and not worth the investment
11 Even if you are saving every penny you can, splurge on an awesome meal once a month.
12 If it will rot, compost it.
13 Free shit is cool
14 If you must drink, once a month is the limit. More than that is a problem.
15 If you enjoy drugs, you are wasting your time with this list.
16 If you can quit the tobacco, go for it.
17 Shampoo is the most you need for your hair.
18 Walmart T-shirts are 4 for 10 bucks.
19 Dickies last.
20 Socks are so cheap they can be considered disposable.
21 A comfortable bed is a fine investment.
22 Get some food in the house. Buy extra, you'll use it.
23 Stocking up on food and supplies saves money.
24 Cooking from scratch is cheap, easy, and delicious.
25 Growing food is money in the bank.
26 There is nothing on TV worth watching.
27 Getting roommates is the fastest way to save money, but they have to be the right roommates.
28 Being broke is a situation. Being poor is a state of mind. Making the change from poor to broke is a choice.
29 Being rich has nothing to do with money.
30 Bread is cheap. Learning to make a decent loaf of bread is cheaper.
31 A dumpy old house that is cheap and livable is a better investment than an apartment.
32 Be at least a month ahead on the mortgage at all times.
33 Have at least enough food in the house to get you by for 3 months.
34 Keep your paperwork neat, tidy, and organized at all times.
35 An awful job is better than going hungry.
36 Develop an income source that is independent from your job.
37 Do what you have to do when you have to do it so you can do what you want to do the rest of the time.
38 Learn to cook beans from scratch.
39 Learn to make pasta from scratch.
40 As soon as you can, get some chickens.
41 Dependable transportation
42 Don't buy cheap crap unless it needs to be disposable.
43 If you don't need it to survive, don't buy it.
44 Buy used but in good condition.
45 If you can't buy it outright then you can't afford it.
46 Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
47 My grandmother NEVER went on vacation.
Another contamination problem to consider:
Railroads apply herbicides along the tracks liberally to keep down weed growth. If the contractors have scraped up the soil near the tracks in their clean up efforts, and piled that soil on your land, it will contain herbicide residue. Ge sure to gather samples of the piled up soil, the soil near the tracks, and uncontaminated soil on your property for testing if needed. Once the cleanup is complete, it's likely the railroad will spray the area again to suppress weeds, so your problems may continue.
56 pounds per bushel
3,225,600 pounds of corn
Can you keep the corn?
Time is of the essence here.
The corn has no agricultural value at this point. If you could claim the corn, screen it, bag it, and sell it as fuel, 64500 sacks of corn at $2 net/bag, $129000 could be realized. This plan also includes a huge amount of work and some investment in equipment so it may not be feasible. However, it may be an option to consider in mitigating your loss. Just pull a market for corn fuel out of a magic hat.
It may be in your interest to gather some of the corn for fuel for your own home. A few tons, properly stored, could offer heating fuel for several years. Again, some investment in equipment (stove, storage containers) would be needed.
Are their any moonshiners in your area? Get the word out, that stuff will be gone in a day.
Are their farmers in the area? Not everyone has the same apprehension as you regarding the dangers of GM corn, and may already be feeding the stuff to their livestock. Plenty of farmers out there who would leap at the chance to scoop up truckloads of that feed for the right price.
If the stuff were to rot down, you'd be looking at something in the neighborhood of 3000 cuyds of compost. At $25/cuyd, this would have a value of $75000. Being only corn, you would do well to add in some amount of brown materials (leaves, sawdust, spent hay) which would increase the volume.
Perhaps this event is an opportunity to start a humus farm.
I'm thinking cucumber mosaic virus. Aphids are a known vector, as are weeds (probably as an aphid host). Proximity to curcurbits and the presence of other infected plants would be an indicator. Not quite enough info here to make a diagnosis.
If it is a virus, removal and destruction by fire would be my advice. Mosaic resistant cultivars would be an avenue to pursue.
Hay or leaves were pulled back, potato dropped on the ground, hay or leaves thrown back to cover em up.
They hay and the leaves had been decomposing for some time, still clearly identifiable as leaves and hay, albeit kinda black and molded. The wood chips held a great volume of water. The top few inches dried out, but deep down where the roots were, there was ample moisture. I've had difficulty growing in the soil here in Florida. It is 99% sand. No clay, no silt, next to nothing for organic matter, no water holding ability, no nutrients, just sand. The rotting material provides a continual supply of nutrients. Moisture retention is what makes it all possible.
Chicken a la King
Chop Suey/Chili Mac
Chili and Chips
Hummus and Chips
Creole Rice & Red Beans
Less expensive meats include: Ham, Boston butt, pork shoulder, turkey
$20 would bring 10-20 pounds, but it would probably not be organic.
Pirogi can be done with no meat or meat blended with the potato stuffing. Gluten free flour for the dough. Leave out the sour cream in the topping mix. Lots of ways to make this.
Delicious, FILLING, good calories for a hard days work, just a little more expensive than dirt.
Gluten-Free Pierogi Recipe
Potato Pancakes (Latke)
No end to the variety possible with these. Made without added flour they are naturally gluten free. No Dairy.
Gluten-Free Potato Pancakes
Up in New England we grew up with Red Flannel Hash
It is typically made with some combination of ham, bacon, or brisket, often made with no meat. If its a root vegetable, in it goes. Beets for the color
Red Flannel Hash
Yankee Boiled Dinner
Put a ham, brisket or sausage in a pot with cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots, boil it up. In my opinion it's gotta have a rutabaga in there or it aint fit for eatin. Gotta make this so you have the leftovers to make the Red Flannel Hash.
Yankee Boiled Dinner
Only slightly more complicated than leaving a dark pot of water in the sun to warm up. Add meat, it's a meal. Don't add meat, it's still a meal.
It would make a fine side dish.
Because humans will eat the hell out of them.
If this was all you served, I'd be happy. Bacon + Cheese and you've got the four food groups beat.
Slice potato 1/4-1/2" thick. Boil until mostly done-should have some resistance when poking with a fork. If they fall apart you'll have to make mashed potato. Drain. Heat up a cast iron skillet with some pork fat or bacon grease, fry them slices until browned and just starting to get crispy on the outside. Adding caramelized onion will make you think you are falling in love. Add more stuff to it (bacon, ham, sausage, brisket, carrot, turnip, beets) and it starts to become Red Flannel Hash.
It's as good or better than rice and just as versatile, plus faster to cook. If you can do it with rice, you can do it with quinoa.
It's summer. You have a metric ton of zukes available, look in unlocked cars. There's cheese in there and the more there is the more I like it. Prepare in layers.
-Start with a layer of tomato sauce so it won't stick to the pan. Lots of vegs in the sauce gives me a warm feeling.
-sliced zuke or yellow squash. Eggplant is possible but needs to be well seared beforehand.
-splash of sauce
-a meat layer can be added, perhaps sliced sausage or pepperoni
-a pasta layer can be added
-splash of sauce
-top with cheese if the whim hits you or a layer of garlic cloves for that extra kick in the ribs
Bake at 3500 until fork tender, perhaps 45 minutes for a deep dish
Zuke can be rolled in cracker meal or corn meal
Bottom of pan can be lined with croutons to absorb excess sauce
Makes an excellent appetizer. Peel garlic, splash with oil, roast until fork tender.
---> DISCLAIMER: Do not serve this until the last meal on the last day.
Peel then cut bananas about as long as they are wide so they will freeze quickly. Freeze. When frozen, dump them into a blender or food processor. Pulverize until smooth or mostly smooth texture. Serve immediately.
Better than ice cream. Excellent on pie.
I found the time to harvest the rest of the potatoes.
That row of Fingerlings...yeah, that was a row of Reds and a few more Whites. Hauled another 60 pounds out of there which makes the Red production AWESOME.
The fingerlings, on the other hand, failed to give back what I put in.
TOTALS. . . IN . . . OUT
Red . . . . . 15 . . . 80#+
White . . . . 15 . . . 50
Fingerling . . 2 . . . 0
Green wood is not dimensionally stable. As the humidity changes it can shrink and swell to a greater extent than seasoned wood. Wood that has been kiln dried will have been taken down to a moisture content of 5-7%. Wood that has dried out in the open or under a roof will reach around 12%. The lower the moisture content, the better-the wood will not soak up the humidity and swell as much. There will always be some amount of swelling and shrinking if the wood, and products made from wood, are exposed to changes in humidity that come with the weather and seasons.
A 2x4 is a good practice piece, but studs are usually produced from pine and spruce. These are softwoods (conifers). Hardwoods (deciduous trees) such as oak, maple, and pecan offer much greater strength but you will find they take a bit more effort to work by hand. You'll appreciate that stone when you work with hardwoods! Pallets are often made with hardwoods. I see oak and maple all the time. It's a source of material to practice with for little or no cost.
I know of a guy who makes benches from driftwood. He does not put in the effort of chiseling mortises and tenons. The sticks are cut and screwed together. Interesting to look at, but they look a little rickety. He gets a couple hundred bucks each as I recall. If one were to take the time to build it with superior workmanship, I suspect a premium price could be commanded.
Bed: soil amended with compost a couple years before, lots of weeds, covered with old hay, left for a couple months, planted, then mulched each plant with a couple of spades of compost at 6" of growth, heaped high twice with wood chips as the plants grew
Volume: 15# seed went in, 3+ gallons out, not weighed but I'd estimate 20-25#. I got more back than went in which is better than previous years.
Quality: The ants were heavy on one end of the bed, did some minor damage to some spuds. Majority of the product of any size found to be rough, dimpled. poked, pecked, a good third of them scabby, with some downright hideous specimens.
Size: ranged up to 4", 75% 2-3"
White, cultivar is a mystery
Bed: was planted to sweet potato a couple years before, went to weeds, smothered with grass clippings then piled oak leaves a foot deep, mulched as above
15# seed went in, about 7 gallons out, 40-45#
Quality: These are smooth, clean, beautiful potatoes, practically blemish free, better looking than supermarket. A Glorious Crop.
Size: Much uniformity in size, 2" wide, 3" long for 1/2 of the spuds, most of the rest golf ball or larger
Pink, a mystery brought in by my assistant
Bed: compost and grass clippings, mulched with compost and grass clippings
Volume: 4 of the nastiest looking just about rotted gooey blistered things you ever saw. Surprised they grew, eyes were looking strong so in they went. Perhaps a pound out.
Quality: These plants got sick and died a month ago, had to poke around to find where they were, tops were gone. Lots and lots, perhaps a dozen tiny potatoes per plant, very clean, smooth, pink like cheeks in winter. A few had been attacked by ants in search of moisture.
Size: ranging from 1/2" to 1"
I'll plant what came out, see if I can coax some production out of a fall crop
Fingerlings, Russian Banana
Find out tomorrow
2# went in directly beside the reds
All plants were well attended until early May when assistant moved on and job took me away. Hot and dry these last 3 weeks.
I suspect better irrigation would have produced more. Even after a couple of hot dry weeks, several inches down the wood chips were still moist. Hay was downright damp. Leaves were bone dry all the way down.
For 30# in, 60-70# out is the best I've had in this sandy soil. About a half pound per plant.
The large volume of grass clippings sounds yummy. The chemical treatment is a hassle, but not insurmountable. Consider the notion that life WANTS to thrive.
I'm guessing the three fields are all mowed at the same time. This gives you grass clippings in batches rather than continuously. Left in heaps of only clippings they will tend to ferment in a few days and start stinking up the place. Is there manpower available to build proper compost heaps/windrows when the clippings arrive? Pennsylvania suggests a humongous volume of leaves available locally. Combining the leaves and paper with the clippings would be the direction I would pursue, as well as heaps of leaves only for producing leaf mold. How much area is available for the composting project? Time would be the tool to use for those field treatments. Even if the compost is spread across an athletic field, its still kids who would be exposed to the residuals. Getting the chems out of the loop sure would be a treat.
The batch aspect causes some pause. Adding such volume of high N grass clippings to a heap all at once can generate an immense amount of heat. Spontaneous combustion can occur-something I never put much stock in until I saw it with my own eyes.
240 hungry, active kids, I'm guessing they will eat most of the meats. What remains, if composted, could become odorous and attractive to vermin-rats, mice, squirrels, skunks. You'd be adding fresh bait with each meal. Proximity to the school grounds would urge me to decompose the meats off site. A vegetative compost heap will go over well with the school directors. As a class project, vermicomposting can handle a small amount of that meat.
If the powers that be are just warming up to these ideas, it may be wise to replace a little bit of eco-friendly with a little bit of Administrator-friendly. A windrow along the woods is out of the way. Could the windrow be created in the woods? I'm thinking out of sight, out of mind. If shredded paper is to be included in the compost recipe, the pile can easily be considered unsightly. It would be disappointing to put in the work to build a windrow only to get a memo instructing it be removed.
Hiding the compost behind a barrier may be an avenue to pursue. Perhaps a bin system rather than windrows would have the Admin-friendly touch needed to move the project ahead and keep it moving forward. Wire fence piled high with leaves could make a suitable barrier, but would need to be replenished every couple of months. The wire fence barrier would help keep things tidy when the March winds come.
The batch aspect of the grass clippings causes some pause. Adding such volume of high N grass clippings to a heap all at once can generate an immense amount of heat. Spontaneous combustion can occur-something I never put much stock in until I saw it with my own eyes. Vandalism is a concern. Piles of dry leaves can be intentionally set afire. Composting meats draws rodents, rodents draw snakes, snakes and kids are not the best match.
If composting on site is not an option, there are people out there who would probably jump at the chance for a regular source of food scraps, piles of grass clippings, and sacks of shredded paper. Putting together a Compostable Waste Program would remove these items from the waste stream, can reduce dump fees to the school, and provide the community with a source of compostable materials. A 3 sided shed could hold bagged paper. A pile of grass clippings beside the paper shed could be accessed by the public, bring your own pitchfork. Contact the local County Extension when grass clippings are to be dropped, they know lots of people who will come for them. They may even bring some finished compost back as a Thank You. The food scraps would be best served by a regular person/company coming to get them daily, swapping out clean containers for full containers. The pig farmers love this stuff.
I've done U-pick vegetables before, putting this place together as a U-Pick/Pick Your Own vegetable farm.
You can expect the kids to eat some product, that's what kids do. They can eat up some berries if left alone, but it's not a feeding frenzy. A pound of berries or fruit would be a pretty big kid with a hearty appetite. A few ounces per kid is a small investment for a future customer. If the kids have an enjoyable experience, they'll want to come back every year (with their wallet-carrying parents).
Consider hosting school groups immediately after lunchtime. Before they enter the orchard, take a few minutes to talk about safety (bees, snakes or mosquitos, thorns, climbing and falling, trip hazards) and while you're at it, discuss sanitation and washing of food before consumption. Washing the food is important to clean it of chemicals (EVIL) and bugs. Be sure to place the food washing station near the scale and cash register.
I've had people march through freshly planted lettuce and beans, completely oblivious, stomping on the beds into which I've spent hours prepping. Did I mention my hair loss?
Add stakes and string around the areas that do not require additional stomping. If the string is not enough, make it a few stretches of string. Use twine, rope, mark the area with logs as well. You don't have to go all the way to concertina wire, but a clear demarcation would be a great help. Be sure to mention cow manure. That'll keep them watching where they walk. Kids are small and don't weigh much. Many plants can take a little bit of abuse. Kids can get out of hand, throwing things, running around, tearing up the place. There is a time to bite your tongue and a time to reign them in. Experience on your part will help you determine the difference.
This one little girl asked if she could pick a flower.
"Go right ahead, Darlin' " I replied.
A few moments later she shows me her pretty flower...with all the leaves...and stems...and roots intact. (more hair loss)
I grabbed a cup and some compost and helped her repot the flower so she could transplant it into her own garden at home. She was overjoyed, her parents were all smiles and spent some money on fresh produce.
Some damage will occur from time to time. Finding a way to minimize that damage to acceptable levels will be needed. A 5 minute talk before entering the growing areas can go a long way to this end.
You've spent money to advertise to get them to come. Other farms are spending their money to draw them to their farms. They chose your farm as the place to spend their hard earned money. I'd be bending over backwards to see that they are delighted. I want them to come back and tell all their friends what an awesome place it is. Each time they come back gives me another chance to familiarize them a little bit more about a particular plant or vegetable or safety topic. A few trips to the place and they'll have a good idea of what's going on.
Vadim Fedorovsky wrote:
But is the natural way feasible on as large of a scale as is needed to feed the world?
Industrial agriculture as developed over the last 2 centuries measures yield produced in relation to inputs required. It does not account for pollution sinks, environmental impact, or the health and well being of humans and wildlife. While industrial agriculture has made incredible leaps forward in yield as a result of the Green Revolution and mechanization, the negative aspects are overlooked. Nitrate runoff, oceanic dead zones, soil salinization, the effects of pesticides on the bee population, dustbowls, pesticide and herbicide resistant weeds and insects, loss of biodiversity, contamination of processing plants requiring massive product recalls, and aquifer depletion are all problems looking us square in the face. Long term viability of industrial agriculture is in question with more problems on the horizon: peak resource issues, stability and dependability of just-in-time distribution, monopolistic corporations controlling entire species, monocrop succeptibility to disease, increased use of ever more marginal land, diminishing returns, climate destabilization, and an aging farmer population. I could rail on about food production being entirely dependent on financing structures and corporate solvency in the face of a potential financial collapse. The interdependency of industrial agriculture, global distribution, and economics is rushing headlong into the wall of finite resources. Our current food production paradigm is absolutely dependent on these resources.
Industrial agriculture is not sustainable. This means that at some point, it will end. It is not feasible to rely on industrial agriculture to feed the world.
Way back in the day, ALL agriculture was organic. Everyone in the world lived on organic food. Granted, there were the problems of illness and being eaten by dinosaurs, but for the most part, developments in education, germ theory, sanitation, and indoor air improvements helped to extend lifespan as well as quality of life. Renewable energy and muscle power was all that was needed. Nobody had strawberries in December and they got by just fine. Granted, there were not as many mouths to feed back then. The Green Revolution resulted in a population explosion by converting those finite resources into more humans. There is much debate as to whether or not natural growing can feed 7 Billion + humans. I've seen figures of around 2 billion being the limit of the carrying capacity of the Earth. It is a certainty that industrial agriculture will eventually fail to feed the population. As long as industrial agriculture continues, the carrying capacity of the planet will continue to degrade.
I'm thinking an electric arc in a fusion reactor has nothing whatsoever to do with permaculture, organic, or natural growing.
Seems to me the whole idea is still focused on maximizing production through mechanical processes rather than using holistic methods mimicking nature.
This arc process is simply a technology to substitute for the Haber-Bosch process. A more natural way to increase nitrogen availability would be to promote legumes.
dan long wrote:Is there any accuracy to this statement?
Leaves are primarily composed of lignin. Bacteria can not produce the enzyme Lignase, which is required to break down lignin. ONLY fungi can produce lignase.
Bacteria will break down cellulose, heating the heap in the process. A hot compost pile can kill off the fungi. When the heap cools, the fungi will move back in to finish the job. Without the leaves, the compost heap will be finished considerably sooner. Segregate the leaves into their own heap for decomposition. While there will be some bacterial decay, the leaf heap will not reach the extreme temperatures, giving the fungi the opportunity to establish a population and get to work sooner.
Leaf mold (Thread, Article) differs from compost. Where compost is rich in nutrients, leaf mold is rich in minerals.
My talented 'Executive Assistant' Janet is making some dandelion balsamic vinegar. She says all you do is fill a jar with blossoms, push them down some. Cover completely with balsamic vinegar (or whatever vinegar you desire). You can cap it or cover with a towel/cloth/rubber band. Store in a dark cabinet for about a month. The top might get a little funky but it is easily removed. It will be ready at the same time as the chard.
I have a pound of Valencia I'll be putting in over the next couple of days. Peanuts will do well in the heat, humidity and sand.
If not sand, loose soil is needed. Peanuts have an interesting method of protecting the seeds after the flowers have pollinated. They peg. A shoot grows down from each flower to penetrate the soil. If the soil is too hard or firm, the peg can not penetrate deeply. The sun and bugs can do damage to the pods. You can get a good idea of how many peanuts you'll have by counting the pegs. A good Valencia can develop 10-20 pegs with 2-4 peanuts per pod, 50 peanuts per plant is good performance. 1 pound in, 50 pounds out. I'll be happy to get 20 pounds out.
Water. Everything needs water. From seed to peg, the plant needs water. By the time it has pegged, the plant can get by with less water as the roots will be fully developed
Lime. I have no idea how much, but everyone around here spread lime before they plant.
Organic inputs must be derived from organic sources. A certifying agency worth its salt would revoke certification for a farm using manure from cows fed with corn that was not also certified organic. There are ways around the NOP rules. There are certifying agencies that will allow non-certified-organic compost to be used when certified organic compost is not available or affordable if actions are taken to clean it up. I was told over the phone by a certifying agent that they allow compost to be used from any source as long as it was spread out to aerate for at least a week prior to planting.
Like that's going to solve anything.
There are gaps between the NOP rules and actual practices in the field. To close the gaps, testing of the crops is a requirement. Circumventing the testing is still possible if an area of the field is operated strictly and the crops grown on that section is submitted to the certifying agency for testing. Then there is the farm with some of the land certified organic and some operated without certification. What keeps that farmer from putting a Certified Organic sticker on produce grown on the icky field? Can a produce distributor add a sticker? How about the market? The watchful eyes of the certifying agency are not omnipresent. With a premium price attached to certified organic produce there is an incentive to cheat. The only way to have faith in your food is to get to know the farmer and determine if his ethics and passion suit your demands.
Don't take this as an accusation that all organic growers are crooks. Most of them follow the rules, and when they do, some decent food is the result. However, NOP rules for Certified Organic crops dictate only the inputs. The methods used do not necessarily promote stewardship of the earth. Certified Organic can still be grown in monoculture row crops with all the tilling, bare earth, dusting and spraying found with conventional chemical agriculture. It still relies on the grower supplementing the field fertility with inputs, controlling pests and disease with foliar sprays, and mechanical weeding. Except for the label and contents on the package, the methods can be identical on a large scale. For those following the rules, at least the chemicals have been taken out of the equation.
I've said before that organic growing is a stepping stone permaculture. With inputs in place, the methods are the next step. The methods replace the need for inputs. Enriching the soil with organic matter supports the life in the soil that enhances fertility. Soil microbes do the work of chelating nutrients-changing the molecules into a form the plants can use. Soil fungi hold the soil together, reducing runoff and erosion which drain away the nutrients. Soil carbon holds onto nutrients, keeping them available for the microbes and plants. Bring on the worms, the soil is loose and aerated, allowing the plants to grow impressive root systems that can reach deeper for the nutrients they need. Deep mulch retains soil moisture, blocks weeds, and shades the microbes from the damaging sun. Polyculture promotes insect biodiversity and retards the ability of the bad bugs to reproduce to destructive population levels. Everything works together. You won't need the constant irrigation. You won't need to feed the plants. You won't need to spend endless days weeding. You won't need to till. You won't need to spray for bugs. You won't need to fertilize.
Humanure AKA night soil. This has been used for centuries. If you are not selling your crops, go for it. Get the book. Urine is an available option, read up on it before you use it.
Peas, beans, peanuts, clover, vetch will all add nitrogen. Peas are about the best dinner vegetable there is.
Grass clippings are awesome. Add them to compost, mulch the growing areas. There is a thread about making liquid fertilizer from weeds. I've gone further with an article on Liquid Grass Clipping Fertilizer which I am employing with excellent results. This is a fast, cheap source of nitrogen, as well as some phosphorus and a bunch of potassium.
There is a whole forum dedicated to composting. Compost offers nutrients. You'll find leaf mold to be an important part of your methods for carbon, fungi, and minerals. I wrote an article on leaf mold starting from my posts on Permies.com.