Tim Nam

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since Feb 26, 2014
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forest garden solar woodworking
Arcata, CA zone 9b
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Recent posts by Tim Nam

I was reading another thread regarding sheep and carbon sequestration. I didn't see this mentioned but my understanding is that not only does grass become animal, and animal poo, and some methane, but when the grass is grazed the root die back leaves (how much?) carbon in the soil as root exudate. The stuff that binds soil aggregates and feeds microorganisms. I think that's where the real action is, but just my gut feeling. Anyone have science on this?
1 year ago
we are building with lsc and I used "lime water" in the straw slip mix (along with borax solution).
i've had six bags of type s lime slaking in a 55 gal poly drum, just lightly stirred the top and scooped out water, added to mix by smaller container (with borax.) I like the idea of an exothermic reaction happening in the packed straw to help dry things out but to be honest, our walls have been smelling musty...might be because of our humid and cool coastal climate. Time will tell...currently have the heat cranked up inside to try to drive the last bits of moisture out. have yet to put a moisture probe on it.

our designer went to the California straw builders meeting (a couple years ago) and recommended lime wash on clay plaster. he said lime plaster on clay plaster was not really advised

2 years ago
Did Fukuoka use daikon radish as a soil conditioner? Surprised no one mentioned it yet. Also i assume if a plant is tall and cone shaped it has a deep taproot, like thistle and many dandelion like variants. But even before the science catches up with specific nutrient profiles the fact that you can stack carbon (biomass) on top of the soil is going to add organic matter to the soil. Mulch helps moisture retention which must help soil ecology equals organic matter, not to mention whatever nutrients are in the plant matter itself
4 years ago
our (beach) sand filter is clogging...checked out Art Ludwig's book from the public library, thanks humboldt public library!
4 years ago
we are not living on our land yet and collect gray (dish) water in buckets for our nascent veggie garden and potted tree collection (to go into swale mounds later) anyway, i scored a hot tub/pool filter from a friend, basically a big bucket with a threaded fitting in the bottom. i think its actually a sand filter, but i just dug my own sand from the beach and put gravel on top. oh, i stuffed some old pantyhose into the back of the valve i fitted into the bottom.  the flow is all gravity driven. during the rainy season i ran excess shed roof water which flushed it out, but now i'm running the dish water through it. pH tests indicate normal levels for plants 6.5 ish and so far so good. i don't want to do this indefinitely of course, but for now its a surviving solution. i think just having a container with a bottom drain is enough to get most of the detergent, which i assume floats on top (with any grease) and adheres to the gravel sand on top rather than flowing through.  also we're using the brand seventh generation dish soap which i guess is more eco friendly than most. i think i just need to get the greywater oasis book and set up a proper living filter. but in the meantime, we're keeping our plants green and growing and always keeping an eye out for rain. why are we using the sand filter? good question, and i'm not sure its even necessary. it slightly clarifies the water but does not deodorize it. the big stuff we could get with a sieve/net and the little stuff is likely plant food/micro kitchen waste...i don't know, i guess its mostly to get the separation of floaties (fats and soaps) but also to feel better about giving the plants cleaner water. just a bit on our situation.

4 years ago
another tidbit, i bought some peach rootstock at the Humboldt Permaculture Guild's annual scion exchange and it was super tall and thin, so i lopped off the tops of the rootstock and tried to root them (with a little dip in gel) its been about two months, i try to mist them every day (manually) and they're in the greenhouse and its still hard to tell but i think they're surviving, they have tiny buds that still look green...
4 years ago
I was pleased to learn alder seems to root well from cuttings, at least the leaves have emerged, i hope they've rooted. also poplar. I'm not sure about poplar but my tree book has alder as a nitrogen fixer.

Surely someone else mentioned grapes also? 2-3 bud cuttings of last years growth, just make sure the butt end goes down!

Our apartment has some sweet scented shrub called "sweet box(?)" which i took cuttings of this winter and they seem to still be alive. also a hawthorne twig that the landscaper dropped.

it could have been bad timing but I tried cutting and rooting acacia dealbata (silver wattle) and failed. I took small branches ~1/2inch diameter with all the leaves and twigs and stuck the cut ends in pots but they just shriveled up and died. however, the seeds germinate well after a hot water bath and a little patience.

oh i should add, i have a lot of willow going too. some of the branches i gathered had been broken off for longer than others and they aren't really making it, but the fresh ones are doing great. its been a wet winter/spring so far so that helps too, haven't watered the willow, alder or poplar at all, they are in the field
great thread thanks!
4 years ago
Scrolled through looking to see if anyone else mentioned it and the last post did, sort of. A few years ago I was sick of the lower back pain that kept reoccurring and debilitating me. Searched Youtube for "healing back pain" and found Dr. John Sarno. Suffice it to say that this encounter (on Youtube) has transformed my life. I hesitate to even mention it because it seems people don't want to hear about it, but I guess there may come a time when you're just over it (pain) and need to get to the root of the issue. I never imagined that watching a video could help alleviate pain but it did in my case. Though this might turn off more people, I'll try to put it in a nutshell. According to Dr. Sarno, who has all the traditional credentials anyone might look for, pain is largely in the brain. Particularly, repressed rage in the subconscious, that we're not even aware of, expresses itself as pain. This is the condition described as Tension Myositis Syndrome, TMS. When we are able to make a conscious decision to tell the brain to stop producing pain, it does just that. Don't take my word for it.
4 years ago
Well, the fishing line might have worked for a short while but the deer are back in the garden. I think they like laying down on the mulch because the starts are too tiny to eat.
and they like stomping on the beds and starts...sigh... in the meantime, since we are not living on site I am readjusting expectations for growing food this year.
4 years ago