Bryant RedHawk

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since May 15, 2014
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Part Nakota, part Irish. The Nakota took over long ago but still lives in two worlds, the European world and the first people's world. He lives on a small (15 + acres) piece of mother earth deep in the woods. Was trained in the cooper's arts as a child, since the family owned a cooperage. He has been a carpenter, and timber wright but love all aspects of farming.He holds a BS in Chemistry and Biology and a MS in Horticulture. Worked for the USDA for 16 years. Currently working on his PHD in Microbiology, the thesis is plant communication through the micro-biosphere network. Redhawk and his wife Wolf are setting up to be fully self sustaining, growing all their own foods and collecting rain water. "Soon we will be self sustaining and closer to being off the grid" he said when asked about future plans. They continue their own research both in Agriculture and soils with the hope to make the world more like it used to be, before mankind began screwing up the Earth Mother. This is the only way humankind will survive, we must fix what we have broken.
Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Recent posts by Bryant RedHawk

Addendum, even though there are no "oyster mushroom look a likes", it is always a great idea to go through the process of identification since you normally only get one chance to get it right.

If you do an online lookup for "mycologists in my area", you should be able to find an expert close to you.
Pictures can help but for most mushrooms it is better to have hands on the unidentified rather than trying to identify long distance, photos can and have been misleading in the past.
Problems arise because of color differences between the camera, the internet and which computer/ program the observer is using.

Most areas of the USA have local mycology organizations with folks that have the local knowledge to get identifications right, and they usually have field trips both for collecting and learning to identify.

2 days ago
A spore print would be great to have, that way you can start the process of identification.

Identifying Oyster Mushrooms:
◾Oyster shaped cap, hence the name “Oyster mushroom,” usually 2-10 inches across (5-25 cm).
◾Often growing in a shelf-like formation with overlapping caps.
◾Completely smooth tops.
◾Usually white to light silvery-brown top surface, with white gill and stem. The internal flesh is bright white.
◾Decurrent gills, meaning the gills are attached to and running from the cap and down stem.
◾A stem may or may not be present and will be off center of the cap.
◾The spore print is a silvery-gray.

2 days ago
The Dog Vomit slime mold, is one of the various forms of these organisms, each species has particular color and texture, generally there is no concern since you can do a simple swipe over it and it will deflate and retreat.

In the garden this is actually a good thing, these molds seem to be needed for best fungal activity by the species we really want to have in our gardens.
The SM's are eaten by other fungi, nematodes, amoeba, and particularly by worms.
If you see these in your garden, you are doing lots of things right. There is a Yellow variety and an orange variety that seem to be fond of SCG for a food source.
Slime molds come colors from white to blue to green to yellow and just about everything in-between, depending on the species and location on the planet.

3 days ago
The Cacao tree is a lot like our Pawpaw tree here in Southern USA, the young tree (germination to year three) is prone to sunburn of the leaves and bark.
This is because both are considered UNDERSTORY trees, they need shade to get going well, then once established they need more sun.
The consensus of the growers I have talked with over the years is that it's best to start these trees under large leaved trees like banana trees then move them once they are starting year three to a sunnier space.
Perhaps what they really need is a shorter overstory so they don't get starved for light just when they are able to handle the extra radiation.
In my neck of the woods I would have to have a conservatory to be able to keep a Cacao tree alive since I am too far north of the equator for them to survive in the wild.

I have only heard of one species of Cacao, but that doesn't mean there are not any cultivars that have been developed somewhere.

3 days ago
This is from Old World Forestry,

The cacao tree is quite delicate. It needs protection from direct sun and wind, requiring a canopy of shade to thrive.
Cacao seedlings often are planted in the shelter of taller mother trees such as banana, plantain, coconut and rubber which provide the necessary shade while also producing other important crops.
Once the cacao trees are established, they can tolerate much more sunlight, but they grow best on small plots of land in partial shade, tended regularly.
As a general rule, cacao trees get their start in a nursery bed where seeds from high yielding trees are planted in fiber baskets or plastic bags.
The seedlings grow so fast that in a few months they are ready for transplanting.

oldworldforestry PDF Is the page from their site that is about Cacao cultivation.

3 days ago
There are two issues to address if you want to grow wild rice (Zizania aquatic) outside of its normal occurring range.
1.)  You need two months of chill (or a fridge you can stratify them in.
2.)  You need to have an area you can turn into a "Paddy" so that the seeds and plants will always be at least 2" under the water surface.

Once you have those two viable, then it is plant, grow and wait for the seeds to start to darken towards black (black seeds are the ripe ones and they usually fall off within 2-3 days of fully ripening).
The harvest is pretty easy if you are growing it in Paddies, just take a collection container and shake the heads over and against your harvesting container.


I totally forgot, be ready for doing multiple harvesting since the seed heads don't all ripen at one time, so you will need to harvest every few days once those first seeds ripen. (season last about a month in the wild)
Also, wild rice isn't really rice (as most folks think of rice (Oryza)). It takes cooking (open fire and a very large "wok shaped" steel pan), the best tool for stirring is a large wooden spoon (paul bunyan sized) watch for scorching while you are stirring the hulls need to crisp up, then you thresh and winnow to get the grains ready for storage or cooking for a meal. (Lots of folks will blend real rice with wild rice since wild rice is pretty pricey at stores)

Charlotte Boord wrote:Here in Central Texas the soil is acidic also, so all the ash from the fireplace that I've been saving is useless!  I suppose I could make soap with it...

I'm confused Charlotte, if your soil is acidic then ash should be of help since it is basic, adding ash to acidic soil usually brings the pH up.

1 week ago
hau Robert, have you tried using a non purified sea salt for your asparagus beds?
I use about 4 lbs. per 4'x8' bed and the flavonoids are not only stronger from the plant being healthier.
I also seem to get more good sized spears for a longer period of time.
I stop harvesting when the new shoots start getting skinny.
1 week ago
Good question Rick.

When you are building garden beds for vegetables specifically the first step is to create the best soil you can. Soil is dirt + healthy, active microbiome. (note, minerals are not part of this equation at this point)

Once your soil is occupied by a thriving microbiome (bacteria and fungi and all the other good microorganisms) you can then turn to a "complete" soil analysis to find out where your minerals are in concentration and completeness. (note: land based soils can have as many as 75 minerals)
If you want to supercharge your produce you would want to make an addition of a non purified sea salt (My preference is Sea-90 which has 97 minerals present) so that you are providing more than that 75 mineral count that land based soils can have.

From there, all you need to do is maintain your soil and keep it in a hydrated state. (this does not mean wet, hydrated soil can feel fairly dry, the moisture is for both your plants and your microbiome.

Most Microbiologist (including Dr. Ingham whom I admire) will state that all the minerals your plants need are already present.
I have found this to not be the case everywhere, there are places on the planet that have missing minerals, but compared to the sea, all land is missing some minerals.
My research combines the workings of the soil and the nutritional values of foods grown in the soil, I prefer to see as broad a spectrum of minerals present in my garden soils as I can provide the microbiome.
Better nutrition for the microbiome equals better nutritional values in the foods grown.
Better nutrition in foods equates to better health in those who consume those high nutrient value foods.

1 week ago
hau Dennis, I am glad you asked me that.
I have just found out the wax method is no longer available.
It seems that the wax was found to create serious issues in some large orchards and everyone has ceased using it to the point of no orchardist supply carries the products anymore.

This creates a situation where frost blankets are now the norm or water sprays (which have to run from before the frost all the way through the frost event plus enough hours for the temp to raise above freezing, costly I would think).
This isn't the first time that things have changed in the orchard care business, but this one is nice since we have data showing that waxing swelling buds can prevent the buds from further development and it can create disease opportunities.

So, now I will be buying frost blanket material to cover all my fruit trees with when a frost or freeze is expected.

1 week ago