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

Mj Patneaude wrote:
It also is the location of an old fire pit. We have been picking up trash on our property for two years & have a feeling the old owners may have burnt toxic things here (pressure treated wood, trash, etc.). For that reason, we would like to plant super-plants that will pull up those toxin from the soil.

I would try to get some mushroom slurries poured into the soil where you feel contamination may be lurking, the mycelium will work with the other toxin accumulators (sunflower, daikon, crimson clover are good TA functioning plants as well as many others but these three play nice together).
The more, different fungi you can get inoculated into the suspect soil, the better, most mycelium don't kill off each other, they might make some species move away from them but they generally seem to be ok as long as there is enough space between the species.
Of course, if you are using found mushrooms or not worth eating mushrooms to make the slurries with, it will be more a matter of use what you have, over which ones play nice together.

I do have some other ideas Mj, should you want more on getting toxins out of soils.

There is little hard science (papers written on indicator plants are few and far between), but there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence, to support the belief that some weeds prefer certain types of soil and growing situations.
Moss, as we all know, can be a good indication of poor drainage, it can also be a sign of compacted soil or low fertility.
So, "reading your weeds" isn't a foolproof way to evaluate your soil, but it can be a useful hint that something's going on below the soil surface.
To find out what the weeds are really telling you, do a soil test to confirm nutrient levels and soil pH.

3 days ago
So your trees are all in containers sitting in a low lying area?
The reason I'm asking is you say they are in little planter boxes but you want to mulch the soil around the containers?

If the trees are in containers to keep them from the water of the semi-annual flooding, there is no need to treat the soil around the containers.
The soil in the containers is where the roots are living, so what is under them could be concrete, gravel, grass, it just doesn't matter to the tree roots since they are inside the container.

It would seem that I need some more explanation before I can give good recommendations.

3 days ago
hau Eric, Wolf and I are connected to our land too.
I think this happens to most of the people who acquire land for the right reasons, to not only live on it (or like you and I, live with it) but to nurture the land, to help it become better the longer we are upon it.
Some elders at a powwow once told Wolf and me that our strength comes from our land, the better care we take of it, the better we will be too. (then he wandered into what it means to be native and why we were at this particular powwow)
Those of us who understand that we are the caretakers of the planet which gave and gives us life, are kindred spirits for we perhaps have a better understanding of our role here on the earth mother than most of the planet's inhabitants that walk on two legs.

4 days ago
to make a slurry you need a blender, fill it with what ever mushrooms you have on hand add water and whiz it up to a soup. This is the starter which you dilute 10:1 before applying to the soil around your plants. left overs can be used where ever you need or feel you need, more mycelium.
You can also do this with compost but instead of fungi you will be providing bacteria, flagellates, springtails, amoeba and others. The normal method for increasing the bacteria is through the use of compost and aerated compost teas.


(if you read my soil series there are lots of tips on how to improve soils with the threads)
5 days ago
Fungi mycelium (also known as hyphae) form long strands in the soil, along which the other members of the microbiome travel. The fungi act in several ways, they form a sort of super highway, they eat bad organisms such as pathogenic bacteria, destructive nematodes and they also condition soil by forming conglomerates around their strands. We are still finding out more about the complexities of the soil microbiome and how all the critters work within their niches and what happens when they are outside of their niche.

What we do know is that diversity is how mother nature takes care of the planet so it follows that our soils want and need a widely diversity of plants, macroorganisms (like worms) and microorganisms along with the fungal network. (there are found fungal networks that extend for hundreds of miles and so are part of the west coast biosphere in a big way). The more, different fungi you can have growing in your soil, the better that soil will be and the better it will support all the life forms that live in that biosphere.

I regularly make slurries of the mushrooms I find on our farm and I then place that slurry into the garden beds, around the fruit trees, in the pastures, pretty much everywhere.
My trees have made it through draught easily, with no real signs of drying out and this is because of the fungi and other microbiome critters that thrive in the soils of Buzzard's Roost.

5 days ago
a seed drill is more like a wagon wheel (or bicycle wheel) with the spokes exposed instead of being inside a "tire". The seeds enter the tubes of the drill at the inside and as the tube pierces the soil the seed falls into the hole and so is planted.
Seed drills can be hand pushed models or tractor pulled where there are many hoppers and "wheels" on a frame work. a
Seed drills are set for the depth needs of the seed being planted (or like I do it, set for the largest seed in the mix or somewhere in-between the smallest seed and the largest seed).

Fungi slurries are easy to make and you can use found mushrooms or store bought mushrooms to get the first strains of fungi growing in your soil.
To get mycorrhizae to spread it is easier to purchase a packet of mycorrhizae, just do a search for Mycorrhizal fungi for sale, you should be able to locate a supplier near you.
Alternately you can go to most of the mushroom growing supply stores online and they usually have at least one product that is mycorrhizae.

Bacteria are pretty easy to collect as long as your open top solution contains some complex sugars, the bacteria that land from the air will begin to grow and multiply. Then you simply spray or water with the solution after you have diluted it 10 to 1.

5 days ago