s. lowe

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since Jul 05, 2017
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Recent posts by s. lowe

I'll second Permaculture; A Designers Manual. It is a great text on the basics of land stewardship planning and the tools and techniques needed to find your best plan. It also has some great detailed info about specific techniques
I've mentioned Dr. Zach Bush before, but I just listened to a recent interview that he did with Acres USAs tractor time podcast and one thing that he talked about was the insane potential of our soil to be THE key carbon sink, and in so doing, restoring it to the role of central source of human health and thriving. I'd strongly encourage anyone here to listen to it as a great reminder that increasing our self (and community based) sufficiency, improving our soil, and eating food we grow with love from our newly invigorated soils is a great way to save money (on groceries and the doctor) while doing the actual work of restoring the cycles that support life in this realm.

Keep up the good work Paul!

Leah Holder wrote:A friend recently sent me a Bokashi kit and quite frankly I’m a little skeptical.  How can promoting anaerobic organisms help the overall well-being of my plants? Won’t that just stifle the growth of the good stuff? I know you explained a bit Dr. R, but I could use a little more if someone doesn’t mind.
    My original question is actually about pigeon manure. Can using Bokashi kill pathogens in my pigeon manure, making it safe enough to add to my working compost, incase I don’t make temperature? Will the flush of anaerobic EM counteract the aerobic progress of my pile? And lastly, would a bucket of Bokashi be beneficial dumped into the center of my hugelkultur mound? Thanks in advance, I’m loving it here.❤️

My experience has been that the fermentation with bokashi has two major advantages. The first is that it allows for a contained process to build up food scraps until they are at a volume that will compost instead of just attracting rats. The second is that I have found that I can compost everything from our kitchen including meat, bones after theyre made into stock, cheese, cardboard/to go packaging, grease, everything.
My observation is that when the fermented kitchen waste is put into our drainage barrel it is quickly colonized by what I believe to be actinomycetes. Then, when it is combined with the browns into the original compost pile it heats up really well and is absolutely swarmed by fungi (which often fruit prolifically once the pile cools a bit) and worms. When it is turned once there is still some larger chunks that aren't broken down but it is quickly swarmed by fungi again and I am left with a dense compost that my garden seems to love.
I don't know that it would be worth it if we had more space because I could make simpler compost systems, but the ability to compost animal parts does , I think, make for a particularly humus rich product. I also think that using bokashi could allow for a very easy no turn system. I turn mine because we have so little space that I often need to make more room in the compost system for incoming kitchen waste.

As for buying stuff, I don't think you need to. I've had great success by making my own bokashi (just seems to mean a fermented grain bran, basically a substrate to house the em and dose it into the food you want to ferment) and even buying organic wheat husks and commercial EM1 I could make a years supply for less than $100. Of course you can also source free options for the substrate, coffee chaff worked really well for me, I've also heard cocoa husks work well. Both can be found free from local places that make coffee or chocolate.
I have grown tobacco for 5 or 6 years. I don't live in a tobacco region. The best technique I've hit on is to stack the fresh leaves in a cardboard box. Every few days I flip the leaves and every few days some of them seem to "flip" from green to brown.

Even after that, I haven't found that they satisfy real smokers until they have "cured" for 2 years or so
2 weeks ago
One thing I could suggest is to try throwing some experimental direct seeds into a bed that has other crops growing. That way you are not sacrificing garden space.

I did this with squash this year, I had planted corn and beans and knew I wanted to plant squash with them  but didn't have time until fairly late for winter squash. I stuck a bunch of seeds in the ground and let them do their thing. In a 40x75-80 ft area I probably got 15 squash and half were spaghetti. But i also  got around 50 lbs of corn, a whole summer's worth of green beans and a few lbs of dried beans (I started them too early and they were not in good spirits by the time I actually planted them out).

Corn was the main goal for that area and it exceeded my hopes, so all the rest is bonus plus I got some seeds that are one gen more adapted to my space and style.

Some variation of this might work for other folks too
2 weeks ago
What I think of as the real brown sugar you are describing, I now find marketed as "turbinado". So looking for that label might help
3 weeks ago
Thank you for saying so Mary. I know, in my bones, that I am an indigenous being on my home planet. I also recognize that when a person asks for bipoc perspectives they are often explicitly not asking for someone from my background's perspective, and I respect that. People from my background do not have a great track record of acting in the best interest of all life.

The gentleman who started Sankofa sounds like a very awesome dude. I would strongly encourage you to reach out to him. The interview that I read with him he was very clear about wishing to use a.reconnection to the land as a tool to uplift and empower his community.
4 weeks ago
If you're looking to consult a professional I would seek out a surveyor. They could prepare a contour map for you and could lay out the lines that you would want to build swales and rip along.

My understanding is that, quite broadly, you want to construct your earthworks just a few degrees off contour to guide water toward the ridge lines
4 weeks ago

John F Dean wrote:To add to the above, if you mean dry corn, I most often use a hand operated grinder I bought at a junk shop for about  $20.

I am trying to stick to wet corn. I've been impressed by the difference in digestibility I've noticed eating nixtimalized corn vs. normal corn products
4 weeks ago