s. lowe

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since Jul 05, 2017
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Recent posts by s. lowe

The way I see it, what we now call "specialized" diets are just a return to a more normal state of affairs than the "standard American diet" that has held sway for half a century. At no time in history has a geographic and cultural landscape as vast and diverse as.the continental US had a diet as homogeneous as we have for 50ish years. The only reason the homogeneity arose seems to have been to satisfy the desires of industrial agriculture. People are growing more and more aware of the problems caused by industrial homogeneity, and one of the avenues people ate using to.push back against that is to explore their control of their diets
8 hours ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:10-20 acres of vegetables is a huge amount. The parents in law do 20 all row cropped with most weeding/planting/sowing etc done with a tractor and around half the beds in plastic ground cover and it still takes 10 people full time. So I would say no animals you simply will not have time. They used to have cows which ate almost all of the scraps but when they expanded to 20 acres they didn't have time to keep them any more and had to get rid of them. their 20 acres produces around 3-4 TON of scraps per week in season. most is composted some goes to a neighbouring dairy farm.

If you mean 10-20 acres of land and 1/2 acre of vegetables then you probably need something to eat grass to keep the rest of the land in check, round here 10 acres would be 3-5 cows the number of geese or ducks you would need would be insane. I've done chickens and ducks and the amount of scraps they eat makes no dent on the scraps a 1/2 acre intensive garden makes not in the numbers I had anyway (5 chickens and up to 32 ducks) To make a dent on the compost needs (for 1/2 acre) I would guess we would need 40-50 chickens which is over the limit here. I would say pigs are the best choice for us that is what we will do once we manage to save up enough for the fencing (I will not keep them in the barn even though it is already laid out for pigs)

I am.thinking about a vegetable farm that is 10-20 acres in total size and how animals could be used to close the fertility loop a little bit. The idea would be to still have at least half of the land in row crops in any one year
13 hours ago
If you were/are running a small (10-20 acres) vegetable farm, and wanted to add some livestock for diversity and fertility. What would/have you thought of/tried?
23 hours ago
I know that fungi perfecti says that they steam at super high heat and then powderize all the mushrooms for their supplements. As I understand it the issue is that the proteins are too complex to digest when raw. I would think the boiling chopped.mushrooms would help. Maybe try steaming in place of boiling? How did the boiled ones work out?
1 day ago
You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you eat your cake then you won't have it anymore. If you have it then you haven't eaten it yet
2 days ago

Jen Fulkerson wrote:Thank you everyone for all your thoughts, information, and scientific knowledge.  I  may actually make biochar in the future, I would use the pit method so I don't have to buy anything.  For now I will inoculate what I have and call it good.  I will inoculate it with compost tea, because I do that anyway. My question is, is 48 to 36 hours long enough?  Can I use the liquid in my garden, or will that be a bad idea?  How about in my compost?  Would that be a better option?  
Trace I like your saying.  Perfection can get in the way of production.   Thanks all.

36 or 48 hours would be fine, the charcoal would be well inoculated and the remaining liquid will still be wonderful compost tea. All the charcoal is doing is providing housing for our micro beasty friends (I know, there are probably subtle energetic properties to char that many of us fail to appreciate). It only "steals" nutrition if its un-inoculated because the biological bloom it fosters feeds on the same foodstuffs as plants until the population stabilizes and the plants have access to their dead
3 days ago
One thing that continues to amaze me is the decadence of home grown meals. Talk about luxury! 5 star dining that leaves you feeling physically and spiritually  nourished. And usually at a cost that is comparable to the cheapest fast.food options
The pros either do heavy mulching or have mustards planted in between the rows. There's some wild ones around here and one grows with wood sorrel around it. But mustard is the only thing I've ever seen interplanted in a large hop yard

And the plants need vertical growth to produce cones. There seems to be a slight trigger toward lateral flowering shoots when they reach.the top of their support (or when seasonal factors trigger them if the support is super tall).

Also, do you know what variety of hops they are by chance? There could be some very cool varieties if their old NZ types
6 days ago
To  tie back into the spirit of the thread, I should share the two techniques I have experience with.

The first was second hand but us the most time efficient method I've heard of. The friend who first introduced me to biochar would inoculate his by putting 5-10 gallons of char into a 32 gallon trash can, filling it with water and then making an aerated compost tea with a mesh bag of inoculants.  He considered his char ready to use about 12-36 hours later

The way I currently use char is to layer it into the compost piles I make where I'm layering bokashi fermented kitchen scraps with rotting hay and other brown garden waste. I sprinkle the char on top of each layer of soggy bokashi scraps. The compost gets turned once and then forked into a worm tower. It probably spends around 4 months in the process before its applied to various garden beds. Very low effort
1 week ago
Exciting prospect Robert. I would encourage you to look at P.A.Yeoman's keyline models and Mark Sheppard's Water for Every Farm and Restoration Agriculture.

The general idea is tree/shrub lines just slightly off contour to keep water on the land as long as possible. Your schemes would probably also benefit from a little study of the historical ecology of the area so you can refine your species mix and maybe develop your plantings in line with the regions natural succession.

Keep us updated though, sounds like an exciting project
1 week ago