Dillon Langer

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since Mar 30, 2019
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What do you mean I’m a hippie?
Middletown, CA
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Recent posts by Dillon Langer

J Davis wrote:If you are tight on timing, maybe do one small one so you can validate your method and results before putting an entire slope at risk of erosion.

Many of the factors will be local. Soil, rain, cover crops, etc. So even researching and prepping will only mitigate some risk. Much risk will remain until you have tested your method onsite.

Permie methodology is observe, act small, observe, expand scale.

Especially important when dealing with potential erosion on sigilnificant slope.

That said, sound idea. A bit jealous on your water supply :)

I’m not that concerned about erosion at this point.  There are already some bare spots behind me in the picture, and the area I’d be digging is less than 3/4 of an acre to begin with.  But I will do my best to retain what soil there is to begin with.  Thanks again!
1 year ago

Tyler Ludens wrote: If you want the swales to act as swales and not ditches, and have more control over the water, you might consider digging them on contour and installing swivel pipes so that when you want to move the water downhill instead of holding it, you can swivel the pipes.  At minute 4:00 in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcgHvYWLs-Q&t=80s

I was planning to dig them so that they are level yes, and that’s clever with the pipe there in the video.  Control in rainy months would be helpful and that would be easy to install if I did it before the whole thing was made.  Thank you!
1 year ago

J Davis wrote:Sounds perfect.

Only advice would be have your mulch, straw, seeds on hand and ready to go and choose your timing as best you can to ensure heavy rains dont arrive while distrubed soil is bare.

Thank you, I hope it’ll work out but it seems noothing ever does as I think it will.  Just gotta get digging before the heavy November rains hit.
1 year ago
I want to set up a gravity fed passive irrigation system on my newly rented grow space by flooding swale ditches so that the berm veggies will always have water.  I would divert water from a perennial spring uphill of the site, which is in an old hayfield with a decent slope to it, to the first swale, which would fill, then the spillway flow would be directed into the second swale, so that I almost create a small stream that doesn’t flow very fast, going downhill from swale to swale and filling them all.  I would use rocks where the spillways flow into the next swale; the only spots where water should be actually flowing and the only spots with erosion potential.  I might try to terminate the waterflow in a pond at the bottom of the hayfield.  I am asking those with more experience than I: is this feasible or am I overlooking something stupid?

I’ll be installing swales regardless as the unusually heavy rains of last winter have done some damage on the slope.

Is there a better way to irrigate without having to set up drip lines or soaker hoses or install tanks to hold water?
1 year ago
Unfortunatley due to personal events I had to leave the site where the growing was taking place, but I recently went back to discover that some of the now completely neglected plants, with a total lack of water during the worst months of the year for a mediterranian climate, survived.

Plants that I have seen survive Fukuoka style planting then neglect concerning any pest control or watering(although it was a very wet May) include:
-Apline Strawberries
-Green Zebra tomato
-Unidentified red cherry tomato(seed saving this!!)
-New england pie pumpkins(not yet fruiting, I believe they will still die before then)
-Blacktail mountain watermelon(not fruiting)
-A stalk of Painted Mountain corn seems to be alive
-Sunset goldilocks, Hopi Red Dye, and Red Garnet amarnaths all survived and set seed, although did not grow so tall.
-Vermont cranberry bean did the best.  Bush varieties that were quicker to mature survived.

Ultimately, due to the conditions that were created by my absence I would not consider this a completed experiment.  I’m sorry I couldn’t contribute more knowledge to these forums.  Maybe if I find a more permanent situation I’ll try again more formally.
1 year ago

eric fisher wrote:

Good to know about the ash, it’s just usually a resource I have a lot of in winter because stove fires.  Weeds usually include, at least in the batch of tea I’m referring to, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, foxtails, etc.

 -- You have some potent stuff in this list.

You gave me a lot to think about here Dillon so I slept on it, and then there is the time zone differential. Anyone reading this and posting on here, be rest assured I will get to you.

You have already told me that you feel your mix does feed your plants and you notice a positive response so I expect the feeding aspect is positive. If you want to enhance things further consider the nutrient balance and what essential and beneficial elements are available to your plants.  For the sake of brevity I won’t go into  the ‘law of the minimum’  and essentiality here which you may already be well aware of.

Don’t think you have to worry  much regarding phytotoxins since you leave it in the 3-4 months and these are usually prevalent in fresher organic matter.

I am rather nervous regarding your use of the ash (Potassium Hydroxide), it has a very high pH of up to 14 ! ; which is very extreme. On a plus side it is likely to nuke any pathogens around because most of them are neutrophils.  On the minus side it’s going to nuke almost every other living organism too.  When you put your solution/mulch on the land the earthworms may want to avoid it, which is not something you want.  I gather you have laid down a lot of ash. I would be inclined to do a soil pH test and test your solution as a matter of urgency.

I would also be inclined to use the ash as a separate amendment and add seaweed instead in your bucket which is high is potassium, traces, growth hormones and is more gentle.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is  high in calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron.

Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliate) is an interesting one. It is high iron and high in oxalates  which have pesticidal properties like rhubarb leaves.

Regarding foxtails present in varied grasses be careful with this stuff. It is toxic to dogs, horses and an irritant to humans. The inflorescences and spikelets can enter the body via the nose and ears and is high in oxalates like miner’s lettuce.

Hope that helps. Just for the sake interest I have included a spikelet pic below.

Well crap, I haven’t killed anything yet.  I don’t use all the ash I’ve created from fires too or I surely would have nuked everything by now.  You’re damn right foxtails are an irritant when the seed matures and gets stuck in all your socks.  And that’s good to know about miner’s lettuce.  I usually accredit my lack of serious pest issues to neglecting to weed or separate plants into neat rows so that it all becomes just patches of veggies amongst grasses.  (I like to tell myself I’m breeding for neglect surviving plants with my passive, borderline lazy ways.  Hence my highly unscientific teas.)

Anyways, thanks for the help Eric.  Much appreciated.
1 year ago

eric fisher wrote:

1. Can I ask if you stir it at all and the frequency ?
2. How long did you wait to use it ?
3. Did you put a lid on top; was it tight fitting ?
4. In what way did you apply it to plant ? eg. foliar spray, root drench.
5. Which plants ? and their use.  For instance if you are pouring the stuff on salad leaves then eating them straight after, I might be concerned.

Regarding the ash I would be inclined to do pH test because too much alkalinity might be a problem. Also regarding the 'weeds' did you spot any you know  because some are dynamic accumulators and can be real asset to your brews.

1.  I stirred infrequently, usually not at all unless I decided to add something later.

2.  The average time I waited was about 3-4 ish months.  (It may not bave been fully decomposed but it was good enough for me.)

3.  No lids.

4 and 5.  It gets diluted with water and poured around the bases of my squash, tomatoes, corn, and melons in some of my prepared beds.

Good to know about the ash, it’s just usually a resource I have a lot of in winter because stove fires.  Weeds usually include, at least in the batch of tea I’m referring to, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, foxtails, etc.

I should also note that I have no need for perfection or even efficiency.  As long as the tea has any positive effect I would be happy, and I think it does anyways but I don’t know the science.
1 year ago

eric fisher wrote:

Hey Eric, I’ve heard a lot of spiel denouncing anaerobic teas, mostly around the idea that plants like aerobic conditions (not drowning) so anaerobic microbes encouraged by anaerobic teas are worse than whatever’s different about aerobic teas.  What’s your take?

Hi Dillon,

I think many people decide on one camp or the other and I really don't think it is as straightforward as that. It is a broad area and depends on how you make it and then how you use it.
Do you have a particular example of anaerobically prepared tea so we can consider the pros and cons in a more concrete way ? I ask for a specific example because there is very broad range of methods under the anaerobic banner from the Bokashi style to chucking manure in polythene bags. Also an anaerobic process can just be one aspect of the substances path to being used in a meaningful way. For instance you could have something that is really nasty, seething with phytotoxins and disease then spread it out on your land and encourage the worms for a year then things can turn around.

Well, if we were to get specific my preferred method of anaerobic tea making is to throw organic matter, usually freshly pulled weeds, occasionally with added amendments like ash, into a bucket filled with water and just wait.  I usually dilute this with water when I apply it to garden plants, though.

Thank you for the advice!
1 year ago
Hey Eric, I’ve heard a lot of spiel denouncing anaerobic teas, mostly around the idea that plants like aerobic conditions (not drowning) so anaerobic microbes encouraged by anaerobic teas are worse than whatever’s different about aerobic teas.  What’s your take?
1 year ago
I can’t seem to find the picture of the tomatoes that were only in weeds without mulch, which I was very impressed by, and I can’t take a picture as I am off farm now (why I’m now able to send this).  Hope that does you well though
1 year ago