John Warren

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since Apr 13, 2023
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Southeast Oklahoma - Zone 7B/8A, 50"+ annual precipitation
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Recent posts by John Warren

I know this thread is a few months old, but I've been digging into info about heritage breeds lately and thought I'd throw out there that if you're looking for a hardy goose that is literally named for the job it used to have weeding cotton fields, you might consider the cotton patch goose.  (I'm actually trying to hatch some American Buff Goose eggs right now, but the idea of a goose specifically for weeding made me think of the cotton patch - even if other breeds might work too.)

And while we're throwing out suggestions for sheep instead of geese, I might as well toss one in there for the gulf coast sheep.  Very good foragers, incredible resistance to parasites, do well with weather extremes, just turn them loose on a field or forest and let them do their sheep thing.

Hoping to pick up the first ones to start our own little flock in the next week or two.
1 week ago

brian hanford wrote:I have a pond next to a walnut and catalpa tree. It never killed the fish but it is just a mess and the water is brown like tea. Plus you have to clean it out of the leaves and walnuts and husks, Catalpa pods it's lots of work. The muck at the bottom goes anerobic, smells horrible. We are filling it in and putting a pond farther from the walnuts. We also have had problems with stock tanks too close to the walnuts.
Love the trees but keep water away is what we have found best.


I wonder if aerating the water would help break down the organic material in a less smelly (and I'm guessing slimy) way or if there is a type of bacteria which could help break it down differently...
1 month ago
If that seep is actually a spring breaking through to the surface at multiple places, you could have a really nice source of high quality water there.

And even if you don't want to use the water for anything else, you might be able to tap into it and use the water which is abundant right there to put little ponds wherever you want them to be.
1 month ago
Unfortunately, our home Internet is still down (the repairman finally came out after 3 weeks of no progress whatsoever, but as nice as he was he seemed to have incredibly limited support from the company itself to actually fix much unfortunately, so we still have no landline and our Internet is competitive with the 28k dialup we had here a couple decades ago... but that's all a separate mess) so uploading pictures is still difficult. But in the meantime, here are some thoughts I've got about the project so far:

First, I'm impressed by how much of a difference just a little bit of warmth and a little mixing makes to the process compared to just leaving the stuff to sit.

Second, the drill that I'm mixing with is not currently anchored to anything and neither is the old popcorn tin that the waste goes into. This makes it very easy for things to get briefly bound up and the popcorn tin to want to start spinning wildly if I don't have it held down already.

Third, while the smell is not all that bad (certainly not what you might expect considering what is going on inside the tin - and at an accelerated rate) even without filtration, it would definitely benefit from some activated carbon - either as an air filtration setup or I suspect simply adding it to the mix directly would also do the trick.  I've got both some activated carbon from an old aquarium my mom used to keep which I plan to try out as well as just some biochar.

Fourth, I don't currently have the system enclosed/insulated to hold the heat in and I imagine it would be much more efficient if I did. I have an old cooler I scavenged from someone else's discards pile I have been considering using for this, but it also occurs to me that the more lids I add to it the more complicated accessing the drill and even just attaching the drill to the shaft of the mixing tool will be.

With how much I have going on in life right now, I am questioning how far I will actually be able to take this project towards its potential, but even just throwing a bunch of random "junk" together I have been somewhat impressed with how much it did to speed up the decomposition process in a less slimy mucky way.

I agree that a kitchen mixer with adjustable speeds could work quite well for something like this.
1 month ago


Well, I didn't expect to find myself here this evening, but my current experience is causing significant enough confusion that I figure I should care enough to provide some feedback to you folks who have invested your energy into trying to hold this place together.

(Thanks for that, by the way... really.)

So anyway, I'm not going to try to argue that the post that brought me here was especially well written or didn't need to be edited. I already acknowledged in a prior post that I was frustrated and let that get the better of me and come out in ways it probably shouldn't have.

I am admittedly still a little confused at the parts of the post which were chosen to take issue with and the level of issue it has become... and most of all confused by the fact that I received a message telling me that I had the opportunity to edit the post to correct the problem, and yet when I attempted to do that the post/thread is locked?

I am also a little... fascinated I guess? By the fact that  in the message I was told to "drop the snotty quotes" from around a word which it says was particularly hostile. Even looking back and acknowledging that I should have been more cordial, while I would be more than willing to edit that word if required, that is NOT one of the points in the post where I felt like my frustration got away from me - I meant nothing hostile by it AT ALL. And so for the response to be told that I was using "snotty quotes" feels, well, let's just call it snotty.

Again, I would have been willing to edit that part of the post if given the chance, and actually agree that other parts probably would have benefited from it. But I question the practice of throwing back labels like "snotty quotes" when that seems like exactly the type of practice you're trying to curb here. (Right?)

Anyway, like I said, as tempting as it is to explain "my side" of the situation, I can't really claim to have handled it well. I truly wish both sides had, because I genuinely wanted to have an honest discussion and felt frustrated when it wasn't happening.

But the reason I'm here is that it just felt pretty odd to get called snotty by an auto-mod message telling me to go edit my post which I can't seem to edit or reply to.

Like some kind of really weird Permie-Rick-Roll...

🎶Never gonna till you up... Always gonna mulch you down...🎶

John Suavecito wrote:My comment wasn't directed at you.  I think the point of increasing the surface area is making more hotels for microbes.  Instead of mansions for a few lucky microbes, it's making zillions of tiny homes for innumerable microbes.  More microbes of different sizes will be able to access the biochar when it has more surface area, and over time, it should be distributed more widely throughout the soil.

John S

That's the thing though - I understand why you would want more surface area... and thus I see the value of things like introducing steam at the end of the production process to fracture the carbon structure further and essentially create "activated carbon".

What I was saying is that I am not convinced breaking the char into smaller pieces produces meaningfully more surface area.

However, I definitely agree that it can serve other purposes, in particular allowing it to disperse more evenly throughout the soil.

I suppose to run with your hotel analogy: Crushing the char isn't really creating more rooms in the hotel, it is taking your one massive hotel and demolishing it to build a hundred townhouses, duplexes, and little condominiums throughout the city and its suburbs... (And I would guess this probably doesn't hurt with the rest of the city's infrastructure either - you might be helping build out some additional mycelium highways for example... and throwing up some extra billboards alongside it)
1 month ago