Sergio Santoro

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since Mar 27, 2011
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Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Recent posts by Sergio Santoro

All right! Here in Costa Rica, we're going through a severe rainy season, so I pretty much gave up on gardening. I don't know if the stink bugs passed a virus to my tomatoes that were growing so strong, or the bugs came because the tomato was already weakened by the rain.
Anyway, I won't be the first one to report on this practice. I do have a bug-zooka and I already sucked a couple of bugs last night.
2 years ago
Hi, I just looked all over the internet (OK, Youtube), but I found nothing.

My Polish friend said her grandma used to collect the bugs that harmed her garden, whizz them in the blender and make a diluted spray to repel any future ones.

Years ago I found a source where they said to get 10g of bugs, reduce them to char and then dilute them in a homeopathic way (in 100ml of distilled water, and then a drop of that in another 100ml of water).

Does anyone have any experience of that?
In particular, I have stink bugs on my tomatoes.


2 years ago

Dillon Nichols wrote:If you want to throw money at the issue, a polished stainless drum would be a drop in and quite expensive visual upgrade..

Hmmm... I've seen them. You mean that those drums are what they look like before they get painted and used? I was hoping that they could look like that after removing the paint with fire and buffing them with some tool.
4 years ago

I haven't read every single post on the topic, but let me address the elephant in the room, in case no one else has. The unpainted oil drum that sticks out of a rocket mass heater is not exactly pretty.

I'm thinking of using a mass heater as part of a temascal. For those who don't know, a temascal is the precolombian equivalent of a sauna. It's practically a mud igloo. Mine won't be larger than 22' in diameter, so I don't need the bench and all that. Plus, I live in the tropics. I just need a small, toasty environment. Anyway, the folks I live with, are not exactly the same as me or anyone in this forum, and at the thought and sight of these oil drums they started to complain. Does anyone have any suggestion? For example, if I covered the drum with cob, wouldn't it still be pretty darn hot for that small a space?

4 years ago
OK, check out this video. Gonna make some pop corn while waiting for the comments.

5 years ago
So, you guys are saying that the white quinoa is not the unhulled version of the red and black?

I could have tried a long time ago. Anyway, now here we find all three kinds in the store. I am interested in the beautiful flower plumes, but if it's anything like amaranth, I don't know how the newly sprouted seeds can even sustain their own length and weight. They are the most delicate kind of sprout I've ever seen. Am I germinating them in too much light or something? I'd rather have them grow stalkier and stronger.
7 years ago
Wow, new look! I hadn't been here in a while.

So, I'm having a battle with fleas here. I live on a farm in Costa Rica. It's very damp during the rainy season (now). We have two dogs. One of our cabins is infested. The lady living in it doesn't want it to be sprayed with carcinogenic crap, and I don't want the dogs' blood to be full of preventative chemicals, if I haven't seen a single flea on them for months.

She said some exterminators that came here last year and treated our place with that fungus that eats insects from the inside told her fleas don't need to live on dogs. They just feed for some time, but for the most part they make their nest in damp places. In our case it's all the cracks between the cabin walls and the porch floor, that are now canyons thanks to the many earthquakes we get.
This lady tried with DE and said it doesn't work. I don't know how she's applying it, but she does do a lot of internet researches. So far in this forum I read about feeding the dogs a teaspoon of ACV every day, as well as feeding them brewer's yeast, except we get it from the US for our salad and it's really expensive.

Can somebody please help with my situation? With dogs running out into the forest on some expedition every couple of weeks, they are bound to bring home some parassite or other. Also, with those cracks around the cabin, it's like having an empty hotel for fleas. Any help is welcome.
8 years ago
I just took a look at the solar kiln, and it seems like an interesting alternative. I'll read about it later.

Hans, what do you mean with "not on a slope"? That the solar collector can be horizontal, or vertical? I'd imagine horizontal, like a glass coffin.
8 years ago
Even if I were to replicate the same model, or make the actual one true to the design, I need advice on the material. The transparent sheets are all cracked under the sun, starting from the screws (with washers). The silicone thing is all brittle and air and bugs come in from everywhere. I also couldn't find a bug-proof way to seal the door. I think I used some fridge door rubber thing. I could use polycarbonate for the transparent panels, but wouldn't a smooth surface reflect part of the light-heat?
8 years ago