Return On Investment

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Yesterday evening I spread two 28' x 28' bird nets over my raspberry patch. There were only a few berries last year but this year it looks like I'll get about a quart. During the process, I realized that I was struggling out in the heat to install $50 worth of bird netting to save about $5 worth of berries. Not a great one-time investment, but next year the patch should really start bearing and the netting will be well worth the investment.
Paul
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In article

Got some plants many failed the ones that didnt look pale The robust look good I'll divide in time
Meanwhile the sweet anticipation looms Less the hale says start again Meanwhile
Process that I can work with Sort of communing with nature The reward
Intangible
Worth it for only some.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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Pavel314 wrote:

Small scale growing has problems of cost effectiveness when compared to supermarket prices, especially when you are starting out. If you factor in the other benefits and pleasures that eating your own produce provides it is much more worth it. If you can increase your scale moderately so that you multiply your production using the same fixed overheads and if you can learn to recycle and reuse instead of purchasing your inputs the financial balance comes back into your favour.
The way to do this is to provide for more than one family (unless you have a large one already), to learn to preserve your abundant crops and to sell or exchange the rest locally. This is probably not possible if all you have is a balcony but if you have 50 sq metres of soil in a sunny spot it is.
If in doubt give it away. I often give surplus veges to neighbours without expecting anything in return, however things come back to you. Last year one fixed my car (which would have cost several hundred dollars) and refused to take any money.
David
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Truly, what is the price of community? -----
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (Amazon.com product link shortened) 83/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815576&sr=1-1 p.79
Some intriguing recent research suggests otherwise. A study by University of California-Davis researchers published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2003 described an experiment in which identical varieties of corn, strawberries, and blackberries grown in neighboring plots using different methods (including organically and conventionally) were compared for levels of vitamins and polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of secondary metabolites manufactured by plants that we've recently learned play an important role in human health and nutrition. Many are potent antioxidants; some play a role in preventing or fighting cancer; others exhibit antimicrobial properties. The Davis researchers found that organic and otherwise sustainably grown fruits and vegetables contained significantly higher levels of both ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and a wide range of polyphenols.
The recent discovery of these secondary metabolites in plants has bought our understanding of the biological and chemical complexity of foods to a deeper level of refinement; history suggests we haven't gotten anywhere near the bottom of this question, either. The first level was reached early in the nineteenth century with the identification of the macronutrients-protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Having isolated these compounds, chemists thought they'd unlocked the key to human nutrition. Yet some people (such as sailors) living on diets rich in macronutrients nevertheless got sick. The mystery was solved when scientists discovered the major vitamins-a second key to human nutrition. Now it's the polyphenols in plants that we're learning play a critical role in keeping us healthy. (And which might explain why diets heavy in processed food fortified with vitamins still aren't as nutritious as fresh foods.) You wonder what else is going on in these plants, what other undiscovered qualities in them we've evolved to depend on.
In many ways the mysteries of nutrition at the eating end of the food chain closely mirror the mysteries of fertility at the growing end: The two realms are like wildernesses that we keep convincing ourselves our chemistry has mapped, at least until the next level of complexity comes into view. Curiously, Justus von Liebig, the nineteenth-century German chemist with the spectacularly ironic surname, bears responsibility for science's overly reductive understanding of both ends of the food chain. It was Liebig, you'll recall, who thought he had found the chemical key to soil fertility with the discovery of NPK, and it was the same Liebig who thought he had found the key to human nutrition when identified the macronutrients in food. Liebig wasn't wrong on either count, yet in both instances he made the fatal mistake of thinking that what we knew about nourishing plants and people was all we need to know to keep them healthy. It's a mistake we'll probably keep repeating until we develop a deeper respect for the complexity of food soil and, perhaps, the links between the two.
But back to the polyphenols, which may hint at the nature of that link. Why in the world should organically grown blackberries or corn contain significantly more of these compounds? The authors of Davis study haven't settled the question, but they offer two suggestive theories. The reason plants produce these compounds in the first place is to defend themselves against pests and diseases; the more pressure from pathogens, the more polyphenols a plant will produce. These compounds, then, are the products of natural selection and, more specifically, the coevolutionary relationship between plants and the species that prey on them. Who would have guessed that humans evolved to profit from a diet of these plant pesticides? Or that we would invent an agriculture that then deprived us of them? The Davis authors hypothesize that plants being defended by man-made pesticides don't need to work as hard to make their own polyphenol pesticides. Coddled by us and our chemicals, the plants see no reason to invest their sources in mounting a strong defense. (Sort of like European nations during the cold war.)
A second explanation (one that subsequent research seems to suppport) may be that the radically simplified soils in which chemically fertilized plants grow don't supply all the raw ingredients needed to synthesize these compounds, leaving the plants more vulnerable to attack, as we know conventionally grown plants tend to be. NPK might be sufficient for plant growth yet still might not give a plant everything it needs to manufacture ascorbic acid or lycopene or resveratrol in quantity. As it happens, many of the polyphenols (and especially a subset called the flavonols) contribute to the characteristic taste of a fruit or vegetable. Qualities we can't yet identify, in soil may contribute qualities we've only just begun to identify in our foods and our bodies.
Reading the Davis study I couldn't help thinking about the early proponents of organic agriculture, people like Sir Albert Howard and J. I. Rodale, who would have been cheered, if unsurprised, by the findings. Both men were ridiculed for their unscientific conviction that a reductive approach to soil fertility-the NPK mentality-would diminish the nutritional quality of the food grown in it and, in turn, the health of the people who lived on that food. All carrots are not created equal, they believed; how we grow it, the soil we grow it in, what we feed that soil all contribute qualities to a carrot, qualities that may yet escape the explanatory net of our chemistry. Sooner or later the soil scientists and nutritionists will catch up to Sir Howard, heed his admonition that we begin treating the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man as one great subject."
So it happens that these organic blackberries perched on this mound of vanilla ice cream, having been grown in a complexly fertile soil and forced to fight their own fights against pests and disease, are in some quantifiable way more nutritious than conventional blackberries. This would probably not come as earthshaking news to Albert Howard or J. I. Rodale or any number of organic farmers, but at least now it is a claim for which we can supply a scientific citation: J. Agric. Food. Chem. vol. 51, no. 5, 2003. (Several other such studies have appeared since; see the Sources section at the back of this book.)
Obviously there is much more to be learned about the relationship of soil to plant, animals, and health, and it would be a mistake to lean too heavily on any one study. It would also be a mistake to assume that the word organic" on a label automatically signifies healthfulness, especially when that label appears on heavily processed and long-distance foods that have probably had much of their nutritional value, not to mention flavor, beaten out of them long before they arrive at our tables.
The better for what? question about my organic meal can of course be answered in a much less selfish way: Is it better for the environment? Better for the farmers who grew it? Better for the public health? For the taxpayer? The answer to all three questions is an (almost) unqualified yes. To grow the plants and animals that made up my meal, no pesti- cides found their way into any farmworker's bloodstream, no nitrogen runoff or growth hormones seeped into the watershed, no soils were poisoned, no antibiotics were squandered, no subsidy checks were written. If the high price of my all-organic meal is weighed against the comparatively low price it exacted from the larger world, as it should be, it begins to look, at least in karmic terms, like a real bargain.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote: ...

i'd be sure that at least one of those farmer's children were on birth control.
i love science, but we have a long ways to go before we have the complete picture of this understood.
i wouldn't be surprised to find out at how much of what we consider good gardening now will be proved false in the next 50 years.
i remain a wide-eyed optimist with cynically rose colored glasses.
songbird
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True, we understood mega-nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats, but that wasn't enough. Now we understand micronutrients: vitamins, but that isn't enough. Will bioflavonoids be it, or will that not be enough as well?
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote:

actually, what i am wondering more and more about is while i'm sure that some of the things that plants make are ok for us, many other substances are either going to be somewhat toxic or neutral and the end result is that the liver is the primary sorting ground. so any nutritional studies which do not analyze long term liver function/toxicity are basically crap.
all these chemicals that plants make to defend themselves from predators (including herbivores/ omnivores i.e. us) at some level will be doing some damage and perhaps organic gardening which increases certain chemicals may be increasing the burden on the liver. we really are not very far along in this sort of "entire system" analysis when it comes to all the chemicals the body can ingest and the waste products and how they are transported and etc... some things are stored in fats and thus in the fatty cells in the body. some things come out of the fats given certain diets and such, etc. all of this is not really completely understood either.
take it all in combination and we are many years from "knowledge" in the sense of completeness, but at least we are on the way if we don't manage to do ourselves in first. it's a race IMO. considering what we knew a hundred years ago we've made a lot of progress, but much of what we know now is still likely to be flat out wrong. i trust science to figure it out eventually, i do not trust "organic religion" any more than i trusted "atkins diet religion" when that became a craze.
songbird
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Quite a little rant. As far as organic foods are concerned, that is what humanity has been eating since the Garden of Eden to 1945. If that is insufficient, then it is a wonder that we are still here. Our liver is indeed here to protect us from our mistakes, has our entire history been a mistake?
Organic religion? Shirley, you jest. We are only talking about traditional food, grown in traditional ways. Does that aspire to the level of a cult?
Contemporary, commercial agriculture kills top soil, kills soil ecology, pollutes ground water, and creates ocean dead zones around the mouthes of rivers. Contemporary, commercial agriculture requires more than a calorie of fossil fuel for each calorie of food. Organic (traditional) agriculture produces 2+ calories for each calorie of input. Contemporary, commercial agriculture fills your body with chemicals that your liver never saw before, much less has developed any way of dealing with.
With corporations now funding large segments of our underfunded higher education, don't be surprised if scientists can't get funding for nutritional studies that are very expensive to run. Even now, industry is fighting doing toxicological studies of chemicals that that were grand fathered into our food delivery system.
<http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=chemical-controls April 2010, Scientific American p. 30 Chemical Controls Congress needs to give federal agencies greater authority to test and regulate chemicals
People seem to thrive on traditional food. It is only when they take up western food that they get sick. One of the reasons that wheat was separated from its germ is because with only the starch and none of its nutrition, white flour attracts fewer pests. Stay away from processed foods (empty calories of sugar, white flour, and white rice), and you'll be healthier. The Inuit didn't have diabetes, until they started eating from trading posts. Colonial doctors reported little i the way of diabetes, cancer, or high blood pressure, until the introduction of the "Western" diet. Sugar consumption (IIRC) has gone from 15 lbs/year in 1840 to approximately 170 lbs/year at present in "western" cultures. But, hey, it's your organism, who am I to tell you not to abuse it?
Especially, when the University of California <http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID 717> and Stanford University <http://academicearth.org/lectures/battle-of-the-diets can say it much more eloquently and with more authority than I can.
Don't get me wrong, even traditional organic agriculture isn't perfect. Far from it, <http://www.environnement.ens.fr/perso/claessen/agriculture/mistake_jared _diamond.pdf>
And as you work on your grapevine, or worrying about uncontrolled immigration, remember that by 2050, there will be 9 billion people on this planet with us, and 12 billion by 2067. And we have already exceeded the Earth's carrying capacity for us.
We can't even figure out what to do with a half-century's total production of over a 1 billion tons of plastic that is floating around in the oceans. It includes hundreds of different plastics, with untold permutations involving added plasticizers, opacifiers, colors, fillers, strengtheners, and light stabilizers. The longevity of each can vary enormously. Thus far, none has disappeared.
What did this mean for the ocean, the ecosystem, the future? Would its chemical constituents or additives for instance, colorants such as metallic copper concentrate as they ascended the food chain, and alter evolution?
The use of aggressively toxic polychlorinated biphenylsPCBsto make plastics more pliable had been banned since 1970; among other hazards, PCBs were known to promote hor- monal havoc such as hermaphroditic fish and polar bears. Like time-release capsules, pre-1970 plastic flotsam will gradually leak PCBs into the ocean for centuries. But, as Takada also discovered, free-floating toxins from all kinds of sourcescopy paper, automobile grease, coolant fluids, old fluorescent tubes, and infamous discharges by General Electric and Monsanto plants directly into streams and riversreadily stick to the surfaces of free-floating plastic.
One study directly correlated ingested plastics with PCBs in the fat tissue of puffins. The astonishing part was the amount. Takada aad his colleagues found that plastic pellets that the birds ate concentrate poisons to levels as high as 1 million times their normal occurrence in seawater.
The World Without Us (Paperback) by Alan Weisman POLYMERS ARE FOREVER / 151 <(Amazon.com product link shortened) _1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid74206221&sr=1-1>
And we want to build more nuclear reactors ;O)
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote: ...

some people talk about it with that gleem in their eyes which removes all doubt that this is _The True and Only Way_ to grow things.
alas, science will continue to show that there will be even better ways of doing things, given time, evolution is not optimized.

have you read anything about no-till practices?
i'm not a contemporary farm practices apologist, i just don't see how we get out of the current fix without food riots and mass starvation and many other turmoils.

i think organic farms can also pollute ground water and certainly do contribute to nutrients in the rivers thus the dead zones. i think there is a major problem there but i think it is also contributed to heavily by many other practices which are not agricultural (lawns being one of them, massive parking lots/paving, ditching, drainage not filtered through wetlands, waste processing plants, etc). i don't think it correct to put that sort of thing wholly on the plates of the non-organic farmers.

where are you getting this calorie amount from? from what i know, organic farming is more labor intensive, so will require more people to grow the things consumed. which is good for employment, but does not help reduce the pressure on the entire planet's ecosystem.
i do agree that the petrochemical system currently in place is going to peter out eventually, it has to, there isn't an infinite supply of oil. there isn't an infinite supply of anything on this planet, we really need to be investing in figuring out how to survive in smaller systems and what is needed to thrive there.

somewhat true, and these are greatly troubling to me also. Dioxins being a local trouble (read about the dioxin contamination of the Tittabawassee River and the Saginaw River sometime).
i'm also greatly troubled by the general neglect of understanding of what happens to things after we are done with them. including things like BC meds, all those plastics (which you speak about below and i agree with that they are trouble) which act as long term sources of pollutants, landfills, etc.

i know, that is horrible and for certain should require safety studies, even if done for one item per company per season it's not that terrible a thing to ask. and actually if you have many companies using the compound in question they could all contribute to the study based upon how much they use. seems fair and the cost gets passed on to consumers anyways in one form or another eventually... there's no real way to avoid the price of ignorance even if most people do not really want the slightly higher prices that knowledge would cost it's a basic science question that eventually will have to be addressed, it doesn't matter what the currency is used to pay for it, the ultimate currency is human time and wasted or damaged lives/ecosystems/other organisms, etc.
i read about current practices in meat processing and testing and decide to not eat much ground meat as a result. there's no way i want meat that has been treated with ammonia to kill the microbes put back into the mix (i thought that was what pigs were for :) ). and actually i try to eat less meat as i consider it fairly "expensive" when it comes to the environment. as an omnivore it's a part of the total feedbag and i like a good burger or steak once in a while, but i know some people who eat that way every day... um, not for me...

again, not entirely true, before modern methods came along people died from malnutrition and food borne diseases or just didn't make it to old age where such things as heart disease and diabetes tend to show up more and more.
when i want to amuse myself i think that i really wasn't meant to live past 40 and should have been food for a saber tooth tiger.

heh, a lot of people just died earlier than they do now, and much that people used to die of isn't accurately known or reported. there are still troubles in knowing even now. this is a continuing issue of privacy vs. community health and what science needs to know to advance understanding. not easy things to resolve.

i'm offline at the moment so i cannot follow links... however, some of what you write above is simply not true. modern food science and as a result changes in agricultural practices has reduced toxicity of certain things and i'm glad for that (being that peanut butter is something i like to eat on a regular basis i'm glad to know it's produced to reduce the toxins that can otherwise accumulate). also that is true for many grain crops that used to have much higher fungal troubles and the resulting toxins... not that this is all right, but i think it has helped in some ways.
i agree that the overprocessing and such is not good, and i eat myself to avoid some of the things you mention but not completely as certain tastes, textures and end products (in baking and candy making) just aren't right when done with whole grain flours or unrefined sugars.
moderation being the key there (omnivore means eat a variety of things, physiology says eat more plant than animal things, climate and physical exercise means certain amounts of calories are needed and sometimes you have to have dense sources of nutrients just to survive, but most people these days do not need as much as they are getting which is obvious).

oh believe me i'm already knowing of that. it's only the petrochemicals which are feeding a lot of people now, when they start becoming scarce the food riots are going to be "interesting". my personal choice to not have children and to drive as little as possible a very fuel efficient car is what i could do to make a difference. i try to make other differences in not using a lot of fertilizers, in trying to soak up or filter runoff before it hits the ditches. i'm a big fan of river restorations and letting the rivers flood again where they used to go, restoring wetlands, stopping the spraying of nerve poisons for insect controls, etc.
i like organic farming, i like working with the world around me instead of having to fight it, but at the moment i'm also having to live in a world with values almost 180 degrees from my own so somethings i must bend around as i can.

some of it has been incorporated in reefs. (one of my interests has been coral reef oceanography/biology/nutrient cycling).

raw copper is really tough on marine critters. most of it gets bound in one way or another before it gets to the oceans.

yep, it's going to take it's toll one way or another. i'm glad we recycle plastics here. until we did i was not buying certain products because i objected to the packaging.
mercury loading is troublesome too from coal burning (among other things). ok, this we must skip for now. my toxic metal knowledge is limited to lead, murkery, copper and some of the radioactives.

designed right and run right i'll take them over coal/oil any time, but my preference is more towards solar and wind and conservation measures. the big trouble with the wastes is a farce, they could be disposed in a way which the earth would normally cycle them (reprocess, what's left could be encased in heavy glass, steel, lead, etc. then dropped into a continental subduction zone which would take it back into the mantle).
in the end we gotta get a move on learning how to live in space and that has a certain time frame that it has to happen by or we're just another fossil in the record...
a few good blasts from a bunch of volcanoes and we're seriously in trouble worldwide within two years... in my other moments of wondering what kind of people i live among it amazes me how many really just don't care about the long term future of the planet and the means by which we can get moving towards other planets... optimally i would like to have that happen when we know what it takes to live in a relatively closed system without damaging ourselves in the process... but if push comes to shove i know what bit of the cosmic ark i'd want to be on.
it is going to take a large and organised system of production to get that to happen which means corporations or government agencies and all the foibles of human nature that come along with such groupings. at least science has ways of understanding and helping all around. i think organic means of production will be a part of that too, but there will also be industrial processes too. we're just too far past the carrying capacity (as you say and i agree with) to go back short of cataclysm or a real serious long range effort to gradually reduce populations... i don't see that happening. people want to have babies, they want children to take care of them when they grow older, they want workers to pay taxes so they can fund their pet projects (safety studies, nutritional studies, health studies, space science and exploration :) ) hee
oh, i feel bad that i didn't speak about ocean acidification. as that is a basic change that will have long range effects and we're basically ignoring it by pumping all the carbon dioxide into the air... organic gardening is not going to fix that because organic gardening aims to recycle nutrients not sequester carbon dioxide. somehow that has to be addressed and fairly immediately and unfortunately it's not. people are still driving SUVs even after the oil platform spill and all the havoc that is going to cause... *sigh*
if only i were king... ;) i think that is why your .sig is always amusing to me.
consider this:
humans are an ecological system's response to limited and finite resources... ;) we are the great innoculators, the means of dispersal and of course destruction if we screw up. oops.
ok, good night, it's been fun...
songbird
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You have some interesting things to say and you have clearly thought about them but you do yourself a disservice in your presentation.
Your postings are often made up of very long one-sentence paragraphs all in lower case. You may think that messy old usenet doesn't require your finger to ever hit the full stop or the shift key but we will read more and skip less if you employ them. May I also suggest that you adjust the line length of your newsreader as it wraps lines rather short, which is hardly good for your text but it mangles the quotes because they are then chopped twice.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

your attention is appreciated, your responses read if i'm still alive to press the key or click the mouse, but i'm unlikely to change my writing style to your satisfaction.
considering much is wandering OT of r.g.e. i'm quite happy to drop much of it. :)

grammar takes a backseat and howls to the music of wurlds colliding.
her knickers about her sneeze her shoes in a bundle and (to be true to this group) a rhubarb pie on the dash.
...
more seriously, words and ideas first, am i clear enough that you understand what i'm aiming at? or if i am confusing, you can ask questions and we can have a conversation (instead of throwing links back and forth as seems to be what is happening to usenet these days).
paragraphs are for formal writing, this isn't that kind of writing. i'm here to have fun and talk, not write papers for publication. some of my aim is to be entertaining and playful while also being challenging.

i like being little. i am keeping my ego on a leash, don't encourage me to get all formalic like the big ants in the amazon do. they scare the shit outta me, always marching, always eating, and oy veh the smell!

oh, ok, i didn't notice i'd chopped at 65 instead of 72, i've now adjusted it upwards. i'm still testing out my linux side setup for slrn so as soon as i get that working the way i like it i will be switching newsreaders... at this rate it will be a few months yet. :) i'm in the middle of too many projects and gardening season is on.
peace and good evening to all,
songbird
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songbird wrote:

I am not the one who should be satisfied with what you type. I only point out the problems I see in case you didn't realise they were there. If you know already and don't care there is nothing I can do about it.

Your grammar is fine, it's the layout that is the issue.

Yes you are clear. If you can achieve clarity why not ease as well?

Sorry no, paragraphs are for readability as is sentence length or having discernible sentences at all. The way the words appear on the page determines how easily they are read because (except for very slow readers) we read in chunks of words.
i'm here to have fun

Good. Why does that exclude ease of reading?

And goodnight to you.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

well i do care, but it is hard to change. :) and i do know my pinkies are much happier with few caps.

ease is defined too many ways. for me ease means lower case most of the time. the short length i can read the entire chunk at a glance.

yes, i read chunks at a time too.

i read things just fine, i find capital letters jarring.

we have wandered far afield, but i'm going to return and ask about the two calorie output vs one Billy pulled out of ?
and the other question for Billy is how does organic gardening sequester carbon dioxide? improving soil is good, mixing organic stuff in and making all the various critters happy is great, but that is nutrient cycling not carbon sequestration... we need carbon sequestration at this point. can we get that via organic gardening methods at present?
i really need to study charcoal production methods... perhaps a solar oven could do it... gotta go look now.
songbird
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    Unfortunately, it doesn't matter what you "find". Capital letters serve a purpose and provide strong visual cues for the reader. One writes for the reader. Perhaps, you read things just fine because of capital letters.
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This is called "Modeling Behavior".
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan p.45 - 46 (Amazon.com product link shortened) 83/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815576&sr=1-1
The reason Greene County is no longer green for half the year is because the farmer who can buy synthetic fertility no longer needs cover crops to capture a whole year's worth of sunlight he has plugged himself into a new source of energy. When you add together the natural gas in the fertilizer to the fossil fuels it takes to make the pesticides, drive the tractors, and harvest, dry, and transport the corn, you find that every bushel of industrial corn requires the equivalent of between a quarter and a third of a gallon of oil to grow itor around fifty gallons of oil per acre of corn. (Some estimates are much higher.) Put another way, it takes more than a calorie of fossil fuel energy to produce a calorie of food; before the advent of chemical fertilizer the Naylor farm produced more than two calories of food energy for every calorie of energy invested.
From the standpoint of industrial efficiency, it's too bad we can't simply drink the petroleum directly.

Only in terms of bio-mass, unless you include "terra preta", and its charcoal.
Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis Ch.1, second paragraph. (Amazon.com product link shortened) /ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815176&sr=1-1
In addition to all the living organisms you can see in garden soils (for example, there are up to 50 earthworms in a square foot [0.09 square meters] of good soil), there is a whole world of soil organisms that you cannot see unless you use sophisticated and expensive optics. Only then do the tiny, microscopic organismsbacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodesappear, and in numbers that are nothing less than staggering. A mere teaspoon of good garden soil, as measured by microbial geneticists, contains a billion invisible bacteria, several yards of equally invisible fungal hyphae, several thousand protozoa, and a few dozen nematodes.
--

Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture
(Paperback)
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In article

In a way what Rec.gardens could use is a FAQ update. Too much work sadly so we must suffer eternal return. Perhaps a FAQ list of books we could muster long with a few odd items ? Just outside tearing out some squash suffering from too much shade just big leaves this in about 95F with a dew point over 70. Yea I know I can eat the flowers but the light they take takes from some other valued plants. Whew cool down due in 2 days.
Some music I found that I thought was gone. Warning this from a aging hippy.
<
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
_c9hrbFow>
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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Nearly 100F here, yesterday. Not too bad but we haven't acclimated to the heat yet. It's supposed to cool down through the week and then heat up again next week. It's not bad here, but we need to go to the Central Valley, at least once a week, and it gets hot in Sacramento.
I finally got to untangling some Swiss chard that was set to germination in April. They were suffering in two, small, germination cell 6-packs. If they all survive, I think I'll be set for Swiss chard for the rest of my life (29 of them).
I hope one day to figure out the root garden. It seems that everything is in bloom; radishes, onions, parsnips, celery root, dandelion, borage. Where are the plants supposed to grow? The beets, and a few assorted lettuces are being overwhelmed but the flowers are festive;O)
One of my successes for the year is finding a good spot for my lettuce. Up at the top of the yard, against the ivy covered fence, they get morning and mid-day sun, but slip into the shadows for the afternoon. I don't know if this is new to anyone, but I spray the lettuce about 30 min. before I pick it, and it is much crispier.
One flowering parsnip is up to 7' now. It is only behind the sunflower because it is leaning on a potato cage. The potatoes are about 5' tall. All in all, not bad for 6 hours of full sun. Yeah, I know, it goeth before the fall, but if you got it, flaunt it;O) Seems like it is taking forever to figure out the best way to garden (a little over 600 sq. ft.) on my little plot of land, on a north facing slope, under trees. Fortunately, the road is just up the hill from me, and allows me sunlight.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote:

...
on the catwalk... shake it Billy.

you need to mark the citations quotes differently from your own words.
i cannot tell if the following remark is yours or the "authority" you are citing...

not an EPA approved use of that material! i am shocked at you Billywonkanobi. ( :) )

*ding ding!*

do you know that there are places where earth worms are not native and they are considered alien invasive species?
have you studied any forest floor ecologies?

...
...
ah yes, that's a helpful idea and i suspect people will be amending away. since it is a lighter material i may include some in my tulip bed topping soil mix.

still gotta do it. *sigh* i'm sensitive to smoke though that it would have to be a pretty well engineered device.
*mad scientist chuckle*
songbird
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Well, that lowered the level.

It's one paragraph, what do you think?

Are you trying to say something? It's really not that hard.

--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote:

oh c'mon, lighten up a little Billy, i laughed when you got out the clover tiara and really enjoyed the grass skirt shimmy.

i said i could not tell... i think " is a good symbol to use around texts from others...
...

the words "good soil" were used in reference to "50 worms per sq ft". not all good soil contains worms. in some places they are invasive and destructive.
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