tom-tato?

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Hi All,
You knew this was going to happen eventually. A tomato plant grafted unto a potato plant. Both are Solanaceae (nightshade) and probably were the same plant years and years ago.
http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/01/05/can-buy-plant-that-grows-ketchup-and-fries/
What I don't understand is how the plant would have enough power left in it to grow both potatoes and tomatoes. Must be the richest soil the plant could handle without burning the plant!
Will wonders ever cease!
-T
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On Tue, 06 Jan 2015 17:00:26 -0800, Todd wrote:

Actually this has been done for years (no idea how successfully). Your favorite search engine can find many how-tos. Only thing slightly new is someone trying to commercialize the grafted plant.
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Once upon a time on usenet Frank Miles wrote:

They've been available in garden centres here in New Zealand for the last few years at least. They're more of a gimick than a vaild food production method I think.
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
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Todd wrote:

When kindergartners are taught to plant beans with just blotting paper and water even five year olds quickly learn that once germinatiom occurs (in darkness) plants receive most of their growth energy from sunlight. Plants will thrive and fruit in the poorest soil given sufficient water and sunlight. Left to their own devices plants set only enough fruit to reproduce. Using fertilzers and other agri techniques is only to increase yield in less time... actually selective hand harvesting will increase yield better than fertilizing. Commercial growers fertilize because that costs less than constant labor. As a home grower I don't use any feretilizers but all else equal (water and sunlight) I selectively harvest constantly and end up with a larger/better crop than had I just fertilized... easy to prove by planting several tomato plants and fertilizing half and selectively harvesting the other half while adding no fertilizer... constant selective harvesting ensures a large less seedy crop... I'd much rather an abundance of smaller veggies than a few giant seedy specimens Most home gardeners over fertilize and over water, they do more harm than good. More and more produce is being produced hydroponically with no soil.
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

While it is true that much fertilisation of plants is ill advised, most plants will NOT thrive in the poorest soil with only sunlight and water. Heavy feeders exhaust the minerals in soil quickly and the rest more slowly and unless they are replaced your crop will get smaller and your plants weaker year after year. Farmers may well try to get crops to market quickly but they are also interested in yield and that is the primary reason for the application of fertiliser in agriculture. We might talk about whether the large scale application of synthetic fertiliser is the best way to get the result in the long term but to say that the present world could be fed without some kind of fertiliser applied to cropland is just daft.
If you don't plant annuals you might imagine that your trees, shrubs and grass are indicative of cropping but it isn't so.
Note that we are talking about crops here, where you take away large amounts of organic material regularly, you can get systems that are approximately closed regarding minerals (eg an undisturbed natural forest) that don't need fertiliser applied by humans to but that isn't cropping.
But perhaps things are different in your part of the world, the Breatharian spaceship must be right over your plot. Do you still eat three meals a day?
--
David

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On 01/12/2015 07:20 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Hi David and Brooklyn1,
My soil is "decomposed sandstone". Like Decomposed granite (also called DG), only way uglier. Even the weeds have a hard time growing in it. I would probably have better luck trying to grow things with soil from the moon.
If you read my running whine about how few zucchinis I got off my plants, my research shows it is all the fault of the soil.
The way I look at it is the the same way I look at cooking. You can make good ingredients taste bad, but you can't make bad ingredients taste good. So it ALL starts with the soil. But, as with anything, the poison is in the dosage. I suppose if you had good soil to start with, you could really muck it up by over fertilizing, especially if you used conventional fertilizers instead of organic one.
The successful home gardens out here are all raided beds with top soil imported from the local compost place. (I ask every customer I have that gardens how they do it.) My plans to convert my back yard to to raised beds came to a screeching halt with this stinking recession.
One lady plows under goat skat (polite farmer talk for animal poop). She has to give away produce.
I remember Songbird wonderful advice about just go straight to the ground and skip the raised beds -- get a lot more space. And she really struck a cord. But, no one is successful with that out here due to the decomposed sandstone. If I were to do my whole back yard, the cost of importing good topsoil would be greater than the raised beds.
I am rambling.
-T
My garlic seems to love this cold weather.
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Todd wrote:

It would help to know your location, but it sounds more like your soil drains too quickly, like trying to grow crops in beach sand... adding fertilizer won't help if it just washes away. You need to amend your soil with organic matter and some sort of inorganic water retension material. It would definitely help to have several inches of good quality topsoil added. Most plant nurseries carry a variety of amendments and can advise for your area: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07235.html http://www.technogreencorp.com/water_management_aquafeed.htm http://www.geltechsolutions.com/soil2o/agricultural-uses.aspx
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On 01/18/2015 08:14 AM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Hi Brooklyn1,
Actually water tends to run off it. We are the lake bed of the ancient Lake Lahontan. And my soil was graded 20 feet down from the surface when they put houses in (I work for the guy who did the grading).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Lahontan The map doesn't show its complete extent.
Think clay amended with sand.
And I do believe you are exactly right on the amendment. The local compost place has the perfect soil and compost, but it gets expensive and I really want to put the money towards the raided beds. I usually put 8 bugs of compost down on my tiny garden. Every year things get better. Two years ago, I got my first earth worms, which is a good sign. Everyone that I have asked that has used their soil and compost has had bumper crops.
Last year, although I whined a lot about it, I got more Zukes in one week that I had got in all the previous years.
I still have to figure out what that stupid white powder is that gets all over my zukes towards the end of the season and kills them. I am NOT sky watering them. Shake the leaves and get a white dust storm.
-T
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Todd wrote: ...
it's winter, i have time, long post ahead... : )

it's better to not make assumptions about gender on the net when you don't know for sure.
the use of "they" in that case would be more appropriate (FTR i am male if that makes you feel better).

what is your usual annual rainfall? are there high winds very often? sunshine, freeze thaws, etc? is your primary source of water via irrigation?
bringing in topsoil can be a short term solution, but i'd hope that you've figured out your water and wind flows and reshaped appropriately before doing that. it makes no sense to bring in stuff that will wash or blow away.
with a limited budget you can get reasonable results by adding some clay (3 - 5 percent) and using whatever organic weed seed free materials you can scrounge (shredded cardboard boxes can work just fine for starters -- use those that are plain as possible with the less printed on them the better or only black ink printing). and the garden will likely do much better if you don't scatter resources widely and thinly. pick a space you will use the most and work on improving and understand that process first. each year you should have an improving soil profile as more organic materials break down and get recycled. always have something growing even if it will be turned under later (peas, beans, soybeans, radishes, buckwheat, turnips, winter wheat, oats, barley, beets... many seeds are available in bulk from a farm supply store or a grain elevator for not that much money).
around the edges grow deeper mining plants like alfalfa to be used as a cover crop, source of trace nutrients and mulch when you chop them back (they may need a few years to get established). sometimes it may be good to plant some seeds in very deep and narrow tubes and let them grow where you can make sure they are kept moist before planting them out. depends upon your conditions and if you have a rainy season, if you can irrigate during dry spells, etc. with alfalfa having a deep tap root established in the second and third year it can then usually survive some of the dryer spells.
for larger areas practice water retaining strategies as they also retain any topsoil you may be forming elsewheres. into and around these features you can plant your other organic material producers (native adapted shrubs, trees, or anything else you can find to grow that will survive being trimmed back once in a while, your larger sprawling garden plants are often better off kept away from the regular gardens anyways as they tend to take over if given a chance). use those trimmings and plant remains as garden mulches or compost material sources and to keep the soil covered as much as possible. hedges for wind breaks are also very important for arid climate growing.
never export organic materials (via wind, water or harvest) if you can help it, grow as much as you can and chop it to keep the soil organic content high enough to help keep the soil moist. all paper products that arrive here don't leave (unless they are the plastic coated types which i don't recycle) they become worm food and then garden food once processed.
these may upset some folks: fresh road kill is a near perfect addition to a garden (avoid species which might be rabid or carrying other problematic diseases), compost it or bury it deeply so that the critters and your planting won't disturb it and within a few years it's gold. of course human manure composting will help increase soil nutrients too. if your family is healthy and doesn't use hormones or chemotherapeutics then composted poo/pee is a valuable resource. hard to get people to accept it, but there is no reason to not use such a valuable resource if you can learn to do it safely (the humanure handbook is freely available on-line). it just freaks out people though so most gardeners won't do it (but they will use composted cow manure from sources they know much less about than their own family, so go figure...). if you build in a long enough cycle there is no problem from disease organisms and if you are very paranoid you can even use it as a subsoil amendment (buried deeply again) and that will cover all remaining issues.
learning about composting and rotting in general is useful anyways. using worms to process any vegetable wastes, bone grinding, egg shells, how to scrounge materials, asking around for finding unused fruit trees and other gleanings, many ways of getting more organic materials if you have the time or inclination. here we will accept chunks of rotting wood, bark, sawdust, leaves, twigs (shredded or not) from friends who do firewood cutting. we don't have termites so there is no problem from putting these around and letting them get broken down by fungi, ants, worms, beetles, etc. organic produce stores, butcher, farm stands, neighbors, ... the list is pretty much endless once you start looking and asking around.
oh, i've left out the animal angle. the role that animals can play in restoring topsoil is worth a book in itself. we don't go beyond worm and soil community type critters here as Ma cannot tolerate animals of any kind, but i would get a lot of use out of a small goat and a few quail.
it's often more a matter of what you are willing to do. i try to keep it as simple as possible here. stopping at the worm level is a very easy system and doesn't require a whole lot of extra efforts on my part. if i spend more than an hour a month on worm stuff it is because i'm goofing around and have the time. in the winter i have plenty of time.
for some fun reading you can check out the case studies at:
http://www.soilsforlife.org.au/case-studies.html
for ideas of how to deal with degraded or barren land. there are many other resources and ideas available out there. i tend to like those that consider the whole system and work at improving the diversity and basic groundwater holding capacity, but it is pretty important to also make sure that if you are doing groundwater holding stuff and there are hills involved to make sure your geology can support the extra water without slipping.
songbird
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On 01/18/2015 01:16 PM, songbird wrote:

Oops. My Bad. Songbird sounded like a girl. I will think big gnarly songbird next time. (I thought Higgs was the wrong gender for the longest time too.)

6 inches

Yes, up to hurricane category 1 (95 MPH +)

Cat 1, about once a year. 35 to 55 MPH about once a month. 5 to 25, twice a week
Our last big one blew leaves up again chain link fences and then blew the fences over. It was fun to walk in, except for the dirt in your eyes.
The wind is hell on fences.

Freezes up to the end of May. We are told not to transplant outside till the second week of June. I put my tomatoes pots out in the day and bring then into the garage at night before I transplant them.
October is usually our first freeze. (Man zukes look pathetic after they freeze.)
We are the High Sierra Desert Plato

Yes. Deep well water from an aquifer that comes out of Lake Tahoe (about 200,000 years ago). It is very good tasting. And, it has a small calcium content. Sometimes there is chlorine in the water, most not though.

That is why I was looking at raised beds. Maybe about a foot and a half high with the dirt only going up about a foot. Spritz them with water when a big wind comes up.

Sounds like a job for Garlic. I have about 15 of them going now that seems to adore this cold weather. Fresh garlic from the garden is truly a delicacy!
Of course everything from your garden tastes better. (I presume you have heard my theory about why folks don't eat or like produce.) Well, except turnips: YUK!

I am always battling grass, which I turn over twice in the winter and cover up with compost in the spring, right before planting

I have been using purslane for that: hold the ground down in the wind and the moisture in. And I make salads out of it to die for.

I am afraid to plow my diseased zukes (white powder on them) for my tomatoes, for fear of all the diseases they get. But I have no such fear of grass.
Good news! I am the only one that did not get those stinking squash bugs this year. I have had them in the past.

How about shopping paper bags. But, most of them have colored ink on them.

How about carp?

They breath it out all over you too. And if I am not mistaken, their success rate it nearly zero.

I would never be able to get the human poop past my wife. I have been offered goat poop by a friend.
I had plenty of human poop under my house when my black line broke. Well, until the water removal people sucked it all out and put down lime.
I have said this before, but without your ideas, long term space travel will be impossible, much less a colonies on the moon. Mars, we will have to bring EVERYTHING with us as the soil in soaked in sulfuric acid.

Should my (organic) chicken eggs shells be plowed under?

I have seen documentaries on this. You are dead on.

Didn't look but will. My research confirms what you say. You must nurture the soil. Your plants can be no better than your soil.

Question: when I get around to drafting up my back yard (LibreCAD), I was intending to leave the bottoms of my raised beds open so water would not stagnate at the bottom. Your advice? Put some small rocks down at the bottom?
Question: when I have been laying down compose, I just rake it over the top and water it in. Should I be turning over the soil? Or is on top fine?
I am thinking of converting my tiny garden to a raised bed. I sure have put a lot of work into nurturing the soil. I am not liking the idea of covering it up.
By the way, I am thinking of using Decomposed Granite (DG) as ground cover for the non-growing areas and my gazebo (have to get something that doesn't blow away).
I like Ponderosa pine for the trees and will plant more. (Hey, what can I say, they smell nice! You have heard of Tree Huggers. Well, I am a tree smeller.) They seem to like growing around granite in the mountains and I think DG is pretty. My neighbor hauls the stuff and told me to let him know when I am ready. Any problems you can think of with DG?

Do you have any idea what that white powder is on my zukes towards the end of the season that is killing my plants?
Sorry about the girl thing. Thank you for helping me with this! You are a Gold Mine of knowledge.
-T
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Steve Peek wrote:

You don't want those free wood chips, that's a great way to end up with all manner of plant diseases, destructive insects, and molds/mildews.... free ends up expensive. Any compost, chips, and other organic garden materials one acquires needs to be lableled "Sterilized". Those free chips should be okay if they are hot composted prior to application, which means one must have somewhere a good distance from ones gardening area, minimally 100 yards away.
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Steve Peek wrote: ...

i'd try dilute powdered skim milk mixed with water or freshly aireated worm tea or many other more organic things first. copper may be considered organic, but it can accumulate and it is toxic to various creatures.
instead of fighting it i more often considering plants done by the time that disease starts up and compost them. there is often a more productive use of the space when crops begin to fade or start showing signs of diseases. head them off, get 'em composted and plant something else. IMO all much better uses of time and space than fighting disease on plants that are obviously weakening.

yep, if you can scrounge wood chips as long as they aren't coming from treated wood they can help a lot too. the large pieces of wood will soak up water if it becomes available and then the fungi will gradually break it down.
songbird
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On 01/19/2015 11:25 AM, songbird wrote:

Hi Songbird,
I have wondered about that. Maybe it is the plant's own defenses failing as it has lived it cycle?
I think I will just pull them out next time, rather than waiting for them to die all pathetic.
Also, I blanched a lot this year. I have lots of zukes and Rat (Ratatouille) in the freezer still. Oh man it is good over the winter stuff you get at the store!
And, I found that the one huge Zuke that hid from me with skin like sheet metal that had to be sawed, blanched up just fine. When I thawed it out in the microwave, I found that the sheet metal separated from the meat and all I had to do was collect the skins up and toss them. Very cool. I was able to save the over grown zuke. Even the big seeds were tender.
-T
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Todd wrote:

...

pretty arid climate.

arid climate and frequent winds means your wind breaks are very important. this helps cut down on evaporation losses and should be a part of your overall site design (along with considerations for fire control if your area is prone to fires as high winds and fires can be a real extreme hazard).

yep, that is a part of why growing wind breaks can be a bonus, whatever organic materials they can collect become humus in time.

sounds like you have a similar start of the season to us. we don't put the delicate plants out until the last week of May. our first frosts can happen in mid-Sept, but sometimes can go later.

so probably not inexpensive either in terms of infrastructure and energy to pump it around.

the surface of the soil should be mulched in your climate. you're losing a lot of water via evaporation and those winds. even if you have to cover it with a layer of cardboard with holes poked through it for the plants and nothing else that will help a great deal, but a layer of mulch on top of the soil is going to be more useful than about anything else you can do (other than wind breaks and a bit of clay).
i would not use raised beds in an arid climate where you may have hot summers and wind. why expose your plants to more wind and higher temperatures? you'll lose your water faster and the worms will either die off from getting too hot or they'll dry out too much and go dormant or again, die off. thermal mass, water holding capacity... look up the surface area in a gram of clay and compare that to sand. when i say that adding a little clay will be a big help i'm not kidding.
to me raised beds are useful only if you have accessibility issues and must have the added height to be able to garden (to me i'd rather crawl on the ground and i have as i consider it a nice place to explore, i have a nice pillow to sit on when i need to get that close to the ground and that pillow also saves the knees some wear). otherwise i consider them expensive, material intensive, more work and all those edges have to be kept up (weeded around or installed in such a way to prevent weed intrusion into the raised beds).
if you took 1/4 of the money you'd spend on raised beds and put that towards some clay and added organic materials you'll be 3/4 ahead and have a larger and more productive space.

garlic takes time to finish and can be in the way of other plantings if you are doing a more traditional garden style of managed plots. it makes a better edge plant or something to put in odd spaces that you might not have plans to use for about a year (fall to mid-to-late-summer).
the worms do love garlic remains when i add them to the worm bins. garlic roots, stems, husks, bits, all eventually get eaten up and turned into great stuff. they don't eat the living bulbs though, so i have to cut them up first. since i dry everything first the garlic bits get dried too. like carrots they rarely rot when they are drying.
...

if you are removing it and not replacing it with a different plant you're wasting time and energy. in an arid climate you want your soil covered no matter what. a weed is just as good as any other plant if you are not using that space. clip it once in a while (before it goes to seed) and use those clippings in your gardens. free organic material.
as you work on the site, there are places where you can remove the grass and replace it, but you always want to have a replacement plant going instead.
when i convert a grassy area here the way i do it is to dig up the sod in chunks and turn it upside down and bury it deeply enough that the remaining roots won't be able to reach the surface again (or if they do there will be a barrier in place so that they cannot survive). sod like this is a very nutrient laden material. the worms will break it down as it rots. wonderful stuff. for burying depth here for most of our grass species that means about a foot and a half. we have a lot of clay which tends to help smother things well. in a sandy soil i'd probably go deeper or make sure there is a good cover to prevent regrowth. a layer of cardboard with mulch over it can do that in an arid climate and should last a year or two. by that time you've either killed off the grass buried that deeply or whatever does come up can be dug up again and dried out before composting it.
actually, in an arid climate digging up the grass roots and exposing the sod to the sun for a few weeks will likely do in about any grass species i can think of. then you could compost it before using it in the gardens.

yeah, that's a good cover, we have some here that wanders around. worms love it, good compost material.

you don't need to bury them the same place you have a garden. you can keep a reserve area for burying things like this and over the years that will help improve that soil too. the soil critters can deal with fungi and fungal spores just as well as bacteria. in a few years you can shift areas and plant squash or other plants in there and they'll likely be ok. if powdery mildew is in the air it's not something you can always completely avoid. around here it's a late summer thing and by the time it shows up most of the plants are alreay past their most productive stages and are finishing up anyways. i don't spray any of it and all gets buried. haven't noticed it being worse or better based upon that, but seems to be more heat/weather related.

squash is about one of the favorite things we grow here. our crop last year wasn't too good. i didn't like how it was planted but my advice was ignored so ... next spring we'll be putting it in a different place. we'll see how that goes.

any of the brown craft papers are usually ok if they have not been otherwise treated. they use that sort of paper for the leaf bags around here.

sure, why not? i used to bury the larger northern pikes caught under the rose garden. they were very healthy plants. :)

by hormones i was thinking birth control and the age related bone density or menopause types, but there might be others i'd not want to put into a garden.

yeah, i can't get it to go here either, but if i ever live alone and have a garden to work with then i'll start trying out various methods of using it.

take as much of it as you can use. :) if they aren't feeding those goats bad stuff then you're into some really prime organic material.

i actually wasn't sure that was you in that other group.

i thought Mars was iron oxides (Venus is acidic)?
the real challenge right now is that we really do not know the minimal size of any recycling system that will work for the longer term. we have only one example that we know works and that is the earth and sadly it seems we're more bent on destroying large chunks of it before we really understand it.
some smaller examples of enclosed systems have taught us some things, but they have not been really used well enough to answer these sort of questions.
there have been some enclosed glass orb systems that have gone for many years but nothing with larger animals.
until we have a clean long term energy source that is also reliable space exploration or any chances to have growing and large environments in space is going to be limited by proximity to the sun. that doesn't get us out of the isolated pickle we are in, but it at least does get some of us off planet and in my opinion that is a worthy start on the ways.

if you don't have chickens to eat the shells then sure, i'd put them in the compost pile or the worm bins or bury them in the gardens. your soil may be fairly alkaline already, but if you keep adding organic matter then the egg shells will be a source of calcium for the plants and animals.

overgrazing is a large part of the reason why most of the middle east is barren where it used to be able to support fields of grain. of course it did not help that the Romans came along and turned those areas into grain exporting regions, but that was only a part of that story. they are doing great work in learning how to restore such lands now, if enough people could be allowed to do it and not harrassed or killed by the radicals it could do much to feed the peoples who are there.

gotta have the other things too (sunlight and moisture). but yeah, the soil is your footing, treat it well or be wiped out.

you don't have that much water to worry about that often. containers should always have some drain holes, but those holes are ingress points for critters or weeds so they may need to be covered by metal mesh or some other hardy material so extra water can drain out.

your soil needs some organic material in it to help hold water. add some clay, add some of that goat manure and mix it with your surface soil, dampen it enough that it can rot for a few weeks, then any other extra organic materials you can scrounge (large flats of cardboard can be used as edges or to control that grass you talk about). plant through the holes and watch the moisture level so that it doesn't dry out near your seedlings. you only want to use as little water as possible in your climate. drip irrigation for some of your larger plants and desired bushes or trees might be needed until they are established.
but basically you want most of your organic materials up on top so they hold what little water you have in the garden. a nice thick layer of mulch is good for arid climates. the worms will work at the bottom of it and gradually incorporate it into the soil. i much prefer for them to do the digging for me if possible, but for a first shot at a garden i will do some digging to bury organic materials to help jump start the system.

i wouldn't as i've said above. extra expense and no real benefit when you can spend much less for what does count more.

around the edges put down a layer of some weed barrier to keep the grasses from edging in down as deep as those grass root systems tend to grow. saves a lot of BS later. and a weed barrier underneath the DG to keep any randomly sprouting seeds from having an easy go of it. put the DG down deep enough to discourage easy seed germination too. we use a fairly thick layer of crushed limestone here and it keeps most of the weed seeds that blow in from ever sprouting. our biggest problems are intrusions from the sides if we haven't put down a good enough edge or the morning glory seeds.

if you can get it for little cost you can use it to create water flow breaks that will slow down any run off and allow it to sink in instead. always want to decrease erosion and encourage water retention for arid landscapes. if you don't have anything growing this material will work as well as any other for holding topsoil in place until you can get something growing there instead. easier to move than larger rocks.

powdery mildew most likely. here it is a late summer disease that shows on plants that aren't resistant to it or those that are weakened or on the annuals which are in decline.

keep on reading and studying what you can and do what you can, learn from experiences and always keep eyes open to observe what is going on.
if you get time to read a more layered approach try the basic permaculture books you can get from the library. any of the originals are worth a read. and much is available on-line too. i'm always looking for examples of restoration for degraded or difficult sites and they now have some good ones that you can see the results.
i think the stuff that really got my interest was to start thinking in terms of flows, energy, wind, water, stacking functions, etc. keyline water retention strategies are amazing when you start studying what can be done to control erosion and spread water flows around and to restore compacted soils.
there's really no end to what you can keep learning and studying. i'd rather do that than watch tv anytime. some people spend time in bars or churches, i spend most of mine reading and gardening. i'm not the smartest person here by far, i forget plant, animal, etc. species names about as fast as i learn them. but since i know that's not my strength i try to think of things in terms of systems and layers and that is where it fits well with permaculture or agroforestry or other land restoration techniques. overriding principles are always to keep it simple so that anyone can do it and to use as minimal inputs as possible so that you don't have to move so much stuff around or buy so much of what ends up becoming useless garbage.
while i'm meandering:
for even more facinating reads get into ants. they are amazing creatures (like worms but even more complicated in their diversity and distribution). almost as complicated as humans and have a large impact upon the world that most people rarely notice other than to think of how to poison them.
songbird
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On 01/19/2015 01:02 PM, songbird wrote:

Hi Songbird,
Mars dirt has crazy high sulphuric content. You can't breath the air, you can touch the soil, colder than all get out, no magnetic field to protect from the solar winds, you can't come back (to the Earth) if you stay too long (low gravity and your bones), no trout. Can't see any reason why anyone would ever want to go there.
Now I do believe that ever since the first human eye gazed on the first star in the heavens, that humanity was meant to go there. (It will be a red letter day when humanity develops trans-light drives.)
And I don't think we have even the tiniest clue what microbes are required to keep soil alive (or when we get there) on a long trip. Or how to nurture those microbes. We take a lot for granted living on this planet.
We should first have successful colonies on the moon before going to Mars. And the moon is protected somewhat by the Earth's magnetosphere.
-T
Did I mention no trout on Mars (or the moon for that matter).
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Brooklyn1 wrote: ...

yes i do, we've taken tons of them each year if someone will bring them. we've not lost any trees from diseases, we have pine trees that struggle because they are planted in clay and they get flooded once in a while and we have a few cedar trees that are struggling due to repeated deer feasting, but that is about it for losses.
we are not in an arid climate here, we get plenty of rain and foggy nights and various other water events including flash floods. if bringing in wood chips caused fungal problems i'd notice it.
my largest fungal disease problem was a grape vine that was not resistant to black rot. gone now.
in an arid climate i don't think Todd has to worry too much about fungal tree diseases.
songbird
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Once upon a time on usenet songbird wrote: [snipped]

The amount of nutrient in human manure is minimal compared with that in urine. I have been practicing 'micturition farming' for decades now and have had excellent results. It is very easy to do (especially when compared with the use of solid manure) and appeals to my sense of the cyclic nature of things and my abhorrence of waste in general.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/human-urine-is-an-effective-fertilizer/
I just keep a bucket next to the toilet and use it for urine, emptying it into a watering can and diluting with water at least 10:1 (often with used aquarium water for that added nutrient boost). The sooner it's used the better or the urea will degrade into ammonia and become less bio-available. People who know me are amazed at my horticultural successes but I don't often share my secret as people can have totally irrational opinions of certain things.
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
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On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 7:27:50 PM UTC-8, ~misfit~ wrote:

Err.... can't you just go out in the garden and.... Or if that would be too concentrated, dilute with dihydrogen monoxide from a hose?
Not presuming to ask who else shares facilities...
HB
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Hypatia Nachshon wrote:

Yes you can go straight out into the garden, directly on to the lemon tree is just fine, it doesn't need to be cool or collected in a bucket. In this age of equality teach your daughters this as well as your sons. The targeting might be different but the analysis is about the same.
Human urine is not concentrated enough to harm plants in the ground, it might be possible if you flooded a potted plants but then you might also find it a little aromatic for the patio or the front room too. For those who are about to read me a lesson on public health your urine ought to be sterile unless you have a urinary tract infection in which case you should be seeing the doctor not pissing on your plants.
--
David

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David Hare-Scott wrote: ...

in an arid climate i'd not want to use a lot of it all the time, but right before the rainy season is likely ok.

recently the knowledge on this has changed. originally when such studies were made baterial levels were below that easily detectable, now they find that "urine is sterile" is a myth. so it does usually have some bacteria in it but that doesn't mean it is a problem when properly composted.
poo & pee together with some carbon source (sawdust, shredded leaves, etc.) is about the perfect combination and will compost nicely.
there are plenty of nutrients in feces from humans, bacteria will use it as an energy source quite easily. trace elements that did not get absorbed, etc. all often well appreciated by plant life.
though i do not believe in "design" i do think that we are here in this system and not outside of it so that what goes in and comes back out are a good part of the whole. just treat it with the respect it deserves.
if you are in an arid climate with little access to organic materials use it instead of wasting it.
songbird
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