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  2. Capitol Plant Care LLC We at capitol plant care LLC specialize in virtually all aspects of the Hemp and Cannabis industry. Our clients consist of beginning farmers, switching over to hemp farmers, current hemp farmers and people looking to enter the industry as dispensary owners and early business plans if full legalization should pass. We currently serve Pennsylvania hemp growers with plant management and consultant services for business and perspective business within the industry. www.capitolplantcare.com is our main site.
  3. This is in part why I recommend making your own compost. You know what goes in it, the quality of it and the wholesome product it is. While most people cannot make their own compost for those that can. I implore you to do so for the potential health of your soils. State’s ‘forever chemical’ restrictions not applied to compost Environmental protection overseers still allow sales of the nutrient-rich product used by landscapers and gardeners, even though it’s made with PFAS-laced municipal sludge. https://www.pressherald.com/2019/08/18/despite-pfas-concerns-dep-allows-compost-sales-to-public/ BY KEVIN MILLER - This is a repost but we link to the writer of the original article. UNITY — State environmental regulators have allowed companies to sell compost made with treated municipal sludge to the public this summer, even as they restrict the use of sludge on many farm fields because of concerns about chemical contamination. Maine has about a dozen operations that use treated sludge, referred to in the industry as a “biosolid,” to make compost, and they continue to distribute products containing PFAS as environmental regulators and a task force formed by Gov. Janet Mills try to figure out how to deal with the pervasive “forever chemicals.” Direct application of treated sludge on Maine farm fields has slowed dramatically this year amid new concerns at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection over levels of PFAS in the would-be fertilizer. But the DEP has granted a dozen facilities that mix sludge with other materials to make compost an extension, of sorts, to continue selling their nutrient-rich product to landscapers, nurseries, contractors and home gardeners. DEP officials and composting facility representatives said they are confident that the compost is safe for use because gardens and lawns likely have much lower background levels of PFAS – a common industrial chemical under increasing scrutiny – than larger farms where more sludge was spread repeatedly. “We have to make sure that this is safe for our customers,” said Andre Brousseau, superintendent of the Sanford Sewerage District, which recently invested $2 million in a composting facility. “I use this at my house. And we are not going to be giving out a product that is going to be detrimental to health or the environment.” Some environmental groups involved in the debate remain concerned, however, and are urging the DEP to conduct more testing before allowing PFAS-laced sludge or compost to be spread anywhere. “I would challenge the assumption that gardens and other places where compost will be used have average or below-average PFAS levels,” said Patrick MacRoy, deputy director of the Portland-based Environmental Health Strategy Center. “And the reason I challenge that is it’s only logical that gardeners are going to use compost year after year.” Maine’s investigation of PFAS in treatment plant sludge and compost puts the state in the vanguard of research in this field, as concern mounts nationally about potential threats to soil, drinking water, food supplies and human health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun to investigate PFAS and may establish protective standards, but that work is far from completion. CONSUMER DEMAND DEP permission for compost sales extends only until June 30, 2020, as the state gathers more information and conducts more testing. “Between now and then, we will be back in communication with those facilities because we recognize they need answers beyond that date,” said David Burns, director of the DEP’s Bureau of Waste Management and Remediation. “But we didn’t feel like we had adequate information (to go beyond a year).” In many ways, Maine’s sewage treatment plants and biosolid composting facilities are grappling with a problem brought on by consumers’ hunger for high-tech but low-maintenance products. The large class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances collectively known as PFAS have been used for decades to create the nonstick surfaces in cookware and to help make jackets, carpets and other fabrics waterproof or stain-repellent. The hundreds of chemical variants of PFAS are commonly used in dental floss, grease-resistant food packaging, compostable paper dinnerware and in the foam that military bases and airports are required to keep on hand to battle jet fuel fires. “These compounds have been in use for 30 to 40 years,” said Jeff McBurnie, director of permitting and regulatory affairs at Casella Organics, which operates one of New England’s largest biosolids-based composting programs in Unity. While McBurnie understands the concerns over PFAS, he said, “What we do is such a small component of where the potential impact would be.” Yet the chemicals’ complex structure means they do not biodegrade in the environment and linger in the human body for years before breaking down. That means PFAS now routinely show up in drinking water and in the human waste that treatment plants must process. With PFAS nearly ubiquitous in the blood of people and animals around the world, there is mounting concern about the health impacts. A growing body of scientific studies suggest the chemicals — and in particular two phased-out versions in this country, PFOS and PFOA — can affect liver and thyroid function, raise cholesterol levels, disrupt the immune system and potentially lower birth weights at high dosages. Some studies also suggest a link to cancer. Most of the high-profile and most severe PFAS contamination cases nationwide have occurred near military bases or industrial facilities that produced or used the chemicals. There is growing interest in Congress to allow PFAS contamination sites to qualify for federal Superfund status to facilitate cleanup. Maine has several known PFAS hot spots, such as on areas of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station where the chemicals were used in firefighting foam. But PFAS in sludge emerged as an issue in Maine after contamination was found on an Arundel dairy farm that utilized and stockpiled biosolids for fertilizer. Earlier this year, the Maine DEP began requiring testing of PFAS in treated municipal sludge at facilities that turn those materials into fertilizer or compost. The first round of tests showed elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA in the vast majority of samples. The agency also collected test results from farm fields where sludge had previously been applied. As of last month, 33 of 43 fields tested had background PFAS levels that were too high to allow additional spreading. Unless treatment plants can find alternative sites, they will be required to landfill the sludge at an additional cost to ratepayers. The review process for facilities that convert the sludge into compost is different, however. The DEP cannot test PFAS soil levels on every landscaped lawn, building site or home garden where compost would be spread, so the state is relying on background soil levels gathered from studies in Vermont to determine likely levels of contamination. So far, 12 of 15 composting facilities in Maine have been given the green light to continue selling because – if the compost is applied correctly – the additional PFAS would not tip a hypothetical plot of land above the DEP’s contamination threshold. “For general distribution (of compost), it is not anticipated the product would be applied to soils year after year like they do with (agricultural) biosolids,” said Burns, who heads the DEP division that oversees reuse of biosolids. DEP staff also sampled soils from a vegetable garden owned by a person who raised concerns with the agency about repeated use of compost, and they are analyzing potential PFAS uptake in vegetables. Although Burns said he was not prepared to release the results before notifying the homeowner, he said, “It shows that we’re OK.” Plant uptake of PFAS is an area of ongoing research. In Arundel, however, Stoneridge Farm has been effectively shut down because high levels of PFAS showed up in the milk of cows fed silage grown on farm fields that were fertilized for years with municipal sludge and paper mill waste. Last week, the attorneys for Stoneridge Farm’s owners, Fred and Laura Stone, reported that blood samples showed the couple had PFAS levels up to 20 times higher than the national average. The PFAS levels in compost made with biosolids in Maine were magnitudes lower than those found in the soils of Stoneridge Farm. McBurnie, with Casella Organics, said the compost application rate his company recommends to clients has a safety margin built in. The company also lowered its maximum recommended loading rate slightly – from 4.5 to 4.3 tons per acre – in response to the PFAS tests but is not yet explicitly mentioning PFAS in those recommendations. “We understand and we take all of the precautions, not only by law but because we want to make sure we are giving customers a good product for their gardens and for their lawns,” said McBurnie, who is a member of Maine’s PFAS task force. ‘SCIENCE’ AND ‘ART’ Located on roughly 15 acres a few miles from downtown Unity, Casella’s Hawk Ridge facility is a massive operation that produces roughly 80,000 cubic yards of compost annually. While the company sells to individuals, most customers of Casella’s various compost blends are contractors, landscapers or others buying in bulk. Tractor-trailers deliver an estimated 4,800 cubic yards of treated sludge monthly to the Unity facility. After unloading the truck, workers combine the piles of waste with wood shavings, sawdust, wood chips and “starter” compost that adds a carbon base and bulk to the nitrogen-rich waste and begins the composting process. “There is a science to it but there is also a little bit of an art, too,” said George Belmont, manager at Hawk Ridge, while standing beside small mountains of wood shavings and treated sludge. After mixing, the piles are loaded into 128-foot-long, enclosed tunnels or “vessels” where – with the help of oxygen pumped in by huge aeration systems – the microbes that help create compost get to work. By law, the internal temperature of the pile must reach at least 131 degrees Fahrenheit to cook off any pathogens. After roughly a week in the tunnels, the compost is moved outside to “cure” and continue to cook for several more weeks. Eventually, the materials are piled into massive rows or blocks where sensors monitor temperature, moisture, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the final aging and curing process. All told, the biosolids-based compost could be on-site at Hawk Ridge for six months to nearly a year before it is sold as “Class A” compost that is more than 99.9 percent free of the pathogens found in human waste. McBurnie said Casella lost a sizable chunk of business as well as a few customers in the spring when the DEP imposed a monthlong moratorium on compost sales while PFAS testing was done. Although sales have been brisk since then, the uncertainty over what happens after June 30 of next year is still “in the back of our minds,” he said. Even though Casella owns or operates several landfills in Maine, the company does not want to landfill the sludge now being accepted at Hawk Ridge because it recognizes the additional value of the finished product. Landfilling sludge also increases municipalities’ costs and consumes limited landfill space. “I’m all for doing the right thing, but let’s not act rashly,” McBurnie said. “We understand there are clusters of issues, such as where there are large (PFAS) releases near industries. Let’s focus on them.” SANFORD’S SITUATION More than 120 miles to the south, the Sanford Sewerage District distributed 122 cubic yards of compost last month that was made from biosolids. While diminutive compared to Casella’s operation, Sanford’s composting facility allows the district to reduce input into its landfill, which is nearing capacity, while avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual costs to ship the waste to Hawk Ridge or elsewhere. “We recently spent close to $2 million on this composting system,” said Brousseau, the superintendent of the Sanford Sewerage District. “The ratepayers are paying for that, so what do we do if we can no longer compost? And that’s still a concern because the deadline is July (2020).” Like other treatment plant operators, Brousseau stressed that they have no control over the PFAS that flows into their facilities from human waste or industrial sources. Although federal scrutiny is increasing, PFAS chemicals are still not on the long list of substances that companies must report discharging. Even so, Brousseau estimated that a home gardener would have to spread 7 yards of Sanford’s compost year after year for decades in order to exceed the DEP’s cutoff. The task force created by the governor this spring is expected to make recommendations on future reuse of biosolids by the end of the year. Several groups involved with the task force or monitoring its work are urging the DEP to err on the side of caution by limiting or prohibiting land application of sludge with elevated PFAS levels. MacRoy, whose organization the Environmental Health Strategy Center also has a representative on the state’s task force, said it is wrong to automatically assume that gardens or lawns are “virgin land” without elevated PFAS levels, especially if they’ve received compost before. MacRoy also expressed concern that some home gardeners may not follow application guidelines and, in their zeal for a well-nourished garden, may overapply compost. “I question many of the assumptions that DEP is using,” MacRoy said.
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  5. Natural farming section Indoor gardening environment Biochar Compost extract & Compost teas Vermiculture & Vermicompost, worm castings Soil recipe Soil and Microlife As always I would like to start with the basics of soil. I know this sounds like a thing that is not needed. I implore you to know it. It will help in ways you may not be able to perceive yet but will help not only in initial selections of materials and understanding but is part of the sacred pool that ideas come from. Their are overlapping lessons in these videos but I wholly recommend watching both. Together they are golden! Soil and Soil Dynamics Bozeman Science Water in Soil. This video works well in understanding about soil textures by seeing how water flows in various soils. Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech Soil and Dirt SustainableStudies Soil is a living organism Plant Health Cure BV Mycorrihizal Fungi or "myco" for short. Primrose OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening A comment on Myco. Myco is largely ineffective with most growers in containers as the roots have no problems connecting to the nutrients it needs. However, I believe myco and living soil as a whole is vital for no till setups. In no till, you farm/manage the soil and it takes care of the rest for the most part. My best advice is no till is to mimic nature with the layers of soil and manage that. This will help with soils not becoming compact. Living soils in containers is great but myco is largely not a factor as the availability of nutrients that is soluble and ready to use is available. Myco work with plants to obtain nutrients in hard to reach areas the plants roots cant get too. In containers this is not a thing generally. I like IMO, lab and compost teas geared towards soil life as well as the plant to strengthen its specific lifecycle" for containers. IMO - http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/forums/forum/29-natural-farming-inputs/ LAB - http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/forums/topic/35-inputs-section-1-lab-or-lactic-acid-bacteria/ Compost/compost teas - http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/forums/topic/51-composting-compost-extract-compost-tea/ Think of the soil in nature, the following video set will help give that understanding. Living Web Farms Now that we know a bit of soil and soil life, I recommend conducting a soil sample of your soil on a regular basis. We are not only interested in the NPK aspects but the life within the soil. The following below is how to conduct a soil sample specifically for evaluating soil life. Please allow me to introduce the esteemed Dr. Elaine Ingham. Preparing and conducting a soil sample Video by Dr. Elaine Ingham SustainableStudies How to choose a microscope for soil microbiology Video by Dr. Elaine Ingham SustainableStudies The information contained within this document is designed to help instill a big picture understanding of soil and how to begin to manage soils for your operation. By understanding the basics of soils, npk and soil life for the plants you are growing it enables a grower to begin the steps to achieving true confidence which potentially can achieve optimum soil results. ~Hope that helps!!
  6. Basics Cleanliness Environment. (Temperature and Humidity) Soil temperature, around 55-60 degrees. Humidity 60% Lower to 70% as the plant grows roots. Initially the plant needs higher humidity as it is pulling its water from the leaves but as the roots gain we want the moisture and good turgor pressure from the roots to the plants. So you manage that balancing act as the roots develop. It can happen rather quickly from days to a week or two depending on overall temperature. Higher temperature within good range equal faster rooting. Temperature 70-85f or 26c higher towards 85 is generally better for fast rooting. Try to keep 10 degrees difference between night and day periods. VPD Ideally a vpd around 0.85 kPa is a general rule but range from 0.8 to 0.95 kPa If the air is too hot and dry (high VPD), plants will tend to have slow, stretched growth. If the air is too cool and humid (low VPD), plants grow slowly and are prone to problems with mold or fungus. Media (you want a light media that the new roots can quickly grow through.) I like to wic water from below. The video above shows this in several options. Rapid rooters are notorious for dry spots causing problems. Coco based ones I liked better than peat based ones. Work best for rooting cuts as others have stated. Do not over think it. I sprout based on the condition and age/condition of the seed. This is a great video that is easy to understand for way to much information and practical information that should help you not just fix a propagating problem but help you know this process from depth. Then, you can begin to truly optimize your systems and then you will begin to see plants like you have only seen on a screen. Go to around 22:00 minute mark for examples and some instruction on different types of seed preparation depending on condition of seed. 27:04 for seedling care and transplant. I love sprouting in soil with a bit of worm castings. For hydroponics I like the water in a cup until the root looks like a sperm and transplant. Another very good video for using soil, to soilless medias and seed starting. Here are some methods, I have used these all. He takes too many steps but he babies the sprouting of the seedlings and thus illustrates an optimum environment for each stage of the seedling process. Notice how the environment is altered and humidity is changed for each stage. Appreciating that is key. I disagree with the ones that drop are duds. I have always seen a good rate of those sprouting but after about an hour I will take out of water and plant into soil or even a paper towel method. Can take longer to sprout as well but do not blindly consider those seeds duds. Where he takes the sprouted seeds and into a paper towel and into freezer bag (poor mans humidity dome) I do not do that. I let the roots grow a bit longer. They will grow down and look like sperm. Be careful to not harm the root when moving. I used a good set of tweezers. Watering Section So much great information in this video. Hope that helps.
  7. Oldest evidence of marijuana use discovered in 2500-year-old cemetery in peaks of western China By Andrew LawlerJun. 12, 2019 , 2:00 PM Original article: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/06/oldest-evidence-marijuana-use-discovered-2500-year-old-cemetery-peaks-western-china Today, more than 150 million people regularly smoke cannabis, making it one of the world's most popular recreational drugs. But when and where humans began to appreciate the psychoactive properties of weed has been more a matter of speculation than science. Now, a team led by archaeologists Yang Yimin and Ren Meng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing reports clear physical evidence that mourners burned cannabis for its intoxicating fumes on a remote mountain plateau in Central Asia some 2500 years ago. The study, published today in Science Advances, relies on new techniques that enable researchers to identify the chemical signature of the plant and even evaluate its potency. "We are in the midst of a really exciting period," says team member Nicole Boivin of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena, Germany. The paper is part of a wider effort to track how the drug spread along the nascent Silk Road, on its way to becoming the global intoxicant it is today. Cannabis, also known as hemp or marijuana, evolved about 28 million years ago on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, according to a pollen study published in May. A close relative of the common hop found in beer, the plant still grows wild across Central Asia. More than 4000 years ago, Chinese farmers began to grow it for oil and for fiber to make rope, clothing, and paper. Pinpointing when people began to take advantage of hemp's psychoactive properties has proved tricky. Archaeologists had made claims of ritual cannabis burning in Central Asian sites as far back as 5000 years ago. But new analyses of those plant remains by other teams suggest that early cannabis strains had low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant's most powerful psychoactive component, and so lacked mind-altering properties. One academic who works in Central Asia said he and colleagues tried to smoke and eat wild varieties—but got no buzz. Ancient people put cannabis leaves and hot stones in this brazier, and likely inhaled the resulting smoke. XINHUA WU The cannabis burned 2500 years ago at the Jirzankal cemetery, 3000 meters high in the Pamir Mountains in far western China, was different. Excavations there have uncovered skeletons and wooden plates, bowls, and Chinese harps, as well as wooden braziers that held burning material. All are typical of the Sogdians, a people of western China and Tajikistan who generally followed the Persian faith of Zoroastrianism, which later celebrated the mind-expanding properties of cannabis in sacred texts. At Jirzankal, glass beads typical of Western Asia and silk from China confirm the long-distance trade for which the Sogdians became famous, and isotopic analysis of 34 skeletons showed that nearly a third were migrants. Radiocarbon analysis put the burials at about 500 B.C.E. The wooden braziers were concentrated in the more elite tombs. Yang's and Ren's team ground bits of brazier into powder and applied gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify chemical compounds left behind. They found unusually high levels of THC compared with typical wild cannabis, although much less than in today's highly bred plants. The cannabis was apparently burned in an enclosed space, so mourners almost certainly inhaled THC-laced fumes, the authors say, making this the earliest solid evidence of cannabis use for psychoactive purposes. The region's high altitude could have stressed the cannabis, creating plants naturally high in THC, says co-author Robert Spengler, also of MPI-SHH. "It is quite likely that people came across cannabis plants at higher elevations that were naturally producing higher THC levels," he says. But humans may also have intervened to breed a more wicked weed, he adds. "The methods are convincing, and the data are unambiguous regarding early use of cannabis as a psychoactive substance," says Tengwen Long, an environmental scientist at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom who has researched cannabis origins. But Megan Cifarelli, an art historian at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, who has studied ancient drug use, notes the aromatic fumes might also have had another purpose: to mask the smell of a putrefying corpse. Yang's and Ren's team thinks cannabis use was restricted to elites until potent pot began to spread across Central Asia through the Silk Road linking China with Iran. In 440 B.C.E., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the nomadic Scythians, who controlled vast areas from Siberia to Eastern Europe, made tents and heated rocks in order to inhale hemp vapors that made them "shout for joy." And Andrei Belinski, an archaeologist based at the heritage museum in Stavropol, Russia, in 2013 began to excavate a nearby 2400-year-old Scythian tomb that held gold vessels bearing residues of both opium and cannabis, supporting the idea that elites used the drug first. Ancient artwork and textual references from Syria to China hint at even earlier cannabis drug use, and the new analytical methods could soon provide concrete evidence of this, says Michael Frachetti, an archaeologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. But it's already clear that the ancient Silk Road trafficked in more than spices, grains, and ideas. "Crops weren't just about food," he says. "They were also about making contact with another world." Original article: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/06/oldest-evidence-marijuana-use-discovered-2500-year-old-cemetery-peaks-western-china Posted in: Archaeology Asia doi:10.1126/science.aay3693
  8. Welcome Sherane,

    I hope the information here is helpful and we will grow it over time.

    If you have any questions let me know.

  9. I am a Staff Author at Field Engineer a Marketplace for On-Demand telecom workforce, extending from field engineers to high-level network engineers, project managers and Network Architects in 146 nations. I am an IT Engineer.

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