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JJ the Gardener

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  1. Nitrogen Potassium Phosphorus Phosphorus Phosphorus is one of the main 17 nutrients essential for plant growth. Phosphorus is the P in NPK. Phosphorus is a component of the complex nucleic acid structure of plants, which regulates protein synthesis. Phosphorus is, therefore, important in cell division and development of new tissue. Phosphorus is also associated with complex energy transformations in the plant. Its functions cannot be performed by any other nutrient, and an adequate supply of P is required for optimum growth and reproduction. Phosphorus is classified as a major nutrient, meaning that it is frequently deficient for crop production and is required by crops in relatively large amounts. The total P concentration in agricultural crops generally varies from 0.1 to 0.5 percent. (P) is vital to plant growth and is found in every living plant cell. It is involved in several key plant functions, including energy transfer, photosynthesis, transformation of sugars and starches, nutrient movement within the plant and transfer of genetic characteristics from one generation to the next. Chlorophyll Photosynthesis = Carbon Dioxide + Water Sunlight Oxygen + Carbohydrates Phosphate Energy another as new cells are formed Soil Phosphorus Management Univ of Wisconsin Integrated Pest and Crop Management Plant Energy Reactions Phosphorus plays a vital role in virtually every plant process that involves energy transfer. High-energy phosphate, held as a part of the chemical structures of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and ATP, is the source of energy that drives the multitude of chemical reactions within the plant. When ADP and ATP transfer the high-energy phosphate to other molecules (termed phosphorylation), the stage is set for many essential processes to occur. In every day terms, phosphorus is very important to many aspects of plant growth. Photosynthesis The most important chemical reaction in nature is photosynthesis. It utilizes light energy in the presence of chlorophyll to combine carbon dioxide and water into simple sugars, with the energy being captured in ATP. The ATP is then available as an energy source for the many other reactions that occur within the plant, and the sugars are used as building blocks to produce other cell structural and storage components. Genetic Transfer & Seeds Phosphorus is a vital component of the substances that are building blocks of genes and chromosomes. Very necessary when making seeds. It is an essential part of the process of carrying the genetic code from one generation to the next, providing the “blueprint” for all aspects of plant growth and development. An adequate supply of P is essential to the development of new cells and to the transfer of the genetic code Large quantities of P are found in seeds and fruit where it is believed essential for seed formation and development. Phosphorus is also a component of phytin, a major storage form of P in seeds. About 50 percent of the total P in legume seeds and 60 to 70 percent in cereal grains is stored as phytin or closely related compounds. An inadequate supply of P can reduce seed size, seed number, and viability. Adding phosphorus to soil low in available phosphorus promotes root growth and winter hardiness, stimulates tillering, and often hastens maturity. Nutrient Transport Plant cells can accumulate nutrients at much higher concentrations than are present in the soil solution that surrounds them. This allows roots to extract nutrients from the soil solution where they are present in very low concentrations. Movement of nutrients within the plant depends largely upon transport through cell membranes, which requires energy to oppose the forces of osmosis. Here again, ATP and other high energy P compounds provide the needed energy. Uptake and Transport of Phosphorus Phosphorus enters the plant through root hairs, root tips, and the outermost layers of root cells. Uptake is also facilitated by mycorrhizal fungi that grow in association with the roots of many crops. Phosphorus is taken up mostly as the primary orthophosphate ion (H2PO4 - ), Can also be absorbed as secondary orthophosphate (HPO4 =), this latter form increasing as the soil pH increases. Once inside the plant root, P may be stored in the root or transported to the upper portions of the plant. Through various chemical reactions, it is incorporated into organic compounds, including nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), phosphoproteins, phospholipids, sugar phosphates, enzymes, and energy-rich phosphate compounds. Example, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is in these organic forms as well as the inorganic phosphate ion that P is moved throughout the plant, where it is available for further reactions. (For more information on ATP consult the plant physiology posting) Phosphorus Deficiency Adequate P allows the processes described above to operate at optimum rates and growth and development of the plant to proceed at a normal pace. When P is limiting, Effects are a reduction in leaf expansion leaf surface area, as well as the number of leaves. Shoot growth is more affected than root growth, which leads to a decrease in the shootroot dry weight ratio. Nonetheless, root growth is also reduced by P deficiency, leading to less root mass to reach water and nutrients. Generally, inadequate P slows the processes of carbohydrate utilization, while carbohydrate production through photosynthesis continues. This results in a buildup of carbohydrates and the development of a dark green leaf color. In some plants, P-deficient leaves develop a purple color, tomatoes and corn being two examples. Sugars can accumulate and cause anthocyanin pigments to develop, producing a reddish-purple color. The reddish-purple color does not always indicate phosphorus deficiency but may be a normal plant characteristic. Red coloring may be induced by other factors such as insect damage which causes interruption of sugar transport to the grain. Since P is readily mobilized in the plant, when a deficiency occurs the P is translocated from older tissues to active meristematic tissues, resulting in foliar deficiency symptoms appearing on the older (lower) portion of the plant. However, such symptoms of P deficiency are seldom observed in the field. Other effects of P deficiency on plant growth include Delayed maturity, reduced quality of forage, fruit, vegetable, and grain crops, and decreased disease resistance. Phosphorus deficiencies may even look somewhat similar to nitrogen deficiency when plants are small. Yellow, unthrifty plants may be phosphorus deficient due to cold temperatures which affect root extension and soil phosphorus uptake. When the soil warms, deficiencies may disappear. These symptoms usually only persist on extremely low phosphorus soils. It should be noted that these are severe phosphorus deficiency symptoms and crops may respond well to phosphorus fertilization without showing characteristic deficiencies. Home Study Lesson from Nebraska University Phosphorus Cycle Explanation- A biogeochemical cycle MooMoo Math and Science Phosphorus in the soil Phosphorus is absorbed by plants in the ionic forms H2PO4– and HPO4=. General knowledge of ion exchange in soils would predict that these anions are not retained by the negative charged soil colloids, but move in the soil similar to nitrogen. However, phosphorus does not leach. In fact, it moves very little, even with large amounts of precipitation or irrigation. The reason for this apparent anomaly is that the soil solution contains only a very small amount of available phosphorus in these ionic forms at any one time. In fact, most soils contain less than 0.00005 grams phosphorus per liter or 0.0000068 ounces phosphorus per gallon of soil. It has been estimated that the phosphorus in the soil solution must be replenished on an average of about twice every day for normal crop growth. This is the basic phosphorus problem — to adequately re-supply the soil solution as the crop roots remove available phosphorus from the soil solution. It is the soil’s ability to re-supply the soil solution that dictates whether the crop will need additions of fertilizer phosphorus and whether those additions will be effective in the forms applied. The ability of the soil to re-supply the soil solution with phosphorus is dependent on the complex chemistry of the soil system. However, the system can be viewed very simply with the following diagram: Slowly Soluble or Insoluble P Form Soluble or Plant Available P Forms Relatively Unavailable ————> P minerals and <———— Soil Solution P Compounds of Ca, Fe, and Al Organic P This is an equilibrium reaction. As soil solution phosphorus is removed by crop roots, more phosphorus becomes available from the slowly soluble sources. However, if soluble fertilizer phosphorus is placed in the soil, it reverts into slowly soluble or insoluble forms, removing soluble phosphorus from the soil solution. This phenomenon is often called “fixation.” Fixation is the primary reason why placement of phosphorus fertilizer is important. Placement of phosphorus is an attempt to limit fixation. This is done by banding the phosphorus fertilizer near the seed or by dual placement with anhydrous ammonia bands. The goal is to limit soil-fertilizer contact, while placing available sources of phosphorus from the fertilizer in a position of a high probability root contact. The above relationship is sometimes shown in terms of labile and non-labile phosphorus forms according to the following relationship: Non-labile P <—> Labile P <—> Soil solution P In this relationship, non-labile phosphorus refers to slowly available forms, while labile phosphorus is an intermediate form that is rather weakly absorbed or bound to various compounds and clay in the soil (solid phase). This is the primary phosphorus source supplying the soil solution. The equilibrium relationship shown above between non-labile or insoluble phosphorus forms and labile phosphorus is affected by many factors, such as size of the slowly available pool, soil temperatures, kind of compounds in the pool, kind and amount of clay in soil, and the pH of the soil solution. Figure 6.1 shows the general relationship between soil pH and phosphorus availability, which is based on the kinds of phosphorus compounds associated with the various pHs. At high soil pH, most phosphorus is in the form of calcium compounds. At low or acid pH, phosphorus is combined with iron and aluminum compounds. Maximum phosphorus availability occurs at a soil pH between 6.5 to 7.0. This is why one of the most important benefits of liming acid soils is improving phosphorus availability. Reducing the pH of calcareous soils would also increase the availability of phosphorus in the soil solution by changing some of the solid phase compounds into compounds of higher solubility. Sulfur will reduce the soil pH; however, the cost is prohibitive for field crops because of the high sulfur rates required. Figure 6.1. Soil phosphorus compound in relation to soil pH. Figure 6.2 characterizes phosphorus additions and removals from the soil system in addition to the inorganic minerals. Organic phosphorus in the form of residues, manures, or from the soil organic matter can contribute greatly to the phosphorus in the soil solution for crop growth. In some soils organic phosphorus can contribute 50 percent of the available phosphorus. Since availability of organic phosphorus is dependent on decomposition of the organic matter, soil temperature and moisture are important factors regulating how fast organic phosphorus is made available. Figure 6.2. Relation of additions and losses of phosphorus in a soil system. As previously indicated, available or soil solution phosphorus can revert to slowly soluble mineral forms. This fixation may also occur when available phosphorus is used by microorganisms in the decomposition of residues. This type of fixation is called immobilization and can be either long- or short-term. Agricultural Management Practices for Phosphorus, (2/3) Univ of Wisconsin Integrated Pest and Crop Management The Plant Problem While the soil system limits the amount of phosphorus in the soil solution at any one time and limits its re-supply, the plant root also has its problems. The concentration of roots in the soil volume is relatively small. It has been calculated that roots contact only about one percent of the soil volume. Phosphorus enters the root primarily by diffusion (90-98 percent), which can occur only if the phosphorus is very close to the root. Very little phosphorus enters the root by mass flow in the water (one percent). Root growth is essential for adequate phosphorus uptake or the soil solution needs to be replenished frequently. Actually since roots contact such a small amount of the soil, the soil solution in the areas of root contact must be replenished more often than twice a day or phosphorus deficiencies will occur. This makes the labile forms (those weakly bound to compounds or clay) very important in soil phosphorus supply. Research has developed valuable models which predict phosphorus plant uptake and the factors that influence it. One of the most commonly known models has been developed by Dr. Barber at Purdue University. His model indicates phosphorus uptake is largely a function of size and nature of the root system, rate of water absorption, amount of phosphorus in the soil, and ability of the soil to supply phosphorus to the soil solution. . Application Methods There is little producers can do to change the basic soil and climatic characteristics that affect crop response to applied fertilizer. However, one can control phosphorus availability by managing the soil pH (acid soils), increasing organic matter, and by proper placement of phosphorus fertilizer. Research has shown that band application of phosphorus is much more efficient than broadcasting. Wheat studies in Nebraska have shown that profits from application with the seed are double those of broadcasting. This is because each pound of applied phosphorus with the seed increased yield much more than a pound broadcast. Another banding method (dual placement) applies liquid phosphorus (10-34-0) at the same time as anhydrous ammonia with a separate tube delivery for each fertilizer. Dual placement has been found to be equal to seed application on wheat and equal to or better than row application for corn and soybeans. While band applications of phosphorus require special application equipment and require extra time at planting, these methods are generally economically superior to broadcast phosphorus. The primary exception being broadcast phosphorus applied to growing alfalfa, grass, or in no-till farming systems. When residues remain on the soil surface, research studies indicate broadcasting phosphorus can be nearly as effective as dual placement. This is attributed to increased root activity in the residue-soil interface where soil moisture and mineralizing nutrients from the residues stimulates root development. This is believed to give a broadcast application the advantages of a band application. This is sometimes referred to as a “horizontal band.” The horizontal band, which is unincorporated, has limited soil-fertilizer contact and is in a position of increased root activity. Seed placement is another method of banding that can be very effective. The problem with seed application is that starter fertilizer contains salts from the nitrogen and potassium sources; when applied in excessive amounts, reduces seed germination. Phosphorus fertilizer without nitrogen has little effect on germination, but mixed fertilizers containing potassium, sulfur, and nitrogen are very damaging, unless water moves the fertilizer from the seed. A major factor affecting salt concentration in the seed row is row spacing. Since wheat is planted in 7- to 12-inch rows, the concentration of 18-46-0 fertilizer is only one-third of the concentration in a 30- or 36-inch corn row. Phosphorus fertilizers, even with nitrogen, can be safely used on wheat at normal phosphorus application rates. For row crops, such as corn, sorghum and soybeans, rates must be limited, because germination will be decreased about one percent for each pound of salt applied (pounds of nitrogen + potassium + sulfur) for corn. Soybeans are more susceptible to germination damage, and so any fertilizer should be kept from contacting the soybean seed. Row application to the side and below the seed is favored over seed application for row crops, even though this method requires more expensive application equipment than seed applications. This method is also referred to as a “starter” method for row crops and is more effective than broadcast incorporation methods on soils low in available phosphorus. It is, however, important to remember that increased early growth from starter fertilizer application does not always indicate increased yields at harvest. Sources of Phosphorous Understanding Garden Phosphorous: What it Does, Chemical vs. Organic, Availability & pH: TRG 2014 Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) By - Grow It Organically, click to visit their site Organic Phosphorus Fertilizers (P)—Links Go to Offsite Affiliates to Purchase Organic Soil Amendments Soil Amendment N-P-K Description Lasts Application Rate Soft Rock Phosphate 0-18-0 Colloidal Phosphate has a clay base that makes it easier for plants to assimilate than phosphate rock. Releases over months and years in acidic and neutral soils, but breaks down poorly in alkaline soils (pH higher than 7). Peak availability in 2nd year. 2-3 Years Up to 6lbs/100 sq ft Bat Guano (High-P) 3-10-1 High-Phosphate guano from fruit-eating bats. Excellent P source for container vegetables and gardens. 2-3 Years 2-3lbs/100 sq ft Steamed Bone Meal 3-15-0 Made from ground cattle bones. P in bone meal is highly plant-available. Great mixed into the planting hole with bulbs. Good amendment for allium family plants (onions, garlic). May attract raccoons. P in bone meal not released in alkaline (pH greater than 7) soils. 1-4 Months 10lbs/100 sq ft Fish Bone Meal 3-18-0 Phosphorus from fish bone meal is readily assimilated by microorganisms and plant roots in the soil. 1-2 Years 1-2lbs/100 sq ft Rock Phosphate 0-33-0 Very slow release P source. Releases over several years in acidic and neutral soils, but won’t break down in alkaline soils (pH higher than 7). 3-5 Years Up to 6lbs/100 sq ft. Rock Dust (Crushed Granite) 0—3-5—0, trace minerals Granite fines, the dust from rock grinding and sorting operations. Veryslow releasing P source, good source of trace minerals for plant immunity and tolerance of temperature extremes. 5-10 Years Up to 8.5lbs/100 sq ft Chicken Manure 1.1-0.8-0.5 Good manure source for P and some K. 3-12 Months 1/2-1” layer (5-10 5-gal buckets/100 sq ft) Pig Manure 0.8-0.7-0.5 Good, balanced manure source of N, P, and K. Because some pig parasites and pathogens can infect humans, pig manure is not allowed in many organic protocols. If it is used, it must be hot-composted prior to use. 3-12 Months 1” layer (10 5-gal buckets/100 sq ft) Understanding the different sources of P and how they break down and are absorbed by the plants will give you the wisdom to know how much to add for each source of P to ensure proper P levels in an absorption state that is available for the plant throughout its life span. Summary Soil phosphorus is relatively stable in soil. It moves very little when compared to nitrogen. In fact, this lack of mobility is due to the rather limited solubility of soil phosphorus compounds. Because of the limited solubility of these compounds, fertilizer phosphorus will become much less available as it reverts back to soil phosphorus compounds. Fertilizer phosphorus that reverts back to soil phosphorus compounds is not lost completely, but becomes slowly available to crops over several years. The rate depends greatly on soil type. For most applying more fertilizer phosphorus than needed for optimum yields is probably not economically justified. Phosphorus availability is controlled by three factors: soil pH, amount of organic matter, and proper placement of fertilizer phosphorus. Acid soils should be limed to bring soil pH up to nearly 6.5. The pH of alkaline soils (over 7.0) probably cannot be practically lowered for better phosphorus availability. Organic matter maintenance is an important factor in controlling phosphorus availability. Mineralization of organic matter provides a steady supply of available phosphorus. Organic soil phosphorus may represent 30-40 percent of the phosphorus available and may be a major factor affecting phosphorus availability during wet, cold springs. Placement of phosphorus is the best practical control of phosphorus availability. Placing phosphorus with seed wheat has given much better results than broadcast applications. Banding phosphorus two inches to the side and two inches below the seed of row crops provides a ready source of phosphorus for the young seedling; however, soil phosphorus must be deficient before yields can be expected to be increased. Understanding the different sources of P and how they break down and are absorbed by the plants will give you the wisdom to know how much to add for each source of P to ensure proper P levels in an absorption state that is available for the plant throughout its life span. This understanding is the tool of knowledge that can make the difference from a poor to good crop and from a good to spectacular crop! Credits Plant & Soil Sciences eLibraryPRO Functions of Phosphorus in Plants Univ of Wisconsin Integrated Pest and Crop Management MooMoo Math and Science Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) Grow It Organically, click to visit their site Links Nitrogen Potassium Phosphorus A proud cultural healing and life compilation.
  2. SCOTUS considers limits to the government's surveillance powers over personal technology http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/carpenter_v_united_states/P1 This article was published in the December 2017 issue of the ABA Journal with the title "Cell Block: The high court considers limits to the government’s surveillance powers over personal technology." SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the united States. ABA = American Bar Association In 2011, the police and the FBI used data from cellular telephone towers to help connect a suspect to a string of armed robberies of Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores in the Detroit area. The authorities didn’t rely on a warrant based on probable cause but on a broad court order under a 1986 federal law, the Stored Communications Act. They collected more than 120 days’ worth of records from two wireless carriers for the cell-site data of the suspect’s mobile phone. The records helped show that the suspect, Timothy I. Carpenter, was in close proximity to the stores at the time of the crimes. Combined with other evidence that Carpenter was the leader of the robbery ring, the records led to his conviction on federal robbery- and weapons-related charges. Carpenter challenged the warrantless collection of cell-site data as an unconstitutional search under the Fourth Amendment. He lost in the lower courts. But the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of a case that several legal observers predict will have enormous implications for privacy in the digital age for generations to come. “It’s hugely important,” says Orin S. Kerr, a professor at the George Washington University Law School and an expert on the Fourth Amendment. “This is the case that is going to determine the limits on the government’s surveillance power at the state and federal level in new technologies for years to come. I think the justices know that.” Andrew G. Ferguson, a professor at the University of the District of Columbia law school and a privacy expert, says the case affects cell towers and individuals’ data from email, smart watches, activity-tracker bands and so-called smart appliances—devices as conventional as refrigerators, which now have some models that connect to the internet. “This is not about just one technology and one criminal defendant,” says Ferguson, author of The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement. “It is really about how the Fourth Amendment will or will not protect all Americans in the digital age.” The closely watched case was scheduled to be heard Nov. 29, which falls under the court’s December argument calendar. TRACKING STORED COMMUNICATION Authorities initially arrested four suspects in spring 2011 in the string of robberies at Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores. One suspect identified an ensemble of 15 others who had participated in some or all the crimes, which involved small groups of robbers entering a store, herding employees into the back at gunpoint, and ordering them to fill bags with new smartphones. Court testimony later suggested that Carpenter organized a string of such robberies in Michigan and Ohio during a four-month period. He supplied the guns and typically waited in the getaway car, testimony showed. The police received Carpenter’s cellphone number from the informing suspect. The FBI sought orders from federal magistrate judges to require the release of cell-tower information for Carpenter’s phone. The magistrates granted the orders under the Stored Communications Act, which requires the government to show “reasonable grounds” for believing that the records were “relevant and material to an ongoing investigation.” Carpenter’s cellphone provider, MetroPCS, provided 186 pages of the suspect’s “call detail records” that covered 127 days, while Sprint provided records for Carpenter’s phone for two days in Warren, Ohio, where one robbery took place. (Sprint was the roaming provider in that area because MetroPCS did not have its own towers there.) At trial, FBI Special Agent Christopher Hess, a cellular analysis specialist, testified for the prosecution. “If you dial a number and you hit send, that tower information is populated in the call detail record,” he said. Hess identified eight calls to or from Carpenter’s phone that happened around the time of four of the robberies. He presented maps of the cell towers that connected those calls to demonstrate that Carpenter’s phone was within a half-mile to 2 miles of the crime scenes. On cross-examination, the agent acknowledged that he could not say that Carpenter’s phone was located within a particular spot or intersection, and he agreed that the cellular analysis was “not an exact science.” At closing argument, a prosecutor argued to the jury that the cellular data provided another overlay of corroboration, showing that Carpenter was “right where the first robbery was at the exact time of the robbery, the exact sector.” The cell-tower evidence may well have been, in this case, another layer of corroboration. There also was incriminating testimony from seven of Carpenter’s accomplices. Carpenter was convicted of all six robbery charges he faced under the federal Hobbs Act and five of six firearms charges. He was sentenced to 116 years in prison. THIRD-PARTY BUSINESS RECORDS But on appeal, Carpenter pressed his motion to suppress the cell-tower evidence, which the district court had rejected. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati also turned away his arguments, holding that Carpenter lacked any property interest or reasonable expectation of privacy in the cell-tower records acquired by the government under the Stored Communications Act. The 6th Circuit panel acknowledged that in United States v. Jones, a 2012 Supreme Court case about long-term GPS monitoring of a suspected drug dealer, five justices had agreed that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information very similar to cell-site data. But the appeals court said Carpenter’s case was different because it “involves business records obtained from a third party.” Those records are closer to the landline call records that the high court had held were not entitled to Fourth Amendment protection in Smith v. Maryland in 1979. “Cell-site data—like mailing addresses, phone numbers and IP addresses—are information that facilitate personal communications, rather than part of the content of those communications themselves,” the 6th Circuit said. “The government’s collection of business records containing these data therefore is not a search.” Nathan Wessler, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Carpenter, says the Smith decision and the Stored Communications Act were products of an era when few Americans were carrying phones in their pockets. “In this case, law enforcement went to Mr. Carpenter’s cellphone providers and got more than four months of cellphone records that created a granular map of everywhere he went,” Wessler says. “That is a chilling power.” DIGITAL CRIME AND PRIVACY U.S. Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco argued in the federal government’s brief that the “third-party doctrine” long recognized by the high court applies here. “Cellphone users voluntarily reveal to their providers information about their proximity to cell towers, so the providers can connect their calls,” Francisco said in the brief. “Users cannot reasonably expect that the providers will not reveal that business information to the government.” John M. Castellano wrote an amicus brief on the federal government’s side for the Arlington, Virginia-based National District Attorneys Association. He says prosecutors use cell-site location data as an important investigative tool. They also use grand jury subpoenas and court orders short of a warrant to investigate identity theft, fraud, public corruption and other offenses. Those investigations would be seriously hampered by any restriction on the third-party doctrine, he says. “You don’t always have probable cause at the time you are issuing a subpoena,” says Castellano, the deputy executive assistant district attorney for the Queens County DA’s office in Kew Gardens, New York. “The nature of crime has changed. It has taken full advantage of the digital era.” But Wessler of the ACLU says the government “misreads Americans’ expectations of privacy in the digital age and sets the bar way too low.” Ferguson of the University of the District of Columbia wrote an amicus brief on Carpenter’s side for a group of scholars of criminal procedure and privacy. The basic thrust is that the third-party doctrine is ill-suited for an age in which smart devices that transmit all manner of personal information to third parties are pervasive. These include cellphones, smart cars, smart homes and smart medical devices within the body. “It used to be that police officers had to sit in hot cars drinking cold coffee to conduct surveillance,” Ferguson says. “The idea of a 1970s-era law about old telephone technology governing this area just doesn’t make a lot of sense now.”
  3. Court rules Stingray use without a warrant violates Fourth Amendment Originally posted: Mallory Locklear,Engadget Thu, Sep 21 7:54 PM EDT https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/court-rules-stingray-without-warrant-235400204.html PDF of Court Ruling Court rules Stingray use without a warrant violates Fourth Amendment Today, the Washington DC Court of Appeals overturned a Superior Court conviction of a man who was located by police using a cell-site simulator, or Stingray, CBS News reports. The court ruled that the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were violated when law enforcement tracked down the suspect using his own cell phone without a warrant. Stingrays work by pretending to be a cell tower and once they're brought close enough to a particular phone, that phone pings a signal off of them. The Stingray then grabs onto that signal and allows whoever's using it to locate the phone in question. These sorts of devices are used by a number of different agencies including the FBI, ICE, the IRS as well as police officers. The use of cell-site simulators, especially without a warrant, has come under question a few times in recent years. In 2016, a federal judge suppressed DEA evidence obtained via such a device, the first time a federal judge had done so. Last year, members of Congress called for legislation that would protect citizens' privacy and require a warrant before Stingrays could be used by law enforcement. Two such bills were introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year. In the ruling, the judges said, "We thus conclude that under ordinary circumstances, the use of a cell-site simulator to locate a person through his or her cellphone invades the person's actual, legitimate, and reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her location information and is a search." They also said, "We agree with [the defendant] that the government violated the Fourth Amendment when it deployed the cell-site simulator against him without first obtaining a warrant based on probable cause." The ruling could affect ongoing and future cases as well as law enforcement's use of the technology.
  4. Nitrogen Potassium Phosphorus Potassium in Plants and Soils. The Importance of Potassium CropNutrition - The Importance of Potassium Home Study Lesson from Nebraska University Potassium (K) is an essential nutrient for plant growth and is classified as a macro-nutrient due to significant amounts of K being taken up by plants during their life cycle. This compilation is designed to instill the basic understanding of potassium (K) nutrition of plants, how it reacts in soils, and what it dows for the plants, and how it effects efficient crop production and quality. Not all plants uptake the same amount of potassium such as corn silage and alfalfa will uptake and remove from the soil far greater amounts of potassium than say grain crops. Understanding this aspect is vital as to better design a nutrient plan for crops but this is largely true of all macro-nutrients and crop types. Depending on the amount of available K and exchangeable K and your plants needs you may need to add K to your fertilizer nutrient plant. The total amount of K in soils often exceeds 20,000 ppm (parts per million). Almost all of this K is held in the structural components of soil minerals and is not available for plant uptake. Due to the differences in plant/crop type and the effect of weathering of these materials the amount of K supplied by soils varies. Therefore, the need and amounts for K in a fertilizer program varies. The Potassium Cycle Univ of Wisconsin Integrated Pest and Crop Management Soil Moisture factors on available K Dry soil or low soil moisture. Approximately 78% of the plants K needs are taken up by the roots. Higher soil K levels relieves some of the nutrient stress associated with drought. K alleviates the effects of both moisture deficit and excess on the crop and counteracts the yield reductions due to either. Low K in the soil can reduce plant uptake of potassium during dry/drought conditions. Soil moisture increased from 10% to 28% can increase potassium uptake by 175%. Too high soil moisture and cold soils will reduce oxygen availability and restrict the uptake of K. (wet roots) Too high soil moisture can also work to leach away available potassium to the plant. Irrigation can play a role in leaching K in sandy and mucky type of soils. Soil Temperature & PH for Potassium Optimum soil temperature for uptake is 60-80°F. Low temperature will restrict plant growth and the uptake rate of available K. Early planting can reduce the uptake of K. Increasing K may be a viable option. High available K levels will increase K plant uptake at low temperatures. Phosphorous and Potassium are typically high in rooting/starting fertilizers for this reason as together they greatly assist root growth. Low PH conditions and acidic soils Higher competition for CEC sites at a lower PH. Low ph can be a cause for potassium deficiency in crops while having sufficient K quantities of K in the soil. Correct PH conditions or limed soils. Enables more K to be held in CEC and also reduces leaching. Illustration of K in soil (organic particles are negatively charged.) https://extension.psu.edu/programs/nutrient-management/educational/soil-fertility/managing-potassium-for-crop-production Potassium is held in soils in 3 states; soil solution, exchangeable/fixed, and mineral. Soil solution - Usable to plants. Potassium (K) is taken up by plant roots only from the soil solution. K in solution is a small fraction of the total K in soil. The soil solution is replenished with K from other sources in the soil to be usable by plants. That replenishment comes primarily from readily available, “exchangeable” K. Exchangeable or Fixed K Exchangeable K, like other positive charged ions such as magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and aluminum (Al), is loosely held in soil by an attraction to the negative charged surfaces of soil particles, this is similar to magnets on a refrigerator. This is not held strongly and can be leached. The amount of exchangeable K in the soil is dependent on the soil's cation exchange capacity or (CEC). When K is added to soil it occupies negative charged sites on soil particles by “kicking off,” or exchanging with, other positive charged ions. The creates a reserve of K in the soil waiting for a place in the soil solution to become available. As plant uptake occurs, K is released from these sites to the soil solution. The amount held in reserve and how much is released in soil solution is directly dependent the proportion of the CEC sites it occupies. The amount of exchangeable K is related to the amount of K available to the crop and the crops uptake. Clay type and Iron levels in the soil affects K availability. As Fe3+ is reduced K can be trapped between clay layers for smectite With illite K will be released. Soil testing for potassium. Soil test measures K in soil solution and exchangeable K. Take soil test at same time each year. Is very important to test annually and regularly for sandy and organic soils due to leaching. When dried the type of clay particles/minerals can affect the amount of K available. Soil heavy in micas release K during freeze and dry cycles at higher rates. Soils with low mica and high quantities of exchangeable K are less affected by freeze thaw. Time of soil sampling in regards to wet and dry cycles can affect the soil test. Spring, summer, fall and winter will show different levels. The factors of weathering, plant uptake and soil clay and mineral make up are all factors that can alter exchangeable K. It is not advised to input high K on sandy and mucky soils in the fall due to leaching aspects. By spring most will be leached away. Mineral - Not usable and very slowly released The majority of K in soil is held more tightly, trapped, or as part of the structure of soil minerals. approximately 90-98% of total soil K is found in this form. Feldspars and micas are minerals that contain most of the K and plants cannot use the K in this form. These forms, called nonexchangeable K, are generally either unavailable or only slowly available. Not viable to depend on this for plant use. Mineral K is not, typically measured as part of the soil test procedure. Decomposing organic matter in soil contributes little K. K is a soluble nutrient that leaches quickly from fresh crop residue, manure and sandy soils. However organic matter is important to K fertility because it provides many negative charged sites for holding exchangeable soil K. Finding this balance or fertilizing management with the your nutrient plan is vital for healthy plants. Union Break! Alex Clare - Alex Clare - Open My Eyes End of Union Break! CANNA Official Potassium in Plant Growth Potassium directly assist the plant to with stand stressful conditions and builds a stronger resistance to disease and plays a role in nearly every facet of crop production. Photosynthesis, control of plant N, formation of new proteins and tissues, and strength of cell walls and stalk tissues are all influenced directly by K nutrition. K is associated with movement of water, nutrients, and carbohydrates in plant tissue. K is involved with enzyme activation within the plant which affects protein, starch and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. The production of (ATP) regulates the rate of photosynthesis. The main value of K to crop plants is in times of stress. Full and balanced nutrition in all essential nutrients maintains a plant’s vigor and reduces its vulnerability to stress. Potassium, role in a plant’s defense, which is primarily preventative. Resistance of some varieties to stresses of disease, temperature, or moisture is related to a greater ability to take up soil K. Plant disease requires at least two conditions An infection point or entrance and a favorable environment for development. Resistance to both the incidence and the severity of disease is conferred by K through alleviating these two conditions. In some plant species, wounds, which are potential entrance sites for infection, heal more rapidly when the plant is supplied with adequate K. Even if higher numbers of disease organisms are present, plants nourished with sufficient K are less affected because of greater plant integrity. Even if disease is able to enter the plant the development of disease in a plant is affected by its K levels. When K is deficient, production of proteins and tissues stops and production materials accumulate, thus providing an ideal environment and food source within the plant for disease to develop. Potassium also helps to regulate the opening and closing of the stomata which regulates transpiration which is the exchange of water vapor, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. If K is deficient or not supplied in adequate amounts, growth is stunted and yield is reduced. For perennial crops such as alfalfa, potassium has been shown to play a role in stand persistence through the winter. Other roles of K include: Increased root growth and improves drought resistance Maintains turgor; reduces water loss and wilting Aids in photosynthesis and food formation Reduces respiration, preventing energy losses Enhances translocation of sugars and starch Produces grain rich in starch Increases protein content of plants Builds cellulose and reduces lodging Helps retard crop diseases Potassium Management In evaluating a fertility program analyzing the K soil test trend over time gives a perspective that is more important than the level at any one given time. Maintaining the level within the optimum range over time is the goal. The response to added K can also be predicted somewhat by anticipating stresses to the crop. If the crop is planted in a poorly drained field, or conversely, a drought field, moisture stress is likely, and so is a response to added K if soil levels are even borderline low. Managing K fertility for a corn grain/alfalfa hay rotation is a matter of extending your perspective from the K requirement of the present crop to the requirement of the next crop as well. A profitable response to added K is most likely when soil test levels of K are low. Within the optimum range, nutrient availability will not limit growth. Soil test levels are thus put into the context of the rotation. Potassium can be stockpiled during the corn years of a rotation in anticipation of the large requirement by alfalfa later in the rotation. Applying manure to supply nitrogen to corn will likely supply K in excess of what the corn crop generally removes. But because the concentration of K in the soil solution is low, and because it is held by the CEC, there is little potential for this nutrient to be lost through leaching, particularly in heavier soils of high CEC. The little leaching that does occur provides K for subsoil uptake by the deep-rooted alfalfa crop. In this case, soil test K levels may exceed the optimum during the corn years of the rotation, but for the rotation overall they should be around optimum on the average. Potassium soil test levels for corn-alfalfa rotation during which manure was applied in corn years to build up K for hay crop requirements. The need for increasing or reducing potassium in a fertilizer program can be determined by conducting and analyzing plant analysis data and soil testing. Soil testing is the most reliable predictor of this need. Calculations of K2O recommendations for a soil of CEC=10 at three initial soil potash levels and for three crops. Penn State Extension For most soils, this adequately predicts K availability however in some soils, the mineral K (which is not usually measured) supplies a significant amount of K to the crop, and thus the test based on the exchangeable and solution K does not fit the situation. This is most likely to occur with soils containing high amounts of the illite and vermiculite types of clays. The clue may be that there is little change in soil test K when K removal is expected to be large, or conversely (because the reaction is reversible), little change in soil test K level when K is added. Once this is a known factor this aspect can be accounted for in your nutrient management plans. This is not a common scenario. Reduced potassium in soils reasoning over time. Not sufficiently replacing potassium after crop harvest and rotations. Cost of potassium fertilizer. Minerals in soils. Soil minerals in K cannot replenish K to account for plant uptake. Is true for deep rooted plants to bring up K but the amount is not sufficient. Adjusting K in the soils Soil buffering capacity Less K is needed to adjust PPM levels. 6 to 7 pounds per acre will adjust 1 PPM. Less time is needed for a change to occur to raise or lower soil k levels. Crop removal of potassium Alfalfa by the ton K removal 180 lbs Corn silage by the ton K removal 160 lbs corn grain by the bushel K removal 46 soybean by the bushel K removal 63 wheat by the bushel K removal 23 Suggested management practices for K vary with each crop. Top dress applications are appropriate for perennial crops such as alfalfa and grasses. For soybeans, broadcast applications incorporated before planting are most effective. For corn and wheat either banded or broadcast applications can be used Broadcast rates can be reduced by one half if banded applications are used for these crops. This management practice does not reduce yields but results in a savings of fertilizer dollars. For crops (alfalfa and corn silage examples) that use lots of potassium and for soils with low potassium amounts. Soil test and monitor these soils often to ensure proper levels and availability. Top dress potassium. No till or reduced tillage crop systems - These crop systems can cause compaction and reduced soil temperature which leads to less K availability. Soil test and monitor these soils often to ensure proper levels and availability. Top dress potassium. Too high Potassium High potassium in forage crops can be problematic to farm animals. Dairy cows can get milk fever for example. Consider the potassium levels in the soils and how it relates to your plants and farm animal dietary needs. Decrease in uptake of other nutrients can result with too high K in the soils. Potential nutrient pollution of surface water through erosion of the nutrient-rich soil. Potassium is not a problem pollutant, but when soil K levels are built up by applying manure, soil phosphorous levels are also likely to be high. Reducing soil K in soils is to keep removing it, typically by utilizing crops with a high K requirement, without continued application. Can cause a depression of magnesium (Mg) uptake by cool season grasses. This can lead to grass tetany, a potentially fatal condition for ruminant animals. Its effects are related to nitrogen fertilization, low soil temperatures, and animal physiology. Grass, especially in fertilized pasture, accumulates K during the period of lush growth in May and early June, but Mg (magnesium) uptake is hindered by soil temperatures below 60 degrees F. Grazing cattle get a high K diet that increases their need for Mg, This results in a nutrient imbalance in the animals. Guarding against grass tetany involves pasture and animal feed management. The potential for this condition is greatest in pastures composed totally of cool season grasses. Legumes accumulate Mg, even at soil temperatures below 60 degrees F. High K forages can also result in increased incidence of milk fever if these forages are fed to dry cows. Union Break! Overheard - Flow End of Union Break! Potassium Deficiency 360 Yield Minute - Potassium Deficiency - Jim Schwartz 360 Yield Center Potassium Deficiency In Aquaponics Plants - Potassium In Aquaponics Managing Potassium True Aquaponics TGIF! How To Spot A Potassium Deficiency MyLittlePeaceOfHeaven With a K deficiency the seasonal duration of leaf photosynthesis is shortened, transport of nutrients and sugars within the stem is hamstrung, plant integrity is compromised, starch formation is hindered, and use of nitrogen is limited. K is mobile and shows on older leaf growth. At the bottom leafs of the plant. The plant will take K from the lower leaves and transport them to the top leaf growth. Classic signs are a yellowing or chloro-sis from the leaf tip then around the leaf edges Can be spots to streaks of yellow or white depending on plant type. Research and understand the K deficiency for your crops and plants as various difference can be illustrated. Leaves already showing deficiency symptoms cannot be restored by adding K. Yield potential yield has already been reduced by the time the deficiency symptoms appear, and the plant has become more susceptible to the effects of other stresses. Yield and quality of the crop is directly affected. If insufficient K is available, characteristic symptoms of deficiency are likely to be evident during rapid crop growth. Photo Examples Romaine Lettuce Lettuce Rice Corn on the Cob Corn Leaf Potassium Application Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) - Understanding Garden Potassium: What it Does, Greensand, Banana Peels & Other Forms Organic options for Potassium Compost - Especially with adding banana peels. Usable to the plant immediately. Easily leached. Wood Ash - Hard wood ash 5 gallon bucket will treat about 1000 square feet. Can be added to compost to boost potassium levels of the compost. Caution - will raise PH levels. Kelp Meal and seaweed - Dry or Liquid form Easily available to the plants. Greensand - Mined from ancient sea beds. Can be used as a fertilizer or used in compost. Muriate of Potash (potassium chloride) Contains chlorine which is harmful to soil microbes. Sulfate of Potash Similar to muriate of potash but generally more expensive Does not contain chlorine and is safe to soil microbes. Not all sources of sulfate of potash is truly organic. Sul-Po-Mag - A variation of potash, sulfate of potash-magnesia A natural version is langbeinite Is water soluble and immediately available to the plant Can leach Generally is not used unless you need sulfur and magnesium. Granite Dust Is very slow potassium and tract mineral release. Not a sufficient source of potassium on its own. Can be added to compost piles. Manure Potassium Manure is a K resource present on most farms. However, K concentration varies by water and bedding content. Manure nutrient analysis is the only sure way to manage amounts of applied manure nutrients. Potassium in animal manure is almost totally dissolved in the liquid fraction, so it is important to conserve this portion of the manure. As long as liquid is not lost, handling and surface or incorporated application do not affect K content or availability. If a soil sample is taken after manure application, then the available manure K will be reflected in the soil test level and recommendations. If, however, manure is applied after soil sampling, then manure K should be subtracted from the recommendations on the soil test report. Manure K is immediately available and may be considered a 1:1 substitute for K fertilizer. Manure Moisture (%) K2O (lbs/ton) Variation (%) Cattle 85 10 36 Pigs 91 11 53 Poultry 30 30 39 The average K content of various animal manures. Fertilizer Potassium Potassium chloride (KCl), called muriate of potash is the most common fertilizer form. It is a highly water soluble salt with a K2O analysis of 60 to 62 percent. Processing differences result in two common chemical qualities, identifiable as red and white muriate of potash. Because the difference is of no consequence to the plant, deciding which to use should depend on the basis of cost per unit of K. The K analysis of a fertilizer material is given as the percentage of K2O (potash) for the material. There is no actual K2O in fertilizer, but this is the accepted and legal reporting form. Potassium recommendations are reported as lbs of K2O per acre on a soil test report. The units of potash (K2O) can be converted to potassium (K) by multiplying lbs of K2O by 0.83. For the opposite conversion, multiply lbs of K by 1.2 to get lbs of K2O. Is incompatible with tobacco. Potassium sulfate, with a K2O analysis of 50 percent, also supplies sulfur, but this is generally inconsequential since sulfur is rarely limiting for agronomic crops. Solution fertilizers may use KOH as the K source. KOH has a high K2O analysis, 70 percent, the K is no more available to the crop than if KCl were applied. Fertilizer solutions made with KCl may not be clear, but that is not a disadvantage from the plant’s perspective. As a salt, K has the potential to injure plant roots. Whether this becomes a problem depends on the rate of fertilizer or manure, especially poultry manure applied and its placement relative to plant roots. Rainfall dilutes and leaches the salts in soil, reducing the risk of injury. Because starter fertilizer is placed, by design, near seedling roots, this practice has the greatest potential for root injury. You can avoid injury by reducing the rate or by placing the fertilizer farther from the seed. Recommendation by Penn State is that total nitrogen plus K2O should not exceed 70 lbs per acre when the fertilizer is placed 2 inches over and 2 inches down from the seed row, and less if placed closer. Except in low K soils, there has been little consistent benefit from banding K as a part of the starter application and, therefore, it may be best not to include K in starter fertilizer. Summary In soil fertility we are concerned with crop response. We want to apply nutrients, K in this case, where we are most likely to get a profitable return. We have seen that crop response to K may be more indirect than direct. Effects will be an increased response to nitrogen and improved resistance to disease, drought, and cold temperatures, and may, therefore, depend on growing season conditions. In soil testing, we have a good, though not perfect, indicator of probable response to K. Soil testing partnered by good crop records enables management to make it effective. Then, by knowing the yield per field, growing conditions, problems, soil K level, and other factors, you can make decisions, based on realistic information for your crops and fields that will project into the coming years. This is important when you rotate crops in a field, especially when those crops, like corn and alfalfa, have very different K requirements. Managing nutrients makes better use of limited finances. Manure needs to become a primary concern in nutrient management, because it is a readily available nutrient carrier on most farms. Potassium needs to be used wisely to ensure an adequate supply for your crops, but not oversupplied in “insurance applications.” Recommendations: Test soil regularly, at least every three years or when changing crop. The soil test reports the amount of available K and the K2O required, if any, to bring soil level up to optimum and offset crop K removal. Evaluate the fertility program for each field by looking at the trend, over time, of the soil test levels in relation to the optimum range. Plan ahead within a rotation to supply K for the crop with the larger requirement. Reduce soil erosion with soil and water conservation practices, Do not stockpile nutrients in fields prone to erosion. Conserve the liquid portion of the manure with bedding or leak proof storage to conserve the manure K. Have farm manure analyzed for its nutrient content. Apply manure uniformly and at a known rate as part of a planned nutrient management program. Remember, quality in gets quality out. Evaluate the need for K in a starter fertilizer relative to soil test levels. At optimum or higher K levels, a response to starter K is unlikely. Keep rate of K used in starter low, or keep K away from the seed to avoid salt injury to seedlings. Keep good crop records and include input amounts, measured yields, and production costs. Managing Potassium for Crop Production (PDF) - Penn State Extension Credits: CropNutrition http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/nutrient-management/potassium/potassium-for-crop-production/ https://extension.psu.edu/programs/nutrient-management/educational/soil-fertility/managing-potassium-for-crop-production Univ of Wisconsin Integrated Pest and Crop Management Alex Clare Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) Overheard LDSPrepper https://www.todayshomeowner.com/organic-sources-of-potassium-for-your-lawn-or-garden/ NRateliffVEVO School of Life congratulations for learning about Potassium in soils and plants Links Nitrogen Potassium Phosphorus A proud cultural healing and life compilation.
  5. UPDATE TO VERSALAND Farm Johnson County denies Versaland farm rezoning application that sparked online controversy Written by and copied from Stephen Gruber-Miller, sgrubermil@press-citizen.com Original post: http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2017/09/14/johnson-county-supervisors-versaland-grant-schultz-zoning-application/668317001/ Johnson County supervisors on Thursday night unanimously voted to deny a rezoning application from a farmer who claimed local foods were under assault by regulations in the county. After an hours-long meeting that drew an overflow crowd, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors denied the application from farmer Grant Schultz of Iowa City, who was seeking to rezone 62.5 acres at 5133 Strawbridge Road, near the village of Morse in rural Johnson County, from agricultural to agricultural residential so he could build housing for agritourism and hired help, as well as operate a retail orchard and fish farm. Interest in the zoning application spiked after Schultz posted a 25-minute Facebook video on Sept. 8 complaining of his treatment by the Johnson County Planning, Development and Sustainability staff. Schultz farms Versaland — a 143-acre farm where he said he raises a mix of organic crops and livestock. Schultz's video has more than 88,000 views and has been shared over 1,400 times. The application had raised concerns from community members that a rezoning could lead to more extensive housing development than Schultz currently had planned for the farm. Once the land is rezoned, there would be nothing stopping a future owner from developing it to the full extent allowed. Supervisors received over 150 emails and phone calls — including some that were rude or disparaging — ahead of the meeting as a result of the attention garnered by Schultz's video, and several people spoke for and against the application at the meeting. In denying Schultz's zoning application, supervisors emphasized their support for local foods, pushing back against some of the emails they received. But they said the vote was a simple zoning decision and was not related to whether they approve of Versaland or local foods. "I want to see farm incubators in Johnson County and all over Iowa. I think it’s very important work, but I can’t find a way to make it work here in this scenario at least," said Supervisor Kurt Friese. "I wish I was wrong." County staff had recommended denying Schultz's application based on several factors, including the concern that his proposed development of up to 36 cabins for farmer housing and agritourism would be out of character in Morse, a community of fewer than 100 people whose population has remained static for over a century. Staff also recommended Schultz share the cost of infrastructure improvements, including a bridge upgrade and widening Strawbridge Road due to the increased traffic that would result from additional housing units. To mitigate those concerns, Schultz at the meeting offered to assist with the cost of bridge upgrades and some road improvements, and to cap the number of cabins at 14 — the number he said he needs to house farm workers in an incubator-style farm model. One of the points of contention at the meeting was that while Schultz has a purchase agreement and has said he intends to buy the land, he does not hold the title. The landowners, Suzan Erem and Paul Durrenberger, oppose the rezoning application out of concern that his plan to use so much of the land for cabins, fishing docks and ponds is not in keeping with their purchase agreement, which specifies the land be used for crops and livestock. "Crops do not grow under cabins. Cows cannot graze on front porches," Erem said. The two parties have had legal disputes over the property, which were settled out of court earlier this year. Several supervisors expressed willingness to hear more about Schultz's plans once he has the title to the land. Schultz declined to comment after the meeting about his plans for purchasing the land or submitting a new zoning application. He had asked the board to essentially defer his application while he worked out a conditional zoning agreement with county staff that would address those issues, but the board instead denied the rezoning application. A deferral would have saved Schultz from spending over $1,500 on a new rezoning application, he said. Erem said Schultz had not presented his plans for rezoning the property to her and Durrenberger and that the issue of rezoning did not come up during the mediation of their legal dispute. Although the board denied Schultz's application, Erem said she was sad to see the issue lead to community in-fighting. "There’s nothing about this entire process that can make anybody happy," Erem said. "It’s polarized the entire community, it’s cast doubt on our commitment to local foods, it’s confused the issue completely." The larger issue, Schultz said, is not about Versaland specifically, but land use planning that allows for more nontraditional farms. "This is not about me and this farm," Schultz said. "This is about a big thing that affects everyone in the county, and (that's) antiquated land use planning that doesn’t properly accommodate people outside of nuclear families or the uber-wealthy." The board of supervisors is in the process of working on a countywide comprehensive plan that will be voted on in 2018. Reach Stephen Gruber-Miller at 319-887-5407 or sgrubermil@press-citizen.com. Follow him on Twitter: @sgrubermiller.
  6. Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 1 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 2 Vermiculture, Vermicompost &nbsp;& Worm Castings - Part 3 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 4 Vermiculture & Vermicompost Part 3 Worm Bin Building Section DIY Worm Composting Bin to Rehab Your Garden Lia Andrews - DIY Worm Composting Bin to Rehab Your Garden The COMPREHENSIVE Beginners' Guide to Vermicomposting (Set up a bin & more!) WormPost SE - The COMPREHENSIVE Beginners' Guide to Vermicomposting (Set up a bin & more!) Building a home size DIY worm bin. I AM ORGANIC GARDENING - How to Build My ALL-in-ONE Worm Bin Composting & Worm Casting Harvester Worm Bin DIY - All in One - Easy Composting & Harvesting Casting I AM ORGANIC GARDENING - Worm Bin DIY - All in One - Easy Composting & Harvesting Casting Worm barrel for lawn clippings & garden scraps Rob Bob's Backyard Farm & Aquaponics - How to make a worm farm.. Easy as worm barrel for lawn clippings & garden scraps.. How to build a bathtub worm farm from recycled materials Rob Bob's Backyard Farm & Aquaponics - How to build a bathtub worm farm from recycled materials Bathtub worm farm update.. Harvesting the castings & battling bugs Rob Bob's Backyard Farm & Aquaponics - Bathtub worm farm update.. Harvesting the castings & battling bugs Harvesting worm castings from the Bathtub Worm farm Rob Bob's Backyard Farm & Aquaponics - Harvesting worm castings from the Bathtub Worm farm Worm Tower System In garden use, similar to a key garden compost systems The Abled Gardener - Worm Towers from 5 gallon buckets Update from worm tower video above The Abled Gardener - Worm Tower Update/Harvesting Worm Castings Another construction video of the in-ground worm tower using pvc pipe GreenShortz DIY - How To Make A DIY Worm Tower How To Make A Worm Tower from wood (wont last as long but is nature friendly) GreenShortz DIY - How To Make A Worm Tower from wood Larger DIY Worm Bin for small farm or large garden with extensive instruction. The Growing Club - How to Build the Ultimate Plastic Free Worm Composting Bin Farm Size Worm Bin and information with a different design The Farm at South Mountain - How to build a Vermiculture/Vermicomposting/Worm bin at The Farm at South Mountain Harvesting castings and separating worm eggs cocoons. Matthew WormsEtc - Separating and harvesting worms and worm castings. Separating worm egg cocoons. OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 1 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 2 Vermiculture, Vermicompost &nbsp;& Worm Castings - Part 3 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 4
  7. Versaland Farm - A permaculture and local government story. The story is ongoing. The following story has two sides and both appear to have some merit and strong points. I ask that all sides be weighed and that people work together to find real solutions if that is even possible after everything has happened. We here are about cultural healing and life and in that we all must learn to walk together, especially when our views and wants go in separate directions if such a thing can be achieved. The Versaland Call for Help https://permies.com/t/70332/Call-Action-Versaland-Farm-threatened When I learned of this yesterday my soul shed a tear and I felt a little less American than I ever did. However, as I said my soul shed a tear and this is kinda foolish as what we did to the American Indians so I will use the words less humanity now. So I will not pout and get in line behind them and put on my thinking hat! With that said lets us remember, their are two sides of a story and many perspectives to consider and this is not a cut and dry issue. Well let me stop here for a bit and let Versaland Farm tell their own story. More information to consider The Iowa Citizen Press Article Stephen Gruber-Miller, sgrubermil@press-citizen.comPublished 7:06 p.m. CT Sept. 11, 2017 | Updated 9:55 p.m. CT Sept. 11, 2017 http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2017/09/11/johnson-county-agricultural-zoning-versaland-grant-schultz-josh-busard/653692001/ Johnson County Re-Zoning Application Goes Viral https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/planningBLUZ/2017/09/12/johnson-county-re-zoning-application-goes-viral/ September 12, 2017 Goto comments Leave a comment by Eric Christianson An Iowa City resident’s attempt to rezone 63 acres of rural Johnson County has attracted international attention. Grant Schultz manages a 143 acre farm he calls Versaland in northeastern Johnson County. He is seeking the zoning change to allow him to build rental cabins and worker housing in addition to other accessory uses. Staff recommended against the rezoning because of the potential impact of a large land use change in a rural part of the county and the infrastructural improvements that would be needed to support the potential new uses. On August 14 the planning and zoning commission voted 5-0 to recommend to the board of supervisors that the rezoning be denied. In response on September 8, Schultz created a 25 minute video with the headline “Johnson County Assaults Local Foods“. The video has, as of today, been viewed over 80,000 times and received comments of support from all over the world. Johnson County has since published a memo refuting many of the points made in the video. Additionally, Paul Durrenberger and Suzan Erem, founders of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, and owners of the property in question have published a blog post of their own entitled, “Grant Schultz: Facts to Consider”. They are opposed to the proposed rezoning. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will vote on the rezoning request Thursday September 14, 2017. For more information read the Press Citizen article about the fight. As they say, always two sides of each story. I post this ethically to the story. The Other Side Johnson County Memo to the video https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/planningBLUZ/files/2017/09/358643971-Johnson-County-responds-to-Grant-Schultz-s-video.pdf Date: Sept 8, 2017 To: Board of Supervisors From: Josh Busard, Director Re: Video Made by Grant Schultz regarding Rezoning Application 27281 On Sept. 8, 2017, Mr. Schultz posted an approximately 25-minute video on Facebook about his rezoning application 27281. In the video, a number of claims are made. The Planning, Development and Sustainability Department would like to provide a response. The application will be heard by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2017. Part One of this memo will provide background and timeline for the application process to date. Part Two addresses topics, primarily by the order in which they were raised in the video. This is not meant to be a comprehensive review of the entire application that will be considered by the Board on September 14. PART ONE: TIMELINE AND BACKGROUND Grant Schultz submitted to Johnson County Planning, Development and Sustainability an application on July 11, 2017 to reclassify 62.54 acres from A-Agricultural to AR-Agricultural Residential for “diverse organic farm hosting education, fishing, camping, and cabins for agritourism.” The property at 5133 Strawbridge Road NE is owned by Edward Paul Durrenburger and Suzan Erem. The County believes that Mr. Schultz leases the farm, and intends to purchase it at the end of 2017. Mr. Schultz’s application was heard by the Johnson County Planning and Zoning Commission on August 14, 2017. Ms. Erem, as the property owner, stated at the meeting that she did not support Mr. Schultz’s rezoning application. In their report, staff recommended denial. The complete staff report is attached; however, here is an excerpt from the conclusion highlighting staff concerns: While a smaller-scale rezoning request at this location may be appropriate, staff is not comfortable recommending approval of this request as presented given the scale of potential development that could result from rezoning 62 acres of land to ARAgricultural Residential. Staff has significant concerns with how out-of-character a large scale development would be with the historical development patterns of Morse, and also with the potential impacts development could have on Strawbridge Rd, Putnam St, and the Strawbridge Rd bridge over Rapid Creek. These concerns exist not only in regards to a large-scale residential development, but also for the 36-unit rental cabin development at the site proposed by the applicant – staff would prefer to see a more measured and incremental approach to development of this site. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-0 to deny approval. This vote serves as a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which, as noted, will hear the application at its 5:30 p.m. formal meeting on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 PART TWO: ADDRESSING CLAIMS MADE BY MR. SCHULTZ The following responses are relative to the order in which they were raised in the video. Retail Orchard / You-Pick Operations: The County has not banned retail orchards. However, on April 20, 2017, the County established a 12-month moratorium on the creation of new retail orchards (Res 04-20-17-01). “You-pick” farm operations are not part of the moratorium. Mr. Schultz at this time could invite the public to personally pick apples (or any other fruit, vegetables or nuts he grows on site) and buy them from him. Aqua-Culture: (“Fish Farms”): Fish Farms are considered agriculture in Johnson County. Mr. Schultz could raise fish on his property right now if he wanted to. If he wants to have a “fish your own” operation along with selling bait for others to fish, he would need to follow the same regulations others have and rezone the property to Agricultural Residential and get a conditional use permit. Morse Village Boundary and Plan: As Mr. Schultz’s states, the property is within the Morse village boundary. The County Land Use Plan (2008) directed the County to develop plans for each unincorporated village, including Morse. That directive include the following item: “Encourage sustainability within villages by promoting mixed-use developments that foster live/work arrangements which are appropriate for the village-area being considered.” Mr. Schultz claims he is supporting the Land Use Plan by fostering live/work arrangements. However, as seen above the goal statement goes on to mention that the live/work arrangements should be appropriate as determined by the Morse Village Plan. The Morse Village plan states: “Future housing stock should not conflict with historic village development.” Historically, the village has not grown from a population of approximately 85 people in the past 100 years, and the traditional growth area of the village is small-lot development along Putnam Road to the north. Development in Morse traditionally has been a mix of low-intensity commercial and residential uses. The build-out for the 62 acres, if zoned Agricultural Residential is as many as 50 homes before density bonuses (see staff report). Housing for Seasonal Agricultural Labor: Johnson County allows “seasonal agricultural camps” that must follow 14 requirements, including fire and other safety aspects. Strong regulation on temporary quarters for agricultural workers is necessary to ensure farm workers are not forced to live in sub-standard conditions just to work. It is true that the seasonal housing for agricultural workers is limited to June 1 and Sept. 15. There has been discussion about changing this time-period when the ordinance is reviewed. Mr. Schultz’s referenced a lawsuit. Staff has no direct knowledge of a lawsuit, but is fairly certain that there was a migrant camp in the late 1980s south of Lone Tree, and this camp necessitated the seasonal agricultural labor ordinance to protect farm workers. Responsiveness to Mr. Schultz: Staff have remained available by phone and email, as well as in person, to Mr. Schultz. The last in-person contact was August 31 Cost of Application and Project Scope: Prior to Mr. Schultz submitting the rezoning application dated July 11, Nate Mueller, Assistant PDS Director, emailed him on July 10, 2017, to caution him about requesting a rezoning while he was not the property owner, and moreover, the current owner had stated she was opposed to the rezoning. Specifically, Nate wrote: “You are welcome to request the rezoning even though you are not currently the deed holder, but in our experience when that kind of request comes through and the deed holder is opposed to the change, the Supervisors take that very heavily into account. I just want to make sure you’re aware of this potential issue before you commit $1400+ to the application filing fee.” In addition, Josh Busard, PDS director, had personal conversations with Mr. Schultz, where he recommended that the rezoning application be scaled down, and that it might be more appropriate to seek rezoning of eight (8) acres to better support his goal of obtaining a conditional use permit for his intended development (cabins, etc.). Mr. Schultz did not follow that advice, and he repeatedly stated that he needed to rezone the entire property because his timeline did not permit a subdivision application. Josh also told him that before any building permit, he would need a subdivision, but Mr. Schultz said he would address that later. Mr. Schultz indicated in the video that he wishes to have 14 cabins for resident farm workers and 22 for rental. This statement in the video is the first time staff have heard these specific details. Strawbridge Road and Infrastructure Costs: This road floods regularly as shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. The County’s Land Use Plan (2008) contains the following two policies: “Ensure transportation demands can be accommodated when evaluating rezoning requests” (p. 22). “Ensure that new residential areas are responsible for a share of development costs” (p. 23). The County has worked with property owners and developers to improve roads prior to development projects (e.g., Harry Ambrose on Curtis Bridge Road; Stringtown Grocery and Kalona Cheese Factory on 500th Street; S&G Materials on Isaak Walton; Celebration Farm (turn lanes) on Highway 1) Additionally, the County’s Floodplain Development Regulations states that “Subdivision proposals intended for residential development shall provide lots with a vehicular access that will remain passible during occurrence of the 100-year flood” – because of this, staff historically does not recommend approval of rezoning applications that do not meet this standard. The property in question does not meet this standard and staff does not feel that transportation demands can be accommodated without future road upgrades. County Historic Poor Farm: The property Mr. Schultz is requesting to rezone is in the unincorporated area of Johnson County, and thus subject to its regulations. The Johnson County Historic Poor Farm is located within the city limits of Iowa City, and is regulated under the City Zoning Ordinance. Contrary to Mr. Schultz’s claim, the County Farm is subject to zoning and other city regulations, and comparisons between the two is not a simple as presented in the video. County staff, the Board of Supervisors and consultants on the project have communicated with City staff about the many city regulations. Respectfully, Josh Busard Director Planning and Development & Sustainability As they say, always two sides of each story. I post this ethically to the story. Those who currently own the land are opposed, their view Grant Schultz – Facts to Consider http://dracohill.org/blog/grant-schultz-facts-to-consider/ We hope these documents that constitute every legal agreement and disagreement we’ve had with Grant Schultz over the last 4 years help clarify any misinformation floating around the internet. By the way, we own the property. So if you believe in property rights, you should allow us to do as we please with our own land, and we don’t want it rezoned as a resort. And for those who believe assertions that we are out to steal this farm from Grant and somehow get rich from it, rest assured – the annual payment is more than we make on our fixed income. We cannot afford this farm and never wanted to own it. We have given him every opportunity to purchase it from us and continue to do so. We regret having to engage Mr. Schultz because he has treated us like trash for 2 years, and posting this will only motivate him to do it again. We are sorry for the ill-will and anger he is stirring up against good people, including those elected by the people of Johnson County and those they appoint to enforce county ordinances. We apologize to our neighbors in Morse who have had to suffer livestock visiting their homes, yards, sheds and garages, cars parked along a road making it nearly impassable, guns going off at all hours of the night, the years-long saga to get a proper septic installed on this land that Rapid Creek runs through, the unkempt farmstead, the overgrown fences and more. But the time has come to stand up to this bully. We do so at great personal risk, including fear for our safety and fear that he will trash the farm we own out of spite and anger. But we have talked with more than a half dozen young farmers who’ve lived and worked at Schultz’s farm, and they all fear he will retaliate against them with his “worldwide network” on social media. Therefore, we must do the talking for them, and for all young farmers who have asked us not to let this man stand for them, because they are ashamed of what he is doing to us. Please read the documents and see where: We bought this farm to sell to him at the same price 5 years later, knowing the value would likely go up. We didn’t care. We wanted to help him get started. We give him the Farm Credit Services patronage rebate every year instead of keeping it. We paid $24,000 of a $32,000 high-powered livestock well (the other $8K coming from the government he so despises) that he now plans to use for his cabins instead for livestock, according to his testimony at the Planning and Zoning Commission. We gave him an additional $50,000 to purchase a building and install a septic system so he could live there legally. How we moved to terminate the lease when we learned the sheer number of violations he had committed of the document he wrote. How we moved to evict when he didn’t pay his rent – something every farmer in Iowa understands is the one thing you do no matter what – sticking us for the $52,000 payment to the lender last year. What’s not in the documents, so you don’t have to believe us but consider it food for thought: his threats to drag our names through the mud if we didn’t agree to what he wanted, how he has repeatedly misrepresented his rent per acre to make us sound like we were gouging him, how he has claimed that HE has poured hundreds of thousands into this property when the government and Paul and I paid for almost everything, how he gave his best helper three days’ notice for his 40 head of cattle and all the other livestock the man was tending, because Grant decided to change their arrangement and the man refused. how he uses his nursery to be a middleman, purchasing wholesale and selling retail to unsuspecting customers who likely thought he was selling trees he had grown himself. (He tried to convince us at one time to create the nursery business so he could “buy” from us in some kind of shell game we couldn’t understand). how he poses in front of paw paw trees and apple trees that aren’t his to make people believe his plants are fruiting when in fact they were still sticks that are barely leafing out and that there hasn’t been any livestock on the farm all summer. how all of this “shit storm” he promised to rain down on the board of supervisors is smoke and mirrors for the fact that he could buy this land from us today and hasn’t. Why hasn’t he? And why is he trying to rezone it before he owns it? We hope people who care about the truth can learn a few more facts and decide for yourselves. Thank you and we hope to see you at the Johnson County Board of Supervisors hearing Thursday, Sept. 14, 5:30 pm in the county administration building. Versaland’s hoop house, from the day it was built until today, has not grown a single vegetable. The building he bought with our money for himself and his interns – no insulation, thin walls. And piles of junk in overgrown weeds. The bee enterprise one volunteer took on fell apart like every other enterprise, not because of the government or onerous ordinances, but because of Grant Schultz. Almost every volunteer who has ever lived at Versaland has moved to another state and won’t speak up for fear of retaliation by Mr. Schultz. We set aside $50,000 so Grant could live on the farm legally, something we never anticipated because he said he would commute from his apartment in Coralville, but within months was living there illegally. He chose to buy this monstrosity and plant it directly in front of our neighbor’s picture window. The hoop house at Versaland – fronted by Paul Durrenberger because Grant had already used up the one he had coming to him at another failed farm – paid for by NRCS and never used for vegetable production. Bad fences make bad neighbors. Our neighbor, River Products, built this fence for us. Grant Schultz then trespassed on their property, added extensions, electrified them AND then let the fence get overgrown. This photo taken in 2016. These are some of the “100,000 trees” Grant Schultz claims to have planted and desperately needs workers for to harvest. Statements below are taken from the Press-Citizen Iowa newspaper http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2017/09/11/johnson-county-agricultural-zoning-versaland-grant-schultz-josh-busard/653692001/ My View & Opinion Is the versaland farm video wholly factual? Are the views of those involved directly factual? From where I sit and likely for all others we cannot truly tell so I offer my best to illustrate both sides and encourage positive solutions to a fruitful end. To me, my opinion is several aspects and I have seen similar behaviors by governments, internationally from Europe to America take this kind of action though in different industries and it was what I call a money grab. The current owners make a very strong case against this view and they appear to have much merit. I speak further generically due to their rebuttal and will accept an outcome that weighs this aspect. Unethical and unreasonable justification for road improvements, as I see it. However, the rebuttal in the memo has some legal merit. The town is attempting to make a similar type of farm and may appear to see this as competition. This may be more speculation. The town may see this farms value and by working to ensure it fails will likely be able to obtain the property and the book numbers are likely to be far cheaper to secure this type of farm for the town utilizing that tactic rather than building their own for which they have plans to build. This is the aspect I have seen in other industries internationally. The current owners speak on this but I still have seen similar situations so I cannot say with my opinion I wholly agree or disagree. This issue has become more diverse than how I first came to understand it. I hope all sides can sit down and work out solutions so that betterment can come. In these things, their are at many times no real villains and no real victims but emotion can cause varied illustrations that perhaps can stretch the truth. My interest is just a generic one. cultural healing and life and we must all work together correctly and wisely to do this. Sometimes things do not work out how we want and as fast as we may want but we must remain stern towards the direction in life we sail in. Sometimes the seas are choppy and sometimes smooth and what defines the type of captain we are is how we act under pressures and storms. I do not mean to throw gas on a fire and my blabbering will not help but I will say to look at the wily ape compilation we have made. I feel it will help explain this a bit if is what I fear is true. Specifically this section: http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/32-the-story-of-the-wily-ape-section-5-society-market-and-governance/ - I recommend the whole story of the wily ape but that section applies foremost. What to do? View all available information before deciding or truly forming an opinion or we may end up being the fool in the room. The following is from versaland. https://www.versaland.com/ To donate to their legal fight: https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=59b493056f4ca36cb5fc813d 1) Watch the ENTIRE Video. 2) SHARE the video on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc 3) WRITE AN EMAIL to the Supervisors. Contact list below. Share why you support the rezoning to AR, and how affordable farmworker housing, agritourism, and ecological businesses matter to you. Explain your connection to Versaland - as customer, student, or admirer - perhaps you've purchased plants, pastured meat, or engaged in the social fabric with a workshop or field day. If you're presently an admirer - share why you'd visit and how you'd benefit Johnson County while here. Share your unique perspective and engage respectfully, we're all humans.4) CALL IN PERSON Engage with a personal phone call and talk through why you value Versaland, how it adds to the quality of Johnson County, Iowa, and the social, economic, and ecological benefits it brings via land access, organic food, improved water quality, and climate and flood resilience. 5) ATTEND THE MEETING on Thursday, September 14th at 5:30PM, 913 S Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA 52240 - Facebook event here Office Phone: 319-356-6000 Janelle Rettig 319-356-6000 email: jrettig@co.johnson.ia.us Kurt M. Friese 319-356-6000 kfriese@co.johnson.ia.us Mike Carberry Home: I do not feel correct about posting home numbers mcarberry@co.johnson.ia.us Rod Sullivan Home: I do not feel correct about posting home numbers e-mail:rsullivan@co.johnson.ia.us Lisa Green-Douglass (319) 936-0175 e-mail: lgreendouglass@co.johnson.ia.us RESOURCE DOWNLOADS Versaland Design (north half of farm) Poor Farm Design/"New Century Farm" ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY 12 MONTH MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUANCE OF CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS FOR RETAIL ORCHARDS (Page 4) Retail Orchard Moratorium (Page 3) Versaland Zoning Application Johnson County Iowa Unified Development Ordinance Morse Village Plan 2011 Food Policy Council Recommendations for the 2018 Comprehensive Plan Johnson County Greenwashing Report Allowing Country Inns as a Conditional Use in the A, AR, & R Zoning Districts: 09-19-13-Z2 09/19/2013 Planning, Development, and Sustainability Staff Opinion (8/11/17 opinion) Lawsuit Evincing Purchase Agreement in 2016 Johnson County Board of Supervisors What I think to do. As they are a small town. Lets gather the funds and legal representation and be willing to go to the supreme courts if necessary. Perhaps find some help from the ACLU or other pro-bono legal representation. This not only brings the legal fight to the courts. It can work to bleed them back financially as they hope to do them (my view on that) and this can have a big impact on the towns finances potentially causing their taxes and fees to increase upsetting their voting base. Get politically involved placing candidates and work to actually get correct people to run against this type of town management direction. Speak at all public events possible and join the same political party as to gain voter information as then you can talk directly to their base. Informing them correctly can do much and also brings a certain pressure they like underestimate. Contact the businesses that support those local politicians and ask them to explain why they support such efforts and make that public, they likely will not speak back if they do not support this can lead to public pressure. I do not advocate boycotts or anything like that, just discussion in attempt to gain support. Enough pain. Let the courts, education, ethics and morals win the day. All that said, I hope they all sit down and genuinely work together to find realistic solutions but also this will likely be a give and take. Lets not fight, lets work together and do something great! One Drop Forward sings us out! One Drop Forward - Knowledge - Message Video Thank you for your time and energies, JJ the Gardener. ~Cultural Healing and Life.
  8. Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 1 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 2 Vermiculture, Vermicompost &nbsp;& Worm Castings - Part 3 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 4 Vermiculture & Vermicompost Part 1 Vermicomposting is a quick, efficient way to convert kitchen scraps into a rich soil amendment using composting earthworms that break down organic matter into worm poop known as worm castings. A very valuable commodity. The following information is compiled as to enable you to have the ability to successfully raise worms and harvest their castings. It is extensive as to account for most situations and interest levels. If this compilation is helpful to you, please support those in the credits directly. Worm castings are a rich source of plant growth hormones, humic and fulvic acids along with nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium (dependent on feed stock) with microbiology which enables ready to use nutrition for the plant and the soil web. Worm castings are rich in essential plant nutrients and many beneficial microorganisms in a fully stabilized organic soil amendment. Worm castings will not burn your plants and is excellent for starting seeds. PH is near neutral. Increases germination rates due to its growth hormones. Assist in reducing transplant shock. Plants grow strong roots and helps during periods of plant stress. Assist in raising the brix levels of the plants. Works to create healthy a soil web which can reduce plant pest. General Worm information geobeats - 10 Little Known Facts About Earthworms Worms bins and castings do not have a foul odor, smells like a forest soil. Worms can be kept indoors year round. Utilize kitchen scraps and garden waste. Feed regularly at around one half pound of food scraps per pound of worms per day. Do earthworms have eyes? No, instead they have receptor cells that are sensitive to light and touch. These cells allow earthworms to detect different intensities of light and to feel vibrations. They will move away from light, if they can. If earthworms are exposed to light for too long (about an hour), they will become paralyzed and die when their skin dries out. This is often the reason after a rain you can find dead worms on the sidewalk, bad timing with the morning light. Can earthworms smell? They do not smell like we do but earthworms have chemo-receptors in the anterior region that react to chemicals. This is how they can detect food and other environmental aspects. How do earthworms breathe? They do not have lungs; instead, they breathe through their skin. Their skin needs to stay moist to allow the passage of dissolved oxygen into their bloodstream. They coat their skin with mucus and need to live in a humid, moist environment. If the environment is to wet the they cannot breath effectively or at all. This is why in part in worm bins to ensure drainage. If I cut an earthworm in half, will it regenerate into two earthworms? No. The half with the earthworm’s head can grow a new tail if the cut is after the segments containing vital organs. The other half of the earthworm cannot grow a new head or the other organs needed to sustain the earthworm. Which end is the head? The head is at the end closest to a swollen band encircling the earthworm. How do earthworms eat? They have tiny mouths and no teeth.. An earthworm will push its pharynx (throat) out, grab microorganisms and little bits of organic matter, and pull them into it’s mouth. The food is coated with saliva, pushed down the esophagus into the crop and on to the gizzard, where it is crushed and ground apart. Next, it moves into the intestine, where food is broken down more by digestive enzymes. Some of the food is passed into the bloodstream for use by the earthworm and the rest passes out the anus as castings (worm poop). This is why introduce "grit" to the worm bins as to help them eat and process the food internally. What is the swollen band near the head called and what is it for? It is called a clitellum and it contains eggs and sperm for reproduction. How do earthworms reproduce? Earthworms are hermaphrodites, so individuals have both female and male reproductive organs. They mate by joining their clitella and exchanging sperm. Each earthworm will form an egg capsule in its clitellum and pass it into the vermicompost 7 to 10 days later. The egg capsule is golden-brown colored and looks like a tiny lemon the size of a match head. Two to seven Eisenia fetida babies will hatch from an egg capsule in 30 to 75 days. Can you vermicompost in cold climates? Yes! However, to actively eat and reproduce, Eisenia fetida (red wigglers) needs their environment to be between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Worms Hatching. Dave - Worms hatching from eggs. 20 Day Time Lapse of Vermicomposting Gregor Skoberne - Worms At Work - 20 Days Time Lapse Of Vermicomposting Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 1 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 2 Vermiculture, Vermicompost &nbsp;& Worm Castings - Part 3 Vermiculture, Vermicompost & Worm Castings - Part 4
  9. Nails or screws are fine. I like screws for better stability over time. The boxes get bumped and moved and with cheap nails can become flimsy but this is not an issue if box is not in danger of falling apart, I speak more out of caution than practical issue that I have seen. Remember to leave a bit of a gap on the bottom as to help facilitate easier microbe movement to the rice food source but they can travel through the wood no problem anyways. I speak on that due to Chris Trumps advice. I have no gaps in the ones I had and worked as it should! Making the box is a neat thing as it makes it more personal and feels more you did this than if bought. Bravo!!!!
  10. Natural farming section Indoor gardening environment Biochar Compost extract & Compost teas Vermiculture & Vermicompost, worm castings Soil recipe Soil Microlife Compost Extract and Compost Tea Compost extract and compost tea is a method of inputting nutrients and microbiology to your soils or growing media of choice. Compost extract and compost tea is a tool that enables the gardener to assist the plants development with more accuracy and support as the grow season and plant further develops. Compost extract works to maintain your soils and is dependent on the quality and condition of your living soil. Compost tea is best used for foliar applications and in the soil. Things to consider are the environment, the period of plant growth, soil condition and your plants condition. By understanding this and how to tailor your compost extracts and teas to address and support these aspects you can take a leading role in working towards a great harvest! In order to do that, we need to understand the soil food web and how that applies to compost tea and extract usage. The following video is excellent on explaining the soil food web, compost making, making humic acid (than can be used immediately and how it helps to lock up chlorine and chloramine), making compost extract and compost tea. This information is vital in understanding how to make effective high quality compost extracts and teas. Elaine Ingham Soil Food Web Compost and Compost Tea Lonnie Gamble - Elaine Ingham Soil Food Web Compost and Compost Tea Their are many ways to create a compost tea with some being aerobic and some being anaerobic but they both can lead to the same end. What is more important than the method (as long as the method is effective) of making extracts or tea is the quality and type of the compost and ingredients. Additionally with using the right compost and ingredients for the time period and the state of your garden plants. The quality and effectiveness largely dependent upon the microbiology and catalyst ingredients combining to create a garden tea that optimizes and/or supports your plants life cycle and to help maintain vigor during times of stress by strengthening your living soil with inputs of beneficial bacteria and fungus. For some, compost extracts and teas work and for others it does not. This is a factor more so when the type of extract or tea is made with ineffective methods and/or the soil does not work effectively together. Just making a tea and applying it to the plants does not equate to effectiveness. We need to ensure the biology in the tea is correct for your situation such as plant stage and that the soil biology needs are infused with the right biology that will strengthen your soil. Compost extract and tea is a management tool and not something that should be used only in emergency situations and/or only during times of stress. I view managing compost teas very similar to natural farming inputs. It should be regularly used as a maintenance to reinforce the soil biology matching the life cycle of the plant and in this way I have seen great success with compost extracts and teas. Their are many types of compost teas one can purchase commercially and the options are almost unlimited in what a gardener can craft at home. Determining if it is better to select a ready to use compost tea or to make your own can be a difficult endeavor depending on ones knowledge and skill as a gardener and in understanding the applicable microbiology. This question can be complicated with that perspective. While making the tea is simplistic, making effective teas is potentially an entire different thing. The following video will help address some aspects of commercial compost tea products compared to making your own. The answer on what is the best option for you depends on you. This is not about making your own garden teas or buying ready to make garden teas. It is about working to instill enough information and knowledge to help you determine what is best for your situation. We advocate what is effective for you and thus we are fans of quality commercially ready to make compost teas and fans of making your own. Our concern is the living soils and the plants and helping gardeners gain knowledge and not be reactive to marketing information. Their are fantastic and effective compost teas you can purchase and you can also make fantastic effective gardening teas with your own ingredients but in reality many gardeners do not have the quality ingredients to brew an effective tea. Think quality in and quality out kind of thing. The following video is not placed as an advertisement as it is for the information and knowledge that is discussed. It just happens to be from Josh Cunnings from boogie brew - http://www.boogiebrew.net/open-source-compost-tea/ We are appreciative for his videos. ~JJ the Gardener. Why Compost Tea is NOT Created Equal & How to Make the Best Compost Tea Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens - Why Compost Tea is NOT Created Equal & How to Make the Best Compost Tea Determining what kind of compost tea you need is the first step such as more bacterial, fungal or a blend. This is will largely be determined by the type of plants you are growing and the current state of the plants and soil. In later compilations we will discuss making composts to enhance various microbiology that will help you better make your own quality compost varieties as to enable you to construct your garden teas to better meet your specific needs. Green compost component - leaves and green parts of the plants while still green. Brown compost component - plants after seed production and nutrition is located more in the roots. Woody compost component. Elaine Ingham on Compost Ingredients Elaine Ingham on Compost Ingredients Farming Secrets To make your own compost teas we recommend that you have access to quality ingredients such as: rich compost (forest, sea/ocean-for chitin and mushroom compost combined are best practice), rich worm castings, rich soils, fish hydrolysate (unheated or its useless), kelp, humic acids (best made from your own compost and not from leonardite) a bit of sea water 1:30 dilution/mineralized-fermented water, a bit pinch to 1/4 cup of rock dust, a pinch of biochar, a pinch of yeast, protein powder can also be added. Elaine Ingham on Mollases in your Compost Tea? How to make Fungal Composts ThePermacultureStudent - Elaine Ingham on Mollases in your Compost Tea? How to make Fungal Composts We will discuss various garden teas recipes further below and explain the reasoning. While it is common for people to obtain these ingredients they often do not have them all in an effective quality. Then their is the method of brewing the tea. About brewing compost teas Many gardeners who make their own compost teas often make errors in the brewing. This is largely due to improper to negligent cleaning of the brewing equipment that leads to pathogens and thus problems. Using sugars and molasses are not generally recommended as they work towards bacterial growth. The common air-stone and 5 gallon containers method is often a culprit. We have no problem with the 5 gallon and air stone method but in its maintenance specifically in cleaning aspects that can lead to problems. Sometimes when people get sick from eating produce from organic farms this is a potential factor. We have seen many garden teas made by a variety of methods work well but these have a higher margin of error for the ordinary gardener when not maintained correctly. Dangers of making compost tea Back 2 Organics - Why Brewing Compost Tea is Dangerous The following video is the follow video from above and illustrates a recipe that is considered more safe in regards to e-coli and similar pathogens. Any method can be utilized similarly by not adding sugar/molasses. The Simplest and Easiest compost tea Back 2 Organics - The Simplest and Easiest compost tea Garden tea can be made by steeping compost/ingredients and daily stirring in clock wise direction making a vortex and making teas with aeration from air pumps with constant mixing. Both methods are viable but both require proper management and care to ensure proper quality. Stirred Compost Tea vs Pump Bubbled Compost Tea! With Results! Work With Nature - Stirred Compost Tea vs Pump Bubbled Compost Tea! With Results! While many utilize the air stone in a bucket method safely we advocate a more effective process of instilling higher oxygen and mixing which intern leads to higher populations of microbiology by making a higher populated AACT or activated aerated compost tea. We are not saying the air-stone in a bucket or even just manually stirring each day will not make a good garden tea but we are speaking on aspects regarding them in regards to the common gardener so that they may be accounted for. We are for whatever brewer or method you use as it is the knowledge we hope to instill as to assist you making effective garden teas. The following videos illustrates tea brewers people can make themselves with great amounts of information on the subject of Compost extracts and teas. Dr. Elaine Ingham discusses and illustrates making compost tea with various compost brewer sizes. Paul Taylor Larger Homemade Brewer Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens - Best DIY Compost Tea Brewer made with a Garbage Can & PVC Pipe Compost recipe and process Compost tea for 5 gallon bucket with store bought or your own made ingredients with lots of even aeration from bottom. Humic acid - 1 drop per gallon, 1 tsp is ok. (breaks down chloramine), Liquid kelp (fungus and some bacterial growth), 2 tsp Humic acid again to feed fungi, 1/4 cup Unsulphured Molasses. (use little 1/4 to 1/2 tsp) This is to help start the bacteria growth but not overwhelm it. Too fast bacterial growth will utilize the food source for fungal growth that comes a bit later in the process. Film on the sides of the brewer indicate dead biology. Next time reduce sugar input Check your brewing times and adjust accordingly. Compost in a tea bag/panty hose, 1/2 pound. Hang compost in the middle of the container. the color of the water should change quickly. This is humic acids and biology going into the tea. 8 hours later Remove tea bag from brewer. A majority of the microbes will have been released into the water. Remove compost from the bag and place it back into the compost pile you took it from. Resume brewing for 12 to 16 hours Total of 24 hours since starting the brew. Brewing for 24 hours favors more bacterial and longer such as 36 to 48 hours brewing favors more fungal life. Adjust per your needs. Turn off aerator and rinse and clean. Very important to rinse and clean to prevent future negative issues in following brews. collect the compost tea. Apply immediately. Soil and leaf surfaces. Immediately thoroughly clean everything. Compost Extract Compost extract for 5 gallon bucket, no food is added. The biology is not active and thus not viable for foliar uses but is good for soil use. 4 gallons of water. 4 drops of homemade humic acid per gallon of water to manage chlorine and chloramine. (1 drop per gallon, a little extra is ok) Do not use humic acids from leanardite or coal based as these are not usable to the microbiology or your plants due to its form being not usable for about 6 plus months. Place compost in tea bag, panty hose, paint strainer. Then massage the compost tea bag in the water for 1 minute. The water will turn brown in color. After one minute you are done. Return the compost back to the compost bin. The used compost will again be colonized by microbiology and its humic and fulvic acids will be replenished in time. use the compost extract immediately for in soil use only. The microbiology is not active so it is not sticky and is not beneficial as a foliar input. Advanced Information Living Web Farms Living Web Farms Innovative Farmers - Dr. Elaine Ingham Compost Tea Audio Chris Trump - FAA and Fermented Compost #Christrump #soilsmith #naturalfarming Korean Natural Farming How to: FAA Summary You should now have an understanding about compost qualities and the differences of the types of composting materials. An understanding of how to make and the uses of compost extract and compost teas and how to make and safely utilize them. In this you should have an effective base in which to better manage your garden utilizing compost extracts and compost teas. In following compilations we will discuss how to better shape your compost teas as to better address the life cycle of the plants such as vegetative, transition and flowering phases of plant growth. For you! Credits gvozdi7 - Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws Lonnie Gamble Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens ThePermacultureStudent Back 2 Organics Ong Th Work With Nature Innovative Farmers Dr. Elaine Ingham http://www.boogiebrew.net The School of Life Links: Natural farming section Indoor gardening environment Biochar Compost extract & Compost teas Vermiculture & Vermicompost, worm castings Soil recipe Soil Microlife ~A proud Cultural Healing and Life Compilation
  11. Natural farming section Indoor gardening environment Biochar Compost extract & Compost teas Vermiculture & Vermicompost, worm castings Soil recipe Soil Microlife Below you find a significant library of information. It is very extensive but if you have a need to truly understand biochar. I highly recommend spending the time to get to know the information in these videos and presentations. The knowledge is extensive and rarely found in such a compilation as this. As always, if you feel a need to support, support the video makers directly. We hope it helps you!! ~Cultural Healing and Life. Biochar Biochar is a carbon rich product made from any organic substance by thermal decomposition without oxygen. Ok, its a type of charcoal that will work to stabilize soil conditions and when the soil environment is healthy and soil thrives for a long period of time the biochar plays a role in increasing soil productivity by promoting positive living conditions and soil environment for beneficial soil microbiology. Biochar is mainly utilized as a soil amendment, in waste management, energy generation and in sequestering carbon. In gardening biochar is used as a soil amendment that becomes homes homes for microorganism. Biochar is most effective in tropical areas due to leaching aspects of rain and runoff. Biochar is also beneficial in temperate areas but its benefits are more noticeable in the tropical regions or where monsoons are a factor. Biochar increases soil moisture and germination rates when at the 1 and 2% rate. It can be made by a variety of methods but it is typically made from a waste products such as the manufacture of biofuels. However, Bamboo and hardwoods that are waste products are typically used in making a gardening biochar. Depending on your soils and farming needs a combination of high ash biochar from manure and bone mixed with hardwood or bamboo biochar can be a consideration. Biochar made from manures and bones, are mainly composed of ashes “high mineral ash biochars,” and thus can effect crops differently than hardwood biochar. High ash type of biochars will be a short-lived benefit as they contain less carbon compared to say bamboo and hardwoods. Understanding the effect of the type of biochar (such as in high ash biochar or hardwood biochar) with alkaline soils to determine if biochar can impact PH as to ensure the biochar does not increase the PH to levels to cause micro-nutrient lockouts however this is not typically an issue with healthy soils as they will tend to be more PH stable. Essentially utilizing hardwood and bamboo biochar will have less impact in PH than high ash biochar made from manure and bone. Depending on soil situations a mix of biochar types could be better than one or the other alone. Methods for making biochar vary from traditional pits in the ground, utilization of various barrel techniques and on large industrial scales. Basically to make biochar the idea is to remove all the volatile or "fuels" in the organic substance and leave just the carbon. This is then inoculated, often with a nitrogen source and then pulverized into a powder. One once of biochar has the surface area of approximately an American football field. This is wonderful news to microbiology. International Biochar Initiative - Guidelines on Practical Aspects of Biochar Application to Field Soil in Various Soil Management Systems This video is excellent in understanding about biochar USU Extension Forestry - Biochar Basics Biochar Creation Methods Below we illustrate various types of biochar creation and some advanced information for those who would like more information than the basics. Biochar can be simply made in a pit, with a top lite up draft, bottom fed barrel systems and kiln systems at the farm or garden location. We will spend more time on pit biochar and tlud barrel systems and tlud kiln systems that can be easily constructed on site and is mobile. Biochar can also be made in large industrial systems and larger stationary type of ovens. Mostly in this compilation we will discuss what small farmers and gardeners can create for themselves. Traditional Pit Biochar Toon & Leigh porpeang farm Thailand Barrel System Top Lid Up Draft or TLUD Barrel System This system uses a chimney effect and the main heat for making the biochar comes from gas contained naturally in the wood. By design the gas comes from the bottom of the inner barrel and and is ignited in the outer barrel causing the necessary heat at a good temperature to make the biochar. How to make biochar reactor - TLUD barrel THEGREENCABBY - How to make biochar reactor - TLUD barrel Another construction video Guy Langlois - Building a Biochar Reactor Small Farm Production AnnMAugustine - Making Biochar For Small Farms Making Biochar and Charcoal with the TLUD Brick Chimney Kiln O.J. Romo - Making Biochar and Charcoal with the Brick Chimney Kiln Small home garden kiln brianzaro - TLUD stove for biochar Quality of testing created biochar Quality of biochar varies due to several factors, the material used and how well the tars and resins are removed (mobile matter) that can be toxic to plants. Their are a few ways to evaluate the quality of your biochars and should be done on home made biochar before use. Appearance and sound Black and look almost like black glass. Biochar should almost make a clinking noise when rubbing between each other. The soap test Wash hands, well made biochar will wash off easily with just water. If mobile matter is present then you will need to use soap to wash your hands clean. This mobile matter is from tars and resins that have not cooked off. Germination test. (it is not necessary to inoculate biochar for the germination test.) Germinate seeds in a germinating soil with and without biochar. Mix a bit of biochar with your germinating soil. Use only normal germinating soil. If biochar mix does not germinate it is a problem. Worm test. Do worms avoid the biochar areas? If worms avoid the biochar it is not good. If worms like it, all is well! Biochar water retention test Fill water glass 3/4 full of water Fill water glass 3/4 full of biochar Pour water glass into the biochar glass. The water should not overflow and be the same level as the water. Inoculating or priming biochar Inoculating or priming biochar is necessary as to prevent the biochar for initially drawing nutrients into the char from the soil, this drawing effect will prevent the plants gaining access to those nutrients and can cause initial nutritional deficiencies for your plants. Inoculate by making a liquid nitrogen source from compost/garden/compost teas, FAA and/or liquid IMO. You can tailor your inoculation to best suite your needs of the biochar. Additionally you can place fresh biochar in your compost piles and spread over your animal and chicken coup floors. Takes longer before inoculation but it will help with controlling smells. Liquid IMO - http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/48-inputs-section-12-imo-4-liquid-imo/&tab=comments#comment-100 FAA - http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/43-inputs-section-8-faa-fish-amino-acids/ FFJ - http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/42-inputs-section-7-ffj-fermented-fruit-juice/ Compost tea example - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDVP8QPXrk0 Ready made organic vegetative fertilizer can be used as well. Video on different inoculation methods THEGREENCABBY - Activate & Inoculate Biochar Applying Inoculated Biochar When applying biochar to soil for improving its fertility, the biochar should ideally be located near the soil’s surface in the root zone, where the bulk of nutrient cycling and uptake by plants takes place. Certain systems may benefit from the application of biochar in layers below the root zone, for example during landscaping for carbon sequestration or if using biochar for moisture management. When biochar is to be applied to soil solely for carbon sequestration purposes, placement deeper in the soil, for example in new landscaping or construction areas, would be desired since microbial activity that can degrade biochar carbon is reduced deeper in the soil profile. Biochar Bob - Biochar Bob 101: Episode 1 - How to Apply Biochar to a Garden Biochar workshop - A must watch series full of information Biochar Workshop Part 1, How to Make Biochar Living Web Farms - Biochar Workshop Part 1, How to Make Biochar Biochar Workshop Part 2, Why to Make Biochar Living Web Farms - Biochar Workshop Part 2, Why to Make Biochar Biochar Workshop Part 3, The carbon cycle Living Web Farms - Biochar Workshop Part 3, The carbon cycle Biochar Workshop Part 4, The biochar facility Living Web Farms - Biochar Workshop Part 4, The biochar facility Biochar Workshop Part 5, Biochar and the greenhouse Living Web Farms - Biochar Workshop Part 5, Biochar and the greenhouse What happens to carbon after applying biochar A study in biochar. NSW DPI Agriculture - What happens to carbon in the soil after biochar is applied? Test results using biochar ebsmsa - Field Test Biochar with Corn and Sunflowers (final) Test without inoculating char over time period of 3 years SkillCult - Leeks in Biochar Test Bed Much Larger and Greener BONUS SECTION Biochar and Hugelkultur in a food forest The Natural Farmer - John Kaisner The Natural Farmer - Tropics - #15 Food Forest with Biochar Hugelkultur Biochar and Charcoal differences There is a difference in how biochar and regular charcoal is made. Biochar is made for use in agriculture. It is specifically pyrolized or charred to support the improvement of soil. Charcoal can have additive binders and/or tars and resins that are not agriculturally compatible as the charcoal product is going to be optimized for its energy value Biochar is considered sustainable due to utilization of waste resources and the carbon sequestering aspects but charcoal will release into the air instead of being stored in the soils. In addition Charcoal production is classically an unsustainable trade, and one of the biggest drivers of deforestation, particularly in developing country contexts. Commercial charcoal products, as I mentioned before, are often petroleum-based—another unsustainable, unrenewable resource. Carbon storage is different between charring and burning. Burning is a combustion reaction of combustible material in the presence of air (nitrogen and oxygen), but charring is a degradation of material due to heating in absence of oxygen. The products from burning and charring are also different. The burning of plant matter produces carbon dioxide and water; whereas, charring produces a complex form of carbon and low molecular weight compounds (smoke). Burning charcoal returns carbon, as part of carbon dioxide (27%) gas to the atmosphere, however, charring returns carbon to the land as a solid, char. Biochar and Activated Carbon differences Biochar is a precursor to activated carbon. Activated carbon has a heavy carbon footprint and is expensive to make and utilized chemicals. For information please visit this link: http://fingerlakesbiochar.com/biochar-vs-activated-carbon/ The following video is listed as to illustrate activated carbon creation. How to make survival activated charcoal PHOENIX SURVIVAL - Survival Activated Charcoal Made Naturally Summary Biochar is just simple carbon with great potential benefit when utilized correctly. When it is not it may not be the benefit, at least initially that many have made it out to be. The commercialism of biochar has sort of made biochar appear like a super hero amendment but biochar works best for improving poor soils and maintaining soil environments over long periods of time with proper management and technique. Due to that aspect we have created this compilation as to better impart realistic information and knowledge regarding biochar. We hope that this work helps you, your soils, your plants and the environment. A song for you! Credits - Please support these below directly. OMC VIDEOS - Old Man Canyon - Wiser http://www.biochar-international.org USU Extension Forestry Climate State THEGREENCABBY SkillCult Living Web Farms Guy Langlois O.J. Romo AnnMAugustine PHOENIX SURVIVAL Toon & Leigh porpeang farm Thailand The Natural Farmer Scott Laskowski Ultra Compost brianzaro ebsmsa NSW DPI Agriculture Biochar Bob Swedish House Mafia - Save The World The School of Life Links: Natural farming section Indoor gardening environment Biochar Compost extract & Compost teas Vermiculture & Vermicompost, worm castings Soil recipe Soil Microlife ~ A Proud Cultural Healing and Life Compilation
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