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What a neat presentation! I teach fifth grade and it seems a bit over my students heads but i may try and use this in my class this year. We already spend time in the school garden but this has great potential for scientific investigation. Maybe you could do a you-tube video of how to make "The Bullet" so i could make my own.



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Hi Luke

Nice animations and voice :thumbsu:



cool "brand name"  as well IMO, The Silver Bullet , :rock:




Edit; are you still runing your winter trout system ? http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/8201-my-winter-trout-system/

Edited by ande (see edit history)

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I found this article as a link http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/20/patrick-holden-peoples-image-of-farming-is-a-complete-fantasy ,  reading the article in Gary's  post  http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/9507-micro-dairies/ 

It's a good read  IMO and, I felt it "bellonged " here in the growing soil thread.


xcerpt : " He astounded conventional farmers when – on his way out at the Soil Association – he more or less apologised for an ‘us’ and ‘them’ system of food production. “Perhaps we have upset the conventional farming community by continually saying we were right and they were wrong,†Holden said at the Wales Organic Producers’ Conference in October 2010. “We should not be out there thinking and talking of ourselves as organic farmers, because that separates us from the rest of the farming community.†He rightly gauged there was an appetite among the nation’s farmers for a less draconian yet sustainable approach, and promptly set up the Sustainable Food Trust. "



Edited by ande (see edit history)

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Well, at long last i think I have found some evidence of water storage in the soil. It has been over 3 months since I had 50 mm of rain over 3 days (start of November). I was poking the ground in one of my trial fields with a tensiometer, which is just a fancy name for a pointed rod with handles. I built the damn thing more than thirty years ago and have never found water in the soil profile with it.







I am quite excited about this. the left side of the hole is dug right to the clay layer, that is about 60 cm and it is wet all the way down, the right hand side is 12 cm deep and dry. There is some really nice colour to the sand below the grasses root zone and the line between the two areas is very clear. something has lived in it and darkened the soil. Normally it is a pale orange to blonde yellow.


If I can germinate something in September or October and fluke a summer rain there is a good chance I would get a green cover on soil that is holding water like this through the summer.



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I had a good day last month, a lightbulb finally sputtered into life in my brain, blinked a few times AND STAYED ON.


the result

I FINALLY understand this picture


photo: Christine Jones



crappy explanation with photo:yahoo2


It finally hit me that NOTHING that we do on the surface moves anywhere.

it does not build soil by layering up, nor does it get drawn down into the profile by some miracle.

the black stuff under about 20cm is formed there by processes that are NOT decomposition.

the work I do at the surface will literally burn away in five years if it is not constantly replenished.


why does this help?

because I can now see that compost or mulch or seaweed extract tea (probably 98% of the gardening techniques we use) are focused on mineral nutrients and decomposition. It is extremely important to a healthy soil, but it wont last, it is consumed and burns off as CO2


Deeper carbon stored as humus is totally reliant on maximizing photosynthesis, diverse plant mixes, creating an environment where plants will invite arbuscular mycorrhizal fungii to grow on/in them right from a seedling and making plants cycle (so they generate new root growth, In other words not keeping a plant trimmed constantly short OR letting it sit old rank and stagnant).


I realise that this will make almost no sense to most of you, to be honest I'm not sure I care. I am just putting it out there in case it helps somebody like me.

its like I was at home with a cold the day they covered this in school and it is not in the text book I got.


I have been staring at that photo on my office wall for more than 2 years, reading research, listening to detailed  explanations about exudates, symbiosis, looking at soils that look like black cottage cheese, listening to explanations of cover crops or perennial pastures, short something something high impact grazing techniques. blah blah blah

and it didn't help one bit.


FINALLY I can move on!

Edited by yahoo2 (see edit history)

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Hi all,


in the attached pic (hope it's there), on the left, is lignocellulose biomass. in the middle is 95% pure BioCarbon (Biochar) derived from the biomass using my gasification process. On the right what feels and looks like stones is actually residual after i process the BioCarbon through another updraft gasification process in order to produce Hydrogen gas to run a combustion motor/generator.

The "residual" is actually Magnesium, Boron, Iron, Zinc etc etc the elements that the plant acquires from the soil; stores and then we consume and derive health from. I believe these elements are critical to our nutrition and why i have always promoted Aquaculture to feed the soil (Terraquaponics) as a pose to directly applying nutrient to the root system.


much regards   


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I guess it is time for a before and after pic

this was taken in late May 2008. I planted fruit trees in 2005 and cared for them "by the book"

so that is 3 years of tender lovin care





this photo was taken 5 meters to the right of the last one, where I have been experimenting (nectarine tree is visible in both photos) Taken last week (April 2016) after after 3.5 years of letting stuff grow tall and then chopping it, cutting back watering to 3-4 times only in the dry summer, watering into mulch hay and generally doing stuff all. (some foliar zinc manganese magnesium and iron used in summer).

To be fair, for a year and a half I thought I was wasting my time. It had gone from looking sick to looking weed infested and sick.





the weather and rainfall are almost identical leading up to the two photo's. the neighbours field in the background is about to be sprayed with chemical and the dry grass is rotting down very quickly on the roadside. I reckon in 4 weeks time the photos would be identical conditions, 8 years apart.

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