Gro-Well legal threats over toxic sewage sludge

A few minutes ago I received the Gro-Well response to my 8/23/10 request for comments regarding my post Toxic sewage sludge (biosolids) sold with garden soil by Gro-Well and Organic Gardening test gardener Leslie Doyle.
The pdf file:
8/31/10 DLA Piper LEGAL threats on behalf of Gro-Well
Recently I read EVERYTHING at the GroWell website and I didn’t find a single mention of sewage sludge or biosolids.  I also could NOT find any information about what is in their composts.
Apparently Gro-Well retained the law firm DLA Piper LLC and here is a choice excerpt from Allison L. Kierman’s legal threats:

.. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed and supported the use of biosolid compost and has found that compost-enriched soil can “suppress diseases and ward off pests,” and has many other benefits. …

They freely admit that the toxins in the sewage sludge “ward off” pests! Continue reading “Gro-Well legal threats over toxic sewage sludge”

Funny and read BEFORE you get chickens!

We've been talking about getting chickens, but it would cost several hundred dollars to build a cage to keep out the coyotes and bobcats.
Jose is vegan, I can eat only so many eggs and I'd never eat my pets.
And then there is that lack of bugs — chickens can't live off aphids, there are only so many scorpions and centipedes and there sure isn't much grass growing in the desert.   We'd have to feed them.
Grow maggots for the chickens?

So, You Want to Be an Urban Chicken Farmer? Read This First.

By Jim Schutze, Fri., Jul. 23 2010 @ 1:21PM

urban-chickens.jpg
You don't want to see the other images we had for this post.

It's weird. Today I have no appetite at all, and I am seriously considering never eating again, but I have been thinking about nothing but food all day and how we don't think enough about where our food comes from. I mean really comes from. Yesterday when I went home I had a big problem with my wife's maggotometer. Continue reading “Funny and read BEFORE you get chickens!”

California pepper trees – fencing

As it cooled down a little, we finally made some more progress with the barbed wire fence.  Haven't seen any cows in a while, but you never know when they'll come through again.
Now we're halfway up the lot on the South side:

We set the left post (an abandoned real estate sign post) in concrete and then decided to add the landscape post since we needed something to attach the come-along to stretch the wire, we needed a post to tie the California Pepper to and to stabilize the fence post.
The warped pole on top has been laying around for years – I knew it would come in handy one day.
Continue reading “California pepper trees – fencing”

Sewage sludge (biosolids) sold with garden soil by Gro-Well and Organic Gardening test gardener Leslie Doyle

A couple of months ago I had no idea what biosolids are.  We've been buying mulch by the yard at a local nursery and by the bag and I've never seen “biosolids” listed anywhere.  But of course I can't say that I looked for it.
Then Rhonda posted at the Las Vegas Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Let_It_Grow_LV/ that bio solids are sewage sludge after she discovered that “Tomato Lady” Leslie Doyle's special “ORGANIC” soil mix contains SEWAGE SLUDGE.

What is SEWAGE SLUDGE?
From SourceWatch, an EXCELLENT resource:

Sewage sludge is the growing and continuous mountain of hazardous waste produced daily by wastewater treatment plants. The sewage sludge industry has created a PR euphemism it uses in place of the words 'sewage sludge': biosolids. There is now a SourceWatch Portal on Toxic Sludge

Why is SEWAGE SLUDGE called BIOSOLIDS? Continue reading “Sewage sludge (biosolids) sold with garden soil by Gro-Well and Organic Gardening test gardener Leslie Doyle”

Dr. Len Horowitz framed in murder and worm castings are PESTICIDES in California

Two truly outrageous stories, but both may well be true.
Let's start with the news release about the WHO swine flu fraud, big pharma vaccine profits, conspiracy and MURDER.
I've heard Dr. Len Horowitz on various radio shows for quite a few years and he exposed the dangers of vaccines and was very anti-war.  I hope he's one of the GOOD guys.
Here's the news release:
Continue reading “Dr. Len Horowitz framed in murder and worm castings are PESTICIDES in California”

No more tilling: don't kill your earthworms, insects, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, …

I recently joined the organic gardening Yahoo group and one of the first posts highly recommended Teaming with Microbes.

I just finished the book this morning and it is truly FASCINATING stuff.
I've been seeing references to fungi, inoculation and compost teas and that it improves root and plant growth, but I had no idea why and how it works. Continue reading “No more tilling: don't kill your earthworms, insects, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, …”

Hugelkultur – utilizing brush debris and kitchen waste in garden beds

We already somewhat tried this when we built our three sisters bed in spring, putting brush we had to clear in the bottom of the bed.  However, we didn't think of adding out kitchen waste and a few other goodies to make it work.

The Art and Science of Making a Hugelkultur Bed – Transforming Woody Debris into a Garden Resource

— by Melissa Miles August 3, 2010


Wooden debris will decompose faster,
(and be transformed into a resource)
when hugelkultur techniques are
employed.

Used for centuries in Eastern Europe and Germany, hugelkultur (in German hugelkultur translates roughly as “mound culture”) is a gardening and farming technique whereby woody debris (fallen branches and/or logs) are used as a resource.
Often employed in permaculture systems, hugelkultur allows gardeners and farmers to mimic the nutrient cycling found in a natural woodland to realize several benefits. Woody debris (and other detritus) that falls to the forest floor can readily become sponge like, soaking up rainfall and releasing it slowly into the surrounding soil, thus making this moisture available to nearby plants.
Hugelkultur garden beds (and hugelkultur ditches and swales) using the same principle to:

  • Help retain moisture on site
  • Build soil fertility
  • Improve drainage
  • Use woody debris that is unsuitable for other use

Applicable on a variety of sites, hugelkultur is particularly well suited for areas that present a challenge to gardeners. Urban lots with compacted soils, areas with poor drainage, limited moisture, etc., can be significantly improved using a hugelkultur technique, as hugelkultur beds are, essentially, large, layered compost piles covered with a growing medium into which a garden is planted.
Creating a hugelkultur garden bed is a relatively simple process:

So now we'll try this again and we'll get started for NEXT year's planting.  We still have plenty more brush and kitchen waste.  Have to cover it so the animals won't get to it.

Companion plant chart with natural insect repellant tips

Very cool:

Companion Planting Guide

by Peter Dilley July 30, 2010


IDEP’s Companion Planting Guide
Click here for full PDF

Sometimes you end up wishing you had a resource at hand to make it easier to apply Permaculture principles. This was the case for myself when it came time to start thinking about beneficial groupings of plants and those groupings that do not go well together.
This is what I often find lacking with the current publications on offer from PRI and from those in the community. There is a lot of good knowledge locked up that could benefit so many of us in applying permaculture principles.
A simple A3 or A4 information sheet or booklet of a small number of pages is easy to mentally digest and take in and very handy to have as a reference, either printed out and hung up on the wall or on the computer when we sit down and start thinking about designing our gardens or food systems.

Very cool.  We'll be planting a lot more basil, especially in between mustard.  Aphids love mustard, but I've never seen one on a basil leaf.