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Old May 20, 2015   #76
Cole_Robbie
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I am getting too much rain also, but with my big, high, no-till ridges covered in black plastic, the plants are handling it fine and growing well. Last year, I was losing plants in the too-wet areas. I built up those spots and have not lost any this year from stem/root rot.

Good luck with your plants.
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Old May 20, 2015   #77
Stvrob
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Tried to vote but cant unless you are a facebook member, sorry. This sounds awesome though.
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Old May 21, 2015   #78
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I too would love to vote, but don't 'do' Facebook - is there any other way to help?
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Old May 21, 2015   #79
Redbaron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salix View Post
I too would love to vote, but don't 'do' Facebook - is there any other way to help?
Well there are two parts of the project. One is straight up business. For that the grant will allow me the equipment to take a market garden to scale as a real moderate sized farm. Only so big a person can grow by hand labor. I have two very generous landowners donating the land, so I have that covered for now. I just need a few small appropriately sized equipment purchases to handle the scale.

But there is another more encompassing part of the project. That is proving the unique methodology can work in a variety of environments and regions. This is where you can help. This system is designed to regenerate soil health by using biomimicry of the grassland/savanna ecosystem and the symbiotic nature of species in that biome (the prime agricultural land), instead of inputs. That part of the project I can't do myself no matter how much equipment I buy. It takes people around the country and even around the world to try it and make their own adjustments according to their own unique circumstances. Then hopefully posting their results here.

Why is this important? Well there are several reasons. Top on the list is the atmosphere now contains 400ppm CO2 and rising, while simultaneously our soils worldwide are deteriorating rapidly. We absolutely MUST reverse this trend. That excess carbon in the atmosphere is critically needed in our soils to regenerate them. Quite literally, agriculture is the foundation of all civilization.

Quote:
"The first duty of the agriculturalist must always be to understand that he is part of nature and can not escape from his environment." - Sir Albert Howard
Most forms of agriculture require large inputs. Whether it is large inputs of manure and compost in organic or whether it is large inputs of chemical fertilizers in conventional, either way it requires large inputs and therefore not sustainable long term. Whereas most natural ecosystems do not require large inputs. They generate their own resources needed. So at some point we have to change our agricultural models to mimic that capability, while still keeping yields high.

How long do we have? Well I can't say for certain, but here is some other scientists' projections from an article in Scientific America: Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues
Quote:
Unless new approaches are adopted, the global amount of arable and productive land per person in 2050 will be only a quarter of the level in 1960, the FAO reported, due to growing populations and soil degradation.

Soils play a key role in absorbing carbon and filtering water, the FAO reported. Soil destruction creates a vicious cycle, in which less carbon is stored, the world gets hotter, and the land is further degraded.
My project is just one of many new approaches that are attempting to reverse that viscous cycle. In earlier years and posts I referenced Allan Savory and Joel Salatin and what they have done in animal husbandry to make it reverse that trend. I also referenced Gabe Brown and Colin Seis and what they have contributed to grain and commodity crop production. There is another big breakthrough in rice production you can see here: India's rice revolution. Bill Mollison and Sepp Holzer have made incredible strides in permaculture food forests.

The remaining GAP missing is integrating vegetable production into these other sustainable and regenerative systems. That's where I am focusing my energy. The Red Baron Project is addressing vegetable production in a way that can be scaled either up or down to any size farm or garden. Can you imagine trying raised beds or container gardens on 1,000 acres? It simply won't scale commercially. This I think can. Remember guys, according to Scientific America we have approximately 50-60 years to get this done worldwide. So there is urgency. Already we can see how vulnerable our centralised food system has become. Look at the critical nature of California's drought. That drought effects most the fruit and vegetable production of the entire US! This can only get worse unless steps are taken to change agriculture to regenerative models that are less centralised.

PS Here is the link again for those who wish to help by voting. VOTE You do need to have a facebook account to confirm identity. Only allows one vote per person. This is there only to confirm identity and reduce cheating. No personal information is kept. If you don't have facebook yourself, maybe you know someone who does? Thanks in advance.
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Old May 21, 2015   #80
Cole_Robbie
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Can you imagine trying raised beds or container gardens on 1,000 acres? It simply won't scale commercially.

Well, if you widen the definition of raised bed to include a mound of earth, a very large area can be planted with a simple mulch-layer pulled behind a tractor. I've never seen 1,000 acres with drip and black plastic, but I have seen 100 or so planted at a time.

I know the word "plastic" doesn't sound very environmentally friendly, but I am finding black plastic mulch to make a tremendous difference. Earthworms love to be under it. I leave it down all year so the ground stays soft. It warms the area under it in the spring and winter, attracting more worms and speeding the decomposition of the rich soil underneath it.

The plastic itself is recyclable, but there is no collection center near me who will take it. It's the same with greenhouse plastic. It must not make the recycler any money to process it.

Last edited by Cole_Robbie; May 21, 2015 at 12:55 PM.
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Old May 21, 2015   #81
jmsieglaff
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+1. Great thread and project, I wish you all the best!
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Old May 21, 2015   #82
Redbaron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Can you imagine trying raised beds or container gardens on 1,000 acres? It simply won't scale commercially.

Well, if you widen the definition of raised bed to include a mound of earth, a very large area can be planted with a simple mulch-layer pulled behind a tractor. I've never seen 1,000 acres with drip and black plastic, but I have seen 100 or so planted at a time.

I know the word "plastic" doesn't sound very environmentally friendly, but I am finding black plastic mulch to make a tremendous difference. Earthworms love to be under it. I leave it down all year so the ground stays soft. It warms the area under it in the spring and winter, attracting more worms and speeding the decomposition of the rich soil underneath it.

The plastic itself is recyclable, but there is no collection center near me who will take it. It's the same with greenhouse plastic. It must not make the recycler any money to process it.
Yes Rob, That is something I noticed long ago. In fact, that observation has influenced me greatly. Paper and hay or woodchip mulch can be substituted for plastic where appropriate and recycled right in place by earthworms. It can be mechanised in much the same way the plastic mulch is rolled out on large acreage. It is a significant advancement even if you don't use recycled paper and grow your own mulch. Do that and inputs can be minimal.

I realise in some areas black plastic is still needed for the reasons you mentioned. This is where flexibility is important. A way that is extremely similar to my project can be seen here: Cover Crops Between Plastic from Vegetable Farmers and their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques
That vid can be thought of as a hybrid system, but it uses many of the same principles I am working on. I am less interested in dogma than in working solutions. If a person needs black plastic to accomplish the desired results, then I am 100% behind them.
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Old May 27, 2015   #83
Redbaron
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Time for another update:
Just got another row finished at the south field. Still pretty muddy but I really don't have much choice.
10 The Miracle BPF control
10 The Miracle BPF Bioensure treated
10 Rutger's det control
10 Rutger's det Bioensure treated
9 Celebrity myco treated by Dutch....Thanks Dutch!
8 Juliet also courtesy of Dutch!

Also the last two days I have finished 1/2 my bioensure trial rows here at the north plot
15 The Miracle BPF control
15 The Miracle BPF Bioensure treated
15 Rutger's det control
15 Rutger's det Bioensure treated

I also managed to replace a few of the California wonder peppers that died from the hail and floods.
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Scott

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"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
co-founder of permaculture

Last edited by Redbaron; May 28, 2015 at 11:31 AM.
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Old May 28, 2015   #84
Dutch
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Scott, it’s nice to see that you were able to save some of the plants I sent you. I didn’t send you any Jubilee. I did send a bunch of Juliet. The name was hand written on green masking tape on the end of a plug tray that I cut in half, so it may have been difficult to read or I may have misspelled it. I kept the other half of the Juliet’s here and are way more than I will need this year. They were part of an experiment and the seedlings were grown hydroponically in a DE/Perlite only mixture and watered every 42 hours on a timer. I hope the Juliet’s do well in the Oklahoma weather. They always do well up here in Wisconsin. Good luck!
Dutch
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Old May 28, 2015   #85
Redbaron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
Scott, it’s nice to see that you were able to save some of the plants I sent you. I didn’t send you any Jubilee. I did send a bunch of Juliet. The name was hand written on green masking tape on the end of a plug tray that I cut in half, so it may have been difficult to read or I may have misspelled it. I kept the other half of the Juliet’s here and are way more than I will need this year. They were part of an experiment and the seedlings were grown hydroponically in a DE/Perlite only mixture and watered every 42 hours on a timer. I hope the Juliet’s do well in the Oklahoma weather. They always do well up here in Wisconsin. Good luck!
Dutch
Thanks for the heads up. I changed it. Hopefully I can get a whole lot more in the ground soon. Last time I tried even my hand push mower sunk all 4 wheels in the ground and got stuck! Never saw a push mower get stuck before but this ground is SATURATED! What a mess! Even now it is still raining every day, but not as much as before. Instead of 6 inches or a foot in a day, I am getting an inch or two in a day.
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"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
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Old May 28, 2015   #86
Redbaron
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Time for another update:
Just got another row finished at the south field. getting sick of the rain and mud, but I really don't have much choice. This is all I can do in that field until it dries out.
10 The Miracle BPF control
10 The Miracle BPF Bioensure treated
10 Rutger's det control
10 Rutger's det Bioensure treated
9 Celebrity myco treated by Dutch....Thanks Dutch!
4 Brandy Boy & 4 Beefy Boy both also from Dutch, thanks again.

ETA That at least fulfills my obligation in that field for bioensure trials on California Wonder bell peppers, The Miracle BPF, and Rutgers det. + controls for each. They are in the ground. Now it is up to the weather how they do. Beyond my control. Good news is after a couple more days of rain we are supposed to get 4 days of at least partial sun. woo hoo!
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AKA The Redbaron

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
co-founder of permaculture

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Old May 29, 2015   #87
Redbaron
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Today I want to post a great video that addresses soil health. This really is the heart of the Red Baron Project. A great talk by one of the scientists that "discovered" glomalin.

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"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
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Old June 12, 2015   #88
Redbaron
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Greetings friends and fellow Tomatovillians,

It is crunch time! This is the last week of voting! I currently have 220 votes. I need 30 more votes in 7 days to get this organic permaculture project to the review stage. Once in review, I am hoping it will be obvious to the reviewers that permaculture is by far and away a much superior form of agriculture. Once the reviewers see that, then it will be up to me to convey how the grant will help me prove permaculture is scaleable too. I know this already has been proven for some production models like food forests, animal husbandry and pasture cropping small grains. I want to prove vegetable production in a permaculture model is scaleable as well. One small step in the conversion of agriculture to regenerative models of production worldwide.

So please, if you support what I am attempting, even if I make some inevitable mistakes along the way, Vote! It's free and easy! Just follow the link below. If you already voted, please ask a friend to vote!

Thanks very much for all your support.

VOTE
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Scott

AKA The Redbaron

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
co-founder of permaculture
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Old June 12, 2015   #89
Salsacharley
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It is well worth getting on Facebook one time to support Scott in this.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbaron View Post
Greetings friends and fellow Tomatovillians,

It is crunch time! This is the last week of voting! I currently have 220 votes. I need 30 more votes in 7 days to get this organic permaculture project to the review stage. Once in review, I am hoping it will be obvious to the reviewers that permaculture is by far and away a much superior form of agriculture. Once the reviewers see that, then it will be up to me to convey how the grant will help me prove permaculture is scaleable too. I know this already has been proven for some production models like food forests, animal husbandry and pasture cropping small grains. I want to prove vegetable production in a permaculture model is scaleable as well. One small step in the conversion of agriculture to regenerative models of production worldwide.

So please, if you support what I am attempting, even if I make some inevitable mistakes along the way, Vote! It's free and easy! Just follow the link below. If you already voted, please ask a friend to vote!

Thanks very much for all your support.

VOTE
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Old June 13, 2015   #90
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Hit up fb again, to drum up support. Some of my peeps have similar interests, may have helped who knows.

Either way, looks like congrats are in order. One vote away!

Looking forward to watching this study grow.

-Jimmy
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