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Old December 3, 2012   #61
Redbaron's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,481

Originally Posted by Alpinejs View Post
I should probably have added what the need for heating the hoophouses is.
I have 16 of my current most important tomato plants (for seed) in these
houses and in Feb., I will have about 1800 seedlings in there also, so a freeze
could be devestating, but if the trench concept does work, I don't need to
worry about power outages or timer failures, etc.
Seems to me then that you could use a hybrid system. Too many plants to risk trying a method you are not familiar with 100%.

A common theme in all the various traditional methods in to have the plants directly over the composting material. So maybe try it and still have your electrics there but on a thermostat. Then you can figure out how much a savings you really got?

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 December 5, 2012   #62
kilroyscarnival's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 590

If you have a Kindle, or Kindle free software for the iAd or PC, there is a free Kindle version of a book called Organic Gardener's Composting [Kindle Edition] by
Steve Solomon. I figured, what the heck, it is free, so checked it out. It rambles a bit and in other places it is way above my needs.

One interesting point he gets into is that if you have farm livestock, you have access not only to manure but to urine-soaked straw and earth, whose use is detailed. He summarizes in one part, however accurately I cannot attest, the research and work of Sir Albert Howard and his Indore Method. Which in itself might make the cost of zero worthwhile if you have ready access to animal wastes.

Just thought I would mention in case anyone is interested. It is my first year using Kindle (for the iPad) and I would say it has its pros and cons, but one of the pros is a fairly rich offering of free to low cost books, like Twain's The Gilded Age, and the fact that my library lends Kindle versions of books I can download from home. (They expire when due back.) The cons include some junk out there like the tomato growing books previously discussed for the Kindle.
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Old January 6, 2013   #63
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Alpine, Calif. in winter. Sandpoint Lake, Ont. Canada summers
Posts: 850

I have little in the way of leaf trees, but I have tons of tall bamboo which generates
more leaves than I could ever use. Question: Does anyone know if bamboo leaves make
for good compost? I learned the hard way that pine needles don't, but if bamboo leave do,
combining that with my new sources for horse and rabbit manure, I should have some great
'maters, huh?"
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