Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Progress

Finished first rough draft of chapter one, "A growth event" of the book about how composting is going to save the world.  It's a pretty good book so far.  It's called, "FutureHope" for now.  I'm still not %100 sure about the book title, but it's good enough for now.  Actually, the first chapter was written all at once and I've just been editing and re-working it, over and over, until at some point, it will be more like a real first chapter of a meaningful and important literary work.

I'm pretty excited about this project.  The table of contents is up as well, although I keep coming up with better chapter titles.  For instance, I'm considering adding a chapter about medical waste and how it will change in order to become more sustainable, and the title for that proposed chapter would be, "healthy people are good for the environment", or maybe, "healthiness is good for our planet".  Something like that.

Essentially, I would really like to have a solid chapter and a clear table of contents before I approach any publishers about actually getting published.  That includes crowd-funding sources.  There are so many!

bokashi composting

Once the idea is clear and some of the writing is completed, it would be good to get some funding to support the research that must be completed in order to fill in the spaces in the subject matter and to develop some graphics and stuff.

Other stuff to do:
  • Fix truck
  • Complete crowd sourcing information
  • Make/find letter for publishers
  • Print/reread chapter 1
  • Finish moving stuff in garage
  • Build new garden boxes
  • Clean compost buckets

It's not that composting is going to save the world, exactly.  I mean, there's so much work to do, but good composting technique is at the end of all the different channels, turning organic waste into an important agricultural product that builds soil and increases fertility and productivity.  Without composting, all that bio-waste has the possibility of becoming environmentally destructive instead of profitable and beneficial.

Completed bokashi compost
With composting, bio-degradable waste is just another beneficial input.  Paper products, food waste and even organic medical waste are all compost-able.  Outputs from gasification plants and from sewage digesters are also excellent inputs for industrial composting operations.

My composting processes are rapid and insect and odor free.  There may be some dispute about the philosophical facets of my composting beliefs, but my processes promote positive biological growth by controlling the bacterial and fungal populations in the sludge, and eventually, in the ground.  My output is capable of eradicating many bacterial and fungal problems in fruit orchards.  These statements are provable.

With funding, we would be able to obtain a property and some vehicles and other machinery so that we could begin collecting and processing food waste in this area.  Once the system is proven, it would be possible to begin consulting other similar operations around the country and around the world.

Back to growing plants for now.  My creative well just seems to have dried up.  I'll keep posting articles about the types of technology that I'm looking at  but I don't think a lot of progress is going to be made on the book.  It's just time consuming and I have to rewrite stuff a lot to make it clear and precise and remove any kind of writing that sounds like propaganda rather then a straightforward discussion of technology and how the natural progression of that technology is producing systems that are beneficial for the environment and how that natural progression is going to change many different facets of modern industry.

The book is written in my head, but I can't seem to get it out.  I write a little and then stop and then I re-read it and it sounds like garbage and I have to rewrite the entire thing and it lacks flow and read-ability or intellectual ergonomics or something.  The writing just seems bulky and non-fluid, rather then communicating the connectivity between so many seemingly unrelated technologies. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Low light Crops

These plants are excellent as a secondary crop, with the primary crop being something that provides shade and space in the rhizosphere.  Separating the roots of plants that do not 'live well' together is an excellent way to control fertilization of both.

santolina cuttings
This is all proprietary information.  Use at your own risk.

  • Jiaogulan - A wild mountain herb, jiaogulan thrives in mountain environments, under the canopy, where it uses trees and shrubs for structure, making dense clouds of biomass inside the forest.  Jiagulan is commonly cultivated inside screen buildings, where it is easily controlled and contained.
  • Goji - Originally a wild plant known as boxthorn, goji grows well in adverse environments and produces  protein in the form of nutritious leaves or berries.  The young shoots are a prized delicacy and packed with nutrition.
  • Malabar Spinach - A climbing vine that is not only nutritious, but also delcious, tasting like a crisp butter lettuce, but without the possibility of bolting.  In fact, it just keeps growing and producing the warmer it gets.  The tiny baby leaves make little purple hearts in your salads. 
  • Wormwood - Generally not considered edible, due to toxic compounds, wormwood has many excellent qualities and can produce a crop in places where water availability is low.  Check with your local agricultural office to ensure that it is considered safe in the area where you intend to cultivate it.
  • Fringed Sagebrush - A low growing shrub, with a soft appearance, Fringed Sagebrush is commonly used as a ground cover and appears as a silver carpet wherever it is cultivated.  Taller varieties produce tall plumes of fluffy silver foliage that sparkle in the morning dew.

The roots of wormwood deter the roots of competing plants and is considered invasive in North Dakota.  The other plants on this list have already naturalized in various parts of the US without significant consequence.

goji seedlings
 Dual crops is experimental business and any specific pairings should be tested prior to committing resources to large-scale production.


1001 All-natural secrets to a pest-free property

1001 All-natural secrets to a pest-free property is the name of a book, written by Dr. Myles H. Bader, about one of my favorite subjects, the death and otherwise non-presence of pests without the use of chemical pesticides.  Plant-based solutions tend to be more effective in many cases.  Growing your own is a great way to test and develop new products and to test for effectiveness of your solutions.

Research for one of these projects usually takes a year or so.  Overlapping projects is a great way to compound the learning from each.  For instance, learning new calculus or differential math terms is a great way to increase your ability to retain and utilize linguistic concepts.

low water requirement plants that are also insect repelling
fringed sagebrush
lumber trees
  • paulownia
  • balsa
  • ash
  • birch
  • poplar
 Other insect repelling plants

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

salinity waste mitigation project

Patents are issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  Duration is approximately 20 years.

Current project is a utility patent.  Project is a process for producing a useful, concrete and tangible result.  It definitely has utility.  I have never known it to be used in this way before, so that it may be novel.  It may also be non-obvious to someone who is knowledgeable in that field.

algae culture


A system of algae production is possible that reduces total sodium ion content by cultivating algae in waste water with added nutrients.  Added nutrients are generally beneficial to rhizosphere and increase value for irrigation.  Additional requirements may be a bacterial treatment to mitigate harmful compounds prior to cultivation.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Discussion of agriculture in third world countries

Over the last decade or so, chemical fertilizers are being used increasingly in third world countries.  This is a good thing in some ways and a negative thing in other, perhaps more important ways.

First of all, it is good that poorer, undereducated people are able to use modern technology to increase harvests and more food is a good thing.  Especially in these places where people are having trouble getting nutrition.  Nutrition is getting more and more difficult to produce for the growing populations, so it's a good thing that they're able to produce more food.

One negative consequence of this increase is that there is more chemical run-off of fertilized water from the fields, into waterways, which eventually reach the ocean.  Phosphorous, Nitrogen and Potassium, the major elements of chemical fertilizers, are important elements for healthy plant growth.  Unfortunately, when suspended in water, they are also useful for growing algae.  Algae in the ocean or in large bodies of water, reduce evaporation from those bodies of water.

If large portions of the ocean were to get covered over with algae, then our planet could become a desert planet.  I would expect the temperatures to continue rising, and for the atmosphere to dry out.  Less cloud cover means less light is reflected back out into space, so that the problem is self-compounding.  Many of the problems that are due to carbon debt behave similarly.  The problem causes other problems which exacerbate the problem even more.

My take on the problem is that we need educated people to get involved with managing these land resources.  If there is a limited quantity of arable land in the world, and it's getting more and more important to our growing population, then why is it being managed by the poorest, most uneducated people on the planet?  I have seen some efforts by Bill Gates and others to educate these people, but it seems like it's mostly geared towards getting them to use the fertilizers, rather then getting them to use sustainable farming techniques to grow more food without the negative impacts associated with modern fertilization techniques.

Modern Agriculture

Sustainability is all about cyclic systems.  New sustainable technologies are often simply adaptations of existing systems, except with a reorientation of outputs so that less energy (and therefore money) is wasted.  Previously, packaging may have been discarded after a single use, now it is simply used several times before being composted.  Admittedly, industrial composting is a system that needs to be implemented more, and I wish I knew how to help that to occur.

The system that I use at home is a two-step process that ferments anaerobically for two weeks first and then combines with pre-composted landscape wastes for a second two weeks of aerobic composting.  It produces beautiful black compost that is rich in nutrients and is excellent for increasing the productive capacity of any kind of soil and it is completely finished in less then 4 weeks.

Industrially, it would be possible to produce a viable finished product from any kind of food waste in less then a week.  Ideally, the holding time would be closer to 2 weeks to ensure that all free energy has been consumed by the bacteria before sending out the product to be distributed in the fields.  The product would then finish decomposing in the soil, naturally buffering the pH levels of the soil and increasing fertility for the cost of transporting the product to the soil.

One of the reasons that chemical fertilizer is used in agriculture is the cost of transportation.  A ton of cow manure, for example, is extremely cheap, and it's great for the soil, but it costs a lot of money to transport.  Food wastes could be used around any city to improve agricultural operations, using these processes, instead of filling up landfills with potentially dangerous biologically active materials.  I wish I could help to implement this technology.

Agricultural Lactic Acid Bacteria (ALAB), such as those researched by Dr. Teruo Higa, are capable of speeding up the breakdown of agricultural residues and any kind of food waste quickly and safely.  They also reduce common negative odors associated with agricultural activities, such as the sometimes raunchy odor of decomposing manure.  They are cheap to manufacture and are capable of helping us to increase the fertility of our soil while reducing the costs associated with fertilization.

Written By: Paul Sober