Terra Preta the All Natural way to amend your soil

I have found an ancient way to amend the soil without chemicals. The ancient Aztecs used charcoal and compost 2000 years ago to amend the poor soils of the Amazon. They called it Terra Preta. Many of these places are fertile to this day. It took scientist many years to figure out what was keeping the soil fertile and how the Aztecs did it. They found that the basic building block was charcoal. Charcoal the scaffolding for a community of beneficial microbes.

Charcoal is very porous and absorbs everything around it. The charcoal was mixed with nutrient rich waste. When these two ingredients were mixed, it created a lush environment for beneficial microbes. These living communities of microbes have continued to fertilize the soil for the past 2000 years. In fact, the farmers of the region sell up to 30% of their dirt for additional income. In 2 years, the dirt grows back.

What the farmers are doing is similar to sour dough bread or friendship bread. They know that if you keep using or dividing it, it will continue to live. But if you allow it to overgrow it will smother itself and die. The other farmers are using the Terra Preta they buy to start their own living dirt.

Today, we call it Biochar.  There are many homegrown and cottage industries popping up that can provide you with this organic fertilizing method. The problem is that since the biochar industry is just starting to get a foothold in the market, the cost is on the high side for the basic homeowner. However, there are some economical DIY ways to cut the expense.

 

You will need:

All Natural Charcoal – no chemicals added 

Face Mask – to keep the dust out of your lungs

Compost, worm casings, manure, fish fertilizer, and/or garden enzymes

Bucket

Water – Preferably from rain barrels

Pit for fermentation – optional

 

Procedure:

Since the charcoal is the foundation of this fertilizing method, it is very important to choose an all natural brand. Kingsford and other commercial charcoals contain all kinds of toxic chemicals and the bricks are rock hard and very hard to crush. All natural charcoal looks like the charred leftovers from a campfire.

Crush the charcoal into the smallest pieces you possibly can. USE A FACE MASK! The charcoal is really dusty and can get into your lungs.

I use a home chipper. I can crush a 20lb bag of charcoal in about 45 minutes. A hammer and lots of elbow grease will do the same job. I have also seen people use their cars (after they have broken up the large pieces!) and run over medium sized pieces to grind them even smaller.

Place the crushed charcoal into a bucket and cover with water. It is better to have water that does not have chlorine or other city water additives, but if that is all you have then it will do. Add whatever you have that is nutrient rich – compost, manure, worm casing, fish fertilizer, garden enzymes, or all of the above. The charcoal will soak up these nutrients and create a framework for the beneficial microbes to live.

Let this nasty soup sit for at least 2 weeks. OMG! It does smell very bad! So, don’t put this in a place where it will offend you or your neighbors.

After 2 weeks pour the nasty soup into a pile of regular dirt. You can pour it directly into your garden or as you can see above, I have used an old raised bed. I will use this as part of the soil mixture to repot my house plants. This will be where I “grow” my starter and give away portions to start other people’s Terra Preta projects.

For maximum fertilizing benefits, the soil mix needs to have 10% charcoal. However, great benefits can be realized with just 2-3% charcoal.

 

If you want to use Biochar on your lawn:

I highly recommend aerating your yard first. That way the charcoal can get down deep into the soil. The charcoal must be the smallest you can possibly make it. Then it is possible to use a garden spreader to distribute it on your lawn. Make sure to water it in with fish fertilizer using a hose end sprayer. This is what they look like.

Hose End Sprayer for Biochar

 

I plan to do this every year until the charcoal content reaches the 10% level. Then instead of chemical fertilizers I can just spray fish fertilizer and/or garden enzymes on my yard to keep it lush and green for the next 2000 years.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All Natural Home Remedy for Sprains, Strains, Swelling, and Bruises

Sprained Ankle w/ Ice pack

All Natural Home Remedy for Sprains, Strains, Swelling, and Bruises

Yesterday, I twisted my ankle. Normally, this would cause a great deal of discomfort and require 2-3 weeks recuperation.

However, a friend of mine introduced me to the Comfory Root Powder and Apple Cider Vinegar all natural home remedy when my daughter was in dance and pulled a tendon in her foot. We had spent 6 weeks doing physical therapy and pharmaceutical drugs with no evidence of healing. After using this treatment, my daughter was able to return to her dance competitions within 2 weeks.

I have heard that when this treatment is used on a non-errupted broken bone, the cast can be put on the next day. The doctor cannot cast a broken bone until the swelling goes down, which can take 2-3 days. The faster the cast can be put on, the faster the healing process can start.

I have also heard that it really helps with the bruising after an auto accident. Bruises go from deep purple to yellow in one treatment. Then, are pretty well gone by the second or third treatment.

The secret is that both Comfory Root Powder and Apple Cider Vinegar are know to reduce the excessive swelling. This allows the blood to get needed nutrients to the wounded area.

Do Not put this on broken skin or an open wound!

Do Not put this on your face near your eyes! 

  • Always begin with ice and elevation as soon as you can after the injury.
  • Best time to apply this poultice is at night before bed.
  • It should stay on for 8-12 hours per treatment.
  • The acidity of the vinegar can cause skin irritation so,
  • Treat every other day until the swelling goes away or the bruises disappear.
  • Continue Ice, elevation and use compression or brace throughout the day.
  • Check with a medical professional to determine if you can take Turmeric and/or Bromelain – because these are natural anti-inflammatories.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp     Comfory Root Powder

3-5 Tbsp  Apple Cider Vinegar

1             Damp Wash Cloth (This stuff stains – so do not use the fancy guest ones!)

Plastic Cling Wrap

Sock, Mitten, Ace Bandage, or Brace

Directions

Mix the Comfory Root Powder with the Apple Cider Vinegar in a small bowl. It should be the consistency of a thick oatmeal type paste.

Spread the mixture on the damp wash cloth. Wrap the wash cloth paste side down on the bruised or strained area.

Then wrap the wash cloth with Plastic Cling Wrap. This will keep the poultice damp and keep the icky goop from dripping out and staining clothes and bed linens during the night. Then top this whole contraption with a sock, mitten, ace bandage or brace.

Removal

Removal of the poultice is messy. So, I recommend standing in the shower or sitting on the edge of the bathtub when removing the poultice. Then you can rinse the skin and all the goop can be easily washed down the drain.

I am totally hooked on this treatment! I have given this recipe to everyone I know who has experienced a silly accident like I did or a sprain or strain style sports injury.

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Bolivia Gives Legal Rights to the Earth

Bolivian Forest

 

Bolivia Gives Legal Rights to the Earth

I have been waiting for the ultimate forward thinking project to begin my blog posts. Here is the most recent and the one that will bring the hugest impact for the coming future.

Bolivia Gives Legal Rights to the Earth!

Imagine what our world would be like if there was someone always sticking up for Mother Earth. The whole thought process of how every person, group, and company operates would drastically change! When the strategy for future projects must include the impact on Mother Earth, there would never again be environmental catastrophes like oil spills, toxic products would not even be offered in the market place, environmentally sound innovations would be catapulted into production.

http://earthweareone.com/bolivia-gives-legal-rights-to-the-earth/

This legislation would be the umbrella under which innovations like :

Solar Roads – http://solarroadways.com

Renewable Energy Sources

Biochar – Terra Preta

Organic Farming

Saving Cultural and Ethnic Life  – Unesco – www.unesco.org

 

In the past, no one was required to include the earth or environment in their business models. As long as the share holders got money, the long term environmental consequences of purposely of accidentally dumping toxic waste were not figured into the equation.

 

There was no legal authority for anyone to sue on the side of the rights of the earth. Since the earth was not considered a legal entity, then no one was being harmed by the profiteering of those who did not take responsibility for the long term effects of their actions.

 

I urge everyone to forward and spread this way of thinking. When we consider our earth to be a living being worthy of legal personhood, then and only then will humanity begin to shift the tide from a future of certain death and destruction to a future of environmental harmony that renews itself with each passing generation.

 

 

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A Futuristic View

A Futuristic View

 

I am a forward-thinking person.

I know that everything, from the different concepts of thought to what we put into our dirt, matters. I believe that we can bring creative and innovative solutions into this world that will be beneficial to the future. This is the place where I want to share the interesting things that I have seen, heard about, and tried myself.

The sky is the limit to the things that I find interesting. So come with me, and see the future as it is being created.

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