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Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast
82 minutes | May 8, 2021
Urban Agriculture and Climate Change: “The New Normal”
Urban Agriculture and Climate Change: “The New Normal” Join Instructor Mason Trappio to gain an understanding of how climate change affects the urban farmer and the growth of new crops. This course informs the urban and peri-urban farmer about how climate change affects them and provides strategies for how to successfully adapt. Our growing environments are affected, to varing degrees, by climate change. Increased temperatures, greenhouse emissions, and insect populations all challenge our farming operations. In this course, you will gain an understanding of how climate change affects the urban farmer, and new crops to grow in this New Normal. Credentials Earned: This a noncredit stand-alone course. What You Will Learn: – How climate change can impact farming operations – How to use cover crops to mitigate climate change – How to use climate-smart crops in the face of climate change Link to the slides. Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Urban Agriculture and Climate Change: “The New Normal” Smelling Funk to Power Charles Southward “God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile” Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) Transcript (automated) All right, so let’s begin. Objectives, you will gain an understanding of the myriad effects climate change is having on the urban and semi urban farmer. Will learn some suggested solutions to the potentially negative effects of climate change, and Will share some tested varieties of common crops capable of handling the changing climate. The future ain’t what it used to be is a the title of a very popular song from 1977 with very somber lyrics could also be the title for Climate Change scenario that we are facing today. The changes that we are expected to see or hear the last decade was the hottest on record, thanks to global warming. According to expert experts at the National Oceanic administration, Atmospheric Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. At the University of the District of Columbia, a land grant university, our primary focus is on addressing the very critical questions related to urban agriculture. If you set aside the jokes about it, one thing is for sure, Mother Nature always bats last. Her batting average is very good these days. My personal identification and interaction with the change in climate occurred in the 90s. While running a very small certified organic farm in Jessup, Maryland. I noticed that the early spring rains were extremely excessive. scientists agree that the earth is getting warmer every year is warmer than the previous year. Also, if you are very in tune farmer, you have probably noticed that the frost free seed growing season is getting a little longer. Therefore, we suggest the two of the most important tools in the urban and Peri urban farmers arsenal are imagination and practicing the art of being flexible. Which means that you must be ready to change. Farmers must be prepared to change crop varieties, crop planting dates and irrigation schedules. And we must be ready to learn immersing ourselves more in the pest and disease management and whatever other factors may affect urban agriculture. As the planet warms, we have some suggested areas that growers need to look at solutions for these and how to implement adaptation for successful crop production. In this era of climate instability. We are entering the era of bigger and more prolific weeds. The four major green greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapor. Carbon dioxide is the one that probably affects urban growers the most. The reason is that carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth. As atmospheric carbon dioxide increases, plant growth is also expected to increase in some cases that might mean higher crop yields. But it also could mean higher lead populations. Some of the let me know how I’m going to do that. Linda Yannone 13:34It could mean greater compost to greater access to compost, that’s a positive. MO 13:40Absolutely. So some of the urban effects, weed ecology and weed science are related and are very interesting courses at the university level. When I was a student some years ago, I could not wait to enroll in a weed science course, to my dismay, the course did not offer any strategies for ecological weed management. When I asked my professor about that, he rolled his eyes and said, Sorry, sir, you are in the wrong class for that and continued to teach the conventional toxic cocktail weed prevention and management methods. At that point, I realized that I had to, I quickly had to learn both methods of weed management, chemical and non toxic. It is now documented that urban centers have higher temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels in the summer than suburban areas do. Perhaps some growers do not have weed problems in their plots, but I’m sure many do. If you ever if you ever have an opportunity to take a short vacation from your garden plot, you will experience what happens when you are not there to perform weed management in a timely manner. How much damage can a weed cause in some cases you can have 100% crop loss. That is especially true for crops where the plant canopy architecture does not shade the soil from light which causes constant germination of small weeds seeds on the surface of the soil. Carbon dioxide is food for your plants and weeds. Weeds are opportunists and are widely adaptable to a range of environmental conditions. And as weather becomes more irrational and extreme, as seasonal fluctuations become more evident, as temperatures rise and rain changes, weeds with their high genetic variation and plasticity, are likely to be the ecological winners. Weeds are like super athletes. They are highly competitive and have an excellent work ethic which you cannot match. Some scientists proclaim that weeds will be at a disadvantage as carbon dioxide reduces crop and weed competition due to some various specific plant physiological traits. Another frustrating factor, especially early in the season, where we control is important is that you cannot always distinguish between the crop and the weed because they look alike. This is especially true when you direct seed crops into the soil. Sometimes they can look the same as they emerge from the soil. Later in the growing season. After the weed has had a chance to compete for light nutrients or water, growers may realize that they have been nurturing an imposter in their garden, it is sometimes too late to save the crop without a huge amount of weeding. Thus, one of the best management strategies you can employ as an urban grower his use of summer and fall cover crops here are the six best and easiest ones to use in our region Mid Atlantic to help address this issue, I just wanted to make a slight emphasis of this point number two earlier we were talking about brassicas there especially some like that can be kind of difficult. Now it’s not so much of the case. But early in the spring when wild, wild canola rape, whatever you want to call it starts coming up or with garlic mustard, those can look exactly like what we want to grow. And so those are the that’s some of the things that we’re talking about. Yes, absolutely. The Absolutely. Absolutely case and especially um you know, I think one of my master gardener class one of the one of the teachers was talking about pine fines, sorry, just for you know, for listeners sake in the future, user asked “Are mulch, mulch or straw good alternatives for weed management. Some people just use a tarp to overwinter.” Yes. So yes, absolutely anything that is going to basically keep the soil covered is exactly what you want to do. And we’ll go into that in our very next slide. Mother Nature does not like our soil to be uncovered, and neither should urban farmers. One of the practices that we see least the least often in urban food plots is the use of cover crops. That should not be the case, cover crops can be used to mitigate and adapt to climate change. More studies are coming out on the benefits of using cover crops to address climate change. The ancient practice of cover cropping is extremely critical in nutrient management, the restoration of nitrogen and returning other nutrients into the soil. So using a tarp to overwinter is good. But what you don’t do is necessarily keep that soil alive with something growing, or something decomposing, that tarp will just sort of insulate that and keep that warm. If you were going to do something like that to overwinter I would suggest building a hoop house. instead. If you’re still going to involve that climate that way you can have something growing throughout the entirety of the winter. So we have some more benefits to cover cropping. Returning these cover crops back into the soil also puts carbon dioxide back into the soil. That process is called carbon sequestration, and addresses global climate change. The use of cover crops or green manures as they were once called, is like in ground composting. Those crops shade out heavy weeds. Loosen heavy soil and prevent soil compaction by heavy rain or snow and also prevent soil erosion. Cover cropping is perhaps one of the easiest and most beneficial things that you can do for your soil. I just want to check and see okay, no additional people. All right. Let me just get a little bit coffee here. Cover Crop selections. There are many cover or there are many crops to choose from. Depending on your location. There are nitrogen fixing and non nitrogen fixing cover crops. The nitrogen fixing cover crops are also known as legumes have the unique ability to extract nitrogen from the air or atmosphere and transfer it to their roots for later use by plants and microbes. Because I’ve done this in every class, I’m just going to do it here. Because right now, well, I’m just going to do it here. The way that I’ve been describing this, for people who don’t know or are not familiar, is that the way that the way that this nitrogen fixing occurs is that there are symbiotic bacteria that live on nodules of the roots of these plants. They hang out in these sort of little knuckle areas, like if my fingers were to be roots. And so what they do is they live symbiotically from what I understand plant the plants exchange calcium and other nutrients with the with the with those bacteria like rhizobia and then the the nitrogen or those bacteria store nitrogen within those nodules. Later, as I’ll talk about when you disrupt the ecology, meaning kill the plants, then those bacteria also die and then that nitrogen is released into the soil. So that’s how we fixing nitrogen into the soil. So depending on the location, we have many cover crops to choose from. There are cool season and warm season cover crops. cool season cover crops are the ones that you plant in the fall and don’t touch again until the following spring. That includes excuse me, oats, cereal, rye, crimson clover, and field peas are the best ones for the Mid Atlantic region. warm season cover crops include buckwheat, cowpeas, sorghum, Sudangrass hybrids and yellow sweet blossom clover, we’re going to examine all of those in detail. So cool season cover crops, oats, here we go. We they plant them in the fall or in the fall after that cash crop harvest, and they’ll winter kill the after they die because of the temperatures. These residues here once they just fall over well outcompete the winter weeds, and then when the temperatures heat up, the soil heats up again. The residues decomposing in the spring will suppress weed germination for a few weeks, meaning that you can plant directly into those in those few weeks of suppressed weed germination. And these have a great soil tolerances. I’ve told previous classes that you can go see, well, this was last summer. So I you know, there is a hotel and on the waterfront downtown in southwest that has oats as a sort of ornamental crop. You know, I was I was driving by and I was like, Whoa, you know, what’s that I didn’t recognize that. Most people only recognize oats, as you know, through the logo or of the Quaker Oats guy. But you know, they’re actually planted, they look like this and those those are rolled oats. But you can go and see him real life down there. And that I’ve been saying is a example of the great soil tolerance because Southwest doesn’t have really good soil like that Southwest DC. All right. Next, cereal rye. Here’s a picture of the cereal rye. So cereal rye will scavenge nutrients after the cash crop. They’ll suppress weed germination after reincorporation into the soil, their deep fibrous roots work to alleviate compacted soils, and they can be planted later in the year. These say I think, let’s say that these are about four feet tall. With some of these plants, it’s generally like a one to one relationship in terms of how how these the potential for their roots to grow down. So as it’s growing up that tall, it’s also growing down that deep. And so that’s what we’re talking about alleviating compacted soils in that way. Then as soon as the roots grow down into the soil, especially into those clay layers, they’ll they’ll you and then you sort of reincorporate them and you you know mom down or something like that those roots will die, but the space that they left will become a vacuum. Because Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, what will happen is that, you know, worms might come in eat them or other bacteria might will bacteria, other microbial life will come and decompose and digest those roots or the weeds will just dry up and then I’ll leave a cavern all the way or tunnel rather, all the way from the surface of the of the soil all the way down to wherever they go. And as that happens, water comes down, other nutrients will come down and we’ll start building soil below. Alright, so as we talked about before with user here, we got crimson clover. It’s not quite the cool season yet, so you might want to wait like we talked about earlier until the temperature Stop hitting the 90s But crimson clover here very pretty fixes nitrogen in the soil, lowers soil surface temperatures, because it’s covering, and because of the thick mulch that it will produce these beautiful flowers not only attract us, but pollinators and beneficial insects. And because of the thick mulch and biomass, it will build soil as it decomposes, the roots will increase the ability for the soil to tolerate erosion, and it’ll improve the water infiltration. Like I said before, with the roots, giving all these channels for water to go in. With what I’ve been reading, and what I’ve been learning recently, as I’ve told previous classes is that this is probably about the right time to cut down the crimson clover. If it was like this in the in the springtime, that would be the best time mow it down, take your spade and put it work it into the soil. Because at that point in time, then where we see like this is about, I mean, it’s getting there. But rough, like we can say maybe in a couple of days or so once this flower stalk is looking to be about 50% in bloom, that’s where you want to, that’s when you would want to mow everything down, because that’s when the nitrogen concentrations are the highest within the nodules of those bacteria. And so once you do that, then those bacteria will die in the maximum amount of nitrogen will be released into the soil. Now all of us are learning here, and we’re not commodity growing. But that may be important to market gardeners, market farmers who are trying to get the most efficacy out of our most productivity out of their plots. So we don’t want to, we don’t want to pull it out, because that will disrupt the entire nitrogen fixing process. So user asked “crimson clover roots are very shallow clover can be pulled out or should it?” and so I would say no, because you want, that’s all of where the roots are is where the nitrogen that has been fixed is. So what you want to do is just mow it, and then mow it and then mow it. And after a couple of Mows down, the the roots will be exhausted, the plant will be exhausted and it won’t come back. But you don’t want to pull it up. Unless you– don’t want to pull it up. Even, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t recommend it. If you if you if you didn’t want to pull it up, I would just move it to somewhere else, like a garden path or something like that. Because something like that you don’t want to get rid of because of all the different benefits that that the clover can have. Linda Yannone 27:42Hmm. MO 27:45Well, if you i would i would plant into it. So she asked, or the user asked, “Can you plant into it? I would plant into clover, after you mowed it.” You wouldn’t want to plant into it at this point in time. Okay, yeah. So yeah, I mean, just like just like I talked about with with, with cutting it down and stuff like that. I mean, transplanting just as moving is as traumatic as it is for, for us, you know, moving is one of the most stressful things that we can do. It’s even more for plants because they’re not a mobile species. Or even Kingdom right, I think or domain Yeah, I you know, sorry, that’s, that’s a little bit maybe a little bit too to classical science. So another cool season cover crop here, our field peas, another legume nitrogen fixing they’re quickly available source of nitrogen after incorporation into the soil after full bloom like I was talking about before, this very dense picture shows perfectly the large amount of biomass that they have, they’re very moisture efficient, which is good because you don’t want to be using all this water all the time. And they have a long blooming period for pollinators, and all these things, all these nitrogen fixing crops you want to take you want to take them down, like after they bloom. But you know, if you start seeing seed pods like that, take them up because you know you it’s not that you don’t want to grow them but you can also grow your own cover crops, everything will adapt to your soils and stuff like that. But you want to take them down before before they start really producing seeds like that. Alright, so warm season cover crops. buckwheat here, it’s quick growth can suppress weeds. It’s got a very long flowering period, after three weeks of growth, and then will bloom more for another 10 more weeks, which is the entire summer. It will sequester phosphorus and make it more available for the next crop and has very low moisture usage. I previously stated, Oh, she user asked “I have peas self-germinating under woodchips. Is it worth moving them?” I mean, I don’t know that’s, that’s up to you. I mean, like, like we, like we talked about before you can just you can just cut them down. And if you want to just cut them snip them right at the where they are emerging from the woodchips. You know it? I guess I don’t know why you’re asking is it worth moving them? That that probably is a better question to ask. What I’ve told people before, is that with the Yeah, absolutely. buckwheat attracts bees. That’s what yeah, I should have. That’s exactly what we’re talking about here with this long flowering period. That the that all sorts of beneficial things will come, whether it’s honeybees, native bees, and then other other like beneficial bugs like ladybugs and stuff like that. And especially my favorite, which are predatory insects, like parasitoid wasps and stuff like that will come and feed on the nectar before they start feeding on something like a tomato hornworm. Oh my gosh. All right, so warm, another warm season cover crop here we have cowpeas, another legume excellent sources of fall nitrogen when summer planted, like we talked about, you cut them down and then you have that nitrogen available to you in the fall. If you want to plant something like like those brassicas in and they need a quick boost, the extra floral nectaries that they have will attract beneficial insects meaning they have even more nectar than most flowers do. And they thrive in high heat. This soil around here in this corner here looks pretty dry. And I would attribute that to some of that heat. And if I am correct, then this explosive growth is because of that. And they and despite that they use a low soil moisture usage in comparison to two other other cover crops which is exactly what you need in the summertime in the warm season. And then user if you have if you’ve been having or having having had luck in the past with transplanting peas, then go for it, dig them out, and then you know and put them where you want them to go. All right, so another warm season cover crop, Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids, sorghum Sudan grass has allelopathic nematodes, Seidel, and herbicide ill effects. The deep root system penetrates and breaks up compacted soils, they build soil by buildings by increasing soil biomass. And they have a wide pH, a pH range for the soil. Just to just to sort of explain, I’ll get to the questions that that user and the things that Sharon and user have talked about just a little bit allelopathy can be a little bit of a kind of complicated topic. So this means like, killing of the other or something like that. And what what, what Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids do is that they secrete compounds in the soil that prevent germination of other plants. So around Sorghum Sudangrass, you’re likely only really going to see Sorghum-Sudangrass thriving, because they are long they they sort of make it toxic for other plants to grow. Same thing with the nematodicidal compounds, they make it toxic for the nematodes to be there. And then like I said before, with preventing the germination, they can be also considered herbicidal, especially when these things are incorporated into the soil. They do a lot of that once the once the plant has been killed, then they have these compounds within their within the plants body. And then they they will sort of exude that into the soil after they were to die. I’m not sure if the Sorghum Sudangrass is something that you want to eat. It may be edible, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be delectable. I think I don’t I don’t know exactly what the natural process was in in creating this Sorghum Sudangrass hybrid. Um, but you could probably eat it, but I don’t think Yeah, I don’t think that it would be as delicious as consuming Sorghum. like regular Sorghum though. It might be like, like, trying to eat dent corn as sweet corn. You know, it’s like it’s not going to be the same or trying to eat popping corn as sweet corn. It’s it’s corn. But it’s not the same corn. Linda Yannone 35:03I think I have a book on African grains and it’s in there, you know, something to look into. MO 35:13Yeah, absolutely. I had a I had a book that I had learned about a lot of the, the different ones like Tef and yes, Tef and Fonio and and different things like that and I mean, really? It depends on the Edit there edibility depends on how good of a cook you are. Unknown Speaker 35:34And how much rinsing you want to do and preparation MO 35:38Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, Sharon asked, “I tried growing sorghum Sudan grass one year, but it didn’t grow much about one foot but not taller. Was the soil depleted of something for its growth?” Quite possibly, you know, in other classes, I didn’t say it last time, but like, in other classes, I’ve talked about the necessity for soil testing. It could be the case that the soil may have been just too tough. I mean, like these these plants. Alright, so you know, right. Currently, I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we were walking through the walking through one of these parks, Crowder’s mountain, the amount of topsoil that was present on that mountain where it near the path was ridiculous, it was maybe like an eighth of an inch before it was some serious clay underneath. And, you know, it’s it was kind of crazy, because there’s a lot a lot of pines, cedars, are not cedars, but a lot of like hemlocks and stuff like that. And those things can make it work. But there wasn’t a lot of undergrowth, there are a lot of mushrooms, and a lot a lot of a lot of a lot of decomposition. But what I’m saying is, is that it could be where wherever you planted it that that the soil may be a little bit tougher than you thought. Initially. So I mean, like I said, possibly it is not, I mean, is a very plausible thing. It’s kind of hard to say whether or not without sort of having seen the plant or doing this sort of for like a soil forensics. And just sort of knowing what what your what your what your garden was like. before user I didn’t address this user said “with all the rain, we’re seeing mushrooms sprouting in the lawns and the woodchips should we remove them or let them be?” I say keep them because you know i’m i’m of a very particular school of, you know, natural, regenerative agricultural thought, as the mushrooms are breaking down the things in the soil, they are freeing nutrients and making them bioavailable in the soil. That is my particular opinion not maybe not of I’m not saying that UDC is saying that I’m saying Mason Trappio as an individual entity is saying that. I’ve been seeing a lot of those fairy rings of various amanitas and seeing a lot of those things is very awesome to see I really like it. I would just say don’t eat them, you know. And I’ll speak on behalf of the university also do not eat any random mushrooms that are growing in your soils. But I would keep them because what it’s showing you is that the soil is very much alive. All right, warm season cover crops yellow sweet blossom clover. Yellow sweet blossom clover has an excellent nitrogen fixation ability. It is a deep root system up to five feet in some cases, and it produces a large amount of biomass, which is good for producing that thick mulch that we talked about earlier. And it attracts pollinators, and beneficial insects just like this choice picture here of this honeybee. keep clicking on the wrong thing. So we have some climate change growing tips. Here are some growing tips which can help the urban growers better address problems associated with climate change. We first we want to match our cover crop to the season and to the climate. Knowing your USDA zones will be imperative to this. We want to grow legumes to increase soil nitrogen levels. You also need to inoculate those legumes. You can either do this by Oh my gosh. oh nevermind. You can do this by having pre inoculated seeds. Or you can buy inoculant. Mist seeds with water and you can sprinkle the inoculant powder let me know That needs to be clarified. Well, I’ll just clarify just in case because I’ll be sending this out later. So the inoculant is the bacteria, right? And you need that, so that you can have the nitrogen fixation, fixing ability of the cover crops. Because like I said before, it’s not that clover fixes nitrogen, but is the bacteria that lives on the clover and in some aspects within the clover that fixes the nitrogen. Every now and then you might be able to find clover as I did in the past that already has the rhizobium or the other nitrogen fixing bacteria present in the soil. And something like that is sort of pre inoculated. So you could dig those up and transfer them and and they would grow but what you want to be able to do to be as efficient as possible, you want to be able to buy pre inoculated seeds that already are coated with with the bacteria or like we said before, by the inoculant spread the seeds out. Mist seeds with water, you know, get them get them a little bit wet, and then you can sprinkle inoculant powder in them get them evenly coated, so that when they grow the seed head pops as they pop through the bacteria coats the the the roots, and as they grow, everybody grows. So the last tip is that we want to cut the cover crops down into very small pieces, to the most important valuable tools that are used to manage cover crops are flat edged garden spade, and a battery operated hedge trimmer Oh, somebody is here.My bad. and a battery operated hedge trimmer. These small pieces break down quicker. So before you know you went you want to be able to work these things into the soil. Not necessarily till that’s not my I wouldn’t recommend anybody tilling. Welcome Abidisamad, let me know if I’m pronouncing that absolutely incorrectly and let me know how to pronounce your name. Welcome to class, and I’m excited to have you. But I’m Thank you so much. Thank you so much. So much. Yeah. Okay, so you just arrived just in time for the the summary of what we just talked about? I’ve had to turn it over to terminate it. How low? Oh, sorry, I’ve cut down right grass. Oh, I just got to notice that my internet connection was unstable. “Okay, I’ve cut down ryegrass it will grow back, I’ve had to turn it over to terminate it, how low should it be cut down? That’s a very interesting question. And like I would, I would say that it would be the same as, as the like something like like the clover, where you may have to mow it twice, or mow it even lower, you need to make sure that you’re cutting below where the meristem is. Maybe in the past, when you when you’ve cut it, the meris, you cut slightly above the marriage stem. And so it was just like cool, it was just like growing hair, you know, where the plant was, you know, say, say the meristem is that my elbow and you cut it off here at the forearm, then it’s just going to grow back from the elbow. But you may have to cut, you may have to mow it down a little bit further than you thought. So that may be one thing. But I also know that in a commodity agriculture capacity, what they do with rye grass is that they they run it over with this thing called a roller crimper. And so it’s like a steamroller, but it has blades on the end of it. And so as at what happens is that the the the the tractor will run through the through the plot, and that the the roller crimper will turn them over and then chop up the chop or crimp the stalk at various places. And so it is injuring the planet at the same time as it’s knocking it over. And that way it would like just completely exhaust the plan. The plants need like sugar reserves and everything like that, to sort of kill the plant and habit decomposed as quickly as possible. So in summary, we have carbon dioxide gases are on the rise. These are good for the crops and the weeds. We have to grow cover crops to suppress weeds and carbon and lower carbon dioxide concentrations. And we want to choose our cover crops depending on the location and we want to choose a mix of nitrogen fixing And non nitrogen fixing crops from this podcast I was listening to, I think it was cover crop cover crop podcast, or was no-till podcast, those are the names of these things. But they’re you know, these are these are commodity agriculture podcasts. And by commodity agriculture, what I mean is that these are people growing, like wheat for flour and stuff like that, or corn, they’re growing corn, wheat or soy beans, those are the three commodity crops that I’m referring to when I say commodity agriculture. What these guys were talking about is that they were seeing that there wasn’t, it is the best to have a mix of cover crops and varying up the species, but there really isn’t a difference in species and in benefits to the soil and to the viability and the biological activity of the soil, past like eight different species of things growing. Now a lot of what these commodity agriculture dudes do is also grow all these cover crops as supplemental feed for their cows at the same time, so the cows eat, and then defecate. And then, you know, everything is really active, but they weren’t seeing, you know, so having like a 16 seed cover crop mix, you know, is just going to be spending more money than you need to you just buy twice as much of the eight cover crop seed mix. All right. Oh, so any, are there any further questions? Oh, wow. Oh, “many of them terminate the cover crop with glyphosate.” Absolutely. And that was something that I didn’t learn until maybe like a year or so ago that I realized that without, you know, without glyphosate without Monsanto, a lot of this very interesting regenerative agriculture, stuff wouldn’t have been possible. But the evolution in technology, especially if the roller crimper really changed the game. And it really made a lot of organic cover cropping and organic no till possible. Prior to that notill was known as a beneficial practice. But it needed the needed glyphosate or another heavy duty pesticide like that. Or another heavy duty herbicide to be able to, to to make it possible. And yes, Lowe’s shelves are full of Roundup. I remember when we were growing seeds down by Howard University where we were growing, we’re going a plot down by Howard University, in somebody’s backyard. We were talking about all the different things that are there and what we need to be able to do and how we’re going to do this without any chemicals. And then we come outside and somebody else does in the alley is spraying some spraying something with with with Roundup. Oh, awesome. Awesome. So thank you for thank you for digitally traveling so far. It really is an honor to have you here all the way from Mogadishu. “seems hot weather has helped with its termination in comparison to cooler temperatures to help decompose the residue. Sometimes you can wait into the late spring, early summer, if you want to plant various types of spring crops. “ Absolutely. Hot weather is going to increase biological activity. Like they say with compost, you need to take it all the way up to like 140 degrees 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or something like that in order for the microbial activity to be absolutely to be working for you. But that’s a whole nother conversation. But yes, you know, the increased temperature always increases activity. We know this, you know the temperature of the universe is I think like three degrees Kelvin, or three Kelvin, sorry, no degrees with Kelvin. But, you know, at zero Kelvin is obviously nothing is going on. But it’s crazy. You know, imagine if things are like five Kelvin? It’ll be crazy. All right, part two, insect ecology, plant disease and climate change. So, insects are cold blooded, thus, their behavior is related to temperature. So how will the warmer climate in more extreme temperatures affect the Urban agriculturalists and crop production? definitive answers are elusive. But there is some research that might give general guidelines for what we might expect. As the urban environment warms. One of the first signs of a rapidly warming climate is the number of insect generations in season. The warmer it gets, the faster insects develop and breed as winter cold Keep insects in check. Warming winters may be beneficial to insect survival. Warming winters, for example, are a key factor in the survival and destructive impact of pine bark beetles throughout North America. This is moving their habitat northward. Oh sorry. Also, insects will shift their habitat northward, and there are some indications that plant characteristics can change. The effects of rising carbon dioxide concentrations can have one reducing plant protein can result in greater feeding rates by insects to obtain the necessary protein. Carbon Dioxide changes could cause changes in leaf thickness, and reduce infestation of leaf sucking insects, although not in every case, also, carbon dioxide could reduce the ability of a plant to produce defensive compounds that keep insects at bay. insect and plant interactions are very complex, you would need a crystal ball to make specific predictions for specific crops, it would be equally foolish to ignore the consequences of those interactions in an era of high carbon dioxide and the very erratic climate that we now have. But also plant diseases will be on the rise due to an unpredictable climate. Hot and wet conditions which are expected in some areas are the perfect combination for disease development in many crops. For example, mild winters and warm weather are associated with increases in potato blight, powdery mildew, leaf spot disease, leafed rust, leaf rust, and other soil borne root diseases. Mason is there any good news? Yes, plants might build resistance by defensively closing their their plant pores to disease carrying fungal spores. The rise in carbon dioxide may improve plant water loss by closing some of the plant pores which could moderate leaf moisture evaporation. We have always relied on mainly three resources for insect and disease management. The first is Rodale’s color Handbook of garden insects. The second is Rodale’s ultimate Encyclopedia of organic gardening. And of course, our imagination. to fully utilize our imagination requires knowing pests, and plant diseases intuitively. Climate smart crops. For our 2019 2020 Farmer to Farmer National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant in collaboration with Tuskegee University, we chose to look at specific varietal selections of heat tolerant crops. We looked at leafy green and fruiting crops that were sure to produce under consistent high summer temperatures, the specific crops that were chosen, were also Oh, where well I’ll get I’ll show you why I’ll show you I’ll just show you in the next slide rather than reading them twice. So we of course and then after this, this will give you an ability to find more online. Alright, so the specific crops that we tested were fruiting and vegetable crops, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers and melons, eggplant, green and lima beans, squash, corn, sweet potato okra, and then for our leafy greens, which we’ve found some specific varieties of lettuce, mustard green Malabar Spinach in New Zealand Spinach and Purslane. excuse me. So let’s go on tomatoes, we need to look for a heat set varieties. Some tomatoes don’t fruit after the temperature reaches the 90 degree mark. So look for heat set varieties. Sup- like super sweet 100 pictured here is a cherry tomato. Solar set, Surefire Oregon spring, an Oregon star, you know if you want to screenshot this slide in the next couple slides, or if you can wait. There will be later a fact sheet with basically everything that I’ve already said. Separate from the things that I added. None of these are heirloom tomatoes. These are specifically bred tomatoes, not engineered but bred tomatoes. Some of these like some of these, like some of the ones that we’ll talk about later, were found at various extension places. And so maybe those can be considered but like I think when you’re talking about heirloom you’re talking about in a way that like like Baker Creek seeds might offer or something like that. And some of these, you may be able to find heatset varieties within those But what I would recommend for heirloom crops that you want that are adapted, I would start looking for plants. I would start by looking for looking say somewhere. Yes, I will definitely, I’ll definitely share it let me write let me write your email down. See, this is a, our w ac 103 Yes, a decent amount, I will, I will, I will send I will send that to you. So sorry, what I what I would say Sharon would be to go in Baker Creek, rareseeds.com This is I’m not sure. Um, I just I just compiled these from and found some pictures. But I guess the supersweet 100 may get as the temperatures approach 100. What I would say if you were looking for heirloom tomatoes would be to look on somewhere where the sites have reviews. And I generally those places that have reviews will also have a location in the review. And so I would look for somebody that is giving a review from say, Arizona, or or lower Arizona, Nevada, Southern California. And if they’re having success, you know, then you you’re more likely to have them especially anywhere on the east coast. Or if you find somebody down in Alabama or some you know, in the deep south, where temperatures are getting really really hot, and there’s still fruiting you want to get. You want to try and find that person and get some of those seeds or find where find out where they bought those seeds. Many peppers don’t have a heat set gene. Hot peppers are genetically closer to their wild pepper heritage. But some varieties that they tested were cubanelle Gypsy Gator peppers, vidi peppers and sweet banana peppers. This right are the cubanelle peppers. If you’re growing hot peppers, you don’t have to worry about the heat. Even hot peppers love the heat because when it’s when it’s hot and then the soil dries out or whatever they start showing their wilt or whatever, they start producing more than capsaicin compounds and they you know produce a more desirable product, In my opinion. Corn is thought of as a tasty, traditional summer treat that is perfect to grow in the mid summer heat. But some varieties of corn do not pollinate well when the temperatures surpass the mid 90s. Especially in hot dry areas. The pollen dries out and your fill and you get poorly filled ears of corn watering helps but it’s not the solution. So some of the varieties are Lancelot and breeders choice pictured I think this is the breeders choice pictured here. The Urban farmer podcast. The guy’s first name is Greg. I forget his last name, but he is in Phoenix or in the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. And they talk about growing corn and Phoenix. What they do is they get up early in the morning before the temperatures hit the mid 90s they take the tassel which is the pollen producing part of the of the corn and then they’ll rub it on the silk. So if you look here, this is the part of the part of the silk where they would rub the tassel on and the pollen will travel all the way down to silk to each individual kernel and you’ll get a full year corn. They do that with their heirloom corns by the way like the like the glass bead or something like that. They they they have had a lot of success doing that not only in Phoenix but also in places like Denver where where the you know growing growing at that altitude thing changed considerably. Because you know plants aren’t used but they’re having success all over the place by these more manual methods. Cucumbers and melons. What happens to cucumbers and melons during a very hot and humid summer. The plant produces some fruit, but the heat in the long days causes the plants to farm to many male flowers which do not produce fruit. You need to look for heat tolerant and disease resistant varieties like the mark more 86 cucumber salad, Bush cucumber planners jumbo melon, the pictured Ambrosia Melon and the edisto 47. I want to show you guys something because I’m very proud of this. Hold on This right here is my big boy, or big girl and doesn’t matter this, the seeds don’t have a gender necessarily, or fruits don’t. But this is a, you know, I was pretty pleased to, to get this, get this because I grew this from a grocery store butternut squash that I bought in 2017. And I planted it, and I got this one and a couple other ones, but this one I’ve been growing, or I’ve been, I haven’t done anything with because I was just sort of too proud. You know, it was just something just like a like a, a trophy for me. And validation of my own practices and beliefs, you know. So next time you get something, you know, when we when we grow these sorts of crops, you know, they they’re grown to be eaten, right? But what happens is that the best crops generally don’t, the genetic material doesn’t survive. Right. Now, I don’t know what’s going on inside of here with regards to the seeds or not. But what I am saying is that whenever you do eat something that is, I mean, just particularly good, you have to be able to save those seeds. Because what what what we’re kind of doing is producing a sort of negative a negative selection at the same time, because we’ll get it tomato, and you’d be like, Oh my gosh, so juicy, so delicious. So, so flavorful, but then the seeds go in the trash, right? And so we don’t, we don’t cultivate that same thing, you know, will produce it will produce a fruit that looks extremely good. But then the rest of the ones that are grown, who knows what the genetic material is, who knows what the nutrient availability is, who knows, but if you get something that looks good, tastes good, feels good. Make sure you save those seeds and keep those things growing. I’m gonna put this back. Alright, we’re almost done. I know we’re over time a little bit. But um, everybody seems to be enjoying themselves. So we’re just going to keep going on. Like I said, we’re almost done. only like two more slides, Leafy greens. So I didn’t want to find pictures for all these because some of these the varieties don’t matter. So there are a few nutritious leafy greens that can be grown in the high heat, days of summer. But many varieties of lettuces do not thrive under high temperatures and long sunny days. bolting occurs when lettuce flowers prematurely. That condition is caused mainly by mainly by the long sunlit Days of Summer rather than high temperatures. A little shading of the lettuce helps to remediate remedy that situation. There are a few slow bolt varieties on the market. So you want to you want to look for those swiss chard is a is a is a another one that we can grow. User was asking earlier about things that we can grow in the fall you swiss chard grows well in hot or cold weather. Just watch out for those oxalates and then Asian mustard greens do very well under high high temperatures. New Zealand spinach and I should have added Malabar spinach also. But just with New Zealand spinach contains a large concentration of high omega threes. However it is an acquired taste but it goes very well in high heat. And Malabar spinach is the same way I’m not sure about its nutrient content. I know that people in India southern India, really eat a lot of it, but it’s kind of slimy a little bit like like okra can be so like, like they said with New Zealand spinach it has it is an acquired taste. And so um lastly here we have amaranth it grows like a weed and is consumed throughout this tropics, especially in the Caribbean, where it’s called callaloo. You can see wild varieties of the amaranth and it’s called pig weed. It goes it gets really tall, and I’m not Oh, maybe hold on. Well, nevermind I used to last year, we had a lot of amaranth growing in the plot that we had and I let the I let the amaranth grow. I’m 5’11” so it got to be about my height and then I cut it down at the base and then I had to just do the maintenance that you know I’m saying and watch out for offshoots from the stalk. But what I did is that I took that and then cut all of the branches off. And I saved it because now I have a pole for trellising. And I’d used it for propping up my monstera. But the monstera got too heavy and it broke, I’ll show you the monstera. Now, here’s my monstera in the corner. That new leaf here is is brand new. I’m very proud. Anyway. So those are those are the those are the plants that we recommend. And of course, I’ll be sending this out to everybody. And amaranth like corn and some other plants is a C4 carbon fixating plant. Which means that the hotter the temperature is, the more it’ll grow, which is really good, especially if you’re trying to get leaves off of it. This is there are two main varieties of amaranth that are consumed. There’s a leaf amaranth, and then there’s a grain amaranth. I grew the grain amaranth and consume the seeds, and consumer leaves, but it didn’t produce as much leads as a leaf amaranth would. So I would say that you want to look for the amaranth if you’re interested in growing amaranth you should look for the amaranths that are also called callaloo in that in that way, and they kind of tastes like a sort of gamey spinach if you if if that makes sense because it’s it’s wild. So other climate smart crops. Here we have the green beans, we have Romano and the McCasian for lima beans see Ava and a Florida butter beans. Almost any variety of okra will grow well and in this in this new normal and we’re describing the time long green egg plant will grow very well. And the varieties, Beauregard and vardaman of the sweet potato will also grow very well. And as we know you can also as I found out last year, you can also eat the greens and the sweet potato they’re supposed to be very nutritious. So if you if you also need some more leafy greens, consider sweet potato greens, they can be grown like enough or they can be eaten like collards. So here are the references. And to start off the questions, I will I will just answer talk about what Sharon was talking about just now. She said I received pumpkin seedling from a gardener. It was very sweet and produced 30 pumpkins, I saved the seeds but next year seeds wouldn’t grow. Could the genetics have been modified? Yes, sweet potato greens tastes sweet cooks down like spinach. Okay, that’s great. Yeah, I I really look forward to doing that. It’s all good. I will do some odd I will be sending the the presentation out later. So there’s there’s no worries. So could this seed genetics have been modified? Well, technically, anytime we grow, as we understand, as I understand epigenetics to be the case, anytime that we grow, we are modifying, we’re modifying our genetics whether it’s in our thought or in our agricultural practices, you know, every year the plant is adapting to the every year it is adapting to its current situation. And so Linda Yannone 1:08:30genetically modifying based on what everything that happened to it, so it adapts and then produces seed. MO 1:08:39Exactly. And so in your, in your, in your case, Sharon You know, when people sell things for seed, you have to have a really high threshold for when you for for selling them, I think it in those thresholds change depending on the crop. And so with your circumstance there, I mean, just like we talked about earlier, there there are there’s a whole list of potential issues that could have happened whether it was planning depth, time, soil moisture, light, soil temperature, nematode populations, you know, something suppressing them, if you had the seed and it looked like it popped, but it but meaning you know, it started germinating and then died. That’s something if it never germinated, that’s something else. Whether or not the seeds were even ready to do so whether or not the seeds didn’t grow, or our act are or ready to grow, you know, just as humans have stillbirths. Something like that could have been the case the the seed itself could have started growing and then and aborted itself. There are many different way reasons why the seeds wouldn’t have grown. But I wouldn’t necessarily say that, um, that that it was because of where you grew them that they didn’t grow that would be that is, um, that to me, the only way I can think about it is that is that’s taking a bridge a step towards a more metaphysical agricultural thing by saying like, Hmm, maybe this pumpkin like grew here, but it didn’t, it didn’t. It didn’t want to grow in the next year, sorry, some germination, but when placed in the soil, it wouldn’t continue their growth. It’s been a couple years now. So I’m just going to continue on with the metaphysical thing, I would then see if that would be the case with other cucurbits. You know, if you’re not having luck with those in that in that same plot, then it just may not be the case. And you might want to rotate some things going on in that place. But it sounds like a Linda has something to say. And maybe may have read that wrong, though. So, um, yeah, I mean, it’s no, Linda Yannone 1:11:13no, yeah, you covered everything, but it’s probably it could have been immature seed, it is all those things you listed. MO 1:11:21Okay. Um, so, yeah, I would just try and, and rotate some crops through there that sort of get further away from the Cucurbit family, and then try it again. in a couple years, unfortunately, or do something where you, you can grow some of these you just get, you know, you get a like a big pot, like ones that they have in like restaurants for trees or something like that. And then you you transplant your, your, your squash into there, and immediately set it up for upward trellising, and just, you know, top dress with compost, make some compost tea and feed the mess out of that thing. That’s what I would recommend if you know if you really want to, if you really want to test this, because it because if it is, if it may be an issue of transplantation or something like that, and so you can take some of the soil and test it. In that way I had started, um, I don’t have a picture of it. unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it that I can readily find right now. But I started some squash seeds that that squash that I just showed you all I started that in a solo cup. You know, I just cut like, push poke three holes in the bottom, you know, poke three holes in the bottom of it, and put some soil amended with perlite in there. And, and you know, just put the seed, I put a couple seeds in there and I just was like, you know, whatever happens happens. And, and then I think, no, I kept those. I kept that in there for a while. And then I transferred it to in the ground, I think. Yeah, I’ve been I put it in the ground. Um into a prepared bed. But um, I would say and then this year, I you know, I had some or this year earlier this summer. This was last summer I had some growing in my compost bin. But you know, I you know, I enjoyed the growth. I had tomatoes growing out of their mulberry tree growing out of there, and some squash growing there. But, you know, I didn’t know this until this year, just like just like we experienced. Yeah, I had too many male flowers. I only had male flowers. And it didn’t know that it was I thought that it was some weird mineral thing. Like I wasn’t, I wasn’t providing the plants with everything that they needed to grow. Self-esteem was lowering. I didn’t know that it was just a environmental thing. You know, like we talked about in the very beginning of class. Mother Nature always bats last. And although I really appreciated the sight of the of the of the, of the squash, the compost bin really wasn’t a place for it. And I really I was so anyway, thats that I think I’m I think I’m just rambling because I’m a little bit caffeinated. User asks, “What can we do with all this rain? What’s ruining many crops that have to be ditched? Just for focus on for growing now?” Yeah, that’s tough. Um, you know, uh, yeah, because a lot of this is ruined. I mean, the soil is already saturated, saturated. So Many things are being flooded out. And it is kind of attributed to the exact same thing I was talking about last, just just now, where Mother Nature is batting last again. I remember a couple years ago was it last year actually, we had these same into the end of the year into the growing year rains that we’re having right now, we had those in the beginning last year. And I’m, oh, I have a book, I have a book on this, where’s that book, we had those things, and a lot of farmers, a lot of these commodity farmers were getting trounced by this rain. And that is something where crop insurance would come in come into the place. So yeah, I would I would focus on on fall crops, um, you know, and just sort of learning from your experience and seeing what’s really thriving, if anything is at all. And learning from like taking a sort of meta analysis of what you’re learning a higher level analysis, rather, of what your plots are looking like, and thinking about how you may be able to improve drainage. Where within your plot, does it seem that things may be a little bit higher or lower, just looking at at your plot as a larger ecosystem, and seeing how you can help it in the future. Sharon says nutsedge has been concerned after weeks of heavy rain and wooded areas, but it’s hard to get up the nuts and more will grow. What’s the best way to management, our soil deficiencies allowing its rapid growth? Or is mainly a sign of a wet environment? If I had the answer to this, I would have a lot of money for because nutsedge is a really a problem. It’s in the middle of the country. I there’s a book, I’ll type it in the chat. There’s a book by Rodale, I have a I have a copy. Thank you, Linda, really appreciate you being here. and assisting and and validating and encouraging me and everybody else that was here in the chat. Linda Yannone 1:17:25Thank you, you did a great job. Really appreciate looking forward to more. MO 1:17:30Yeah. Oh, yeah, I have to answer that question. Because user user asked me that in the future. But I’ll get I’ll get to that later. weeds and why they grow is the name of that book that talks about a lot of that, like that talk that talks about the first part of the answer your question where it says the basically the thesis of the book is you balanced the soil, you’ll balance the weeds, meaning you may have a concentration of too much organic matter. And once you bring down the organic matter, then a certain weed will go away. You may not have enough iron, and so or you may have too much iron and once you sort of balanced the soil, the the wheat populations will go down. I’m trying to Oh, I know where it is. I’ll be right back. I’ll show you. All right. This is another copy of the same book. It’s called Oh, this is backwards. It’s called weeds control without poisons. I’ll type it in the chat. It’s by Charles Walters and it’s published by anchors USA um, I’m gonna check the index real quick to see if it has anything about nutsedge Alright, see purple nutsedge and yellow nutsedge. Do you is it I’m going to assume that it’s yellow nutsedge because that’s what I’ve seen a lot of is that is that the case either is the little flower thing at the top yellow. Yeah. There’s very good info on reason I waited bag of the plot for years and then decided to play soil over top of it. The soil seems to be better. Seems to be better when nutsedge wouldn’t grow his yellow flowers. Alright, so I found a thing, but I’m trying to find exactly what they say. And then I’ll just read what they have to say, for the edification of everybody in the class, there are four pages where this is where it’s mentioned. But I would definitely, I mean, absolutely recommend getting this book, I was able to get it through the interlibrary loan. So, you may not be able to get it. But, um, you know, I’m I, but I’ll try and make more of these same concepts available, but I believe the book is like 20-30 bucks, maybe. An enormous value. And sometimes it has really nice sketches of I really liked this plant Datura. It’s very pretty flowers smell like pepper. But it’s, it’s, it was one of those things I was talking about before where it grows, because of the a lot of organic matter in the soil. Okay, so this is alright, just I think I found, okay, so in this thing, he’s talking about grasses being a problem to row crop producers. So like, and then the very one of the very last ones, he says yellow nutsedge cyperus esculentus. He says, I’m very basically, as Dr. Carey reeminstructed sour grass weeds, such as quiet grass are indicative of calcium deficiencies, qualitatively if not quantitatively. Broadleaf weeds broadleaf weeds are indicative of an improper and phosphate to potash ratio. Using the LaMotte soil testing method, this ratio should be two pounds of phosphate to one pounds of potash for row crops, and four pounds of phosphate to one one pound of potash for alfalfa and grass crops, succulent type plants, such as purslane are indicative of soils, deficient in biologically active carbons. I don’t know if that was helpful to you. But that is the sort of methodology and stuff that is given within this book, where they’re talking about how to amend the soils after, after you discovered this thing. I’ll look on page 119, again, is the next place where it was mentioned. So I have it here. Now, the acres USA catalog, I’m just going to let you know, it depends on how kinda esoteric you like things to be, because their entire publishing house is kind of based on this sort of like, almost a spiritual nature of working with agriculture. I am particularly partial to that sort of thing. But some of the stuff that they talk about is kind of counter to mainstream scientific thought. So I just wanted to let you guys know that once you start reading this thing, and they start talking about Hieronymus Bosch, and Rudolf Steiner, and stuff like that. So yeah, cuz you’re talking about they’re talking about a bunch of different stuff here. So let me go because Oh, so yeah, the next the next thing that they talked about here was using a specific, a specific device that they call in a scientific method they call radionics. And they were measuring the rate with which is sort of talking about its general vitality, hence, its efficacy and predicting projecting negative or dying energy to the same weed in the field. So yes, it’s it’s, it’s a little bit different. And so they have the thing here and then the radionic rate, I don’t know necessarily what what that’s about. So I’m going to go to the The last place that it’s mentioned and of course if anybody else has any other questions and then we can get to them so the last page that it was mentioned is on page 240. And I think this is the part of the book that I really enjoyed the most, where it goes through each particular species and talks about in a rough sort of scenario, what what they actually are. But 240 Here we go. All right, yellow nutsedge this is what I was looking for. The entire time, found all over the United States and cultivated fields, gardens grainfields richer sandy soils, yellow nutsedge cyperus esculentus is a serious perennial weed. it reproduces by seeds, and weak threadlike stolons. That end by heart tubers, stems at this meter tall symbol and triangular in shape. The pale green leaves i three ranked about as long as the stem with Close, close, oh my god, closed Shiva is mostly at bass, yellow nutsedge produces spikelets point five to three centimeters long, and 1.5 to three millimeters wide, that yellow to golden brown, strongly flattened mostly for ranked along the wide angle radius, blunt tip, the tip acute surround appearance of yellow nutsedge. Here we go. appearance of yellow nutsedge indicates soils seriously out of sorts with very low levels of calcium and phosphate, and very high levels of potassium, and magnesium. I’ll read that again. appearance of nuss nutsedge indicates soils seriously out of sorts with very low levels of calcium and phosphate, and very high levels of potassium and magnesium, iron sulfate, beijer, boron, selenium, salt and aluminum levels are likely to be high soils are likely to have low humaneness and porosity, high moisture, anaerobic bacteria, and poor drainage and residual decay. So in my opinion, that um, Oh, nevermind. Nevermind, I was wr
13 minutes | May 1, 2021
Smelling Funk to Power
Smelling Funk to Power You mean to tell me this whole time I’ve been making funky compost, it could crank a crankshaft?? Meaning, in this episode we discuss how we arrived at our next experiment, Anaerobic Digestion and the creation and opportunity of Biomethane. Enjoy! Works Referenced:CompostsWhen Odors Warn: What Does the Nose Know?Microbes with characteristic smells (good and bad)Researchers Find Pathogens in CompostPhilosophical BackgroundAnaerobic DigestionDigestateDigeponicsCircular food: crops from digested waste in a controlled environmentEnergy Fields Biogas Production – BotswanaKenyan Farmers Make Use of BiogasBiogas in St. Vincent and the GrenadinesSolar CITIES IBC Biogas System Tutorial CompleteHow we run our 4K generator on BiogasCompressing Biogas into a BBQ Bottle Propane tank for us in the USABiogas scrubbers – removing the CO2 and H2S – part 1HOW TO COMPRESS BIOGAS IN CYLINDER BHow do you purify biogas to increase the methane content?Biogas at home Cheap and EasyHydrothermal Vent – Black Smokers and White Smokers Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Smelling Funk to Power Charles Southward “God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile” Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing part 4 Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons? And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Smelling Funk to Power Given that you are listening to my show, you may have heard the people in the natural farming circles say that compost shouldn’t smell. Or you may have heard that healthy compost will smell fresh, like petrichor, or geosmin. Others like me, have said that compost can smell sweet! We sought to investigate these claims, because, well we couldn’t let our nose grow any longer. We couldn’t possibly give up the funk. What we found was extremely surprising and vindicating. It was the end of Okra season and lots of it lay in the path. The plants had either been cut or pulled out of the row and began to slime and rot. The Carolina Clay, Rain, and footsteps reduced this once 8ft tall stand into green traction over a muddy area. It must be cleaned up. So for the next two hours we cut okra off of the plant and put it in a bucket. Despite taking my allergy pill that morning, nature, with enough exposure finds a way to overcome antihistamines and those okra hairs enable your mast cells to express themselves. Taking a shower afterwards felt painfully good with the heat amplifying and soothing the pain of a late harvest. We harvested about 5 gallons worth of Okra pods. Seeds and all disappeared under the weight of a big rock holding it underwater. I set it and forgot it. Some weeks later I came back to my Okra bucket and opened the lid. A nice bubbly liquid skin, or pellicle formed and I interpreted this as not only a good sign but that it was ready. And by ready I meant it was ready to act as the compost seed for the next stage of the compost building. The compost bins at the farm were in a state of despair. They had been simply forgotten about. There is always another project on any farm, and that number jumps exponentially with interns. The compost also forgot to attract microbes and so no processes were growing on except a lone, enormous tomato plant with thick white roots weaving a mat of squash seeds and egg shells into a portrait of organic sandstone. It is now my pleasure to bring more life to this compost. Every layer of the compost is more impenetrable than the last. The sands of time have aggregated, hydrated, and formed an organic clay that will definitely ripen into many abundant harvests. Noon strikes and for this Saturday, farm work is done, and I forgot all about my Okra. Next week arrives and it is time to finished what I started and seed my turned compost bins with my Okra mash. I peeked under the lid and the bucket belched a beyond funky “wasssssssssaapppp” Earlier in the growing season a large load of weedy compost and wood chips were delivered to the farm and sat underneath the Three Trees of the Three Sisters. Under the shade of our ancestresses their daughter, Tiffany, was delivering a sermon to the young men of the farm on educational strategies they should take advantage of during the pandemic. Her advice was ethically ambiguous, and though it had a logic to it, the possibility, and plausibility, and probability of the boys acting on it was very low. I kept my mouth shut and continued to work. Before I went to collect the mulch I dumped the liquid off into some rows, and into one compost bin that had been seeded. Now that the Okra bucket is just a bucket with Okra residue fused to the walls, I carried it over to the compost under the Trees of the Sisters and collect some compost for more experiments. To be completely clear, what I am trying to do by recomposting compost is to amplify the amount of microbial life in the compost, because I don’t want to be turning compost and all that. That, to me, is unnecessary work. I shoveled, listening to the advice of the educational seminar. As I walked back to my bins she asked to the attendees, “is that manure?” I kept my mouth shut and kept walking. Later I reflected on her question as I was building soil and working on my method of composting. Her question made me very proud. With some assistance from the Omnisicer and the microbes, Okra was transformed into manure. And in my opinion, if it smells like manure, then it may contain many of the microbes that are present within the gastrointestinal tract of the animal it smells like. Throughout the rest of the season I told this story to others when asked, “what’s in those buckets?” I failed to realize they were being respectful and didn’t really want an answer, but wanted to be nice because it smells like bull dung. Okay, Mason, that’s a nice story but what’s that got to do with the healthiest soils being black? Right right, well I had become very curious, because I am a huge fan of P-Funk and music in general that makes my face scrunch and distort. I think that the sloppiness of the groove in funk is the same as the blue note that gives Black American Music its characteristic hue. By this I proclaim a new tenet of Jigijigi Africultural Theory. Let it be known that, We Want The Funk! Gotta have that Funk! Many people have told you that compost shouldn’t smell bad, that if it does then it has gone bad, or it has pathogens or something. Our research hasn’t found that only pathogenic bacteria smell. Of course there are harmful bacteria that smell, but there are also beneficial bacteria that smell, and worse, harmful bacteria that smell good. Some pathogenic fungi even can pass undetected, as EPA researchers found in industrially composted products that you could buy off the shelf. I wonder if the bacteria that make the fresh soil smell, coexisted in those contaminated composts with the pathogenic bacteria. Further, we found that the Funk means something. The method of composting that I had formalized in the Summer of 2019 with Mandela at Nu Ray Research Garden turned 100lbs of frozen produce refuse from Sweet SoSumba into a black mush in about two months. Sure it stunk, but it was ready. According to everything that I had read, that wasn’t possible with compost. And everything I read was right, because I wasn’t composting. Composting is the aerobic digestion of organic matter. I was submerging organic matter into water and leaving it. I thought I was fermenting organic matter, but her question led me to the actual answer. I was performing anaerobic digestion. In anaerobic digestion, anaerobic bacteria and archaea utilize different electron acceptors to power themselves as they consume whatever complex material surrounds them while releasing energy from those complex materials. They do this in environments outside of the presence of oxygen, as our case, in a 5 gallon bucket underwater. Although this process is less efficient in releasing energy than an aerobic process, it however opens up a completely different realm of possibilities to the enterprising farmer. First, bacteria hydrolyze, or break the complex sugars, proteins, and fatty acids, creating simple sugars, amino acids, volatile fatty acids, hydrogen and acetate. Next, fermentative bacteria ferment those carbohydrates and amino acids creating ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other molecules. In this fermentative step is where the funk begins. At this point the Okra ceases to exist. It has become a sludge called the digestate, that is subject to step 3, acetogenesis. Acetogens eat and produce acetic acid as well as more CO2 and hydrogen. Lastly, the archaea show up in their deep sankofa way, arriving in the present from the beginning of time to convert the vinegar into methane. As that off gasses out of my home depot buckets the Okra has returned to an essence, a seed of abundance for the compost. The Okra exists now only as a memory of a question, “is that manure?” So as we have found, it seems like the rest of the world knows, except for those of us over here in the US, that with the slightly slower process you can get not only two fine agricultural products, with liquid and solid fertilizers, but you can also capture and store methane for cooking, heating, or powering a generator or spinning a turbine to generate electricity. Smelling Funk to Power The implications of this are huge, but not for those reasons, but also because with this method you can also digest organic material that other compost techniques cannot. The anaerobic digesters can degrade meat, oils, cooked foods, and all manure, including yours. Her question and my opinion joined together to form a position that is both accurate and precise. It turns out that the methane produce will cease if you don’t feed the digester, and it will crank up again when it is fed. It seems then that we are creating, in a container, another animal, that eats our waste and produces gases and solids like we do. Or, in another natural example, we are creating in a container the bottom of under the ocean floor. There methane is generated by methanogens found within the earth’s crust, if not by the volcanic processes of the inner workings of the earth. This methane flows into the ocean through a hydrothermal vent called a Black Smoker. Surrounding the black smoker, microbial life forms thick mats and that copepods, shrimp, and snails eat. Fish descend to eat them, bigger fish eat them, and it goes up the food chain to our earliest mammalian ancestors who got the bright idea to move on up to the deluxe apartment in the sky. It is deeply emotional and fascinating watching the videos of brothers and sisters on the Continent talk about how much their lives have changed with the purchase and incorporation of these digesters. Beautiful crops and free gas! The interest doubles as we reflect on all of the biology classes we took and realized that we spent maybe two paragraphs on anaerobic digestion. The rest of the semester would then be spent on the ins and outs of oxidative phosphorylation despite that within you, right now, anaerobic digestion makes it all possible! In closing we will say that We Want The Funk, Gotta Have That Funk! For the Funk is Sankofa. Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends, family and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a five star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now. Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening, to Jìgìjìgì. Peace.
78 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Charles Southward of IGH Gardens Charles is the founder of IGH Gardens in Los Angeles, California. I first came across him by way of his instagram account, a picture linked below with him and a bag of blood meal and the shiniest Swiss Chard I have ever seen. I am really excited for you to hear his wisdom! Works ReferencedInterview with Voyage LAIn God’s HandsInstagram – IGHgardensCharlie’s cameo in Raising ArizonaWhoever edited this video did a very interesting edit, not that it matters so much because look at Charlie’s wonderful mane!!! WOW! View this post on Instagram A post shared by Charles Southward (@ighgardens) Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Charles Southward “God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile” Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing part 4 Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Transcript (automated)
19 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
“God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile”
“God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile” It is my sincerest pleasure and honor to share with you some excerpts from three articles that have been what I started this podcast to find. We add two new terms to our conceptual soil vocabulary, ߕߕߎߔߏߟߋ (tutupole), and ߔߐߙߑߟߟߋ (porleilei). ߕߕߎߔߏߟߋ (tutupole) means “dump site soils” in Loma and refers to the places, and the soils formed where the ߕߕߎ or dump site is. The dump site is where all of the organic rubbish and wastes go to be broken down. We apply some sankofa-ic license and conceptually transform ߕߕߎߔߏߟߋ to mean compost and also where you compost. ߔߐߙߑߟߟߋ (porleilei) means “black-black” soils in Mande and refers to the completion of the process of healthy soil formation. We conceptually refer to these healthy black soils that we create as ߔߐߙߑߟߟߋ. Works Referenced“God made the soil, but we made it fertile”: gender, knowledge, and practice in the formation and use of African dark earths in Liberia and Sierra Leone“Indigenous African soil enrichment as climate-smart sustainable agriculture alternative”Anthropogenic Dark Earths in the Landscapes of Upper Guinea, West Africa: Intentional or Inevitable?Odù to Sow Seeds To10 Things I Don’t Knowߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa)Dark Earths: West Africa Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ “God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile” Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing part 4 Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons? And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? God made the soil, but we made it fertile. As you probably have gathered by now this podcast was started out of our curiosity about Natural Farming. We continue to read academic papers and other substantive literature, as well as reflect upon the lived experiences of our friends and previous guests on the show, to study the efficacy of natural farming practices like KNF. In reading about these practices we noticed that those techniques are founded upon strong cultural, ideological, and spiritual concepts specific to the ethnic group that created the technique. So where does that leave us? If these people have their own techniques born out of their cultural traditions that led to them building their healthy soils, surely we have the same thing! This is what Jìgìjìgì is to uncover. As we’ve stated before, especially in the episodes 10 Things I Don’t Know, Odù to Sow Seeds To, and Sankofa, traditional African spiritual systems are at the foundation of our collective development of ENI. Therefore it is my pleasure to share, liberally, some excerpts and implications from these three articles. 1. “God made the soil, but we made it fertile”: gender, knowledge, and practice in the formation and use of African dark earths in Liberia and Sierra Leone 2. Indigenous African soil enrichment as a climate smart sustainable agriculture alternative 3. Anthropogenic Dark Earths in the Landscapes of Upper Guinea, West Africa: Intentional or Inevitable? From these articles we will add two very relevant words to our conceptualized soil vocabulary. Articles like these, well, the information from the narratives within them, are the exact reason why we created the podcast and you cannot imagine my excitement and honor to share these articles with you! Starting with the third article, Intentional or Inevitable?, the authors put forth that these African dark earths, meaning, black soils, of course, are not “intentional” in the sense of “I want to create healthy black soils over there,” but instead they are an inevitable consequence of habitation and the cultural practices of the Loma, Mende, and Ashanti people as they live in their specific areas. The researchers elaborate: AfDEs form through additions of three primary forms of charred organic material: (1) charred wood from fires lit for cooking, palm oil, soap, and potash production and blacksmiths’ forges; (2) charred palm kernel from oil production; and (3) charred organic by-products from the production of potash (usually from the seed pods of Pentaclethra macrophylla, kola, silk cotton trees, and palm fruit heads), together with diverse organic material (e.g., rice straw, old Raphia thatch and cooking waste; Frausin et al. forthcoming) The second paper gives significantly more information into the formation of the soils. There are tables of the plants grown, timelines and much more data. Interviewees in Liberia and Ghana described how AfDE form through additions of several types of waste: ash and char residues from cooking; byproducts from processing palm oil and producing homemade soap; animal-based organic inputs such as bones from food preparation; and harvest residues and plant-biomass-based domestic refuse such as palm thatch, palm-fruit heads, and rice straw. These continuous, high-intensity nutrient and carbon depositions lead to an ongoing formation of highly fertile and carbon-rich AfDE in and around settlements. For example, They “observed how after dumping in one spot for a certain amount of time (>one year), women burn the pile and spread the ashes and char out for planting. This action is certainly intentional, but the purpose, according to the women, is for crops to grow well, not to transform the soil per se, although this is a long-term outcome that they are certainly aware of. Indeed, different naming and tenuring of land with AfDEs and trees planted with placentas and during burials are all intentional acts related to AfDEs but not directly related to AfDE formation itself.”The places where the soil will be created are at dumpsites and thusly have the Loma name tutupole or dump site soil. This is our first vocabulary concept word. I will apply a lil bit of sankofa-ic license and and rename where we build our compost, and compost, to Tutupole. As tutupole literally means dump site soils, the new sankofa-ic license definition, how we will use it here at Jìgìjìgì, Tutupole means “The place where soils are created.” Fortunately, these articles contain some accounts from four esteemed elders, from Intentional or Inevitable?: The first elder is unfortunately unnamed but states that “when he was young, he recalls, towns and villages had black soils around them owing to the “dirt” (e.g., fresh and burnt organic waste) people used to throw.” Gayflor Zee Pewee, the old chief at Beleziau, described how tulupole soils have a different texture, taste, and smell compared to other kinds of soil, because, according to him, of the food that has decomposed there over time. Yassa Reed, of Wenwuta, noted the softness and richness of the soil through the sensation on her hands and hoe when planting taro. Wenwuta people noted the vibrancy of the plantain growing in tulupole and how for this reason visitors to the town often carry off plantain seedlings to plant where they live. Each morning we witnessed women’s sweeping of the yard—the bending and back-and-forth and taken- for-granted part of daily bodily routines, including gathering children’s, sheep’s, and chicken’s feces and throwing them into the kitchen garden, along with ash and charcoal. When processing palm oil or potash, or after cooking in farm huts, we observed people dumping the charred wastes around the site as an extension of the activity itself, a convenient way to get materials out of the working area. In the language of Harman (2011), experiences like these are the sensual qualities through which the Loma sensual object tulupole is created. Gayflor later states in the article, He was born in Zolowo, and his father brought him to Beleziau in 1950. When people arrived to settle there was no black soil, but when the town was established it began to form from the “dirt” that people threw:This village has a large amount of black soil because it is very old. If you look at the black soil around a town, you can tell how old it is. If you dig a hole you can see how far down the black soil goes, and this shows how old the town is. When we make a farm, black soil is on the surface, not underneath. The black soil in the old spot continues to form, leaves of trees fall and fertilize it.Another elder, the oldest man in Wenwuta, Yarkpazu, is about ninety and was town chief of Wenwuta during the Tubman era (1944–1971)…Yarkpazu claims that “god” made the tulupole around the town, but the people made it fertile by dumping there, a perspective also held by most of the town’s women. A fourth elder is Yarkparwolu, the chief of New Gbokolomie village. When he settled New Gbokolomie, he explained, the soil was not black like it is now. It became black from the thatch, sweeping, straw, and other things people threw away. The chief’s father told him that “when you plant banana you should throw things under it.” According to him charcoal and ash by-products from potash3 production are fertilizers. His father used to tell him that when they were re-thatching houses, he should throw all the old thatch over there because “it will rot and turn the soil black.” According to Yarkparwolu, “We are the ones that are making the soil around the town black with all the things we are throwing . . . [we’ve been] been dumping dirt, then it rots and becomes soil and becomes rich.” Elders at four different settlements in the Wenwuta landscape thus all see AfDE formation as an inevitable consequence of settled life. The second paper, is light on cultural details, and heavy in terms of the science. We’ll quote briefly from it. Most of the novelty expressed in these papers is the uncovering of heavily carbonized soils that are analogous to terra preta soils in the Amazon, outside of the Amazon, and definitely so in West Africa. As the authors say, We uncovered an existing, yet overlooked soil management system that has long been – and continues to be – an important feature of the indigenous West African agricultural repertoire. It transforms highly weathered, infertile, yellowish-to-red tropical soils (Oxisols and Ultisols) into black, highly fertile, carbon- rich soils. The pH of tutupole soils are less acidic than adjacent soils, reducing aluminum toxicity and increasing the bioavailability of nutrients for plant uptake. Furthermore, availability of phosphorous, nitrogen, and concentrations of calcium, magnesium and potassium are greater in the cultivated tutupole. The soils have a much higher cation exchange capacity, which facilitates nutrient exchange from soil to plants, while having a lower density than the adjacent soils. The lower density will make for a lighter soil which will allow for plants to grow larger and faster. In the third and first articles the authors state that the tutupole are often used as nursery soils for banana and plantain trees, where they are initially planted and tended to, and then moved to other areas when more mature. In the first article we are met with the extremely powerful phrase and title, “God made the soil, but we made it fertile.” It is also here that we are given more of our vocabulary to internalize.In Sierra Leone, villagers distinguish black soils (porlei) from ‘very’ or ‘black black’ soils (porleilei), describing the latter as a deeper black in colour, more fine grained and fertile, and with distinct soil organisms. Established dumpsite soils (AfDE) are porleilei, with porlei seemingly understood as an intermediate, transitional stage in AfDE formation. This theme is repeated throughout women and men’s narratives in the two countries. Thus as Gbolu Korlu, a female elder in Wenwuta, explained the differences between black and red soil: “Black soil is found around the town, in certain places in the bush. God made the soil, but the dirt is the food for the plants. On the farm when they pile the straw up and burn it makes the soil black too. In some old farmland that is how the soil becomes black. Black soil is good because it is smooth, red soil is rocky. That’s why things grow better in the black soil than the red soil…Black soil is only found in small areas, but the red soil is found all over. Black soil in certain places is made by god, elsewhere by man.” An elderly woman in Wenwuta, Kortor Flomo, identified that black soil is the most fertile, that it is mainly found around the town, and [named] some of the materials and processes that lead to its formation: “What makes the soil so rich? The dirt we [put] there and burn over and over for a very long time will change the soil. The black soil is rich around the town because the things we throw there: rice straw, fire ash, other materials. Soils on the farm are not as rich as those around the town as they do not have things thrown on it like in the town…. The soil that god made, it never had pepper, bitter ball, okra, plantain, on it. But it was us that had that idea of planting things in the soil, and throwing things on the soil making the soil rich, it was not god.” In another Wenwuta narrative, Carmen Howard attributes the richness of AfDE to the actions of ancestors dumping, and how this has made the town soils the “chief” of all soils: “The black soil was made by god, but made rich by our old people way back. Those things that the old people used to throw in the soil way back are what made the soil rich for planting. Around the town you can plant pepper, bitter ball banana, plantain, they will grow best, better than on the farm. The reason for this is things we throw in the gardens around town. The black soil is the chief of all soil around here”. Whereas some women describe fallow burning for farming as creating black soils, one elder woman (Yassa Ubu) claimed that they were mistaken, since it is only black on the surface: “To know the type of soil you can’t just look at it, you’ve got to dig. The soil can appear black but when I dig below it is red…there is only real black soil around town…or in an old town spot. The reason why you only get black soil around the town is because that is where people throw dirt. It was god that made the soil but we are the ones who change the colour… I was born, observed the actions of people throwing dirt, this changed the soil. Soil does not become black here in t he field because we are not throwing things here.” Her narrative went on to recognise a distinction between a richer but narrow inner ring of AfDE at Wenwuta, where dumping is still taking place, and more extensive AfDE further out: “You find black soil at Wenwuta and at old town spots for Wenwuta…the blackest soil is found closest to the town and then as you move out you can also find a black soil, but not as black as the one closest to the town…The inner black soils are darkest because we are still throwing things there, the outer ones only had dirt thrown there way back. Further out black soil was made because town was bigger before but afterwards became smaller…when you see a big area of black soil at an old town spot, that means the town was big, if it is small then the town was small” Let’s revisit the phrase, that is now an òwe, or proverb here at Jìgìjìgì. “God made the soil, but we made it fertile.” What made me highlight this as an òwe is that it is so so so so counter to how we currently think about the environment. This thought challenges, at least my perception of, messianic environmentalism as put forth in the book of Genesis. Dominion is exactly how we got into this mess. Or, if Dominion were the most divine way to proceed, it would not be necessary to have developed natural farming techniques because they would have already been the common practice. Another difference is that this òwe is also conceptually, very far away from the new-age love and harmony ecological approach that we discussed in the episode Conflict. Said differently, we have what is similarly expressed in the phrase “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.” By this we mean certain places naturally have this porleilei, the black-black soils, but they aren’t in locations that lend themselves towards agricultural or societal development. Those places have the talent, but don’t work, for us. With tutupole as the beginning of the formation of the porleilei, we become active in the process of healthy soil creation. and it is created, as a consequence of the natural processes of the lived lives of the Loma, Mende, and Asante peoples. However, for them, the formation porleilei is inevitable. For us it must become intentionally inevitable. By this we suggest having the forethought to create porleilei at the Tutupole, by having our lifestyle designed so that the foods we eat, the plants we grow, and the way we prepare all of those things result in porleilei. This òwe empowers us examine our talents and transform them into standardized processes that work hard for us and our community.This òwe reframes our anxiety, and now we become excited by the prospect of the Creator and Creatress challenging us by delivering us 75% of the way to creating porleilei. It is then our grand opportunity to become creative, to epitomize the most natural thing about us, our inherent divinity, to solve our problems. We’ll make our soil fertile. Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5-stare review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O!Thank you, for listening, to Jìgìjìgì, Peace.
3 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa)
Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) We relay the entire history of the soil, and highlight the role of fungi and of the mushroom plays. Later we shift to the role you play as you create this healthy black soil. Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing part 4 Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Mushrooms as Sankofa Many scientists agree that fungi were the first multicellular organisms on the surface of the Earth. As such they likely fed first on bacteria and various rock that had been on the surface long before them. From here a great feeding took place and provided the first cycling of nutrients. As the fungi live and die, the bacteria take their turn to thrive. This cycle lasts for millions of years until green algae make their way up and over the land. An abundance of food led to cooperation, creating lichens, symbiotic associations of fungi and algae that were more capable of digesting rocks. Carbon dioxide was also in abundance which created a need in algae to develop better structures to process this food, creating mosses, ferns, flowers, and trees. All along the way all life was complicating around plant life. Bacteria and fungi all thriving based on the work that our earliest living ancestors, the Archaea performed. All the while soil was being built. And while life is exchanging lives with one another, Another physical process occurs. Weathering. Mountains into molehills into minerals by wind, rain, sleet, snow, sun, lichen, fungi, and the new plant roots. As the biosphere is being composed, life also decomposes. This organic material at its full decomposition becomes the finest of all compounds. Humus. This compound along with its humic acid and fulvic acids give the healthiest soils their characteristic hue, their Blackness. I say all that to say that Sankofa isn’t just an adinkra, but a verb. Sankofa is an active process. Here we’ve gone back and fetched the beginning of the formation of the soil. And at that beginning we find fungi and mushrooms. And of course, we’ve found you! As you build your healthy soil and look amidst that blackness you’ll find thin white wisps on the outside of woodchips, and fuzzy tiny cotton balls. As the fungi grow you are harkening all of history at once, the first processes of life occurring on land are happening again, and as they always have, right underneath your feet. In your active composition of compost, of the soil, you are composing life, and the beginning of earth, as we know it, again! Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening to Jìgìjìgì. Peace
4 minutes | Dec 26, 2020
Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing part 4
Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing Part 4 In our final episode in the series of Bioremediation, we finally express the reasons why we shared this information and reviewed the overall point of these practices. Works referencedRhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s ThingSoil Mycoremediation: A New, Native-Fungi Approach (2019)Blue Milky aka Lactarius indigoBlewitMandelaShrooms? In My Buckets?? Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature Do The Damn Thing part 4 Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Bioremediation Wrap Up: Helping Nature do the Damn Thing In producing these episodes I’ve learned a lot and I hope you have too. It may not have been the clearest, I’m known to be a lil obtuse, so I just want to summarize some of the points. We discussed some ways to clean our soils and build our soils at the same time. Why is this important? Why here? Our communities, our lands, especially in suburban and doubly so in our urban environments will be among the most affected by pollution. As we mentioned before, where Mandela and I were growing near Howard University had been a previous spot where people cut corners and dumped lead pain chips into someone else’s backyard with no repercussions. Although I have no evidence for this, I am likely to believe that this has happened quite often in our communities. Figuring out ways for us to be able to extract, sequester, or release these toxins from our soil is just as important as using the vegetables we grow to rid the toxins from within our bodies. Figuring out ways to do this with the least expenses incurred is also necessary for our community. We’ve shown studies that demonstrate certain composts can become chelators and transform the chemistry of these toxins, facilitating better uptake by your plants while improving the structure and health of the soil at the same time! The caveat is that bioremediation takes time! It takes an entire season for Sunflowers to grow and accumulate enough biomass to store this lead in its tissue after removing it from the soils. Generally lead is stored in the more aerial parts of the plant, so as we discussed before, taking the grown sunflower to the municipal dump is one of the ways to extract the lead from your soils. As we continue our conversations about urban agriculture, sustainability, regeneration, food policy and food justice, it is also our responsibility to grow clean soils in order to grow healthy soils. I was very pleased to know that there is established and highly scientific literature out about building mycoremediation reactors. Although the presentation that we’re highlighting doesn’t go into detail about the construction of the myco-reactors, my understanding of the talk leads me to believe that they are constructed quite similarly to what I described in the episodes Rhizofiltration and Remediation, and Shrooms? In My buckets? Since moving here to Charlotte we’ve collected many different species of fungi that we’ve added to our myco-reactors like Blewits, Blue Milkys, and other mushrooms we’ve never seen before. Perhaps we’ll get results similar to our previous experiments. Perhaps you’ll share Jìgìjìgì with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5-star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening, to Jìgìjìgì. Peace.
13 minutes | Oct 25, 2020
Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3
Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 – JP035 From PNW, to South Korea, from Silver Spring to Charlotte we discuss these two different techniques for cleaning and building healthy black soils! Works ReferencedPaul Stamets – Excerpt from Mushrooms as Planetary Healers.Phytoremediation of levonorgestrel in aquatic environment by hydrophytesUmbrella PapyrusRhizofiltration using sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. vulgaris) to remediate uranium contaminated groundwaterA prescription for drug-free rivers: uptake of pharmaceuticals by a widespread streamside willowShrooms? In my Buckets?? – JP027EsoTerracisms: Beekeeping in Ancient Kemet (Egypt) – JP017 Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Rhizofiltration is when contaminants are bound to the surface, or immobilized within the Root tissue by chemical action, usually precipitated or mineralized as a salt. Rhizodegradation happens within the rhizosphere, or root zone, of the topsoil structure. Bacteria, yeasts, and fungi transform contaminants into basic phytochemicals. Rhizodegradation by fungi is called mycoremediation. I first came upon these concepts, and rhizodegradation especially, as many others have, by learning about Paul Stamets. Specifically his experiment discussed in the documentary Mushrooms as Planetary Healers. Excerpt from video Of course you remember the free masters thesis project I gave you all in episode 33. In that experiment we discussed the Papyrus removing the levonorgestrel out of the water by phytoextraction, but as the paper also states “Additionally, mineralization on root zone epidermis played an important role in the reduction of LNG in water.” That is rhizofiltration in one sentence. In the same way that the Oyster mushrooms Paul Stamets described can break down polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can also be the case for various pharmaceuticals. To prove that hypothesis, that plants can indeed filter water for pharmaceutical compounds and return either non-toxic phytochemicals or basic molecular compounds, the rhizofiltration and phytoextraction would have to be proven, followed by a rhizodegradation of the human-digested compounds. These compounds would all have to be isolated, quantified and assayed for their supposed non-toxicity of course, but if you choose the right lab, buying the kits to perform the tests for you is no problem! Even better, with the even better lab, they’ll have equipment to perform the experiment, and do the analysis for you! As the plants live and die the fungi will be busy colonizing the substrate and gathering taste information of its new food present on the plant roots and within the decomposing structures. Once they have acclimated their tastebuds they will begin transforming these compounds into the phyto-hormones and other basic, non-toxic chemicals. At this point the subtrate and bioremediation apparatus will start contributing to the environment as a whole, functioning as a cleansing island in the middle of a stream, much in the way that Stamets described with his oyster oil mound. Let’s discuss three other plants that you may be familiar with that are extremely interesting and efficient rhizofilters. Drs. M. Lee and M. Yang of Pukyong National University in South Korea published in 2010 “Rhizofiltration using sunflower and bean to remediate uranium containing groundwater.” The authors have shown that in the experimental setups, and in groundwater samples, sunflowers and beans were able to reduce the concentration of Uranium contamination by 70%. Dropping the pH of the water to a range between 3-5 increased the efficiency to over 90%. The paper, included in the show notes, shows an electronmicroscopy photo of the deposited uranium on the surface of the Sunflower root. They confirmed their hypothesized uranium deposit with an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer analysis. The analysis showed a huge spike corresponding to the detection of uranium. All of these results were generated within a timeframe of 80 hours, which is about three and a third days. Another interesting study, quite related to the free thesis has a clever title. “A prescription for drug-free rivers” was published in 2018. In this study, using a simple hydroponic system that many use to grow food, the authors found that Sandbar Willow can uptake, translocate, or precipitate the radioactively tagged pharmaceuticals, diltiazem (blood pressure, anti-hypertensive), diazepam (Valium, anti-anxiety), Ethinylestradiol (birth control), and Atrazine, a pesticide. Interestingly, all compounds were taken up into the plants except for estradiol, which was bound to the roots. Who knows, maybe additional fungi, which could withstand an aqueous environment, could degrade the compound as we previously mentioned? I’d definitely like to see those studies in the future. Part of what is so exciting about the entire concept of Bioremediation is its amazing efficiency at such a low cost. On my personal instagram page I shared, in the early part of the pandemic, that I was able to cultivate a second flush of oyster mushrooms in the fridge, and get them to fruit after adding coffee grounds to their plastic container. Later after they began to grow through the grounds I added them to a bucket that’d contained even more coffee grounds, a little bit of worm and BSF castings, to seed the composting and all of our vegetable wastes. I checked on it about 3 weeks later and saw the very beginnings of the established oyster mushrooms heads! Siblings of the soil may now fully understand my excitement behind the Shrooms in my bucket episode. Since just after my Solar Return I’ve been volunteering at the Seeds for Change Farm within the Three Sisters Market Cooperative in the West Blvd Corridor of Charlotte, NC. To be working with the youth is a great honor and it is my privilege to share my understandings gathered so far to the young black men and women. What a surprise it was in turn to open up that bucket of compost and oyster mushrooms four months later and pull out clods of soil with mycelial streaks! I was so happy! My happiness then knew no bounds when I broke the clods, you may remember here at Jigijigi we say, Friends don’t let friends Clod Soils, and in both halves of the clods were full of mycelia! Although the bucket smelled despicable my joy plunged my hand into the depths of that bucket, unearthing that Oyster Funk into Charlotte. I tried to check last Saturday on it to see what had happen since I moved it all around but I was excused off of the premises by a perturbed honey bee sting. The Tears of Ra. I think that this experiment I have been conducting has profound implications for the development of ENI/ANF. I think, with purchasing say 15-20 of those oyster mushroom trays and repeating the exact same steps could yield many cultures of oysters, especially if grown on samples of the soil we wish to remediate, that could rhizodegrade the contaminants that are present in the soil with very little cost. Especially if we worked stepwise around the contaminated area, within 1 season, with Sunflowers, certain brassicas, and legumes, the plants could entirely clean sections of the plot and build soil at the same time! We have one more episode within the Bioremediation series. After then we will return to more interviews and of course, more wonderful information that will compel you to share Jigijigi with your friends, family and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O. Thank you, for listening, to Jigijigi. Peace.
9 minutes | Sep 4, 2020
Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2
Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Fascinating experiments in Nigeria change our plans for growing lead out of the soil. Enjoy! Works ReferencedEDTAChelationSurface TensionSoapShear Stress in FluidsF–k Yeah Fluid Dynamics BlogPhytoremediation of Lead Polluted Soil by Glycine max LCompost and biochar assisted phytoremediation potentials of Moringa oleifera for remediation of lead contaminated soil Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Bioextraction and Phytostablization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing, Part 2 Just as plants move nutrients from the soil through roots to shoots, tubers, leaves, and seeds, so it goes for pollutants. Before I continue with this episode I must emphasize the importance of soil testing. When Mandela and I grew down at Nu Ray Research Garden we learned that approximately 1/4th of the land was contaminated with high levels of lead. It wouldn’t be a big problem for us because we are healthy and young, but for children and older folks it is not advised to consume anything that grows in a lead contaminated soil. So what do you do with the soil you have, that may be contaminated or polluted? Like most answers to most questions, it depends. In the Master Gardener class I took the instructor told us that a particular place in DC was previously a military dumping ground, and so, the school had to get the soil excavated and replaced because of the arsenic contamination. This may be an outlying example but in our case, the lead came from house paint illegally dumped during a housing renovation. These contaminants don’t go anywhere, unlike nutrients that can be leached away, contaminants leach within the soil, within our bodies, unless we do something about them. If we had the time to experiment with our contaminated soil I would absolutely try my Black Thumbs at phytoremediation and growing the lead out of the soil. My original plan would be to utilize the phytoextractive properties of plants and the chelant EDTA or Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. The EDTA, in solution with water will alter the chemistry of the soil and of the lead polluted therein to maximize the plants extraction potential. Think of EDTA’s extraction assistance like using soap to clean a greasy dish. The soap doesn’t break up the grease but what it does is break is the surface tension of water. Breaking the surface tension changes the way water interacts, chemically, with lipids and fatty acids. Water no longer is slippery and fat no longer floats. Soap makes water an incredibly destructive force and allows it to shear the grease into smaller and smaller droplets that can be rinsed away.EDTA works similarly. It solubilizes the lead into solution, much like salt or sugar into hot water. From this the EDTA-Lead solution will be phytoextracted from the soil into the plant. At this stage we deepen our “depends.” Meaning, depending on the specific plant chosen, the lead may go to a different place within that plant. Each of these locations further deepens the depends, especially if greater concentrations are stored in the roots. In that case, concentrations would be too high for phytoextraction. We would need to grow plants and trees to phytostabilize the lead and lock it out of absorption into plants or elsewhere in the soil. Similar levels to the lead that we experienced would be perfect for phytoextraction. In phyotoextraction the lead moves into the roots then to the leaves, or aerial parts of the plant. At that point the plant would be harvested and dumped at a hazardous waste facility. With certain pollutants, plants can be grown and then fermented and filtered into bio-ethanol, pyrolized into charcoal, or burned and their ashes harvested for valuable minerals. However, our case wold be similar to the authors Abioye et al, at the Federal University of Technology Minna in Nigeria. They reported in a 2013 research article that “the more available pool of lead was translocated from the roots to seeds and stem in that order.” The plant they chose for their study was Glycine max or Soybean. They stated further “it is a legume and, therefore, has the additional advantage of fixing nitrogen in the soil.” While reading this paper I was struck by their observation. “It could be possible that some of the lead could have escaped into the atmosphere. USEPA reported that heavy metals (when mopped up by the plants) have the ability to escape into the atmosphere which could be in line with this finding.” What was the finding? The soil test showed that after just three days, and then even more so after 12 weeks of remediation, the concentrations of lead in the soil were less than they were after initial pollutant introduction. In the 25ppm or 20mg/kg lead contaminated soils, the residual lead concentration was 2.13mg/kg after just 3 days of growth. 9.38x less lead after 3 days of growth. Marvelous results. Indeed I was marveled by a 2018 article published in the Journal of Environmental Engineering that changes my original plan. The article authored by Adejuno et al is titled “Compost and Biochar-assisted phytoremediation potentials of Moringa oleifera for remediation of lead.” This paper counters my previous plan with this paragraph. “It is remarkable to note that compost enhanced plant lead accumulation and translocation from roots to shoots. This finding may establish compost as an alternative natural chelate to enhance phytoextraction. Complexing agents, such as EDTA, citric acid, tartrate have been added to metals contaminated soils to increase metals accumulation in plants targets for phytoremediation. However, costs of the chemicals to the environment are the drawbacks of this approach. Hence, the use of controlled amount of compost to enhance Pb extraction is hereby proposed as an alternative method to clean up Pb contaminated soils.” The authors close the article by saying, “The shoot of M. oleifera yielded a higher mass than its root, and the Pb concentrations in the root was higher than that in the shoot, suggesting that M. oleifera plant has the potential to provide vegetation cover for phytostabilization of lead contaminated soils. Groundnut shell biochar performed best in soil immobilisation of Pb and limited the uptake of Pb by M. oleifera. Therefore, this combination has the potential for phytostabilisation of Pb in contaminated soils. Lead uptake by M. oleifera, was enhanced by the compost. Sunflower-poultry manure compost, in combination with M. oleifera, can be proposed for phytoexraction of Pb- contaminated soils. The combination of sunflower-poultry manure compost and M. oleifera plant may be a promising phytoexraction technology for reclamation of lightly Pb contaminated soils, while phytostabilisation of highly Pb contaminated soil may be achieved using groundnut shell biochar in combination with M. oleifera plant. Compost and biochar amendments, fast-growing and Pb tolerant moringa oleifera plant may be proposed for reclamation of lead contaminated soil.” This research is exactly why we are so excited to share it! Even we learn by providing and sharing new information with you, our loving sibling of the soil. To think that previous techniques that we’ve discussed here can not only build your soil, but clean soil is tremendously fascinating. I’ve taken a deep interest in a different Yoruba Proverb. Isu wa lowo e, one wa lowo e. The yam is in your hand, the knife is in your hand. Everything you need to feed yourself, to sustain yourself, my sibling of the soil, is already within your grasp. Quite literally, the yam can filter our Zn and Cd from the soil, and then be fermented, producing bio-ethanol. Share Jigijigi with your friends, family and your closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì
7 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing
Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing JP-033 – The beginning of a series on Bioremediation. We give a short overview of how we can use life to clean life. We end with a story of a graduate thesis I abandoned because it wasn’t going to get me a doctorate. Works ReferencedPhytoremediation of levonorgestrel in aquatic environment by hydrophytesUmbrella PapyrusRIP to mine, I miss it so much, it lives on through many friends!Removal of Heavy Metals in Contaminated Soil by Phytoremediation Mechanism: a ReviewCopper PlantLevonorgestrelFathead Minnow Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Bioremediation: Helping Nature Do It’s Thing I’ve been planning this Bioremediation series for some time, as one episode will not do this topic justice. In short, bioremediation is the use of plants, bacteria, fungi, the sum of all known as biology, life, to clean up the environment. Some short examples are using Sunflowers to take up uranium from the groundwater, various fungi to breakdown petrochemicals into the most elementary fatty acids, or mining nickel from the incinerated harvests of Sunflower, Indian Mustard, and the Copper Plant. The Copper Plant, in South Africa is so tolerant of high copper soils that some geologists use it as an indicator of what’s in the soil. Usually these plants are called hype accumulators because of their ability to accumulate large amounts of heavy metals, radionuclides, organic solvents, hydrocarbons and other environmental toxins. All of these plants have a variety of strategies they employ to reverse the effects that we have caused. All that is left for us to do is to figure out how to recover the toxins once they are stored within the plant. I’ll list the most common strategies followed by a short definition. It won’t be that scientifically tough, I promise! Phytoextraction or PhytoaccumulationAbsorbing the contaminant within the root structure and transferring them into the aboveground or aerial parts of the plant. PhytostabilizationStabilizing the contaminant through chemical action by the plant, in the soil. “Locking the contaminants in the soil.” Rhizofiltrationremoving contaminants in the soil and absorbing them into the fibrous root zone of the plant. RhizodegradationWhere fungi, yeasts, and bacteria can degrade organic contaminants, like hydrocarbons, or synthetic hormones PhytodesalinizationRemoval of excessive salts in the soil. PhytovolatilizationAbsorbing the contaminant in the roots and releasing it into the atmosphere Future episodes will go into each of these topics by centering the topic around some plants you may recognize, and maybe even know how to grow! I’ll leave you with a story, one about my proposed graduate thesis. A friend of mine was studying the Fathead Minnow, a freshwater fish endemic to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Fathead Minnows display an impressive sexual dimorphism. That is to say, male and female fish look and behave very differently. As my friends lab studies endocrinology, he looked at the growth effects that other hormones might have on the Fathead Minnow. In particular a hormone that he studied are metabolites of the birth control drug levonorgestrel. What he found, what I saw was quite amazing. Repeat after repeat showed that exposure to the birth control compounds that we release into the environment through our excretions not only reverse the appearance of the sexual dimorphism, but also the courting behaviors of the fish as well. It is very bizarre to see at week 1, for example, normal fish in the experimental tank ,then at week 4 to see the same fish, but their manifestations of their original sex have changed, the appearance and behaviors are remarkably different. Role reversal. After seeing this, and going through the implications that this may have on us, I thought about whether or not there was a way to remove levonorgestrel and other synthetic estrogens from the water. I found a paper that I was willing to stake my entire future on. Phytoremediation of Levonorgestrel in aquatic environment by hydrophytes. Yes! This was exactly what I needed. I already had the main hydrophyte, Umbrella Papyrus, growing in my bedroom! I immediately had the rest of my life planned out starting from this experiment. Two sets of three tanks. Tank1 is the upstream tank, where you add the contaminants. Tank2 is the tank for the plants, where my papyrus would go and grow. Tank 3 is the fish tank. Tanks 4-6 are the control versions of tanks 1-3. The first aim of the experiment would be to re-prove what my homie already did in a different apparatus, and measure the concentrations of the contaminant and see they are consistent throughout the system. The second aim would prove that these plants can remove the levonorgestrel out of the water, by measuring the concentrations of the drug in tank 3, which doesn’t yet have any fish. The third aim would result in seeing that the fish retained their sexual dimorphism after living downstream of the papyrus despite the addition of the drug in tank 1. Of course there would be further contamination of the water, but then perhaps in aim three more plant tanks could be added to bring the concentration down even lower before tank 3.This was brilliant! Fool-proof! I brought this idea up to several friends, including Silver Sprung, He asked me “what about the plant residues?” I thought about this for a while until, aha! Rhizodegradation! Then, after graduating with my phD in environmental sciences I would start a freshwater consulting firm and sell phyto/rhizoremediation arrays to be installed in small streams as an environmental statement standpoint to local governments. I’d be set and the environment would be set to move into the right direction! I mustered up the courage to speak to the environmental studies professor whose office shared a wall with mine and he said “yeah, that’s a good master’s degree.” All hope, my future, all of this imagination, abandoned with disappointment. I hadn’t really thought about this much at all since then, until now where it is most beneficial to share it with you. Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends family and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a a 5* review and wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì. Peace
3 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve
Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve – JP032 Wrangler Jeans has partnered with select farms in southern US states to practice sustainable agriculture in their production of a line of jeans and t-shirts. In doing this they’ve inverted the value-added model and added value back into the production. Listen in to this short overview. Works referenced:[Podcast] Wrangler Jeans Endorses Cover CropsWrangler Launches Soil Health Pilot Program to Bolster Sustainable Cotton SupplyWrangler Rooted Collection Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Sustainability from the Seed to the Sleeve Wrangler jeans has partnered with farmers in 6 southern states to grow jeans and t-shirts in a sustainable fashion. This is an extremely cool project where a big company is localizing production and manufacture to fulfill the three F’s of Farming. Food, Fiber and Fuel. Using a covercrop mix, crop rotation, and conservation tillage they were not only able to grow the jeans and the t shirts but also improve the quality of the soil they grew the clothes in, as well as sequester carbon from the atmosphere into the soil. One interesting aspect of this is that these jeans are sold at a premium price of $99. It seems to be that certain customers can be accessed through marketing the value of this agricultural endeavor. The Senior Director of Sustainability for Wrangler and Lee Rowan Atwood said that now it is his job to figure out how to scale back these costs because “ it’s not a fair choice..someone should not be choosing between, can I afford this and I do want to support this type of activity/practice.” We agree. As we think about what the small farmer can do to better their products, we still champion the value add as a way for the farmer to get their effort valued fairly. Wrangler did this in a weird inverse fashion by adding the value of the production back after the already added values of ginning, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and sewing cotton into jeans. The issue that Wrangler now faces — do we price at a premium, or have it available for everyone — is also felt by small farmers taking their sustainable produce to farmer’s markets. I look forward to keeping both of us informed on how Rowan Atwood is able to do this. Once he makes that information available I’ll know, which means you’ll know and together we’ll be able to connect the dots and revert his inversion, realizing added value for our Siblings of the Soil. Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends, family and closely related Siblings of the Soil. Leaves us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O! Thank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì, Peace.
10 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black?
What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? – JP031 We’ve stated before that its scientifically true that the healthiest soils are black. We give the how and the what behind the Why. Works Referenced:Black Soils are key to achieving Zero Hunger and for climate change adaptationHarbin CommuniqueLaunching the International Network of Black SoilsInternational Symposium on Black Soils2nd Meeting of the INBSHumusExudatesGlomalinHumic AcidFulvic AcidArbuscular MycorrhizaeMy google search for why does lightning happen (no quotes)UCAR page on thunder and lightning Why Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Today we ask a 3rd question.:What makes the healthiest soils Black? The Former Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states in a video message to participants of the International Symposium on Black Soil, “Black soils constitute the food basket of many countries, and are very important for the world as a whole. Their high organic matter content puts black soils amongst the most productive soils in the world.” In an article titled “Black Soils are the Key to Achieving Zero Hunger and for Climate Change Adaptation” the F.A.O. writes, “Black soils refers to many different soil types that often contain a moderate to high content in organic matter. This, with carbon as its main component, is crucial to soil health and fertility, water infiltration and retention as well as food production. As a major carbon storage system, conserving and restoring soils are essential for both sustainable agriculture and climate change mitigation.” Delegates from 18 black soils countries/regions are members of the International Network of Black Soils. They assembled in Harbin, China from September 10-12, 2018 to review the status of Black Soils and the need for the protection and sustainable management in the framework of the International Network of Black Soils. There the delegates signed the Harbin Communique and agreed to advance the science and technology of Black Soils management in the world. They broadly defined black soils as having the following characteristics:High organic carbon content as per the following:>1.2% for cold and temperate>0.6% for tropical and subtropical regions– Dark to Black colored surface horizons– Thickness of Dark to Black Soil surface horizons not less than 25cmWith the following complimentary characteristics:– A High base saturation >50%– Strong aggregate stability– High level of nutrient content The motto of this network is “Protect Black Soils, Invest in the Future.” As many guests have answered, organic matter decomposing in the soil, either aerobically (in the presence of oxygen), or anaerobically (without the presence of oxygen, through fermentation) with worms, nematodes, other bugs, fungi, and other microorganisms, or even macro-organisms providing frass, castings, or manure. As these are broken down they become food for other microorganisms who eventually turn them to black bits of soil, the tiniest, unrecognizable, incompressible bits known as humus. The humus contributes to water and air storage, increased soil porosity, and the dark color of the soils may assist in the warming of soils in the early spring. The exact mechanisms of how humus is formed is unknown but the previously stated is the general consensus. In the process of growing, plants will secrete exudates, like simple or complex sugars, into the soil to attract microorganisms to free nutrients in decomposing organic matters and, in some cases, unlock mineral nutrition by tapping directly into rock and other small portions of stone. In response fungi exude another molecule, Glomalin, that acts as the glue of the soil. The glue not only increases the aggregate stability of the soil, but also increases the water holding capacity of the soil. Glomalin and other macromolecules like humid and filmic acids make the soil to be alive by facilitating the lively transactions and conversations between beings and states of being. Just as a snowflake needs a nucleus to crystallize around to produce their wonderful shapes, soil needs these compounds to produce produce! The best thing you can do to keep your healthy soils black is to keep them green. Meaning, to always have something growing in the soil. It is a fine dance that is done growing black soils under the Sun. If the soil is left naked and bare, sunburn happens, annihilating the life built there. Micro and macrobiota, stored carbon in various forms, like exudates, simple sugars, lignin, and decomposing organic matter all play their part in the rich symphony titled , “What Makes The Healthiest Soils Black?” Often that answer is given in response to this question, Why do you think the healthiest soils are Black? These are two very different questions. One question asks for a recipe, the other asks for a story, for ideas. Often, especially in science, How or What questions are conflated with Why questions. For example; I google “Why does lightning and then it autofills happen and I hit enter and google responds with a quote from the UCAR, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research: “Lightning happens when negative charges (electrons) in the bottom of the cloud are attracted to positive charges (protons) in the ground.” Interestingly, the word “why” isn’t found anywhere on the page, nor on any of the pages listed on the first two pages of the results, unless it is in the asked question. Perhaps the reason why is because they aren’t the same question.Wikipedia shows on the page Why, three different possibilities for the question why?:Causality, a consequential relationship between two events.Reason (argument), a premise in support of an argument, for what reason or purpose.Grounding (metaphysics), a topic in metaphysics regarding how things exist in virtue of more fundamental things. By reflecting on Why do you think the healthiest soils are Black, I’ve realized that I’m asking a metaphysical question and usually getting a causal response. This had troubled me for so long. This tripartite ambiguity manifests its amorphous head in many of our conversations and curiosities. The question that was answered by google is What makes lightning happen, or How does lightning happen, or two out of three of the Why’s of Why does lightning happen.I think this could be a causal reason for why we ask questions sometimes and the answers are unfulfilling. Perhaps if we have found ourselves, in the past asking why questions in the metaphysical way, but only getting causal responses, or reasoned responses, we may, altogether stop asking questions because we don’t know, or we don’t think we know what question we are asking. To ground us, many of us have asked, as I have in the past, Why Me? And unbeknownst to us, we are asking a metaphysical question expecting a causal response. Of course the causal response is unnecessary, and unhelpful, “this is th set of sequential behaviors that you performed prior to the fender-bender that led to you being involved in the fender-bender.” That answer is wholly unsatisfactory to the question of “Why me? Two accidents in four months? Why why why why??” When we label ourselves as having a purple thumb, we’ve previously asked, metaphysically, “Why do I keep killing plants?” We immediately think something is wrong with ourselves, instead of something being wrong with our technique. A better question might be more directly casual, “What are some of the behaviors that I might perform that lead to plants dying?”OrWhat makes plants die?OrHow do plants die?OrHow do I prevent myself from perpetuating these behaviors? In summary, what makes the healthiest soils black is only a part of the reason as to why the healthiest soils are black. Let’s step away from your scientific mind, and into your mind of ideas. Within your mind of ideas, why do you think the healthiest soils are black? Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O. Thank you, for listening to Jigijigi, Peace.
76 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
Michael Carter Jr.
Michael Carter Jr. – JP030 Carter Farms is a century farm in the Piedmont region of Virginia that specializes in growing ethnic, African tropical vegetables organically. Michael is the only other person that we know that has grown on The Continent, Afrika, and back here. This is a powerful episode. Works Referenced (Articles, Books, Videos)Super-Natural: Building tenure, wealth, and equity on land owned by African AmericansMichael’s articles throughout his tenure in the VALOR programShirley PlantationUp From SlaveryPlant Intelligence and the Imaginal RealmLost Language of PlantsThe Green MileThe Parthenon CodeHow to Make $100,000 on 25 Acres Farming While BlackVSU ExtensionPSU ExtensionThe Lean FarmThe Market GardenerMichael’s Interview with J.M. FortierPreviously referenced by Farmer Gigi!Black JacobinsGabriel ProsserNat TurnerJohn HorseAll of Dr. Carver’s BulletinsBlack Church Food Security NetworkPlants ReferencedManaguTaroRed Malabar SpinachGarden EggplantTree TomatoBitter Berry / Turkey BerryAmaranthNigerian SpinachBitter GourdRed OkraSorghumMucuna BeanCow PeaTeffVoa CangaFor SeedsCarter BrothersJohnny’s Selected SeedsHigh Mowing SeedsBaker Creek Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Transcript (automated) Peace I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Today we have Michael Carter Jr of Carter Farms in Virginia. A Century Farm out there. Michael has probably one of the more interesting stories that we will have on the podcast I think and it’s really my pleasure and honor to be able to say to you welcome brother Michael. MOI really liked your talk at the Audubon naturalist society, Taking Nature Black Symposium or conference. I really like the metaphor and the sort of spiritual understanding that you had about one of your the workers that you had at your farm was talking about that his father said that you know he needs to go home, my father’s I need to come home. How you were saying that you were hearing that same message from your father would, rather you said that you had the wisdom and if you need to come home. So you came back from Ghana to to Virginia to the land that you’re on. Interestingly, I mean I think it’s interesting but what what kind of I guess what it what is it like now being home in America growing African crops? MCJRIt’s humbling in a lot of ways. It’s also inspiring, connecting to my ancestors who have never whose name they will never know and doing the work on their behalf. One of the things that keeps me inspired is that you know those ancestors who were taken from those shores, dungeons, etc, across West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, etc, they had dreams and wishes aspirations and we got so caught up in trying to live the American dream, that we forgot about our African dreams.And this right now allow me to relive and try to embody and African Dream. That makes sense text message from a nutritional basis from a and healing basis from a financial basis. My markets are African grocery stores and restaurants. and you know I’m trying to build relations now with these individuals, that I may not have been able to formulate without these vegetables. To create a more Pan-african solution based solution to our challenges that we face. Where we is can create and economic stimulus, not promoting it, not advertising it, we’re just doing the business. Growing a product that’s ideally suited for you, and you’re buying at a premium price. Your helping black farmers who are pretty much boycotted by everybody including black folks, across the world over. So I’m putting, the Africans they help us, the black farmers in a position to be for us to be able to scratch each other’s back. and that’s some sorry that’s encouraging that’s fulfilling show me different weights so it’s taking that Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Ezikiwe Jomo Kenyatta viewpoint of this Pan-Africanist view but putting in real Booker T Washington terms. It was kind of making that link and it feels good I can get up in the morning and I know I have a Market for my things. This year end of this growing season, definitely by next growing season going to start doing more Afritourism. and really going to pick your own, a U-pick. To bring folks and I got a email from Africans all the time. “I want to come down and visit your farm.” Come now, get familiar with these items because no one is catering to their needs. So who’s best to cater to them than the Black Farmer, or another Black Farmer. Because even if we don’t understand them I found it, coming from the Biggie Smalls perspective, “I don’t get high on my own Supply” Collard greens you may be picking off a little bit to take your family-no. My garden egg, or my Managu, nah, I don’t need any of that, that’s all for customers. I’m actually a discipline farmer and all that is for these individual to be able to benefit. And for us to learn from each other. They can tell me stories about the plants, I can tell them stories about the plants we can start to bridge a brand new narrative about Africa and our relationship to food, our relationship to these crops. How they got here when they got here? So I can I get so inspired by trying to tell the story not just to my family, not just to black people but the entire African Experience. The deeper I go into it the more information I gathered. So I'm going down to North Carolina this week to pick up some okra seeds, seedlings from a farmer who said they traveled here right the turn of the slave trade on 1600s and went to the Catawba Nation of Natives here, and they’ve kept their own little stockpile of seeds since. So there is so much history that I'm gaining and connection I'm gaining to things. You know I don't like Okra. But you know as I’m learning about Okra I’m learning about Gumbo and Gumbo is the Swahili word for Okra. So then you have a connection to all those folks in New Orleans Shreveport Louisiana Mississippi Alabama and you started build those stories. And in a building those stories I feel like I'm growing people, growing Africa, growing character, I’m growing lineage I'm growing heritage, so I'm doing so much more than just growing some vegetables, I'm really growing me as a full African, Global citizen of the world. Because as I start to learn about them and their issues and challenges in the present time, their history I can start sharing it with my children, I can start sharing it with theirs, it’s a great Synergy that’s growing daily. It’s it’s it’s almost like a cross pollination. Everyday I’m I’m pollinating flowers, someone else comes and pollinates my flowers, we’re just kinda cross-pollinating. Because we’ve been and African hybrid for so long we’re trying to get back to being an open-pollinated species again. Trying to get to an heirloom species of African again. That’s the end goal of how I see my my farm. Now I’m a GMA, genetically-modified African. I’m trying to reverse-engineer through the food, through the culture, back to being an heirloom African again. MODe-hybridize MCJRit’s possible it just— MOMost definitely, most definitely. Wow, I was listening to some of the previous guests and I was talking about the necessity to you know for us to grow plants like my cotton and tobacco for some of the same reasons— MCJRAnd I will be. MOIt’s so great to have you on the show and it’s great to to to to build a you know a Brotherhood with you because you’re speaking the things that I’ve been thinking about from your lived experience in that and that you know just as much as your lived experience is affirmative towards your being. You sharing them with me, is the same as it’s it’s the same. Because this is like I I’ve been thinking like this is what is going to be, and so you know you’re talking about this and it’s and it’s everything that I’ve and I thought I thought it would be. And I mean it is even even deeper of course because this is beyond, because it’s not just like because you know, with with growing all of the different things that you’re growing and taking them to places like like Swahili Village that’s up here. It’s deeper than just growing cotton for for the, I guess in my opinion, than the than the sort of personal or ancestral sort of act of it because it like you said it is a Cooperative economics economic act. And you know here on the on the podcast we have talked about before about some of the different things that Urban farmers can do and because you know people just trying to sell Tomatoes if it’s a wrap it’s not going to happen. You know the USDA every year was talking about ethnic crops near like you guys please please please grow ethnic crops. MCJRI heard them MOI remember when I was taking some of these classes over at UDC they were talking about that also. that it’s like you know you go if you grow these if you grow lemongrass you know like please try and do this because they’re all these different places in. and then you know but you know I don’t to be honest I don’t even know most of the crops that your growing because we haven’t talked about it but even you know outside of the time we talked about earlier on instagram with the African Nightshade and stuff like that but but it’s it’s still the thing that it’s like you know otherwise you don’t like I was I was talked about this with a friend but it’s like we all know the difference between fresh vegetables and dried vegetables and usually people have to import dried vegetables and rehydrate them in preparation for the restaurant. But if you’re going that you know an hour or two away it’s like well yeah “I’m going to get that because it’s fresh.” and because you’re the only person out here that’s doing it I mean like you said you you can you have the opportunity to be able where you have to write an honor to be able to charge a premium for what you are providing because you monopolized the market. MCJRAnd that’s key once you start talking about agriculture in terms of a long-term thing. For many as you know a agriculture is more of a hobby and for farmers, this has got to be a lifestyle and something that you can support your children on.One thing that really drives individuals from not doing agriculture is they don’t see how money is made. They can’t see how you make a living from it so why do? if you can make a living? Why do you get a degree to get to earn a living. And if I can show you how you can use a grandfather’s land your grandmother’s land you know Auntie’s land to now create a good part time job or full-time job depending on the crops that you grow and in the market that you’re in, I feel like that’s much more my purpose. Because you can I’m going to go to Heritage thing for Afritourism, the cotton, the tobacco, the Indigo and tell that story The Peanut, the groundnuts, but I’m also glad to grow those unique crops that only I grow and Stow you okay I’m getting $15-20/lb for this vegetable right here. I’m able to do this and have a indefinite Supply because of me supply and demand is critical. Now hopefully, none of your listeners jumps my business in this area, but if they do, we all good either way. I’ve had good experiences in both East and West Africa and not taking that experience when I came back to figure out how to put together a proper what’s the word a proper business Enterprise. I’m a century farmer. Five generations of my family have been farming on the same land since 1910. And you know I had no intention of coming back to the farm I told myself and I was fifteen I’m never doing any agriculture. I told myself when I graduated from North Carolina A&T with a degree in agriculture economics I’m never doing any agriculture. My father was an agriculture teacher so my hands were always in the soil. I had to go to FFA, I had to go to 4H. 4H counselors came to our cookouts and family functions. We were deeply involved in the culture of agriculture and I was deeply involved in avoiding the culture of agriculture. Because as you move up there and you move up the Ranks you know it gets whiter and whiter and whiter and the connection is less and less. So when you go into the 4H or the FFA competitions, you’ll be the only black guy and you like okay this is my last one of these because it’s not comfortable. So that’s a part of my Africulture process is not just growing the food but also for educating both our people and the general public about the impact and significance of us growing these foods, and our contributions to agriculture across the world. You know there’s very few items that we have not had an impact upon. so you know Coca-Cola vanilla to the potato chip to the Indigo in your blue jeans all the things are African inspired crops that we have no clue about. and I went to the greatest HBCU ever; ain’t nothing about none of those, and that’s a disservice for us, at least in my eyes. Because we need to know more than just we picked cotton, we picked tobacco. We did so much more. MOWhen did you realize you were supposed to have your hands in the soil is that after you came back from the continent or before or? MCJRWell, no I realized when my father told me to put my hands in the soil when I was like or two or three. I didn’t have a choice in the matter, because if I had a choice, I never liked getting my hands dirty, but my hands were always dirty. I was always, at 3 and 4 my father had me in the garden picking beans planting seed and after I was finished I’d run and wash my hands. I think it was around probably late High School, 16, 17 I’m cutting grass I’m thinking, I’m going to be in agriculture but I’m going to create a grass seed that only grows an inch tall so I never got to cut grass again. I’m work for ADM at the time, Archer Daniel Midland’s, and create a grass it only grows this high, because no one’s thought of it before. So My mind was always center around there, as I’m talking to you I remember summer maybe somewhere around 1995. I remember being deeply engulfed in Up From Slavery by Booker T Washington. That book was so mesmerizing. I’m remember being by that garden, be finished with the garden and go sit in the hammock and go read his book. I was so inspired this man from Virginia and then I can relate to him traveling to Richmond and staying underneath the bridges, on the curb on the sidewalks, on the streets. I can relate to the Hampton University aspect. And his work ethic was tireless and impeccable, “Ok. I’m inspired by this man.” So I end up applying to Tuskeegee University, I got in, I just realized it was too far away to travel so I I didn’t go. I ended up going to NC A&T insteadBut around that time, I say that from the time I’ve been born my hands have been in the soil, and round 16 and 17 I realize my hands will probably be in the soil even if I didn’t like it. Actually probably at three or four I realize that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. And as I learn more about my family you know we’ve been working the soil since we’ve been in this country which at the latest my people arrived in this country is around 1745, the last of my people. My family history goes back to the Shirley Plantation, the first Plantation in North America in James City, Virginia. They started at Plantation in 1622. So a portion of my people come from Angola. So it could be very well possible that my people came here as early as 1622. So I started to understand my hands are destined to be in the soil. My son’s hands will be in the soil. My grandson’s hands will be in the soil. It’s been with us. I can imagine as, as my history was, my people were agricultural people and this helps me to understand my purpose even greater now. MOwow wow wow MCJRChild says “wow wow wow!” MOPeace and welcome have you know I look forward to to possibly having him on the show in a few years time since it is his destiny to have his hands in the soil, also. MCJRHe may be available next month, so they have a website carterbrothers.Net So my oldest will definitely be willing to answer some questions, I’m sure, whenever you’re ready. This is a part of our homeschooling / Legacy building. So if you go to their website you’ll see their hands are in the soil. MOI did look at them the other day so yeah we’ll definitely have a will have a part two with your sons. That would be extremely fulfilling. So let me ask Mike Michael what all do you have growing on this year? MCJR: we have a lot going on this year this week we have some new hoop houses coming in, so we’ll be installing those this weekend so we can extend our growing season for the those African Nightshades and other things for our markets. We’ll be starting our Africulture Tourism walk/road of Fame as we highlight the different contributions our family and various Africans and the various plants are made to our existence on this planet. The road to the farm is about a half-mile long where we’ll have various stops along that that road of sharing experiences, sharing history, agricultural history dealing with African American’s. Plants, crops, if you can see your history with those ultimately culminating in a my great grandma’s house to have a family museum behind that is my field where I grow vegetables and my Uncle does cattle. So we have in our green house right now, my uncle’s greenhouse, friend of the family we have Managu, which is African Nightshade. We have the Taro or the cocoyam or what we call in Ghana, Tumery leaf. So we grow that for the leaves. I have red Malabar spinach. I have a couple different variations of eggplant; mainly what’s called The Garden egg which is a little white eggplant I have a Boma which is a edible plants that you eat the leaves off of that well but most ridiculous I from Kenya to tomato and this is a red fruit as well but most people just eat the leaves. And from Kenya I have a Tree Tomato. And this is a red fruit that grows in East Africa, and it’s a unique fruit. I had it when I was in Kenya and I had to track down some seeds. I have another one that I use called Bitter Berry with another in the eggplant family that creates little green balls, bitter balls. I can’t remember what they call it turkey berry or something to that effect, which is in all the soups in Ghana and Nigeria, etc. We’ll also be doing some Amaranth, Nigerian spinach which is in the Celosia family. I just germinated some African bitter gourd which is almost like a drum-like gourd. I’ll be doing some seed saving for Southern Exposure in a couple other companies with a red okra, and with a African groundnut African peanut. We’ll also be getting some other Okra varieties that are much more rare, from the Utopian Seed Project. And then probably in the fall we’ll be working on putting in more green houses to extend our season because many of the crops we grow are tropical based. So we want to make sure to be able to extend that season for as long as possible and maybe even do some things indoors, if you can, at my grandmother’s house. And then work in the spring to do some more African Cover Crops. And try to have a complete loop, everything that we are growing is going to have an African Center African Base.Whether it’s sorghum or another one called vicuna bean, another nitrogen fixer like cow pea or Black Eyed Peas so we’ll be growing that, it’s part of our cover crop rotation. In addition to some other crops, clovers, mustards, rye, and Tef, I’ll be looking to do some Teff as a cover crop. Probably some millets, whether it be finger millets or some sorghum. We want to have a complete mix of crops from Africa, West Africa as well I’ll be growing Cassava was well. I get a lot of questions are cassava can we grow it and I got some now that’s rooted, germinating we’re going to grow it for the leaves and hopefully by end-of-year we’ll have a solid root as well. So we’ve got a little bit of stuff going on. MOJust a little bit of stuff growing on. That’s what’s up, wow African Cover Crops. MCJROh I forgot peppers, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Fish Pepper, jalapeno. MOokay cool did you say mucuna Bean? Okay that’s what that’s what I thought is that the lights of the Itchy The Itchy one like the velvet bean or something is that similar? MCJRYes it is similar, they are in he same family, the velvet bean is edible and the mucuna bean is not. But they’re both nitrogen fixers. MOcool wow this is yeah this is a lot and that’s that’s very exciting I am going to have to pass forward you Che Axum’s information if you haven’t spoken with him ever, you have to, because you guys have a lot to talk about. So how have you grown while growing all that you’ve got growing on meaning how is your well-being improved being in this soil? MCJRMy experience was in Israel and with the Hebrew Israelite community of Jerusalem, probably really opened up my spiritual and enticement with agriculture. Before it was just something I did because my father was an Agriculture Teacher. “Hey, this what we doing” and I just had to go along with it. then I saw some value in it try to create this genetically-modified grass that would only grow and inch. So maybe I can profit in that. Once I returned to Israel, and that was around 2004 or so and I started growing, just being in the lane, and going and getting more insight about the agriculture there I started to feel a spiritual connection. And in that process I’ve grown dramatically and Ghana really enhanced it. I stopped trying to go grow plants, I was growing soil, and I was growing myself let me do what it needed to do and I’ll just watch and observe. And let the plant be my teacher, let the microorganisms be my teacher. So in those processes a lot of things were revealed. I had a I won’t say I had a psychotropic experience, I will equate it to that to give honor to that type of plant that I consumed called Vocacanga. I was in Aburi, and Aburi is in the mountains of Ghana I was working with Rita Marley her Foundation Rita Marley is Bob Marley’s wife. I was working on her farm, managing her farm. I noticed these plants and at the time I was always noticing plants and all those Facebook memes and stuff talked about how the various fruit shapes affected the different parts of the body and this little fruit looked like a brain. you know when you open it up and a little I don’t know little beans in it it kind of like how the brain will look when you look with those little ripples and ridges. So I asked one of the guys who worked for me at the time, what was that? He said Voacanga and as I looked it up it was a psychotropic plant. Interesting. So I started looking at it and looked on the wild side and ventured into tasting it. Worst thing I tasted that day. I got some of it down but a lot of it came back up. It was coated in this orange-gooey-goo stuff just, ugh, what is this? But I ingested it, and I attribute to that, when I ingested items eyes started opening up another way about the relationship about plants to the environment. MCJRReading a book from Steve Steven Buhner plant intelligence and imaginal realm. with a sequel to the probably, his fifth book after after this, he was the last language of plants is one of my favorite books. And that one started to show me sharing some things that really opened my eyes to how the plants work with us, how the plants are growing and investing in us, sort of, you know, turn invest in them. And I started to see my relationship with the plants as being more of a sibling relationship than me being domineering. And these are my older siblings, because in the Bible, when you add most additional, the plants were here for the creation came and lasted, but the last beings that were created with people. And if in that thought process, if the earth is the mother and this high intellect is the Father. And that tree hugger experience because, you know, we would have various types of stress in Ghana. There’ll be usually self induced, I will call them self induced American inspired stress. Hey, you had to argue something. It wasn’t that it was deep. It was just principle. And you had to argue about the principle. I’m arguing over a nickel, over 20 cents, over a quarter. That ain’t But then I would hug this tree. I will. I will have a coconut tree. I’ll hug a mango tree. And all that extra tension, energy and stress will just come off me. I’m not sure you ever seen the movie Green Mile but that’s what it felt like that tree was sucking all that negative energy away from me. I started to say oh my goodness they got another type of power with them so I started to you know respect their existence a lot more than what I’ve done and that’s where it’s kind of grown to now with me, I have trouble cutting down trees Am I you know I have trouble stepping on insects have to tell my sons hey don’t put water in it and hope that that let that be respect them okay just like you know with as with watching the Black Lives Matter protests we’ve had those protests last 20-30 years you know George Floyd was minding his own business just like Mr. Ant, just like Mr. Spider, mind his own business trying to feed and support his family, there’s somebody come up and step on him. now I hate to have ants march on me. I’ve seen driver Ants in Ghana and they marched on me and mess me up pretty pretty good one time so I I know the power of the ant. That’s a whole nother story for another time. You ain’t gonna bother, you ain’t gonna step to them like that you ain’t gonna violate them not those ants. They gonna give you something to work with. They gonna give you the business, just like we, you know and start to respect that existence a lot more. And then I started to delve more into the micro biological aspects and realize that those were our ancestors. When we start talking about honoring our ancestors. When we go into the soil, we get broken down back these micro biological organisms. And these become when Marcus Garvey were talking about in terms of, we talked about becoming part of the hurricane. Right now the hurricane force winds are created by this bacteria that’s coming off the ocean. This bacteria is almost a human forms, but the remains of our ancestors cross across that Middle Passage that were thrown over into the Atlantic Ocean during the beginning of our passage when we were in those dungeons, and those remains would have eaten my fish, consumed, decayed, and became that bacteria to come in, redeem and call back their sons and daughters back to their land again. So I started to look at the atmosphere, microbiological principles, and really get into this deeper than that. And because our ancestors maybe didn’t have the words to call them bacteria, protozoa, fungi, but the Bible, they called it a creepy thing. They couldn’t see it, but they knew it was there. They knew, you know, in Africa, you see sacred forests will tell you don’t go into that forest. That’s where we bury our people. And I felt like the Ewe and some others, some other you know, nation groups in Africa who were much more well protected because of their our cultural understanding and relationships. Those things. So like the Ewe weren’t actively involved in the slave trade. And they knew people weren’t actually taken. yet they’re right next to the Asante, right next to the Akan . It was a very small body of water that separated the two. But you won’t find any, I don’t think you’ll find any Ewe who actually captured and taken, you know, taken like that. They had a different type of file almost I won’t say that wasn’t any but I haven’t found any yet. So, you know, this is part of my growth process. And with that, you know, of work to grow myself and be a better person, a better being on this planet, and really trying to just allow me to be a vessel to tell the stories of these other beings that are here with me. That’s a long answer, but that’s what we grow into season. MOYeah. Wow. That’s very interesting. Linking linking the the guy remember, I really do like a lot of the Buhner books also, and, and especially when he was talking about the the the, the my microbial life within the home affecting the entire atmosphere, but I don’t MCJRso phenomenal MORight. Right, right. But what’s more phenomenal to me is linking that to the conceptual hurricane. MCJRWell, you know, as Garvey said, I’m gonna meet you like a whirlwind, right? And, again, if you you know, as the those names and other things that said, though, they follow the trade routes of those ships that came. And our bodies were thrown across those things time and time again over the course of 340 years. And that’s that’s the energy that come that came up and I know there’s no record, you know, wouldn’t be any record of the Hurricanes happen before we started coming over here. And as enslaved but you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s when it started. MODo you know um, and then the the the other thing that you were saying with the with us ancestors being the bacteria not just in a in the sort of overarching planetary time capacity but also in terms of us and our and our ancestors it he gives a an additional depth towards my vacation and employing it, you know that um, you know that wherever we are there’s there’s somebody down there who were providing, at least you know, who were quenching somebody’s thirst, one of one of them MCJRis just thirst, or plenty of Yes. MOYeah. Wow. So I think that then it’s a I mean, I’ll still ask for your confirmation. But needless to say, it seems that you do believe that we have a special relationship with the soil. And if that is the case, then how do you say we would potentially hate that connection? MCJRI think we do. But I think that all of us do. Oh, you know, not everybody has that connection or will have that connection. That’s part of the, the genetically modified aspect of us. There’s a species of us, there’s a group of us who do not have never respected here have never respected our relationship to their who not recall this reading about, let’s say the Parthenon in the book called the Parthenon coat. And it talks about the significance of Nike, which is right on when Nike, Nike was the Greek god, the Greek god of victory over the God of Noah, over the God of that and they resented or hated what their relationship to the earth Through always very destructive when it came to here. And that same spirit and energy is still around us. And it’s not based upon colors based upon mindset. Because we talked about, you know, you hear people talk about pagan, or your pagan or your heating. And he’s pagan, this meant villager, somebody who grew up in your, they call them this and then they demonize these individuals. And they were indigenous individuals across the planet who had this relationship with the earth, where you go from Polynesia. Where do you go from, you know, within Africa, Native American, South America has always had this relationship with yours. But it was a species that came in and said, No, I’ve got to capitalize upon this relationship. I got a I got to earn something. She doesn’t deserve my respect. She didn’t deserve my value. So I think many of us we had it, you know, when it touches you, touches you. But there’s been so many things that disconnect us from the earth. This isn’t a physical thing. Have a sidewalk without walking on without walking barefoot on so that’s where I started really received my connection when I started to walk barefoot like the work has worked for me on my farms. Like why y’all bear for howdy y’all work with a hole and scared to toe known Indian masters. And you know so when I came back my sons now me they are always barefoot. They you know, and this in our bodies, there’s a certain you know, the toes, the feet brother have a whole bunch of nerve ins. And we didn’t those things we put on our shoes. And we stop having that connection with my mother. Right from the shoes on put your socks on. Don’t walk into the ground, walk on the sidewalk walking walking the talk. So we’ve lost that connection. So you now you get somebody to walk on grass on rocks, and they can’t do it. No matter how solid The grass is. All day they walk on is st at a beach and that’s not too hot. So it’s a you know We’ve lost that connection with, with who we are, but a lot of us can easily find that connection again, through our diet through our reading through understanding. So we’re working on you know, I’m working on recent sighs myself. And I think that we can Our strength is going to be that week next year is going to have to start unfortunately for many of us do the economic value of agriculture. But I think economics is a gateway to your soul. When you start doing our quote, you start to understand more thing, you start making money, but then you start to really get into the cycle of nature. Right. So, you know, in that respect, yes, we are connected. And that’s, you know, I’ve learned that you know, the closer I am to the soil, testing stuff, not wearing gloves, not wearing shoes, you know, being very conscious and mindful that that’s my mother, man. Ha you know, it’s hard for you to go home and not just your mother’s not give your mother her. You know, if she’s six You got to you know, embrace it, you got to hold a hand. My mother right now I won’t say she’s sick, but she’s, you know, she’s been assaulted quite a bit. And it behooves us to now reach out and touch our mother again and say, Mama is gonna be our mother Africa is gonna be our mother America is gonna be our land is going to be okay. Your sons are here to protect you. And in that gesture, your daughters are here to protect you. And that gesture, we can now you know, redeem ourselves by redeeming our mother. We’re not gonna have any respect for anyone else that you have respect for your mother. I mean, it was always fighting words growing up, and somebody talked about your mother, especially at a certain age. You know, especially if you’re somebody who didn’t, who didn’t know you who you didn’t know. And when did you join in and planning does you want to call it it was your mom it is Oh, that’s how you feel. Okay. That they were that young saying so? You know, I can’t have anyone to remember the aspect of my mother that I worked in on any kind of way. MOIt still is so weird to see people actively litter. Like, it’s like, you know, for me, it just makes me think like it. You know, it’s so foreign to me for for that, but then, you know, like, like you’re saying, for that same person it is foreign to them to not later. MCJRIt’s a matter of respect. And I find that that those who are constant have no problem not literally. You know, everything has a place. And again, it’s a mindset, that thing that Yeah, I can just show it anyway and somebody else will clean it up, pick it up, or they don’t matter. And everybody has this challenge at some point in time that I had. This was a great challenge for me in Africa. Because Lord knows the littering is like ooh, Like a and not every aspect about Rwanda is so clean. So beautiful. So lush, not, I mean, beautiful they have a day set aside, when they clean up the litter that means that somebody may have dropped. Wow. But in Ghana not nearly the same store. Know so it’s, I feel, you know, it hurts my soul because you’re disrespecting my mother. But at the same time, you know, we all have a responsibility to educate and to help and to create a new reality and a new standard. We didn’t always you know, there’s been a certain plastics and things have led to littering because in Ghana, I think we call very vividly when I first arrived, it’s a lot more natural. I was a plastic natural paper company they use leads to trap up their food and now to use plastic bags when they call robbers. So it’s a you know, when you leave and you throw it down, guess what? It went right back Consider now you put that plastic bag in it’s causing the gutters it’s you know it’s littering there you know so it’s we just have to be more much more mindful I may cut you off for that MOnow this interview is all about you man it’s not it’s not it’s not so much about me man it’s it’s it’s no problem Feel free to interrupt me whenever you whenever you please. Why do you think the healthiest soils and black microbes MCJRbut Missy? Well we have been human humans is naturally black. In Ghana, they would always tell me which are wrong Oh, it’s good black soul, black dirt, get the black dirt. And I think this those microorganisms again, because that’s what creates the soil. And those macro organisms have the ability to create that tilt in that color. I don’t put on much as color as I do fertility. And since the black woman is fertile, it will make sense that the black soil will be fertile. So, in that respect, I mean, I think that’s, you know, kind of that that the biggest relationship is, you know, Our sisters have been able to endure and reproduce and provide, despite whatever challenges and likewise, black soil seems to be able to do the same thing. Often think for you reflect upon that resiliency, is our curse is so resilient, we probably wouldn’t be in this situation. Because we are, and we’ve been able to endure and survive. It’s almost a cursed superpower. nations have really said, Okay, enough is enough. We can’t take any more. We’ve never reached that point of I can’t take any more because we always knew we could take whatever you handed us. Whatever you gave us, whether it be, you know, the Haiti situation where the average age of a sugar plantation workers in the 1700s was 22. Were you would you know your life expectancy was six months to a year. Once you arrived there, because they wrote you for 24 hours, even in that, Tousaint L’Overture. You’ve had a memory of the brother’s name on top of my head, but that band of brothers to come together their band of sisters to come together and fight all the biggest and baddest army on the planet. MORight? Yeah, Dessalines, MCJRyeah, so I mean we’ve had those, you know, the black acres and those things have had these various variants here where we could you know, would it be Gabriel’s revolt? Would it be that Turner’s insurrection would it be the one in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, somerset, someone said something. But anyway, down there in the 1700s and the countless other individuals who withstood the test of time, I think, you know, just like with the soul we be able to deal with and whoever is dealing with us Tillage, For a lot of soils was awful. Why are you telling me why are you raking this heavy piece of whatever through my skin destroying and you’re creating these scars in my in my skin, but even in that they felt the sort of sound music and likewise reflection to the soul, you know in the Hebrew soil is equatable to almost man. So in the Hebrew, you have a DOM or Adam, right? And you have a dama out there that you grow in. So there was always a connection even from that particular vantage point there was a connection. You know, in many African indigenous traditions, we were said to have come from the soil. And again, it were the original people and ideally the original human people that will make sense that we were carved or came out of that soil, which would have been equatable to our skin tone. So, you know, within those processes, you know, we have, you know, this long history and existence of being a part and parcel of our mother, again, of the soil of this earth, that contains all of the minerals that our bodies contain, in direct proportion to how our bodies are composed to give you a complete synergy of soil and soul, soil and soil. Soul MOI saw that you, um, that you you also do some some consulting. I’m not trying to get you to giveaway game, but I know that I know that it is. in this very weird point of history right now that we’re going through. I know that some people have probably asked you questions about getting started. But what are like maybe two questions. This is this is two questions that they should be asking you about growing that they aren’t asking you about growing. MCJRMm hmm. The first question is, I would say how? That’s an interesting question. Because I do get the question all the time. And you know, I got a question before the COVID I got this after the covid this because you know, my work in people wanting to get more involved in the soil. Yeah, and I would question before making a question I would ask them, I would tell them start small, man, cuz I hear individuals come to me all the time. Say, Hey, I got two acres. I got one acre, got 50 acres of land. What can I grow? Like, bro, you gotta grow some patience first. Because you can’t Yeah. Realistically, you cannot. I mean, I had one of my phones in the boats I was working with, we were brought on two acres. We had 22 workers and we were still not, you know, we could use some more to be you know, so it’s, you know that I encourage individuals start at home. If you’re an urban grower, you know, use a static tradesmen mustard cups mo milk cartons, put some soul in it, plant some seeds, buy some crops from, you know, from Home Depot, Walmart, you know, garden center, wherever, and start the process of turning your greens on black. No, we all have black thumbs. Exactly. It’s a matter of, again, working that relationship and not being scared. Don’t be scared to fail. Yeah, because you’re gonna learn so much from growing something that you’re gonna learn about how to take care of something you’re going to learn about, you know what it’s telling you when it doesn’t get what it needs. for male female relationships, it works great. If you’re listening, when a male doesn’t get the proper thing on female, proper thing, the children are the properties you have tomatoes. And you may not water consistently so you could blossom and grow. But what happened where you didn’t feed that tomato properly is missing as minerals. And now you had this black spot at the end of your tomato. Okay, what did you learn from it? Well, I need to warn him. Yes, you need to make sure that that water that that plant has what is neat terms of water in terms of minerals all the time these calcium the you know, yeah, yeah. So you have to kind of understand why you’re growing and then be open to growing with the plants that the plants do pretty much everything you just kind of sit there and watch an ad from water. That like you’re assembling leaves, building a good structure. You’re not doing any of that. You’re not doing the hard part. I’ll do the practical baby seconds. Man. You know say and you To understand that the plant is a living breathing, that seed is a living, breathing organism. And when you understand that chair for like a baby like a child, give it what it needs. So beneath breast milk, have a nice water every day you give that every day and said Germany’s and his life cycle is a lot faster than most children. But, you know, it has to be that we understand that we are guardians, we’re not and maybe managers, were not domineering. And that’s, you know, over these crops. So that’s why I would advise people getting started, start small. Start with understanding and patience. Biggest thing you’d have is patience, not fear to fail. If it doesn’t work out, then you just got to improve the techniques you use, or you use on them. You got to get better at managing the crops and environment that’s needed to help them grow. MOThe the I think, I think the patience Is the that is the most bountiful crop you harvest every year. Every year is a is a, it’s a whole different type of patience that I’ve had, I’ve gotten out of the soil and, and in a much larger bounty. And it’s also harder to, it’s harder to harvest every year. Probably because of my own ego as I’ve worked with, with everything because I’m like, you know, I, I got I got this inherently to me, you know, and and i and i man if I can grow corn downtown, surely I can go some tomatoes, you know, wherever and it’s like maybe, you know, it’s it’s, um, it’s very interesting and so I I’ve told people this the same thing is like look you just worry about just just focus on your patients and and and I like the metaphor that you provided with with the child also because I try and as much as possible equate the plant to your experience because you know your experience more than anything I just told a brother that was, you know, he lives in a sort of, you know homeowner’s association type community he was worried about his lawn and there was a sort of weird spot on the side of the sidewalk and I said, you know, just give this part of your lawn the same patience that you would give your hairline if the barber pushed it back because that that part that part was getting basically all the runoff from the roof and then the sidewalk and it was all the seed is being pushed out further. And so it’s like you just have to let me just tell a gardener don’t come and Garner any come, you know, and cut over that because Nothing’s gonna be able to grow there because it’s always it’s always getting shaped up ultimately and so once I said that to him he was like whoa and you know in it and so it’s yeah so anyway um our podcast is based on as Yoruba Owe or proverb Jigijigi ko see fa tu a firmly rooted plant cannot be uprooted What is your favorite agriculture or plant related proverb or saying MCJRI would say it’s probably Bob Marley’s you know term of “they tried to bury us but they didn’t know we were seeds” that you know as always resonated with me because the seed process fascinates me just like to seed it’s buried. The seed looks a certain way, we can see that seed. But in the process that seed comes apart, all of his insides come out, you know, it gets pretty much virtually destroyed from the inside out, you know, and then there’s, you know, a tail and it grows from it, it’s a really bad mutation. And then after that portion, then a part that comes up and tries to push through that. I like to say on their manure that many people generally had to go through, all people don’t have to go through. And once you’ve been through that manure, you know, you realize oh my goodness, and you can’t become that beautiful flower. You can’t become that beautiful plant until you push through that manure. And as you grow further and the more you grow, the more you get to draw attention to yourself. So, you start drawing attention to yourself, you get insects coming, then you get fungus and then you get you know, airborne diseases coming or you may be Issues nematodes your roots, your past is coming back to the mess with you again or that’s coming back to you. So, in those realities, you know, it’s big that seed speaks to the human existence. And then finally, you get a farmer who comes to pick your best fruit with your best season for its own benefit. Whether or narrowly that tomato would drop its fruit to the ground, and those seeds, but fall to the ground and be able to come up again. But instead it goes to our stomach or to our plates to our sandwiches, and at seed most likely will never see the ground again. So is this a unique scenario that I find it and I appreciate that message from Bob Marley, I’m not sure if he meant it in the context that I have understood it, but I think you know, when you bury something you don’t realize is the sea. And we’ve been buried in this country in this Western Hemisphere for a long time. We keep producing time after time again. MOHmm. Why I definitely I, you know, I’m somewhat of an enormous hater. And and most times that people have said the proverb that you’ve said, I do not like their usage of it. But from here on out, I’m going to assume they’re speaking towards your understanding of this metaphor. MCJRI appreciate that. I’m glad I could give you a different insight. That might give you a good one. I know what people were giving before I could have gave him George Washington Carver. I watched it. But that was the one that came to mind when I asked you is the most almost easy to remember. Yeah. George Washington Carver. This one’s a lot more complex. And you know now than that Shorter two phrases. Yeah. MOYeah, no, I mean, and I want I want, I want the one that you think of first, you know, it’s, it’s this is this, this whole thing is, you know, we as we as African people, and the majority of our cultures seem to be with the oral tradition. And so that’s what this is, you know, it’s just recorded. So it, whatever, whatever, whatever comes to mind is what I want. So, um, I know that we, you know, we’ve recommended a ton of resources I probably more than I’ve ever done, but what is, uh, what is a resource that you’d recommend for those looking to increase their agricultural understandings? Hmm. MCJRI would definitely say well, depends on what level but I would start with your George George Washington, Booker T. Whatley’s book if you’re trying to get into market gardening or agricultural vocation, yeah, very clear. I get what I’m trying to get away with book MOis how to grow. Oh, sorry, I have I have a copy of it the one about $100,000 on 25 acres. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. MCJRThat makes sense. Yeah, we get that and you know, I’ve talked to an interview with Jim Martin Fortier. Okay, who wrote the Market Gardener. and you compare it to books, he’s pretty much saying what your Booker T Whatley was suggesting, you know, just 25 years 30 years earlier about how to grow, how to market etc. and brought with you widely Dr. Booker T Whatley was a professor at Tuskegee, who understood the value of trying to create a business out of farming. I think There are several good books on how to grow again, depending on what you’re trying to do. I like the Lean Farm. My name Ben Hartman, lean farming principles in terms of being efficient and effective. Definitely the market gardener. I like the historical and the practicality of my sister, my soul and my soul sisters. I call her Leah Penniman Farming While Black but I really liked the Buhners books. Yeah. Last language the plants and I think it’s the plant imagination or plant something other than imaginal realm Yeah. Which really opens your eyes and mind to some of the other realities outside of basic plants. How they are can communities. Yeah, how you know the respiration works is significant to larger planet I mean trying to think of some other books and resources, you can go to court of TheCarterfarms.com and I’m sure I’ll have resources and at some point in time who else is another book? That is, those are the ones there. Again, depending on what you’re trying to do, like black church food security network is a good resource to try to find local black farmers. Virginia State small farmers program in the ploys of who I work with, is a good resource and search extension and getting help with how to do certain things. Penn State University’s website is awesome in terms of podcasts and classes, workshops, lectures. I think Virginia State is e x t.VSU.Edu Penn State University is psu.edu I believe. Then if you’re looking for like seeds, I mean, Carter brothers dotnet that’s my son’s company. They’re doing some seeds right now in southern exposure. See the shame. So trees So true seeds, High Mowing and Johnny’s. Depending on what type of seeds look for where seeds were Baker Creek tree, and I would say the most valuable research resource that anyone can use is their elders. Talk to your grandma talk to great uncle Briana. They want to give you some stories about the land about what they grew and all that that I can share, to tell you about yourself, your history, your legacy, beyond what a book been shared with. Those living resources need to be valued a lot more. And you know, your great uncle of the great aunts or uncles and Auntie’s and grandparents, they want to share that. It was a part of their history that depending on surfaces they may or may not be proud of. But they would like to leave them to share that aspect of the story and have an understanding that maybe you’re interested in getting into it again. I found and sharing with my oldest about my interest in data were inspired by the fact I was interested in coming back and doing that type of work. So, it’s one of those things that those valuable resources are critical to a person’s personal drive. You can get inspired by books, you get inspired by YouTube podcasts and all that. But the inspiration and looking at your grandmother’s space and you, she’s telling you about how to pick cherries, apples, how you choose to pick the tobacco, you know, and remember, you know, see all the time with a nut not not gonna forget those times. Right? Those are things that I mean, in stories you can pass on to your children, much better you can pay to the quote from a book. MOYou know, it’s a trip. One of the I had previously interviewed farmer Gigi, and she had recommended your interview with Jan 48. And, MCJRand I was listening to an interview I was like, man, I gotta figure out who this brother is. I got a brother, man. And so when I, when I, when I looked it up on YouTube, I was like, What? So, you know, I, you know, I’ve heard that I didn’t think he was that good. I was, you know, it was, you know, I really wanted to really delve into, you know, some things with him because of how he’s answering the questions I kind of pulled back and also couldn’t answer certain questions because because I was work with Virginia State University, right. So certain spiritual aspects I couldn’t answer or couldn’t ask rather, some are and some XM off camera that was maybe captured on the video. And, you know, I’m always curious if you’ve had the time. You know, I’m definitely flattered that people thought the video was very good. I was. I just did back in United States for two months. You know, I’m saying I mean, I was inspired. I liked his book. I was watching his YouTubes and following him I was in Ghana. really inspiring. By wed seen and heard, I mean $100,000 in one acre and I got 185 acres. Let’s do the math on that. Yeah, we can do it. Yeah, we’re going bowling barn out of the barn. So, you know, when he shared those things, you know, he was a very pleasant person to work with and talk to. And I just was, you know, I’m glad that people liked the video. I mean, the interview, I tried to ask some questions that I knew people were asking, based on the interview that I saw. So this wasn’t this is not going to be as an i and one thing that because of the demographic I work with black farmers, small farms, is that you know, I understand his demographic was as a white, French Canadian. Yeah, there’s a different reality to that black farmers have a whole different marketing strategy. We really had to wear a mask. You know, because you go to farmers markets, and you know, farmers markets generally are based on relationship in terms of who your customers are. And if we’re not going to farmers markets and our numbers, like I recall in DC, I went to go visit the farmers market right at 58. On the south of the South East capital Street, behind 58 housing complex. It was closed down. Like, whoa, we’re in that we know. And it’s been Yes, less than a year of resistance and it already being closed. I’m like, Oh, my goodness. Yes. No. So people are trying to do all this food access work and food deserts. It’s like, No, we got to get to a beginning point. You got to help people understand that this is good food for the nice. You know, this is America where you want it and when to pay for it’s coming to your neighborhood. You know, it’s supply and demand. So the reason why there’s not a lot of food in these neighborhoods is because the man is in bed and has one who has I work with a group that grocery store and tried to run a black grocery store and invest in a back grocery store in DC. And to see that firsthand, we had to close down that grocery store. I know firsthand the challenges that come with that reality of having kale and watching on the shelves for a week or two waiting for people coming by is that you know, at a while you kill order goes down tremendously. And you get more and more processed foods because they have a better shelf life. Which, which protects your pockets a lot more than that. Kale. That’s a week that’s when I was expiring. We and only after three days. Am I gonna buy it again boy, right? No. So, you know, I have a big issue with I mean, I enjoy you know, so I wanted to kind of bring the context with Jim. Just kind of this some realities. It’s like, Okay, I understand what you’re doing and people are inspired by your work but it’s not the same you know, our environments situation, different How do we cater that to the black prom experience? MOMan we got to get we have to have you on again so that we can we really can just go deeper into the economic aspect of of farming and everything like this because there’s enormous promise in it I mean you know we were we were watching on my girlfriend are watching the show Ozark and you know this it’s all about the main character is a laundering money for one of the cartels in Mexico. And he the only way that all of this is happening is because somebody somewhere is growing heroin MCJRa whole nother issue. That’s obvious getting hit in that conversation. A lot of times nobody kind of equates countries with, you know, supporting our troops. Yeah. This is crazy. This is how intelligent are we we can’t see that the rise of opioids has a direct correlation with food and fighting for the last 10 years. MOYeah, that I mean, that. And especially, you know, because it is a tough conversation to have, because people think that, you know, they’re two different things about, you know, making money while farming because if you think about it, like, which crop Can I grow with the highest return on investment? That’s the crop. MCJRYou know, but that’s not going to provide you with much of a life at all. And I would even challenge that, just to say that it’s not the crop that had the highest investment grade Don’t be that much. Yeah, that’s true. You know, you know, so some of the highest return on investments are microgreens. MOWell, yeah, MCJRyou know, potentially and hemp seeds as opposed to hemp itself. You know, marijuana seeds pose Some of the offshoot things we don’t necessarily consider think about it some of the highest grossing crush in short term realities, you know. But again, that’s another conversation for another time. But it just bothers me is you know, individuals don’t make that connection that, okay, we go to war with a country who’s the major producer of x, y, and z, the rise and opioids and morphine and all these other opioid base things. And we don’t see the correlation that maybe we’re there to grow and conquer those fields. We thought it was the oil. Oil was placed on in the mountains. MOYeah, exactly. Well, what is one question you wish I asked you? MCJRI’m a real funny guy when you naturally act. When I wish you saw that question or heard that question. I thought, how do you get to be that sexist, but I’m not From a male perspective, that’s not a question that I want you to ask me. I’m funny like they don’t, I’m a part time comedian. I’m foolish, my thought process some way. But I think one question that I probably would want you to ask me was how do you see the future of agriculture trapped Americans and Africans, MOso, okay, so what would you have said, If I would ask you that question. MCJRI said, we’re in dangerous species. And if we’re not careful, we’re gonna be extinct. You know, my sons can’t do it alone. You know, you can vote on me. My sons can’t do it alone. And right now, the black farmer, you know, we’re down to maybe you know, 25% of where we were in 1978 D, I was born. So we’ve all seen 5% of our farmers in 40 years. 42 years. Another 40 years just doing the math. Yeah, we’ll be extinct. Do White is occupation on the planet or at least America is white land on white farmer or farmer on the white farm farm. So, we went from being the individual going everything to the individual not growing anything. And our strength and our resilience, my my great, great grandparents vision to be able to acquire with at the time they didn’t have 150 acres of a turn out at the surveying it’d be 185 acres. They acquired, you know, 150 acres of land in 1910 on a 1910 sharecropper salary. I would love to ask them how they did this for $720. Wow, how do you acquire that and they weren’t the only ones maximiliano in Orange County, Virginia, we as you know, I my neighbor, our family friend, a neighbor, a Morton Terrell, he had another 300 some acres during that same time period, down the street from us is a town called free town. They had another hundred 200 acres they had as free back people. And they didn’t have PhDs that have master’s degrees didn’t have high school diplomas, but they understood what the value was in America, land ownership. And even without their 40 acres and a mule, they still acquired more than 40 acres and a mule. And we have our mindset has changed about what is really valuable. None of us shown escalate or have a bottle of Hennessy until you have a good link. You know, that value should be at how much name we got, how much you know, land is The only thing that keeps and maintains is that I made to say if individually came in in 2000. Like I did 2001 bought property in DC, man, I bought my house in Saudi for $119,000. That same property now is probably worth 250 to $400,000 over the course of 20 years. Yeah. You know, and it’s only gonna encourage my aunts who live at once, gosh, strong black woman, very this mindful, who bought properties right beside the National Arboretum, ran place near St. 1950s. They paid $50,000 for them for approximately $40,000 th
4 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Two Analogies to Help You Groove
Two Analogies to Help You Groove – JP029 Two conversations we had recently resulted in two analogies to help you acclimate your fingers to the soil. When you think of your lawn, think of your scalp, and your hairlineAllow your plants to move-in to their New Home Check the transcripts below, or listen, to get the full context. Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Transcript (automated) Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? I spoke to a friend recently and he was having some trouble with his lawn. He compared his lawn to his neighbors lush, uniformly, green grass, and he saw his with clovers, dandelion, and multiple species of edible weeds and turf as inadequate. I asked him a question, “Do you want uniformity in your yard, or harmony?” I told him that the interesting thing about having a lawn like your neighbors that looks so fluffy you could lay in it, is that you can’t lay in it because of the pesticides. So, if you are looking for a natural, harmonious, and efficient lawn, you have to work with it. We discussed the already present nitrogen fixation in the white clovers, the natural creation of pores in the soil from the dandelion, and free food growing if you are about that life of eating your weeds. He then pointed out a problem spot. It was bare. We could see where the weedwacker edged the sidewalk out and discovered there was only about an inch of topsoil resting on the dense, almost impenetrable orange Maryland clay. This bare patch was just off of the sidewalk, walking up to the house. The front yard slopes downhill to the street. What we concluded is, that because there is limited growth, and that the lawn crew comes and clears it so often, that it may be that the water from heavy rains comes off the roof, and then off of the sidewalk, and runs off onto that exact spot. It looks pushed back. Just like a hairline might be… So I said to him, from now on, when you think of your lawn, think of your scalp and hairline. And for him, it clicked. At the start of the Pandemic, two of my clients were eager to transplant their seedlings, expecting them to immediately start growing and producing. I asked them if they remember what it is like to move. You remember what it’s like to move into a new home, and all your things are there, and you remember where you put them, but it’s just not familiar yet. It takes a while before you can navigate around, half asleep at 3am to either use the bathroom or get a glass of water. You may be unfairly expecting your plants to start eating snacks, in the dark, on the midnight of their move-in day. Allowing your plants to settle into their new surroundings is the optimal caretaking and gardening strategy. In summary, I wanted to share these two analogies to assist you as you groove your hands into the soil. 1. When you think of your lawn, think of your scalp and hairline. 2. Allow your plants to move-in to their New Home Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends, family, and closely related Siblings of the Soil. If you have amazing analogies to help all of us groove into the soil, email me email@example.com. We’d love to have you. Leave us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening, to Jìgìjìgì. Peace
20 minutes | May 30, 2020
10 Things I Don’t Know
10 Things I Don’t Know (About plants, farming, and the soil) – JP028 I thought it would be a good idea, to mark it a place in time, to be able to say, here are 10 things I don’t know about plants, farming, and the soil (and the soul). Join me in learning what I don’t know, won’t you? The Ten Things I Don’t Know areSucculentsBonsai and other manicured plantsGrowing for yield and enough to surviveReading agriculture books cover-to-cover, following exact directionsMost things about treesBreeding plantsFollowing through with people I’ve made botanical promises to.What other people want to knowWhere my idea(l)s failMaking my own value added product Works ReferencedIntroductionsResourcesAll of Carver’s BulletinsJADAMSilver Sprung Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Ten Things I Don’t Know About plants, farming, and the soil I was inspired to do this because, in a round about way, I ended up watching a lot of videos on programming recently. One instructor, who makes very good content had a similarly titled video. I thought it would be a good idea to do my own version of it, to keep myself honest, and to benchmark my understandings. It will be cool to look on to this later. 1. Succulents In the way, wayback days of Tumblr I started my green thumb with a succulent I purchased from the now closed Behnke’s Nursery in Beltsville, MD. I saw a lot of these Lithops succulents online and I just had to have it. It was just one “stone” when I purchased it but eventually it began its first great division. This was very exciting up until the point where nothing happened. So, naturally, I began watering it and it would rehydrate and look like it was going to do something and then it didn’t and it would shrivel up again and this cycle repeated and repeated until it eventually did almost complete its division. As I was growing the second round of my Thai peppers in 2015 I knocked it off of the windowsill and saw that it never prospered. The tap root was wispy and then and it had silently passed on to the Sekhet Hetepet, or the Divine Fields of Peace. Since then, I have only had success with Aloes. Aloes, to the succulent grower, I would imagine are quite entry level. It is bizarre that I have such difficulty with succulents, but I’ve re-framed my lack of success as destiny. Meaning, I like to: Drive Fast, Talk Fast, Think Fast, and Walk Fast. I have no chill. My favorite plants to grow are those that grow big and grow fast. I loved growing corn, amaranth, papyrus, and monsteras for this reason. These plants get me, and I get them. We are ballhogs, show-offs, hams, so to speak. Succulents really aren’t that. At least in the DMV they aren’t. A good friend of mine and his wife were expecting and gave out succulents as a very thoughtful gift at their baby shower. I was very excited to keep the, whatever it was, that I got alive but you know, it didn’t work out for me. There’d be times where I was drunk out on the town with friends and I’d see a particularly voluptuous jade. While we are begin greeted by the maitre’d I’d snag a petal and keep it in my pocked and forget about it for a couple of days and then at work I’d find it again and put it in the soil when I got home, in a couple days after I remembered it. Unsurprisingly, following this protocol, more often than not it would dry out in my pocket before it would, if it were still as full-bodied, dry out in the pot where I had it. In asking around I’d see friends who’d have jade plants and ask them how they got shorty to get so thick and they’d always never say anything that would help me. “I dunno Mason, I just left it on the soil and here we are, honestly I forget about it. It’s pretty crazy that you can’t get them to grow because I thought you of all people blah blah blah!!!” It took me, like I said on the Introductions episode, it is because some plants just don’t like you. And that’s fine. It took me a while to accept that, if that is my intention, to grow plants big and fast, and to dote over them with all of the paternal energy that I have, then it’s like what my, and most peoples grandma says, “a watch pot don’t boil.” 2. Bonsai and other manicured plants It’s a philosophical thing. I know, but a philosophical difference is the case. I don’t get bonsai-ing plants. It’s not that they can’t be gorgeous. I’ve been to the arboretum plenty of times and seeing the older than old bonsais that they have there are awesome. But I still don’t get it. Why would you do that? I’ve had braces and weirdly I wanted them. I wanted to complete the nerd trifecta when I was younger. They’ve definitely helped me but with an active lifestyle, and motile capabilities it makes sense to improve upon something that may not be 100% functional. What is the argument then for plants? The use of copper wire, string, spring and other widgets to bend the trunk, branches and roots over time, to replicate nature at scale, makes no sense to me at all. It really does remind me a lot of growing marijuana. The desired product of marijuana, the flower, is designed to retain pollen. The sticky-icky gets stickier-and-ickier and more and more dank, and bigger and bigger to get that grain of pollen to start making more seed. We’ve heard an alley cat in heat, and been annoyed by it. This is what the plant is doing, then once it is at its most fertile stage, it is lopped off at the soil and hung upside down to dry. It’s weird. But with Bonsai, it is apparently about “contemplation.” And replicating nature to emphasize it. On the other hand, when it comes to Bonsai, there are more destructive things that have been going on for, at least, the last 1300 years. One of them is 3. Growing for yield and enough to survive I haven’t yet done this, for anything I’ve grown. I want to make a point of this because I want to caveat what my perceived expertise is. I work and have worked with people that can do this, and have done this in similar plants that I have grown, and what I really know that one thing I haven’t done is grown things to scale. Perhaps with my peppers I have grown for a substantial yield. Yeah. So maybe I’m wrong here, but that is also wrong because it’s not like you can derive any sort of real existence from eating peppers. Though those skills in growing peppers year over year did translate to growing other similar and unrelated plants. What I’m trying to say that if you are listening to this podcast, don’t take what I say as gospel because it may not result in you, if this is your situation, getting 100% germination, 100% viability, and 100% harvest. Expecting those results from anyone, including yourself is setting yourself up for failure. I do think that I have grown a lot of very delicious and nutrient dense foods, fruits, and flowers, but I only guess until I test. Related to that is that I have only grown enough to supplement my diet. I am so excited for the day when I am able to grow chickens from egg to egg, and grow the sweet potatoes I will eat them with. That day will be glorious. I haven’t also yet put myself in the position to force myself to eat only what I produce. I do think there is merit in the idea, and perhaps I will be in that position one day. However, my ideals is that my neighbor or someone close to me will also be producing, and that person will be producing things that I can’t or don’t want to produce, and that I am doing the same. In that, us having the ability to provide what each other doesn’t want to produce sets us up nicely for an equal exchange. I’d rather do that then have the weird self-imposed pressure of being 100% reliant. No man is an island. 4. Reading cover-to-cover, following exact directions. You already know me to be an adherent to many of the practices of KNF and Fukuoka. However, it may be surprising that I haven’t read JADAM cover to cover, or followed any of the directions to the letter in either of those books. I’ve always taken those books as a suggestion and as a good foundation to jump off and to do my own thing. I do have, as many do, and as many millennials do, have an issue with delaying gratification. I could have, and possibly would recommend, following all of the directions in those books to the T and then, in a separate journal, write out all of your ideas and wait to implement them later. That is a good idea. I’m not going to do that though. One person that I do know that does those things, in my estimation, does them even better now because he is teaching others how to do what he has done, which is where the real learning begins. You, my loving sibling of the soil, are where my real learning begins. It’s not that I don’t follow directions so that you don’t have to, but its, you, as a guinea pig, if we both don’t follow directions, then, do you really have to? 5. Most things about trees You may have intimated this point from listening to me talking with Arborist Silver Sprung about trees. I was saying this and that about trees until he reminded me that trees make oxygen. DUHH. It’s weird to have forgotten that. I’m getting better at identifying trees, and have gathered plenty of resources to be able to help me in my identification, but sometimes they just defy language. I wonder if my difficulty with them comes from the fact that I am also intensely allergic to them. What a turn of events life is, and despite my allergy to the outside, I love it more than ever, every year. 6. Breeding plants I really love Bok Choy, it by itself is very buttery and moist and when its sautéed just right it just flops around in the pan and the stalk becomes very crunchy. It’s awesome. But then you tell me it’s related to Dino Kale, which makes the perfect kale chip. And that that is the same as Purple Kale, and that that is the same as Collards, and Mustard, and Turnips, and Radish? It’s intriguing and mind boggling that certain expressions, locked in over time, will continue to lock themselves in. Later in life I’d like the opportunity to be able establish my own varieties of crops, that would be awesome, but right now, I think I just don’t have the patience for it. 7. Following through with people I’ve made botanical promises to. Over the years of growing I promised many people I would write them up guides, find them information, make videos dedicated to their particular quandary or issue and I have yet to do it. I don’t think I ever will. If you are listening, I am sorry to have failed you. I understand that cheapens the trust you have in me and I regret having cheapened that trust that I’ve, that we’ve worked to cultivate within each other. I also can understand if you stop this podcast right now. I’d like to be able to continue doing what I do, and include you in that, when I have the opportunity, but only if you will allow it. Will you? 8. What other people want to know. This is where you can help me out. I know the juxtaposition between this point and the last one is iffy. I do know that now I am in a much better position to be able to give advice and make good on those botanical promises. New slate! On the other hand, I don’t think that that is the point. I have had plenty of discussions with other siblings of the soil about this podcast and what I am doing and, it was a surprise to me that I have been seen as going my own way, despite the fact that every now and then I am lost for ideas for what to create, record, and share. I had been curious to know, what does the layman want to know about growing tomatoes? Without asking myself why did you start this podcast in the first place. Without asking myself the first question that we ask every single show. I don’t want to hear another person talk about growing tomatoes, I want to know how you grow while you grow tomatoes. This show, I’ve realized, perhaps again, is to deliver a particular context to the listener to be in and appreciate working the soil in. The other outside sources of information I listen to, most of which still hold true to my Episode 2 Resources, talk about that the big change in building healthy soils doesn’t come from any particular technique, but from a change in the mind and heart that powers the hands that are working the soil. This is my goal, and mission to assist in delivering depth, from Ancient Kemet, Ghana, Nigeria, to Nana Kwame Afrani, to the present day, to help you in your future. 9. Where my ideals fail. I know a lot about growing in the DMV. I’ve grown here my entire life. I have very strong opinions as it relates to what should be done in agriculture, and what shouldn’t, and a lot of those things are informed, obviously, by my own practice. What I don’t know is where does my idea, my ideals, where do they fail? Rather than a set of techniques, as I described in the last step, is there a guiding philosophy that can help our brother or sister, whether they are in Alaska, or Angola, or in St. Petersburg or St. Croix? What kinds of stories need to be told to be able to help them identify the nitrogen fixing ground covers underneath their feet in all of these places? Where can I find that information? Have I already found it? Is this even possible? Even if it isn’t I can imagine that I’ll learn a whole lot even if I fail. I’m sure that there are plenty of similar plants all over the black soil on this blue planet, all regionally adapted to perform their functions, to provide self-healing to the earth. Wherever they are, we, at Jigijigi, want to be able to point towards some of those stories, to help our brothers and sisters, from Papua New Guinea, to Equatorial Guinea, to Guyana, to Guangzhou, to the Congo, from Palmares to Palm Beach and everywhere else that Black people are. Wherever Black people are we want to build healthy souls, by building healthy soils. 10. Making my own Value-Added Products This was a hard one to admit. In our third installment of our Agribusiness series, in the Rooting DC episode I referred to trying to make the Holy Basil Incense Cones and although I formed them in a cone shape, I am pretty sure that using water as the binding agent actually took away all of the aromatic compounds that I wanted to smell. In the future I think a better option for them would be to take the fresh leaves, and grind those up in a mortar and pestle as I did, and then bind them together as quickly as I can and then dry them so that less water comes into the situation. Obviously they will drink as they shrink, but we will see what happens. I also tried to make incense pellets with honey as the binding agent, and I have left some of those in the dark in various places in my room and in my girlfriends apartment. They smell amazing, but it has yet to be able to transmit that to fill the air with the same aromaticity that I enjoyed so much at Nu Ray Research Garden. Once the formulation is complete, then its off to more testing, and sampling with friends and seeing if anyone will bite. If they don’t they don’t and that’s not a problem because people will bite for something. The economy has not stopped throughout this pandemic, and people are eating more than ever. You, my sibling of the soil, should you have your value-added product ready, we’re ready to interview you! Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Leave us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O, thank you for listening to Jigijigi, Peace.
10 minutes | May 15, 2020
Shrooms? In My Buckets??
Shrooms? In My Buckets?? – JP027 We’ve been hunting mushrooms all spring. Our greatest bounty was in our own backyard! We update you with what’s been growing in our coffee since last summer. Enjoy! Works Referenced:CompostEsoterracisms: Time “heavily berried Holly trees”Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As MedicineGoogle Books Preview to exactly the page we quote fromMushrooms In Yoruba Mythology and Medicinal Practices – B.A. OsoHe Made Divination for the MushroomIFISM: The Complete Works of Orunmila Volumes Eight and Nine – C.Osamaro Ibie Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? In my brief time following the alkaline vegan lifestyle I developed a close relationship with mushrooms. In that time mushrooms were the furthest away from the texture of vegetables, fruits, and grains, representing diversity in the masticatory experience. After I ended my tenure with that lifestyle my relationship with mushrooms deepend. Although I don’t go through the culinary journey of dredging, breading, and frying strips of Lobster, Oyster, or King Trumpet mushrooms any longer. Last year, in the episode composts I shared with you my composting strategy with the coffee inoculated with some fungi growing on a fallen branch in my backyard. We also talked about the purchasing of the African Nightcrawler earthworms. If you have listened to that episode consider checking it out now, before I give updates. Last week I checked on things growing in my bins. I also wanted to check on my worms. Despite the heavily berried Holly trees, it was a pretty mild inter so there might be a chance that my Naija Nightcrawlers survived. In breaking down the cornstalks from last year and the husks surrounding the ears of the Black Corn, in those husks is a fine and nicely purple pigmented paper that Mandela and I referred to as Corn-Fetti. I fed it to the worms. So when I looked in the wicker bin that kept all them in all this time and sifted through the corn-fetti, what did I find but a wonderful surprise, my African Nightcrawlers, just chillin in the soil. I had, erroneously assumed that they had all perished and became one with the food and soil they created, but in this case, its good to be wrong. In another bucket contains a semi-sealed portion of coffee. Before I opened it I saw a straight line of black ants carrying something white out of the bucket and down into the grass that’s in desperate need of a shape-up. Another surprise met my eyes in the bottom of that bucket. A similar stick to what I had a year ago was resting upon a cake of coffee mycelia. And at the 12-o-clock position a dried up mushroom? Definitely a different type of fruiting body. It appeared to me that the Ants were taking pieces of the hyphae and mycelia away for their own use or consumption much like the termites that cultivate the Termitomyces titanicus. In fact, that was what was happening! Leafcutter ants farm fungi. They feed the leaves they cut to the fungus, and as the fungi break down the leaf matter, saps and other vegetable nutrition is made available to the Ants! In West Africa and further south into Zambia, a giant mushroom, the largest edible mushroom grows in a symbiotic association with termites. The term mounds provide the ideal environment for growth, the term keeps the environment clean and as the fungus moves through the termite mound or comb, nutrients are released for consumption by the termites. The mushrooms of the Termitomyces can be up to 1m or 3 feet in diameter. In a different culture, in South Cameroon, at least according to Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine, it is said to be that mushrooms are the meat of the poor. This no doubt, is due to cultural practices, which are never in a vacuum and thus begs the question, How much western influence is there on that cultural value? Although, this is just an area on that enormous continent of black soil so there are different perspectives. As B.A. Oso writes in his article Mushrooms in Yoruba Mythology and Medicinal Practices: CALVATIA CYATHIFORMIS(Bosc) Morgan The Yoruba people strongly believe that C.cyathiformis is produced by the bush-fowl (Francolinus bicalcaratus). Hence the Yoruba name for the fungus is 1 so-aparo (Yor. iso = effluvium + aparo = bush- fowl). A Yoruba myth tells us that centuries ago the bush-fowls, in a bid to gain recognition among farmers, went to Orunmila to divine. They complained to Orunmila that mating with each other usually left no visible mark, it only resulted in a discharge of effluvium by the females and because of this the farmers had no regard for them. They appealed to Orunmila to help them so that the effluvium discharged subsequent to mating would re- suit in something that would be of value to the farmers, as this was the only way they could win their recognition. Orunmila divined for them and asked them to sacrifice ten eggs to the gods. They brought the eggs and Orunmila made the sacrifice. Since then wherever there was mating between a male and a female bush-fowl, this fungus usually appeared a few days later. Farmers then started collecting and taking them home to show the people and to eat them. This in the Yoruba belief is the origin of C. cyathiformis. And Lastly, and Odù from Owanrin-Idi, He Made Divination for the Mushroom, or as I like to call it, Why the Mushroom lives a short life. Three Awos made divination for the Mushroom (olu-oron) to have 201 children, but not to keep them. She (the mushroom) was advised to make sacrifice with a piece of white cloth and rabbit in order to have children. She was also told to make a second sacrifice so that after having children, they might grow up to become adults before her eyes. She made the sacrifice to bear children and she had many of them, but failed to make sacrifice to see the children outlive her. On account of the second sacrifice she failed to make, her children did not live for more than 48 hours after being born. I bought some Oyster Mushrooms in early April and now it is the middle of May. Up until this week I left the mushrooms in the fridge and forgot about them. I still looked at them, to make sure they wouldn’t go bad. But they started growing another way. I’ve never seen it before so I assumed it was growing. Earlier this week I had an urge to put them on the balcony of my girlfriends apartment in a bucket that will become our new compost. The night I did that I had a dream they would fruit again. I checked on them the next morning and I saw one brown-capped pin but the other beginning-to-fruit-body dried out in the fresh air. A couple days later the distinctive oyster heads showed themselves again, in real life, not just in my dream. It’s also my dream to have those oysters growing with me this time next year. I’m excited for my dream to come true. Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the soil. Don’t forget to share this with another Black Farmer/Gardener who knows, metaphysically, why the healthiest soils are black. I’d love to hear from them and interview that somebody. Tell me, are you that somebody? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org Leave us a 5 star review where you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Paa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening to Jigijigi. Peace
7 minutes | May 1, 2020
Conflict – JP026 We take umbrage with the promoted hippie-nature of interacting with nature. We offer some molecular biology of course to make our point. Enjoy. Works ReferencedTomatolandߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) – JP024Calcium Oxalate crystals formed within the leaves of the Acacia in response to herbivory Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Conflict. Chemical Warfare. What happens when the poetic palliative “Everyone’s gotta eat?” What happens when the deer come and eat my purple bok choy that was going to seed? What happens then when that doesn’t soothe the pain of another plant lost? We become conflicted. I think someone has lied to me, shown me an image, a simulacrum of our hands in the soil, turning it out, growing avocados and peas from the grocery store in inappropriate soil or microenvironments, leaving us indignified, despondent, when our disney-fied dirt dreams begin pushing up daisies. Growing your own is hard work, even moreso, because of ego, for those of us who believe we’ve inherently got it like that. Perhaps it isn’t seen as this to you my loving Sibling of the Soil but I’ve seen it perpetuated too many times to not speak on it. The portrayal of agriculture as this entire act of loving misses out on the fact that agriculture also happens in reality. Famines, crop failures, pests, weather, all of these happen in reality and any palliative poem like “Everybody’s Gotta eat” is just that. Palliative, numbing, and an attempt, feeble at best, Garnered towards gathering likes, yet it actually does not do anything to appease your real pain. Right now today is April 33rd, and it is the time where Kale, Collards, and all brassicas are in full seed setting mode, if you haven’t harvested them already. Very soon the harlequin bugs will be ready to munch on everything that is out there. Can you really just be satisfied with derivatives of “it is what it is” when you are satiated? I am definitely fortunate to be in a position to be able to not have to sustain myself from the soil, but my food comes from the soil somewhere. I’ve been reading Barry Estabrooks Tomatoland, and it is anything but the rosy red hue of the tomato. I say “been reading” because the book details some individuals whose maladies from the amount of pesticide used to bring pasta to our plates has done more thaupset my stomach. It’s not that I haven’t heard it before, practically every conversation about food in DC is about whose not getting tomatoes, who picks tomatoes, or “how come no one is buying my tomatoes?” Hearing that it cost the life of a child born without an anus and jaw, and later took that newborns life, that a very different story. Heating that that mother can’t necessarily convince a jury against the corporation she worked for because she doesn’t know english, let alone Spanish, because she really only knows her indigenous tongue is very different than hearing the organizational echoes of Castro, Mao, and Toure, in a misapplied act of nostalgic academic rhetoric. So you say, bet, I’ll buy local yet that doesn’t solve that previous problem. And we are here again. Conflict. So lets grow our own. Great. And when the birds, the squirrels, the cats, Monkeys, other humans, hornworms want a juicy bite of your loving tomato? What happens then? Conflict. My favorite method of, “management,” is the employment of parasitoid wasps, to lay eggs in the backs of those hornworms. Then the palliative turns positive as you whisper to the caterpillar, everybody’s gotta eat! Many of the aromas and prized secondary compounds we love from plants are their adaptation to this facet of life. In the episode Sankofa we spoke about the jasmonic acid pathway being activated by the rain. Jasmonic acid is one of many plant hormones and along with Salicylic acid, better known as Aspirin, these are involved in plant defense and immune responses. These two compound set off many changes within the entire plant to prevent it from being eaten. Because of their immobility plants even signal to their siblings in the soil that “I am being consumed, if you are smelling this, produce oxalate crystals within your leaves so that the Giraffee doesn’t eat you, my dearest Acacia.” Lean into conflict, my Siblings of the Soil, constructive conflict is expeditious growth. It is differentiation and adaptation to the landscape which at times can appear bleak and unforgiving. It is just appearances, sometimes it really is that way. And that’s fine. Embrace the Monkey, mite, and most important your own mind as you ease your kind hands into the loving soil you are building. Share jigijigi with your friends, family, and closely related siblings of the oil. Give us a 5 star review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Paa, Modupe O! Thank you, for listening, to Jigijigi. Peace
13 minutes | Apr 17, 2020
Odù to Sow Seeds To
Odù to Sow Seeds To – JP025 In this strange, strange time, We go into the woods and read from the Odù Ifá. Just some short Ifá Ẹsẹ that you can sow seeds to. If there are any, short interpretations are given following the footnotes from the original author. Enjoy! Works Referencedߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) – JP024Esoterracisms: Weeds?Ifa Divination PoetryI Lift Up My Arms In Joyful SatisfactionA Prayer to IfaIwori Meji, the Third Odu to Appear On EarthThe Forest Cannot Be So Full of Trees As To Make Impossible The Recognition of The Iroko TreeWe Are Pleading That The Earth May Not Be DestroyedHow Oosaoko Became a God of the FarmOrangun Meji, The Sign of Fortune Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript Peace, I am Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì: Africulture Podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul, so we share strategies for how to do both. To do both we ask two questions: How do you grow while you grow Kale, Collards, Tomatoes, and Melons. And why, do you think, the healthiest soils are Black? Odu to Sow Seeds To In this strange time I wanted to share something light, and I’ll keep sharing them as I find them. As you remember from our episode Sankofa we shared the ese The Cotton Plant and our scientific interpretation of it. We continually search for more relevant wisdom literature to inform our techniques and dexterity as we have our hands in the soil. We also enjoyed the opportunity to share some deeper science with our Siblings of the Soil. As in life, however we came upon a challenge. Despite our thorough search we hadn’t found another ese quite like The Cotton Plant but we have found other ese that we are honored to share thorough the seasons. Odu to Sow Seeds To I join you today from Rock Creek Park. The same place where I recorded our Resources episode. I hope you enjoy the natural accompaniment. I am going to read select seven ese from Ifa Divination Poetry by Wande Abimbola The titles I will read are: I Lift Up My Arms In Joyful Satisfaction from Eji Ogbe A Prayer to Ifa from Iwori Meji Iwori Meji, The Third Odu to Appear On Earth The Forest Cannot Be So Full of Trees As To Make Impossible the Recognition of the Iroko Tree from Owanrin Meji We Are Pleading That The Earth May Not Be Destroyed from Osa Meji How Oosaoko became God of the Farm Orangun Meji, The Sign of Fortune sneeze I am so sorry about that . Allergy Season. Bolekaja, Let’s Begin. I Lift Up My Arms In Joyful Satisfaction from Eji Ogbe I lift up my arms In joyful satisfaction Ifa divination was performed for Orunmila, The father was told that he would not carry his responsibilities to the end of his life. Orunmila was told to perform sacrifice, And he performed sacrifice. As a result, he became impregnable. He said, “I lift up my arms In joyful satisfaction. Ifa divination was performed for Orunmila; The father was told that he would to marry his responsibilities to the end of his life. I will carry my own responsibilities to the end of my life. I lift up my arms in joyful satisfaction.” There is a footnote: To the Yoruba, it is an important thing for a man to live a long and useful life. That includes being able to carry one’s responsibilities (catering for ones wives, children and other members of the extended family system until full maturity when one’s children normally take over the responsibilities. From Iwori Meji, A Prayer to Ifa When the farmer looks at cotton wool on the other side of the river, It seems to open its white teeth Smiling joyfully. Ifa divination was performed for the Spider, offspring of those who do all things in a wonderful way. Ifa, in your own wonderful way, Bring all good things to me. When the farmer looks at cotton wool, On the other side of the river, It seems to open its white teeth Smiling joyfully. The spider is the subject of several Ifa poems, which marvel at its expertise in spinning its thread into different artistic shapes. You, listener, Spider, don’t hesitate to ask for help to be able to utilize your creativity in your own wonderful way. Iwori Meji, The Third Odu to Appear on Earth Ugly, clumsy and crooked The occiput of vultures resembles the handle of an axe. Yet it cannot be used in cutting a tree Ifa divination was performed for Eji Iwori Who was the third Odu to come down to earth. They asked him where he planned to stay. He answered that he had already performed sacrifices with a mortar. They asked him where he planned to tread the land. He answer that it was he who spread the tete (spinach) species all over the earth. They asked him never to go in front of another mans’ house. He said that it was in the presence of the owner of the land that the teteponla (different spinach variety) covers up the land. He said that he and agba lived together in the forest. Tete, walk about about freely. Tete, walk about in peace. He said that he and ijokun lived together in the grassland. Tete walk about freely. Tete, move about in peace. He said that he and keekee lived together at Oyo Ajaka. Tete, walk about freely. Tete, move about in peace There is no landowner who can prevent tete from flourishing on his land. Tete walk about freely Tete move about in peace. I’m sure as you listen to that particular ese, you know your own particular Tete, or teteponla, or keekee, or ijokun, all these varieties of these beautiful plants that manage to find themselves in our own way. You should listen to Weeds, that episode where we discuss, some of the deeper intricacies of weeds and what they mean. From Owanrin Meji, The Forest Cannot Be So Full of Trees As To Make Impossible the Recognition of the Iroko Tree The great rainbow Performed divination for the Iroko tree in the city of Igbo. He therefore added two cowries to three and went to an Ifa priest for divination. He was told to perform sacrifice. And he performed it. After he had performed sacrifice Esu went and called farmers, And ordered them to start cleaning the forest. Inside which the Iroko tree was. All the trees which were the enemies of Iroko were cut down by the farmers. But when they got to the foot of the iron tree Esu commanded that they must not cut him Be cause he was not an ordinary tree. When Iroko defeated his enemies He said that was exactly what his Ifa priests predicted. “The great Rainbow Performed Ifa divination for the Iroko tree in the city of Igbo. When he was living in the midst of his enemies. The forest cannot be so full of trees The forest cannot be so crowded with trees As to make impossible the recognition Of the Iroko tree. I have become a great Rainbow. Alleolopathy is a fascinating concept and here we have an example, spiritually, of the how and some of the why behind the battles that plants have over territories. From Osa Meji, We are Pleading that the Earth May Not Be Destroyed Osa, the brightly shining one, Ifa priest of the Earth Performed divination for the Earth. The earth was told to stop performing sacrifices intended to make him wealthy. But to perform instead the sacrifices which would protect him from his enemies. We are certainly alive And we are pleading That as long as we remain on the earth The earth may not be destroyed. From Ose Meji, How Oosaoko Became a God of the Farm Let us gather it together Let us break it into pieces Ifa divination was performed for Olasi Who was going on his annual visit to the farm. When people hatched a plot against Olasi He ran away to the farm. When the intensity of the plot continued Without diminishing, Olasi decided to remain on the farm And no longer returned to the city. While on the farm he had all the good things of life. But since the time Olasi left the city Pregnant women could not be delivered of their babies Barren women did not dip their white hands in cam wood ointment. When the matter became unbearable All of the inhabitants of the city got up And said that it was time they brought Olasi back into the city, So that they could have peace. But Olasi said if he would ever return to the city, He would eat to his satisfaction, He would drink sufficient wine And he would ride on horse back. Furthermore, they should accompany him with drums and trumpets. That was exactly how they brought him back into the city. It was after he returned to the city That the townspeople started to have peace. Every year, whenever the exact date of Olasi’s return to the city came, It was with drums and trumpets that they townspeople Remembered him. He said, “Let us gather it together Let us break it into pieces. Ifa divination was performed for Olasi Who was going on his annual visit to the farm. Travellers to the city of Ipo, Travellers to the city of Ofa, Come and see us conquering with sacrifice. Who is the person known as Olasi? That is the name of Oosaoko. This divinity is responsible for the fertility of all farm products. The devotees of this divinity must not eat fresh yams until the annual rites in honor of the divinity have been performed. I apologize it’s a little windy and this is our last Ese Orangun Meji, The Sign of Fortune. The palm trees which are so conspicuously bent That some dip their heads in water, And other dip their heads inside farmland. Ifa divination was performed for Orangun who lived in the city; Ifa divination was also performed for Orangun who lived in the village. Both of them were told to perform sacrifice, And they performed it. After they had performed sacrifice, They started to have different kinds of good things. They said, “The palm trees which are so conspicuously bent, that some dip their heads in the water, And other dip their heads inside farmland Ifa divination was performed for Orangun who lived in the village Travellers to the city of Ipo, Travellers to the city of Of a When we see Orangun Meji We begin to see fortune. It is my fortune to be sharing these Odu with you my Sibling of the Soil. Share Jigijigi with your friends, family, and especially with other black and african farmers who know why the soil is black. Tell me, are you that somebody? Email me m-a-s-o-n AT a-f-r-i-c-u-l-t-u-r-epodcast.com. Leave us a 5 start review wherever you listen to and we will say then as we say now, Asante Sana, Medase Pa, Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jigijigi. Peace
13 minutes | Apr 2, 2020
ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa) – JP024 Traditional Afrikan Spiritual Systems are at the foundation of an “African Natural Farming” technique. Wait a second, are we sure there isn’t a name for that already? Works mentioned:Che Axum’s appearance on JìgìjìgìSilver Sprung’s appearace on JìgìjìgìTowards ANFOur Instagram page, for the Philosophical Backgrounds postBrother Obsa Sabbona’s Instagram PagePhilosophical BackgroundIfá Divination Poetry Our Ifá Ẹsẹ Page, the collection of Future Wisdom Literature of ߍ߬ߣߌ߬ (È̩NÌ) Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) MO 0:00Pease, I am Mason Olonade and this is jJìgìjìgì Africulture podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul. So we share strategies for how to do both. To do both, we asked two questions. How do you grow while you grow kale, collards, tomatoes and melons? And why do you think the healthiest soils and black? MO 0:27Se so werefina, wosankofa yenkyi. It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten. We asked Che Axum his favorite plant related proverb and he said simply, sankofa. His answer was intriguing as you may remember, and if you haven’t listened, you should go back and fetch it. MO 0:54As we look ahead, of course, we reflect on our surroundings and where we have been we Of course, quote ourselves. It has been in search of a refined and replicable agricultural strategy for us black folks that points towards an African natural farming practice. Where would we be without the act of sankofa? We went back because we knew we put forth an interesting definition somewhere. Of course, we posted on we posted it on our Instagram for the philosophical background episode. Again, we caught ourselves the Yoruba definition of agriculture is eko nipa iroko the art of cultivating the soil. MO 1:46It now makes sense for the process of sankofa to no longer call the technique African natural farming here at Jìgìjìgì everything we do points towards a standardized geographically independent and replicable technique known as eko nipa iroko, the art of cultivating the soil or ENI for short. We appreciate you are loving sibling of the soil for helping us come to that evolution of thought. This is what family is for. MO 2:27Speaking of family, we had an extremely thought provoking conversation with our talented brother, musician, also sivanna. He encouraged us to remember and to trust the process of sankofa we then opened up to a random page and divination poetry by Wande Abimbola. Within the Odu Ifa there are many, many ese or poems. You may remember from our conversation with Silver Sprung. There are no such things as coincidences. There are only co incidences. If you don’t remember, it is not taboo to go back and fetch it. MO 3:11What we found astounded us. We found the cotton plant. MO 3:18Olosee Ifa priest of farmland performed divination for the cotton plant, who was losing all her children by premature death. The cotton plant inquired from her Ifa priests, what she must do in order that her children might survive, and so that the inhabitants of the earth would not give her any trouble. She was told to perform sacrifice after the cotton plant performs sacrifice our enemies sent small particles of rain to go and destroy her, as well as her children. But it was at this time that the cotton plant started to produce new leaves. Enemies then sent severe dewdrops to go and destroy her. But that was exactly when she started to produce new flowers and seeds. At last, they sent the sun to go and destroy the cotton plant. But as the sun was shining on the cotton plant, she started to open up her buds. She said, that was exactly what her he thought priests predicted. Olosee. Ifa priest of farmland performed Ifa divination for the cotton plant, who was losing all their children by premature death. They sent small particles of rain to go and destroy the garden plant. When she was growing new leaves. They sent severe dewdrops to go and destroy the cotton plant. But she started producing new buds and leaves. They sent the son to go and destroy the cotton plant. But she opened up her wall. The cotton plant is producing new leaves. She is producing more wool.It is in In the presence of birds, that the cotton plant opens up a wool. MO 5:07For us, this essay is one of resilience and speaks towards our meaning Africans and America history in this country on at least two levels. Additionally, keeping this in line with the goal of ENI we will keep this scientific. MO 5:29Our first point is that of heat exhaustion. too much of a good thing can be quite detrimental. We all know that. For example, in some plants, fertilizing with too much nitrogen will turn the leaves a dark green color well beyond the healthy green that we are used to. The same is the case here with the sun, especially on hot days, where the plants are focused on trying to keep themselves cool to be able to conduct normal functions. Transparent transpiration is the way that they keep themselves cool, much in the same way, like how we sweat. Some plants will will decrease the amount of exposure they have to the sun by reducing their surface area so that they can retain as much water as possible. We experienced this last summer with our sweet potatoes in particular. We thought that they had just been so so so thirsty, but once the plants were shaded by the house, leaves on the sweet potato perked up again. sunburn as we started plants indoors our undercover we mace we must take great care to harden them off to the sun’s rays. This means that we must gradually expose our plants to the sunlight because it is quite harsh. In 2015 I transplanted about 50 pepper plants into my grandmother’s backyard. They were taken directly from my bedroom. window which received light from about 1230 to 6pm. To her backyard that received a lot more light. When I checked in on them a couple days later, they had turned into paper. Mini leaves with the color of manila folders and so thin you could almost see through them. Then those that hadn’t been affected had been eaten up by alley cats, when just waved its tail at me, blinking long and basking in the sun of late May. MO 7:35Rain compaction. I didn’t believe it at first, but apparently in larger farm plots, the rain can be quite detrimental to soils. Although rain falls from about 6500 feet, or 2000 kilometers, the distance in it of itself from the soil doesn’t have that much of an impact because each raindrops each one raindrop accelerates to terminal velocity pretty quickly. This means that the rain drop stops gathering speed and instead hits a freefall where cannot go any faster. The real issue of rain compaction comes when all the rain hits the ground and is unable to absorb into the soil. When it hits, it sits and settles in and that first half inch or so of soil. It then dries and pulls all that soil together very quickly hardpan soils develop and that prevents the absorption of water deeper into the soils. This is why no till and cover cropping is unnecessary practice. By leaving adequate cover on the soil. we prevent compaction, especially from the repeated rain and evaporation cycles that are present throughout the entire growing season. MO 8:51Dew drops and pathogens. In the last couple of years, researchers have been understanding the role water droplets play in exactly How pathogens are spread in agricultural fields. A small consensus is grown around the idea that if there are pathogenic particles on the surface of a plant, when do or any other moisture comes, those water droplets can absorb those particles. When these surface water drops have been hit by a larger raindrop, they can disperse in all directions, potentially spreading the pathogen throughout the entire crop. In this first article, the author’s state that their objective was to understand how far pathogenic particles could travel based on their liberation patterns, they call them this research provides insight into possible agricultural solutions for the issue. We are trying to characterize how far these pathogens are flying from one plant to the others. Then we can suggest what is the optimal distance or array of crops in the field, young said in the second hour, The researchers were understanding the role of the immune system of the plant plays in response to rain. Just like your grandmother told you to make sure you wore a coat out if it were raining, the plants do the same, setting up their immune defenses in the case that they receive some particle from a freshly created liberation pattern. MO 10:23They state “plants are continuously exposed to mechanical mitigate manipulation by wind, rain, neighboring plants, animals, and human activities. These mechanical stimuli cause short term molecular changes and long term developmental effects affecting flowering time, pathogen defense and plant architecture. using water spray to simulated rain, we show that jasmonic acid signaling factors mediate rapid gene expression changes.” MO 11:00The last article is an update of the first. by dr. jung. The researchers were able to publish their results and included the role that wind may play in the dispersal of the viral particles when they are released into their liberation pattern. At the very beginning of rainfall, millions of dry spores are liberated from the plant, john said, by having the wind around it, these dry spores can easily disperse to another plant. pathogens spread in this way can ruin an entire crop. Another pathogen that is used by to do our funghi and molds like powdery mildew. Oddly enough, powdery mildew can be treated with milk. Now that you’ve heard our interpretations of this Ifa Ese, what did this mean to you? We’d love to hear from you. Email us. mason@Africulturepodcast.com do you know a black farmer a gardener who likes and wants to talk about plants and the soil? Tell me are you then somebody? Email us and share Jìgìjìgì with your friends, family and closely related siblings of the soil. And we will say then as we say, Now, Asante Sana and Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì peace
58 minutes | Mar 19, 2020
Rooting DC 2020 – Value Added Products Workshop
Rooting DC 2020Urban Agribusiness: Growing Money on Trees –JP023 Mandela and I were honored to facilitate a workshop at Rooting DC 2020. Our workshop was titled Urban Agribusiness: Growing Money on Trees. Enjoy! Workshop Slides (with notes of most everything we said)Rooting DC Resources (links to everything we referenced) Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black?
45 minutes | Mar 5, 2020
Microbes by Marco
Microbes by Marco – JP022 Marco is an avid practitioner of Korean Natural Farming. He grows his own inputs, teaches (us on the podcast) others how to make them on his Instagram page (linked below) and also sells his surplus inputs at MicrobesByMarco. Fans of the podcast will notice that I referenced him at our talk at Rooting DC. Works Referenced:Chris Trump’s YouTube ChannelBiocharThe Half That Has Never Been ToldThe Cotton GinJulius Tillery – Black Cotton Farmer in NCI misspoke referencing the lectins, and said leptins, when speaking about tomatoes. I actually meant Lycopene. It was early I guess. Visit this news report, and then the actual scientific article to learn more.Marco’s Proverb:Do As Nature DoesGood and Bad are the SameBoth of these come from the JADAM book, which all of us are familiar with.How Plants Absorb Living Microbes and Convert Soil Pathogens into Beneficials with James White – Regenerative Ag PodcastThis is what I was talking about with the concept of the beneficial bacteria pathogenizing the pathogens, rendering them beneficial.FusariumRustExudatesMarco’s Recommended Resource is :JADAM Organic Farming: ULTRA Powerful Pest and Disease Control Solution, Make all-Natural Pesticide, The way to Ultra-Low-Cost agriculture!Marco would’ve wished I asked him about Bokashi Composting. Listen in for his answer and read Bokashi Composting: Scraps to Soil in Weeks to get hip!We also discussed Bokashi Composting in our episode titled Composts.Contact Marco on his website MicrobesByMarco.Com or on IG @marco_is_growing Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊMedase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏThank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ߖߜ߭ߌ߬ Rhizofiltration and Rhizodegradation – Helping Nature Do His Thing part 3 Bioextraction/Phytostabilization – Helping Nature Do Her Thing Part 2 Bioremediation – Helping Nature Do It’s Thing Sustainability From the Seed to the Sleeve What Makes the Healthiest Soils Black? Transcript (automated) MO 0:01I Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì Africulture podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul and we share strategies for how to do both. To do both, we asked two questions. How do you grow while you grow kale, collards, tomatoes and melons? And why do you think the healthiest soils are black? Today I have a very special guest Marco and I met Marco because through Instagram through the gram is one of the very few of us who know what KNF is natural farming is and I’ll your teaching people and in preparation for the talk that we’re going to give it routing DC I found that that Marco makes his own value added products. micros by Marco calm, producing natural inputs for your farm and garden. Welcome Marco Marco 0:59Hello Thank you for having me. MO 1:01It’s my pleasure, man. When did you first realize you were supposed to have your hands in the soil? Marco 1:07I think I realized that a very young age. I was always a kid that enjoyed nature shows, being outside. I was always an outdoor kind of kind of kid. That led to me studying forestry management and soil biology in college. From there kind of really inspired a lot of growth in me, made me want to just just be more part of nature on a on a deeper level and just, you know, being outside in and I actually wanted to see if I could, you know, change, change kind of the way I looked at nature, you know, so From there, it kind of just inspired me to grow garden and I’ve been garden, you know, ever since, you know, so I’m 45 now so I’ve been kind of hands on the soil for, you know, over 20 to 30 years so MO 2:19and then, you know, the so how did you come across like KNF? Marco 2:25Um, KNF I’ve learned about KNF of probably about four years ago now. Like I said, with my college background I’ve always kind of been into soil biology. But there was never really a garden method that I knew of that, you know, focused on that, you know? So I was just doing some research online and I came across a guy named Chris Trump who has a lot of YouTube videos. on KNF and And I just saw the way he was creating his own inputs, using natural ingredients. And it made a lot of sense to me right away, and I just started making my own inputs from there. MO 3:16So it’s like, you know, like we were talking about before we were recording with with with, with KNF. There’s such an abundance that can be created with all this. And you know, when you pulled up, I saw the bananas that you had. I mean, you had probably, maybe, at least, so I saw three, right? They seem to be double stacked Marco 3:40for four cases of 40 pounds apiece of bananas on my truck, MO 3:47and so then from there, I mean, and I know that I mean you don’t process them to put them in there, right? You just put them in there straight, you know, whatever, whatever in whatever is the compost where you’re not peeling No, separating them out anything like that. Marco 4:02Well, those those bananas, they do go through a little bit of a process. Yeah, so um, basically to make fermented fruit juice, which is wonderful, KNF inputs you combined have to equal weight of the fruit and unrefined sugar, combine them, mix them together, and then let them ferment in an open top container for about five days. Yeah, so yeah, they are, there’s a little bit of a process to it. And what that does is the sugar pulls the enzymes and the plant juices out of the fruit. And then after five days, there’s a separation that leaves you with solids and liquids. And the fermented fruit juice is this liquid that you pour off. After five days that liquid can then be stored and then used as a garden input diluted at one to 1000 with rainwater or unchlorinated water. MO 5:03Yeah. When I when I say in process I mean in like, the bananas is as I saw them are going to be put in this or like just like how they are. Yeah cuz I so I had I tried to make my own FPJ Um, and I don’t know what I was reading but they were saying that you had to let that be gay wait for a while and there were all sorts of bugs that I’d never seen before. My, my, my, my sort of container but I still use it and, you know, with this sort of thing because I, I wanted to be able to do it in a sort of controlled experiment where you know, this is like that and I was like, Yeah, I don’t care. And I mean, it seemed to work I hadn’t and that because I didn’t make really any of those things beyond like the coffee stuff that I’ve been talking about on the podcast on knishes. I had such a mean because these The one cafe that we used to go to, I mean, they would they would give me five gallon buckets a week. You know, I mean, coffee ground rice too much to deal with for my little plot, you know. But I didn’t know that it was as short as short as five days for the FPJ. That’s crazy. Marco 6:18Yeah, that’s, um, that’s pretty. That’s pretty much standard. Um, I would never let it go more than seven days. Oh, yeah. Yeah. The process basically is you know, the sugar is pulling everything out via osmosis. And then in the thing with the bugs, make sure you keep it covered. No, yeah, porous cloth, because yeah, definitely fruit flies can get a little crazy. But usually when you mix the correct ratio of sugar, it helps keep the, you know, the bugs and kind of mold on top down to a minimum. MO 6:54Yeah, I think I had used a watermelon and i think that i think That didn’t account for the water wait a while, like, because I just I and I balled it. Of course I didn’t have I didn’t have the scale that I should have had to make it proper. But once that sort of stuff turned into water, I was like, Oh, I need to add more sugar now because it’s not like a isn’t so much of the slurry as it as I think that it’s supposed to be in a garden kind of loose syrup. Like, you know, I mean, I know. Yeah, kind of sir. Instead of the concentrated thing. Marco 7:30Yeah, you usually get that separation, you’ll get the kind of the solids that they’ll float up. And then that that clear liquid on the bottom is really that’s the gold. That’s the part that you really want to use and they want to strain it. And you can just throw the solids on into your compost or right into your garden there in the soil. And that all gets used to MO 7:52I the cover that I had had, I don’t remember what it was, I think it was just paper towels or whatever, but somehow they insect pressure was so much it just ended up taking all these flies. And I was like, Okay, this is perfect anyway cuz, right the exoskeletons, they’re you know, they’re bright, the brake iridescence all that stuff’s gonna come through to my flowers. Marco 8:14That’s all good. That’s all good. From there. Okay, from there. Marco 8:19It’s okay. Um, yeah, absolutely. So, what do you have growing on this year? Marco 8:29All right, so this year, I have, I have a new garden property that we got last year. My wife and I are, I’m the gardener. She’s just a looker, but it’s our property. So the first thing I put in last year was food beds, because I wanted to just get some food going, um, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelon, strawberry, put in a strawberry patch and Few herbs like Bazell and time. So this year I expanded it and this year I’m going to grow more of my K and all of my k enough input ingredients. So I’m growing ginger growing. Angelica, which is an herbal use the root use growing garlic growing set, two types of sesame, white and black, which the stocks are used in the inputs. And I’m growing a couple different types of tobacco, native tobacco, which the stocks are also used for water soluble potassium. So the goal this year is to continue with my food beds. And now also grow all of the ingredients that I used to make the inputs The food beds. So I’m kind of just a my property I’m making it to where I’m growing the nutrients for the plants and then the plants and then the food and then making a complete cycle, on my property. MO 10:12that has been the most mind blowing and liberating concept about this natural farming thing is that you can grow your own fertilizer, then meaning that you can grow your own soil for and, and without having to I mean and this is even prior to the composting by growing the right plants providing even the the you know the providing pioneering root structures and or ones that last for a long time and then taking the above ground things, cutting them off and then doing the making these sorts of processing in the end these ways to sort of build this up and if it costs you seat costs You know, two bucks for however many seeds, you know, and even just from sample packets, all those things can be so, so so abundant. Marco 11:07Exactly. If you if you have one seed and then start one plant, you could propagate that plant from there. So there’s caution never be an excuse if you have a place to grow. If you have a little bit of space, then it shouldn’t be about cost. It’s only about whether or not you can at least get your hands on one seed round or even one plant and then which most people can do that. MO 11:33And and if you and really is about like timing or planning because sometimes you may not even need to buy the seed or the plant, you know, like, for example, mice so I bought some sweet potatoes last year from our and is 2020. So, Fall of 2018 bought them. In March, they had sent out all these slips because I forgot about them. And then I put them in the ground and got twice as many as maybe four times as many as I planned on add to that ground. And now they’re shooting out slips again for and I just bought those to eat, you know, two years ago, right? So, or, you know, in it, or even when did the amaranth that I really loved that the amaranth that is just one of the most perfect plants to me because of all the nutrition, the soil pioneering that it can do for the you know, the C$ the stock itself being this huge Marco 12:39And it smells good. I mean, it’s so many things. MO 12:42I didn’t eat and then I’m the one variety that I got from Baker Creek. They’re saying one seed can make it to a pound of seeds. Hmm, Marco 12:51That’s right. That’s right. That’s it’s just it does blow your mind. You know. I got A couple years ago, I had some kale that ended up going to seed and harvested all the seeds. And I have probably about two ounces of seeds, which is more kale. I mean, Kelsey to time if that’s thousands and thousands of seeds. I probably have, you know, half a coffee cup full of seeds. And I thought, Man, I’ll never grow this many kale. And you know, before the seeds go non viable. Well, just this year, I had a friend that started growing microgreens. So I said, Well, let me try some microgreens. So I did a tray of microgreens. Yeah, and didn’t take very many seeds, but now I’m kind of hooked on those and I know what I’m going to do with the rest of the seeds. Now, I mean, they’re something that you can grow. When people say don’t have space to grow a micro green tray is what 12 inches by 16 inches or so. All you need is a window sill. All right, and those microgreens are ready in about eight days, and one tray is a meal for two people and at least you know, so you could rotate your micro green trays, if you only have one space. You can always have fresh greens if if you want them, you know, you just kind of think a little bit outside the box, I think was an option. MO 14:20I haven’t given I haven’t given microgreens enough because every time I sort of see it, I don’t I forget, I forget that people eat this stuff. Sometimes because I’m, you know, just really caught up in usually just in my own head and this sort of premise of it. And really in this sort of economic aspect of it. I’m thinking about that a lot more. And I mean, when I see it on Reddit, that people setups, it’s clear that they’re not necessarily using it to feed themselves, right. It’s selling it to the local hip restaurant that is doing a microgreens thing for us. But even like you said, I mean, with what a $40 investment or something like that you can get an LED light bar from your home depot. And set that up in the basement or in your bedroom you know in a cabinet space somewhere and then you can read those read those greens up easily in and especially these sunflower seeds from the from the from the CO-operative grocery store. You can do the same thing, even with the amaranth, wheat berries, wheat grass, almost all those things are those Marco 15:20grown naturally right around you if you just look. Some of them do. One thing with the microgreens is I was I was never really hip to them either. And then I was I went to my local farmers market, because I want to have a booth set up this year. Okay, so I was just walking around to each of the little shops or stands and a guy had microgreens I was just giving some support and I bought an ounce worth, you know, it was about a Ziploc bags for and I took them home and actually put them in a pan and sauteed them Hmm. And I was literally like one of the best things I ever had. I’m like I got it. I got it. MO 16:00Yeah I need to try this for for for for 2020 because I don’t think I’ll this this year I won’t have the opportunity to probably be moving later this year. So I wanted the opportunity to really have a 10 to apply but that that that might be my my little angle project. MO 16:19That might be my what I got going on this year. Yeah. What so I saw that the other day and I was extremely curious because I didn’t know why you were growing tobacco. I’ve always wanted to grow tobacco just because it’s tobacco. But then when I saw that you said that about water soluble potassium. I was like, excuse me. Marco 16:42I am. The interesting thing about the tobacco is um, tobacco is one of the is so backhoe is using one of the key nfm inputs and what what it is is you take the stalks At the end of the growing season the stocks once they’re fully mature, you strip all the leaves, which I will use leaves as well because I want to use those for my for my natural leaf backhoe. But so you take the stocks, chop them up and then you want to biochar there, which you know, basically, I’m sure a lot of people know what it is. But viral chars when you more or less burn something or turn it into carbon without flame and oxygen name. So when you buy a char, you’re basically taking it to a point where it’s down to it’s it’s just black carbon. And then from there, you soak, you take that those bio char stock, soak them in water for about 10 days, and then strain and that water is water has water soluble potassium, and then that can then be stored for pretty much indefinitely in a jar. Use when needed. Dilute At one to 1000 Marco 18:03so that’s that’s the main reason you grow tobacco. MO 18:05Yeah, that’s that’s Yeah. Cuz I mean, I wanted to go in for the same this for the for the leaves itself and you know and even the history and our history in this country and just to know just to know what that’s like because at this growers panel that the DC department of recreation put on, they had a, they give out they gave out cotton socks, I think from the brother in North Carolina. Who is Julius, I forget his last name, but he has a his account is on blackcotton.us and he has uh, he’s like fifth generation American or whatever and he has, but what I didn’t realize is how sharp cotton those those those boluses are. Oh, yeah. And I was just like, you know, I had listened to the audiobook of the story. That’s never have this story. Half the story hasn’t been told her. I can’t remember the exact name of it, but um, I listened to that. And he was talking about in a in that about the half that has never been told as the name of the book. And he was talking about half the book is the economic part of the economic aspect of slavery that hasn’t been called. And then half of it is about weaving that with a story or narrative of a brother who was free in Boston, and then it was kidnapped into slavery. And talking about him working his way back from wherever he was back to Boston, and talking about having to pick cotton and seeing the sort of way that our brothers and sisters ancestors were turning to machines. And how you know, when he was trying to pick cotton is you know, he’s getting all scarred up from from this, whereas there were women who had, you know, gotten on, you know, on their knees, and we’re just going through, you know, like with both their arms extending in the road And just you know, doing this, like, he was in it, and I didn’t understand actually have some of it. But ultimately what I’m getting at is that this is some of these, it I sort of see it as a point of healing for us to then grow these plants that we were forced to, so that, you know, ancestors who are within us, you know, can that sort of thing can be relieved completion of that circle. Marco 20:27That makes a lot of sense. On that same note, when you talk about picking cotton, you know, my dad is from South Georgia, and he grew up. That was one of his summer jobs, you know, in the summer jobs picking cotton. But the point here is we invented the cotton gin, right, because of that lady, and because of those men and women that I taught her hands on, we don’t get credit for inventing the Titans. Right? So Eli Whitney wouldn’t have invented tightens him because his fingers weren’t getting cut up. He wasn’t getting scratched up. It didn’t matter to him. But what he did was took our invention. And then he got credit for, you know what I mean? And going back to just growing plants like the ancestors did, um, you know, I believe that many of us of color are native to this country as well. Not everyone came on slave ships. You know, I mean, there’s a big history of people that dates way back that, you know, Columbus arrived here from some of the first faces he saw were people of color, you know, where he thought he was in India, you know what I mean? So, the seeds that are grow the tobacco seeds, and the reason I got all that is because I get them from, I’m actually going to pick up these. MO 21:47Oh, yeah, I saw you this morning. Marco 21:49She’s a Native American, okay. She’s half native. And so she, she takes a lot of pride in growing things like the tobacco and those kind of things too. So I’m blessed to be able to pick up some some of her seeds this morning after I leave here so I’ll be growing tobacco along alongside everything else this year. MO 22:10This is amazing. How have you grown while you’re growing all that you got going on meaning how has your well being improved being in the soil? Marco 22:23I think it’s um, it’s really, it really helps me um, I work professionally I’m in high rise construction. I’m a Senior Project Manager. So it’s a high stress job. Every building has a tenant that’s ready to move and there’s always deadlines, there’s always timelines on the garden for me is my escape. Even if I just go over to my garden space and have lunch, it’s it just it relieves a lot of stress just out there and looking around and maybe walking for 20 or 30 minutes. But for me growing is is pretty much an escape from you know, like, you know the normal day to day rat race. So I like to get out of my garden at least every evening if I have the opportunity. And and that’s really that’s where it really where helped me grow because I feel like it’s benefiting My health is taking stress off me, which is giving me a better quality of life. And that’s kind of one of the reasons MO 23:29vitality, vitality. Why do you think the healthiest soils are black? Marco 23:38Well, that’s a pretty deep question. The healthiest soils are black, because the organic matter has been broken down. Leaves are green leaves go from green to brown. And after they hit the ground, they turn eventually turn in black, and the scientific reason, obviously is because the microbes are eating them and digesting them and and breaking them down almost to their purest form. Similar like I was mentioning about when you biochar something, you taking it down to its simplest form, which is carbon more or less wants microbes, worms, you know, all those things in the soil food web. Breaks everything down in practice a nice rich black soil. very strong, very hardy. MO 24:38Okay, what is something? Oh, rather, do you believe that we as black people have a special relationship with the soil? And if so, how do we potentially eight that if it is to be potentially hated? Marco 24:56I think that uh, I think we definitely have a connection with the soil. I think it goes back to mankind in general from from ages ago when the soil was your life, you know, I mean, what if you didn’t have good soil, you didn’t grow good food, you are healthy. You didn’t live long. There was no local market there was no you know, supermarket. This is the time when you you grew what you had on your property. So I feel like the roots of us is in the soil. I feel like we’ve lost that. And a lot of it is due to you know, the system and, and big agriculture and big food production. They want us to forget that. Like we already know how to grow food, we already know how to feed ourselves. Because if we remember that then they lose their profits, man, you know. So I feel like our roots are in the soil. I feel like we need more brothers like you and myself and many others that are out there to remind others that that’s where we are, you know that, you know, we’re not too good to grow our own food because when you grow your own food, you’re not waiting on someone else to feed you. Exactly. That’s that to me, that’s kind of that connection for me. MO 26:30So, is it is it as simple as just getting getting your hands in the soil to potentially eat that, that that connection? Marco 26:38I think getting your hands in the soil is step one. And then and then, you know, obviously you have to follow it through. I think getting your hands in the soil is rewarding and one way Mm hmm. But I think when you harvest that end result, I think that’s I think that’s the key trigger because Our bodies are, you know, programmed to respond to positive things, things that tastes good things that are appealing things that give you a certain you know, good feeling inside. It’s one thing to work hard and plant a seed, you know, that takes work. But just think of that when you walk back to that plant and now pull that tomato off and now eat the sweet tomato, and then that’s the That to me is the is the key. So getting people to follow through all the way to harvest and then that makes you want to plant again, right harvest again. MO 27:43You know, the last year that that article came out about tomatoes being bred so hardcore for shelf life, that they lost the leptins you know, so, you know, I’ve had many people in my life tell me I don’t really like tomatoes with it, like Right so it’s like okay, something’s up with these tomatoes and then when that paper came out and say that we bred the taste of tomatoes, tomatoes we there it was, it’s it was, it’s pretty crazy and even the concept of it had been so foreign to me despite having grown up eating tomatoes produce in my own backyard from my parents, when I was growing my cherry tomatoes and I see these huge green lines on the top coming out of the coming out of stock. I’m like, Okay, this tomato isn’t right because it’s not all the way red knowing that that shows you that it’s right because those green lines well flavor in Yeah, so yeah, it was it was pretty crazy to know that and then to eat, you know, the cherry tomato, and have it shoot, you know, juice out rice feet ahead of me and figure all that stuff is just like, wow, I really, I really gotta, I gotta, I gotta keep this going. Marco 28:50I agree. I agree with that on that. And that goes back to always I’m always gonna mention big agriculture and the food production. as being who this fight is against they did that they grew tomatoes just to last, or just to look rare, right? Just so that you would buy it, man well they also programmed you to think that only a pretty perfectly round red tomato was good man. There are some ugly hybrid tomatoes which are delicious. So yeah, they they that that goes back to those two the big big Ag and big food production. They don’t care about us They only care about the dollar, you know, so they don’t care that the tomato doesn’t taste good. And last and it looks pretty nice. You buy it No one’s returning a tomato to the store because it doesn’t taste good. You just deal with it or if you didn’t like you just MO 29:51don’t eat tomatoes. Yeah, Marco 29:53yeah, you say you don’t like tomato. So yeah, those are I agree 100% that they are They really bird that out of tomatoes but the good thing is for you know people like us we go out and reach out to good seed companies and get those old school hybrids and the ones that do taste good but maybe have looked the previous and that’s and that’s what we grow right MO 30:16I podcast is based on is yoruba proverb, Jigijigi ko see fa tu firmly rooted plant cannot be uprooted What is your favorite agriculture slash plant related proverbs are saying Marco 30:30I think the one that’s most important to me is do as nature does. That comes from JADAM. Or my master Cho he invented KNF as we know it today Asana has kind of taken the reins but do as nature does. I think if you keep that in mind, then all aspects of your garden I think it will. A lot of things will make sense to you. Marco 31:02One thing that it may be one thing that I do when I created my new garden space this year is the for the entire fall when people were bagged up their leaves and put them on the curb, I went around leaves. Okay, so what I did was I took a space, which was and thank you people for doing the work. So they put them on a curb, I picked them up. So I took and I pushed them I made this new space where there was a force before so I push the force out of the way with my tractor and I left me with just barren soil. So I immediately started piling leaves up on the soil. And then I also started watering with indigenous microorganisms and I collected from local forests because, number one, you don’t want to leave the soil barren with no protection, because all those microbes are now exposed to the sun and the air and they It’s gonna degrade your soil. So piling up leaves as nature does in the forest. So I wanted the benefits of the forest but obviously you can’t grow plants under trees. So the trees had to be removed. But do as nature does means basically I took us soil and now I started piling up leaves just like special force would do. The forest never needed anybody to put fertilizer out there, you know, it grows the leaves. The trees form relationships with microorganisms in the soil. Those leaves then drop, feed the microorganisms in the soil. plant the tree roots and the micro organisms also have their own relationship where the plants produce exudates which are basically a byproduct of photosynthesis. So now you have a micro plant relationship and In the soil and then now you have the plant above ground dropping more food to the soil. So that’s the levels are kind of the idea I had with creating my garden space was to, to nurture the soil with with leaves, just as nature does. MO 33:15And and this was how many how much time was this prior to us starting to grow this food? Marco 33:21So I started prepping this area in early fall. So I’d say let’s say October so this was this past season Yeah, this was just this past season. Yeah. And um, yeah, so I started this just this past season and now these beds will grow the ingredients we were talking about earlier for my cane FM but starting this spring, okay, so yeah, okay, so yeah, that’s gonna be half a season so it’ll be rich, but this year won’t be as rich next year will be richer next year to hit richer and it’s just all about building that soil up. I know my harvest this year won’t be as great But I know next year it’ll be better. Yeah. So it’s just looking forward, you know, down the line. And that’s also, you know, interesting when I go through next year I can kind of dig down and then say I remember I remember I put those leaves down now they’re, they’re black. They’re turned into soil. So I mean, that’s kind of MO 34:21what is a resource that you’d recommend for those looking to increase their agricultural understandings? Marco 34:29that’s a that’s a great question. Um, I like I said, My philosophy is I really am on to natural farming. I really think the JADAM organic gardening book volume, sorry. Second Edition, is a great read. And that’s JADAM it’s a great read. To me, it’s been very helpful. It’s a good way it’ll give you a good philosophy on the principles of KNF, such as do as nature does. And another one, good and bad are the same. Which means a lot of people say, you know, oh, that’s mold, or is that bad or when they grow microbes in their rice and some pieces of it are black, some are blue, some are red, some are yellow. You know, when we think of those kinds of things, as how we were taught by big agriculture, big food production mode is bad, okay? mold is bad, put preservatives in the food, you know, so, that principle, good and bad are the same. That means there are no bad microbes. There just needs to be balanced. So I feel like there’s a john way is a good way to understand that those principles. MO 36:02On the regenerative agriculture podcast, they had a I don’t remember exactly what it was, but they were talking about exactly in this good and bad at the same they were talking about how increasing the microbial diversity within your soils will enable you to because I mean, like we all the mycelial network, blah, blah, everybody knows about that. But fusariumyou know, corn smut all these things are ubiquitous everywhere, right? And so what this, you know, and so it’s like, so why do people some people get, you know, these, these rusts or whatever, when they’re present in the soil, and some people don’t, you know, and what they were talking about in this episode, I have to find it and I’ll send it and I’ll link it in the show notes. But they were talking about how the increased diversity of microbial species will then utilize these pathogenic fungi and render them beneficial. Marco 37:07Mm hmm. MO 37:08Which is mind blowing. But it makes so much sense. If these things are always in the soil, then they have to be doing something. And so then if you can use the fungi to then pathogen eyes, the pathogenic things, you know, minus minus a negative, or a negative minus a negative is a positive. Right. Right. And so or maybe you know, in this in this sort of situation, two wrongs make a right. MO 37:39yeah, the we’ve we’ve talked about one on podcast, many we, we’ve referenced JADAM a bunch of times, it’s probably that and the Carver’s bulletins are probably the literature that comes up most frequently. Absolutely. Marco 37:58Yeah. The Let’s say you say rust, it’s always there, it becomes a problem when the balance is not there. Right now when that when you when you get rust in our environment where it’s a rust friendly environment, then that’s when you have problems. That’s why a lot most of the inputs are used as soil drenches and foliar Feeds, Yes, on your leaf surface. So what you’re doing is you’re basically coating your leaves with beneficial bacteria or bacteria and fungi, micro micro organisms. So now if a pathogenic pathogen, bacteria, fungi touches the leaf, it can’t get a foothold. Right? The beneficials the good guys are all there like Hey, where we got this, many bad guys can come in and take a foothold. Now you can you can be here, we just can’t let you overpopulate to the point where you become a problem. So that’s where the good and bad are same as what the balance Think is a is a key principle. MO 39:04What is one question you wish I asked you? Marco 39:15i? That’s a tough question. Thank you. We’re fairly thorough. Um, I think we could uh, we could definitely go down a rabbit hole and go for a long time just talking on on microbes. MO 39:31Maybe we had to have you back. Marco 39:32Yeah, like that. Yeah, maybe we’ll do it again. But I think I like the questions you asked. I feel like it’s a good um, you know, I’m sure you’re most of your audiences pretty astute with you know, a lot of the things we’re talking about, but um, hopefully they kind of gives them a little more incentive to dig a little deeper. MO 39:50Absolutely. Yeah. I am. If you would like people to how can people contact you Marco 40:00You can, you can follow me on Instagram, Marco is growing. I also have a website microbes by Marco calm, that’s mainly just products. What I do in my products is I make everything for myself in my gardens, a lot of the items are diluted at such a high rate that I just can’t use them may know if you follow me and Marco is growing, I show you how to make everything. All the recipes are there and and if there’s anything that you cannot make or understand everyone that doesn’t have access to everything. If there’s anything that you are comfortable making, um you can check out microbes by Marco and I have some products on there which will help you kind of stop using the chemical fertilizers and the manmade stuff and start going towards natural. MO 41:00It’s a it’s quite amazing that the work that you’re doing and and, and it makes me proud to see it and I’m glad to be able to pitch some of your products at rooting DC also because it’s it’s such a vital thing you know it, uh, it takes a lot of time to experiment especially with the bokashi stuff. And and that that sort of stuff that that particular mode of composting, I’d like the efficacy is huge, but the entry level, you know, the barrier to entry is pretty high for somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing. And so given that, that you know, you can buy you can buy that the eight ounces or something like that is what you sell on the tube, have it already ready for you to go to just add and take that volume of compost and bring it bring it down for the life man. I mean, you’re you’re saving people a lot of time and a lot of work so that they can get growing as quickly aspossible. Marco 42:02Well you know what now now that’s the question now that you should I wish you to ask me is Bokashi MO 42:07I’m glad you brought that up what would you have said if I would ask you a question Marco 42:10well we didn’t even I’m I’m disappointed in myself we’re gonna touch on bokashi that’s one of my favorite things MO 42:18but then we get it We definitely get to talk we can talk more about Marco 42:22exactly bokashi is a great way to you there’s no excuse you can’t take your food waste and reuse it in a five gallon bucket right in a closet or cupboard of your apartment or house you don’t need a lot of room or space so definitely guys look up Bokashi if you haven’t heard about it, MO 42:40yeah, we did a we did a little bit about it. On our on episode compost where we, we talked about a couple different styles versus you know, with with what Fukuoka was talking about. Young saying talking about The Johnson-Su composting with and that big thing and it’s just purely for making micro organisms also bokashi and then sort of more typical way of turning it and everything and then what I did like what we were talking about when we’re walking around here, Marco 43:18all those are great ways. MO 43:20Yeah, we did. I mean, it’s really it’s really up to you to make to what works best with you. And that’s something about natural farming that I like the most is that it? told me that I can teach myself how to farm Marco 43:36correct you are the master of your garden. Then if any of you remember that, you’ll be All right. MO 43:44And I mean, and really. You you get that way by watching the plants tell you what to do. You know, it’s it’s, it’s, you know, just walking into the garden with an open mind smelling, smelling smelling the jasmine and the petrichor or all these sorts of things coming up in your nose and it’s just and these of these teaching moments that we that we learned from the plant the plants like, Oh, I got to do whatever I had to do here. This smells really good. Marco 44:10Right, exactly. It’s that reward. MO 44:13Right, right. Right. Is this positive feedback? Yeah. All right. We have will extend many, many thanks to Marco Marco Thomas, microbesbymaro.com for sharing his wisdom and experience please visit africulturepodcast.com for the full show notes. Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends family and closely related siblings in the soil. And we will save in as we say now, Asante Sana Medase Pa Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì peace
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