Friday, May 29, 2020

On Artificial Garden Soils

Be careful. Many soil mixes we have available locally have composted material which maybe not thoroughly 'heat' composted at all times. The ingredient's origin is either unknown and may even be suspicious. In short you take your chances.
Consider what you need the bought soil for. Is it for your shrubs, hedges or lawn; or is it for your vegetable garden? Is it for your flowers? The use is very significant. And it becomes even more important in a confined, sweaty greenhouse environment where disease can be an expensive issue.
I say, make your own compost for what you eat, from your own known ingredients...only use it for that. Use the other bulk stuff for what is less likely to kick back at you in either expense, or future frustration. Remember that artificial soil vendors want a quick turnover and profit. "Caveat emptor"

But the product may not actually be made locally or part of it may not. I have used several products here but I really try to find out as much of the details of manufacture as possible. 'Coast Aggregates' have changed hands recently, managements change and processes are also changed in time. Our local Waste Disposal firm has also changed hands, involving the same issues. Soil science is fascinatingly complex. You may also buy bagged soil mixes like 'Sea soil" of 'Miracle Grow'; these are pretty safe and their manufacture is often time proven...BUT expensive.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

COVID 19 On wearing a DIY Mask

Wearing a mask (face covering in public/shopping) slows the projection of particles outwards when coughing, sneezing and even talking (Supported by Health Advisors). I sanitize the OUTER SURFACE ONLY before and after donning/wearing. In so doing there IS some, albeit small, tangible protection from others as well, regardless of the type of DIY mask. "False sense of security"? BS, not if you do this!...better than nothing. Do it! All you need to do is dampen the exposed surface with a fresh sanitizing cloth. Of course, if you disagree...your choice!
Most do it with their gloves, so why not with the OUTER part of the mask? I also wear some kind of glasses. And, follow the S.D. rules.
I am not related in any way to D.T.😁

COVID 19 Update (May 23rd 2020)

I asked a US health care professional (Long term ICU Nurse) for her thoughts on the measures we are taking, or can take, regarding the COVID19 Virus. This was her response:
"The State I work in has done a fantastic job (so far) of social distancing and wearing masks. This had greatly decreased what we were expecting. I think the fabric masks are as good as the regular masks. The purpose of the mask is not to protect me but you. There is no way you are going to get sick or die from CO2. I think that theory is put forward by people who think this is a hoax and anti vaxer type people. I only wear safety glasses/goggles for known COVID positive patients or rule outs. I don't think it hurts to wear glasses though. I am still wearing my contacts. I know some doctors are not. They are wearing glasses at least at work. I am 100% for the social distancing. I don't think that means staying home necessarily but I for one will not be attending or going to any kind of place with a large number of people until I am vaccinated or this does the same thing as the SARs virus did a few years back and disappeared. I think things should open back up and I wish everyone would be careful when things open up but you know some won't. When things do open up I will be very careful about where I choose to go. I will still wear a mask.
Cloth masks vs regular masks are equal in regards to non medical usage. I feel at this point I have a pretty good feel for COVID. I work in the COVID unit almost everyday I work."

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A COVID 19 Update (May 2020)

Much as Dr. Bonnie Henry is loved by us all in British Columbia, Canada; it is of no surprise to hear from her that a 2nd. wave is the normal for Pandemics. Of course it is, because we Humans are the ones who orchestrate such a phenomenon. And she knows this!
Every Country in the world is now 'relaxing' because the people are being told "The peak is passed" or "The curve has flattened". This is just what the virus needs to start up again. We just will never learn! We cannot stand the boredom of it all.
So people..."Suck it up", you are in for another ride! And, you know what?...the elderly and the marginal will be the disposable next time round!
And Bonnie; you have done a great job here! It is those in many other Countries I fear for. You are a 'beacon' for them all!
British Columbia's provincial health officer says that a second wave of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus is inevitable in Canada, but that the lessons learned over the past few months will help inform future responses.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

On Composting in Bear Territory

You can do it; just follow this:

 Never use any meat, bones, fish or really sweet fruity material. Always layer alternately with greens, browns and some spent soil from your pots. Make sure that the latest top layers are always, browns and or soil. Aerate by using a pole/ broom handle etc. 
If you turn your compost over, do it after it has fermented for a couple of weeks. If you do have bears around in your neighbourhood, then sprinkle vinegar and/or ammonia around and on top of your bins...Bears hate both.. I have never had trouble. I have 4 bins which I rotate.
 Good stuff: onion skins, vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, green garden waste (not cedar), wood shavings, flower dead headings and tissue or paper toweling (surprisingly, the latter two are very good, rot down and provide worm havens). Add some high nitrogen fertilizer once in a while too. 
We have an under sink container for use as a pre-fermenter; and only add the content to our c.bins when full and hot...always covering it well at the top.
 We eat lots of vegetables.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

On the COVID -19 Pandemic

Here is a 'Modest Proposal' (apologies to Jonathan Swift):
Take an area (size is choice) in the Country. Seal it off temporarily and test everyone in it; quarantine ALL those who test positive then release everyone in that area to carry on their lives completely free but only in that sealed off area. No one must be allowed INTO that area unless they test negative. People MAY MOVE OUT if they so wish. Then move to the adjacent area and repeat the process. Keep expanding in this way and you will get a huge area....whole County....whole Country. Otherwise you will not win without grief. 
This will require military style co-ordination. And it must be done piece by piece in the time frame it takes to do the testing in each area with results. Small towns could do this easily but they have to have the testing tools! 
I think this could be achieved before the vaccine is available but we had better hurry! I live in a valley town of say 20,000 where there are only a handful of infected people running around but we have to find them!
"If I ruled the World"! 

When this started in China (we think) the virus started to spread. People all over the world panicked and instituted measures to protect their citizens. Statistics were followed and Politicians responded. 
Now we have a "Pandemic". They now say we have a 'peak' so now we can start to relax. The trouble is the virus has nothing in its genome about relaxation! Its mandate is to keep spreading. It will. 
Governments have instituted controls without informing their people actually why. The "why" is to alleviate the pressure on the health services to cope. 
This virus will keep infecting people in future waves until it burns itself out, or we get a vaccine and therapeutic chemicals to curtail its effect. So take care, protect yourselves. The outcome will be the same, whatever, unfortunately.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

On-line Classes

Online classes:
This is merely a discussion, or rather pre-discussion, hopefully, of this concept. I went to University 'back in the day' with all it entailed; and it certainly did not include 'On line learning'. What we have now in the present context is an opportunity.
With all the technology that is at our disposal, dynamic, multi-media lectures can be delivered right into the homes of the students.
This could include videos and a multiplicity of special effects, related t
o the individual course.
Sadly, the thing that is missing is the social interaction which I found most valuable when I was a student back in the 1960's.
For science (pure and applied) and practical arts subjects the 'Campus' is needed but all can be welded together after the crisis that we are experiencing abates; hopefully soon. Perhaps more practical facilities could actually replace lecture halls. Many are so large that large video screens and blue tooth devices are needed anyway. So these all could be done 'On-line'.