Patrick Gentry

Pat loves making dirt.

Pat loves making dirt.

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After growing up on a small hobby farm, I graduated an Environmental Science major from the University of British Columbia before transitioning into a career in Information Technology.  I moved to the city for university and have lived the urban life since. I’ve enjoyed living in the city, it’s been an education on culture and a wild ride as well. 

That said, an important part of me always misses the country.  I grew up in the woods, on 40 acres in the hills of rural southern Oregon.  We had no TV growing up – we spent most of our time outside enjoying nature’s rich bounty of activities.  We would build tree forts, fish for catfish and bass in our neighbor’s pond, play with the animals (pigs, ducks, chickens, sheep, pheasants, peacocks, horse, donkey, etc), hunt, camp, hike – whatever sounds neat to a kid with freedom and endless natural space to play in.  What an amazing childhood that is.

Fast forward to 2009.  After moving to the Philippines, I discovered Gil’s teachings through a friend and eventually became a student of Gil’s.  I’ve been playing with his recipes for a few years now.  I’ve seen his teachings’ effectiveness and I’ve had a ton of fun discovering all the different ways we can learn from nature.

With a background in natural science and a career in technology, I’ve been constantly looking for ways to unite my passion with my expertise.  The more I learned from Gil the more I became wrapped up with the possibilities.  He and I talked about a site and became very excited about all the things we want to share. 

This site is the route I have found to utilize my skills in service of my ideals.  I want it to grow and become a community, a place where people can come and share.  Share ideas, experiences, knowledge, and passion.  I want it to become a tremendous resource of “unconventional” farming knowledge, and an inspiration for those with the awareness to appreciate it.

These lofty goals boil down to a ton of hard work.  I’ve poured countless hours into this, and I’ve only barely touched the surface of my goals here.  It’s a good mission and I’m happy to be on it.

  • Paul Olivier

    It’s quite amazing that we promote and share many of the same waste transformation techniques. I just discovered your website today, and I am surprised that we both use the same adjective “unconventional” is describing what we do.

    Please see: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22013094/Paper/Summaries/Alternative%20to%20Biodigestion.pdf

    • Patrick

      Hey Dr. Olivier,

      Great to hear from you! Haha that is funny. I skimmed that paper, it looks a lot like our own methods for natural piggery! Not surprising as Gil trained with Korean natural farmers. Great to have you on the site, I hope you can join the discussion on our forum that’s opening up soon!

      Patrick

  • Karry

    Hi Patrick and Gil, recently I have been playing around with Charcoal. I have heaps and was wondering how I could more easily activate the charcoal with a range of nutrients and load it up with BMO’s. Sitting in the sun, have no idea if it was the sun or was thinking about how hard it was innoculating the charcoal for bio char and I looked at the chickens scratching around.

    So, I stuffed some charcoal on the floor into the littler. It was a little rank the smell, and a few days later, no smell, chickens seemed to be happier, the moisture in the litter significantly reduced and the charcoal was being broken down by the poultry.

    Excited with my discovery, I have now loaded up my chicken pens with charcoal and plan on leaving it in their for about 6 months or a bit longer so that the litter is rich with everything I need for my citrus project.

    I will add a spray of LAB and some OHN with it. I have EM-1 so I will add that all together and spray it once a fortnight lightly so that the BMO’s have something sweet to chew on and use the OHN to keep the litter hygenic. A friend suggested some DE, was wondering if that was a little over the top adding that to the process as I do not want to damage the micro flora and fauna which maybe benificial.

    Thoughts please :)

    • Patrick

      Wow, I love this! What an awesome way to charge your biochar, that is going to be some AMAZING stuff when you’re done with it. The longer you leave it the better it will be. You’re going to add as a soil amendment? It should be pretty strong so I’d start with a light mix first, but play around and see if stronger mixes work ok too.

      I love when people do this kind of thing, start taking the principles and applying them to their own situation. I’d love to get picks and the story for the site. I’ll be starting the forums up soon, maybe you can swing by and post there, I know it would be good for people to see. Are you signed up for the Flog? There have been some announcements there about the Forums. Anyway hope to see you on them soon.

      So, your question. I would probably hold off adding the DE. Your chickens with their pecking and scratching are just the perfect thing to keep a nice healthy aerobic system. In combo with the charcoal, you’ll have a really healthy system without need of DE.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Karry

    Hi their Patrick and Gil, yep I have taken photos of when I started on the project and some activiated charcoal with chicken litter, Milk, OHN, EM-1, LAB, and some VAM probiotics.

    I have just come back from the project. When I got their my eyes nearly burst out of their sockets, couldn’t believe the level of growth that was appearing. :) Did I say my eyes nearly feel out of their sockets, mate, new leaves and a few new branches. I even had some early flowering buds appearing to form. Colour of leaves was much darker green from their previous pale colour.

    I have managed to join the Australian Wood Vinegar Trials. I am going to add some wood vinegar as a leaf spray at a rate of 1 ml to 500mls of tank water and give them a serious going over with.

    I spoke to the people at the AWV Trials and this was the recommended spray rate for this.

    Question, I read up on using Milk to keep grasshoppers away, as this season will commence in about 2 months or there abouts. Would you agree with the paperwork on using milk that it keeps Grasshoppers away from devouring your crop of leaves?

    Question, Your thoughts on using milk to break up and add the enzymes of milk into the soil (we have serious clay). We also have a serious salt issue, so I am trying to think across the spectrum for adding healthy material to the soil, and use the milk as a folar spray to deal with pests. I will alternate the use of Wood Vinegar and Milk treatments of course. Wood vinegar needs to be on for a week at least, and I am using with the wood vinegar play old Molasses which will act as a biosurfactant, as well as a bit of yum for the extra ordinary hot weather that we have here in Western Australia during our long dry hot summer…

    Would welcome your thoughts to these questions.

    Yes will be happy to take photos of the project and sent you some piccie updates.

    Karry

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