This week in the Flog:
- Updates for this year
- Hints about the next recipe to come!
Where have I been?
Phew!! What a year. Remember the last Flog where I said we would be traveling for a bit? Well that happened. It was awesome, my 2YO loved it, his first experience with snow. Upon returning from the trip we had to move out of our place on short notice, so that whole process unfolded. And in the meantime my workload doubled as I took on a side project at work which grew quite a bit over the last year.
Enough about me, what does this mean for the Flog and TUF?
Don’t worry, nothing is changing with the Flog or the website. I’ll tell you though, as loyal followers of natural farming, now is the time for you to be heard! I have less time to write great flog posts, let alone answer questions on the website. But that doesn’t mean the information pipeline has to shut off.
How can TUF followers join the conversation
This year, there will be far fewer Flog posts, and not nearly as many questions answered on the site, particularly the recipes section. But I hope to counter this with more input and sharing from the TUF community. You see we have grown a ton this last year, to the point I feel confident launching the forum in place of much of the discussion that currently happens on the site.
How will discussions happen if not through comments??
So as mentioned I will be turning commenting off on the main site articles. Instead, I will be directing folks to the forum, where they can ask their questions to the whole community, and get a response that much more quickly.
So, less frequent Flog posts, and now the forum in place of comments. Anything else?
I appreciate you guys reading and commenting and just generally being an awesome group of garden nuts like me. This is my passion and though work has gotten a bit out of hand lately, this site isn’t going anywhere, nor my commitment to it. I hope you guys, the TUF community, can help during this short interim of less engagement on my part. Feel free to share this article to encourage others to join the conversation.
Enough with the news, what about this new recipe!
This is an awesome topic I’m super excited to share with you guys. This product is amazing for plant growth, health, and disease and pest resistance. Scientists have been studying the effects of chitin and chitin derived compounds for some time, and the results are awesome. For those interested here is a brief background on chitin..
Chitin is what arthropods (like insects and crustaceans(shrimp, lobster, crab)) and fungi use to protect themselves and ‘keep their guts in’. Haha. It’s exactly like skin for animals. It is one of the most abundant organic polymers in the world and is thus an incredible resource that we’re just beginning to look at seriously for this application.
Chitin in it’s pure form is this translucent, tough, flexible stuff kinda like skin actually. However in nature it is most often modified, for example crabs produce a matrix of chitin and calcium carbonate for their hard shells. Adding calcium carbonate greatly increases the strength and rigidity of chitin – thus we have those really hard crab shells protecting that delicious crab meat.
In agricultural use, Chitin has now been found to trigger plants’ natural defense mechanisms, increase growth and yields, and do all kinds of awesome stuff!
All these scientific studies are dealing with pure Chitin that has been extracted from fungi or arthropods. How do they do this extraction? All kinds of ways, from using harsh chemicals, to heat and pressure.
However you can also purify chitin through fermentation. Fermentation yields a much more purified end product than most heat and chemical treatments. The bacteria digest the proteins, and the calcium carbonate reacts with the growing acidity of the solution, leaving nice, natural, cleaned chitin – just what you want for your garden. Meanwhile you can use the “byproduct” fluid in your garden to great effect – wonderful.
I tried this and the results were great. I’m going to show the illustrated process…in the next post!