Hunting And Quality Dirt

Discussion in 'Other Homesteading' started by Pragmatist, Oct 21, 2020.

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  1. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    https://www.outdoorlife.com/story/hunting/hunters-will-geek-out-on-soil-science/

    Good morning all,

    For those who like a Sherwood Forest approach to food stocks ... or like the USDA term "on the hoof", ...

    article introduces the need to protect the forest land.

    Article mentions that dirt for storing water, creating and storing nutrients, ...

    Haven't glanced at the provided SARE.org yet.

    ......

    For the non-hunter, non-Prepper, perhaps this article can be summerized to don't change the crankcase oil on the land.
     
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  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    makes sense. you cant grow anything in dead soil as the mono cropping brigade will soon find out post shtf.
     
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  3. arctic bill

    arctic bill Master Survivalist
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    I agree completely, My land up north is sandy soil, very lean, i have ordered a few dump trucks full of top soil or black earth. It cost about $150 a load for 20 tons. this is like buying the the ingredient for food. Good rich soil is priceless.
     
    1. Dalewick
      Compost, bio-char and calcium (crushed bones or sea shells). They will work wonders.
       
      Dalewick, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:52 PM
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  4. CountryGuy

    CountryGuy Master Survivalist
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    Follow some of the tenants of Permaculture and regenerative ag. Get wood chips if you can and dump them and spread them say 1 to 2 foot thick and let them do their thing and rot down. Also look into chop and drop and coppicing of various trees and grasses, cut them and let them lay and they will decompose in place. What makes all that black soil? Decaying organic matter in the form of composting.

    If you really want to kick it up add some mycelium fungus or go into the woods, rake back the top bit of leaves and get some handfuls of that black earthy under material, often with white fungus. Not much in one spot and cover back with the leaves. Then rake back some of your wood chips and seed them with that mix to jump start. Also before you put down the chips if you want throw some dry molasses and some corn meal around on the ground before the chips. This will attrack bateria, earthworms and other critters to kickstart things.
     
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  5. arctic bill

    arctic bill Master Survivalist
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    I have a compost place where i rake all the leaves, kitchen scrapes and ashes from the fire pitts and places .
     
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  6. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    CountryGuy mentioned earthworms. Worms are critical.

    If you want to jump-start the worms population then buy a pint of fat healthy night-crawlers and dump them under the leaves where it is warm. Find a damp place -- a place that always stays damp -- to start your compost pile. Too wet and you'll kill off the worms. Putting useless rotting planks on top helps. These planks are not going to stop any rain, but they will hold down the evaporation of water and you want you compost pile damp to promote life = decay.

    The bacteria live off of the earthworm castings. Large oak leaves will try to dry-up and get crinkly, so crunch them a bit before heaping them in the pile. Maple leaves are better. It doesn't hurt to toss some snow atop if the snow hasn't gathered on the pile already. The slow melt keeps the bacteria cooking down low in the pile.

    Think sour mash gone to workin'. Whiskey sour mash will "cook" not that long after the yeast is introduced. The life in it gets so angry that it boils. You want your compost pile to get hot with life.
    .
     
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  7. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good morning Country Guy,

    This is good info. Thank you.

    I just ordered some pubs from the Virginia Dept of Forestry for our group to get into this effort.
     
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  8. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    If your looking for worms for working your compost material, don't use "nightcrawlers". They aren't native to most areas and are not very good for breaking down compost. Here in the east look for what the locals call "wigglers" or "red wigglers"
    Eisenia fetida
    as they are a native worm and are great at breaking down plant matter.
    They can also be purchased on line and with some bait retailers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenia_fetida

    When I bought my current home the soil was terrible and didn't even want to grow grass. In 2 years I had the garden area built up to about 6 inches of loam soil with lots of humus. Just constantly added compost, composted manure, bio-char, crushed bone and crushed sea shells. 20 years latte and 6 tomato plants produced over 100 pounds of tomato's this past year. Plus peppers, beans, cucumbers, etc.

    Work and time can do wonders.

    Dale
     
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  9. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    There is a lot of science behind good composting. Another way of speeding up composting is to mix in animal waste if you have stables, goats or pigs that stuff is like brown gold.
    Too much wood chip will result in the compost being quite acidic which won't suit everything. A soil PH test kit can be useful to check the acidity before adding lime and turning it. Too much lime is also bad, it will kill off beneficial insects and bacteria. A soil PH of about 7 (neutral) will suit most veg.

    When we had pigs I used to give them grass clippings strait from the mower in addition to their normal food, they loved it and converted it to compostable poo by the very next day.
     
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  10. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Giant FAT nightcrawlers are native to where I'm from. These things thrive in the mountains of E.Tennessee and W. North Carolina.

    They'll do fine for composting in that region. There are BIG walleye in deep mountain lakes and they like to EAT. A po'boy can easily find big fat wiggly nightcrawlers for bait. My mom's dad was always out for walleye. As a kid I didn't care, I'd settle for bluegill -- they're bony but tasty. You can put on a FEED with walleye; call-in the kin. My pap was a big ol' critter and could eat like a bear (maybe he was one). We used nightcrawlers because they were everywhere naturally and they'd work the wet leaves into rot. All Pap did was throw-down some useless planks on top of a place where the soil stayed wet on his property. Time to go fishing, then lift the planks and the earth would be crawling with nightcrawlers.

    Somebody on this site has a buddy in Hampton, Tennessee (a.k.a. God's country). Hampton sits right near Watauga Lake. Pap and I fished there. Watauga has walleye. Watauga lake is over 250 ft. deep in places.

    Thnx for any and all info on composting.

    I've now been reading about these red-wigglers. The Eisenia fetida can be stinky I read, however there are two varieties of red-wigglers. Here is my search results for this type of composting and fishing worm variety.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=red+wiggler+worms+&atb=v140-1&ia=web

    Watauga Lake in East Tennessee

    http://www.wataugalaketennessee.com/

    Walleye fishing
    http://ultimatefishingsite.net/walleye-fishing/start-here/best-live-baits/nightcrawlers/

    https://www.elizabethton.com/2019/05/26/east-tennessee-outdoors-watauga-walleye/

    55d01656bd3c4a24c9c663133ce6618d.jpeg
    .
     
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  11. Dalewick

    Dalewick Master Survivalist
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    OG, Hate to burst a bubble, but nightcrawlers are NOT a native species to Appalachia, or even the Americas. The bait worm known as nightcrawler or Canadian nightcrawlers is actually Lumbricus terrestris is actually a native species of western Europe, that has been transplanted all over the world by humans.

    I have never noticed red wigglers stinking. Or at least never smelled them above the rotting leaves and vegetation where I find them. I have noticed that they are better trout bait than the nightcrawlers sold by bait shops. To each there own though.

    Dale
     
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  12. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    I read something about European nightcrawlers and African nightcrawlers.

    This doesn't burst my bubble. It makes sense.

    My kin were a part of the Watauga Association (the Overmountain Men during the Revolutionary War, King's mountain and all that). So they leased land from the Cherokee. No doubt they brought plants with them from Ulster, plus there was no small number of Germans (my dad's lot had lots of Prussian in them). Transplanting plants also brings the worms. So, this makes sense. One thing is not up for debate, these European worms sure the hell like it here in S.Appalachia. The fish like the European nighcrawlers. Walleye do.

    English sparrows and starlings caught on all too well. Pushed all of the songbirds out of the way. One thing that is grand about getting way back into the wilderness areas of the forests is how you begin seeing beautifully colored birds you'd never see in the valleys. Some birdwatcher no doubt could go on and on about them. The further you get back into the unsettled parts of the mountains, the darker it gets and the stranger it gets. It is beautiful, however you don't feel like you belong there.

    When a lad I worked the Forestry Service. They told us back then that there were almost zero old growth forests in the Cherokee National Forest nor in all of S.Applch.for that matter. One day some career Forestry guy piled several of us into the back of a truck and hauled us over to a real old growth forest and let us walk into the place. He said for us to remember this place. No problem remembering! I thought I was on some other part of Earth. Instead of undergrowth I was familiar with, the floor was all moss and ferns -- prehistoric sh##. The treetops were a canopy like in the tropics. Only a little bit of light shown through.

    Long before the Europeans arrived, the locals (Indians) had cleared-out / burned almost all of the original tree growth. This allowed small plants, shrubs, and whatnot to grow. Why did the natives do this? So that deer would have food. Deer were their food. They didn't have domesticated animals, so they turned the land into something that would support deer and elk. Pap was a subsistence hunter. When we'd hunt, he'd go feral somehow; his eyes stopped looking human. We'd go back in there and I'd get to thinking I was alone, cause Pap wasn't Pap no more.
    .
     
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  13. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    When working the Forestry Service they tried and tried and tried to get trout to do better. Trout like mountain streams. However mountains streams will silt-up in no time flat. If people keep driving through the streams it causes deadly levels of silt. The old guard Forestry guys we worked for HATED off-road motorcyclists. Motorcycles are the worst for silting-up streams. We'd break the soil and plant ground cover in the form of long spiked needle bushes wherever the motorcyclists were doing damage. The seeds came in huge burlap bags; I remember lugging them. The Air Force used these bushes as hedges/barriers.

    We'd build stream structures to help the trout spawn. These were little mini-dams. They'd silt-up in no time.

    I'm surprised that the old guys didn't string piano wires to cut off the heads of the cyclists. The old guard couldn't write enough fines to keep them out. One old guy was big and fat. One day he was talking about the mountain bike crews and I thought he was going to have a stroke. His neck and the sides of his face had turned crimson red with anger. He was big, he could'a beaten a fellow to death. One time, I saw him go off on a goober driving a jeep back into where he had no business. Just so happened we were thinning scrub trees back in there that day.

    The old guard would get us kids to clear-cut an area so that they could plant corn for to bait-in deer. We were sworn to secrecy; thing is, we were back in there so far, I'd have not likely to have remembered. They'd piled us into the backs of trucks; I paid no attention to our route. Besides, the big guys you'd not want to anger. A kid could get lost back in there, if you know what I mean. These fellows were not the smiley type. Better than prison guards, maybe. I worked and did as I was told, "Yes sir!" Them wuz the "good ol' days", right? Maybe.
    .
     
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  14. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Where I live we have a landscape described as upland bogs. These bogs trapped and stored huge quantities of rainwater until people started driving over or through them. The tyre tread marks allowed the water to flow in concentrated channels which soon eroded and became streams, allowing the upland bogs to drain far faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. This in turn has changed the flora. There is much more grass and far less diversity. It also means that there is greater flood risk downriver and the soil that has eroded from the uplands is silting up habitat downstream.
    Unthinking actions can have major impacts when it comes to soil health or impacting ecosystems.
     
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