IAF Podcast Episode 19

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Air date: 10/26/2017


  • NWS to issue new type of snow warning: "Snow Squall": short-term bursts of heavy snow.


  • Concerns about the future of honey bees have been raised after a survey showed a "steady decline" in the honey crop.


  • Most (65%+) Baby Food in stores tests positive for awful things (lead, arsenic). Grow your own. DIY. Boiling/squishing is easy. Worth it.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/10/25/baby-food-arsenic-lead-study/ Not GSM -- just pisses me off.

  • China successfully grows rice in salt water to feed 200 million people


  • "Urban Heat Effect" -- sensors are in cities. Cities are hotter.


  • Puerto Rico: Post-Maria blackout continues, now worst in US history:



  • Formosa, Argentina (S. hemi -- Spring)

"In rural areas, plantations were completely destroyed, including newly germinated soybeans." http://strangesounds.org/2017/10/hailstorm-formosa-argentina-video-photo.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8XKdoAufM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJKaSzx_xVU

  • Not to be outdone, Neembucu, Paraguay, severe hailstorm


  • Torrential rain yesterday, 10/25, fatal; Flooding in Bulgaria


"Three of the dead drowned when their houses were suddenly inundated by floodwater. An elderly man in the village of Polski Izvor was on the ground floor of his house when a 1.5 metre wave of water hit it.The wave of water was part of a heavy torrent that began at about 4am.  In less than an hour, more than 60 litres a square metre of water fell."

+ mudslides

  • Video from NC



  • Brian Ireland/UK -- mercifully, turned out less severe
  • Lan hitting Japan -- fatalities, significant losses; I haven't seen figures yet
  • Carolinas nearly 100,000


  • Maui: 150,000 without power, Hawaii nailed Tuesday by a storm + heavy rain
  • MORE ON THE WAY to Carribbean + Florida/US East Coast:



  • Beyond Madagascar: WHO issues warning to 9 countries

http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-pneumonic-plague-is-spreading-warnings-issued-to-9-countries/ https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4765804/black-death-warning-in-nine-countries-including-brit-holiday-hotspots-amid-fears-plague-could-spread-on-flights-from-madagascar/


Crop Losses mentioned elsewhere, but also:

  • BBC reported global wine production hitting 50-year low

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41728536 via Robert Felix: https://www.iceagenow.info/france-worst-wine-harvest-since-1945/

  • US Corn & Soybeans behind expectations



  • Flock (35!) of sheep struck dead by lightning


  • Red Sprites over OK


  • Ridiculous Positive Lightning in Arkansas, digs holes in ground



  • Canary Islands: volcano feared to erupt any minute; spain flying in "experts":


Food Prices

  • "It doesn't take much weather if hits at the right time and the right amount to really do some harm."


Daily Steps

  • Zayantegirl: hypertension tinctures, Dr. Jason Fung
  • laverne: getting prepared & sharing information
  • Debra Compton: really cool: selectively breeding cold-tolerant chickens
  • Me:
    • Deer. Damn. Lost 5 fruit trees (2 avo, 2 apricot, cherry), 11 squash, + plants. Fence!
    • Crickets: have about 300 subadults, 300 pinheads -- more than the 500 i started with, but they're not yet laying
    • Moringa: continue to produce leaves; haven't been able to get the dwarves to go to seed. need to research.
    • Research: building on Biodynamic: burning through Mel Bartholomew's SFG, John Jeavons's Biointensive, now Brett Markham's MiniFarming. Double-digging seems like a lot of work compared to the no-till / lasagna gardening / ruth stout's "naked gardening granny"

Privileged in that we're able to stand on the shoulders of giants, but that still leaves the question, who's shoulders to stand on? It's personal. What works for you? Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me a note.

Note from Richard, a Farmer in Indiana

Hello, my name is Richard. I am a small produce farmer in Indiana. I've been seeing alot of tech answers to the grand solar minimum but what about some old solutions. We grow a small patch of American Indian corn for hominy, which can be eaten boiled, or ground into a flower. Mixed with black beans it makes a very hardy chili.

Flint corns are lower yielding but very hardy and have a shorter days to maturity then other types. We have found flour corns will mold or sprout on the plant during wet falls. We usually transplant the corn in the spring the cover with 6" of straw. We like to then plant long pie pumpkins between the corn in early june.

Long pie pumpkins are the hardiest and longest storing pumpkins we have grown.

Even completely neglected they will produce something. They are shaped like large zucchini and can be stored stacked like firewood.

Just wanted to share some thoughts from a small time vegetable farmer with a background in archaeology.

- Because of the gmo corn production around us we have been forced to grow our corn during bean years. It has allowed us to plan for a harvest in 1 out of 3 years. The dried hominy can be make into flour or boiled and used in soups or eaten plain.

We have had so many weather extremes this growing season but most people see nothing out of the ordinary around us.

I wanted to pass on our insect observations. This year we have seen at least a 400 percent increase in Beatles. They seem to be targeting non-traditional crops however. Cucumber Beatles attacking green beans, lettuce, spring mix. We began seeing flea Beatles as early as February. Beatles of every type remain active as I write this both bennificial and non.

All of our bee hives have collapsed, we have a wild colony in one hive box. This is despite plentiful pollinator strips and a lawn of white clover.

Joe Ronn, on insects, notes:

"Well here in Indiana this summer was almost devoid of any insects.Very few bees or flies all summer.And frogs where are the frogs, they where few and far between this year.Spiders are another thing that doesn't live long this year,no food."

From a farmer in Oregon

Normally, fall just sort of gradually sneaks up on us.

Not this year. One day it was 95, and a few days later, frost was on the roof.

(via https://www.agweb.com/blog/beef-sheep-and-beer/suddenly-fall/ )

Viewer Question: How many lux (how much light) needed to grow Spirulina?

Best answer: see the light graph in this paper -- or at Spirulina:


Item of the Day: Anker 20,000mAh USB battery

I like to share items that I have noticed from my own experience are incred ibly useful on a near-daily basis, and so worthwhile:

Today, USB battery, small&light enough for the EDC, packs enough power to charge phone a few times over. I carry this plus a collapsable solar panel to charge it up.

Anker 20,000mAh battery, marked down from 80 to $40: http://amzn.to/2gG7hnq

Crop Focus: Brassica Oleracea

I promised this, never delivered. A little late now, but we'll do this today, and then start hitting more winter crops.