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My interests include Amateur Radio, Message Traffic Handling, Disaster Preparedness, Space Weather,

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HONOLULU                UTC / GMT


By Dr. Tamitha Skove

Updated:  09/02/2020

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#142 - Do You Really Have To Build A Compost Pile In Layers?

Setting up a compost pile going by all of the rules that the "experts" have on composting is difficult. All the so-called "experts" out there will tell you that you have to have just the right amount of "green materials" which are materials that have a higher nitrogen ratio, and just the right amount of "brown materials" which are materials which are higher in carbon. Then you need to add the green and brown materials in 4-inch alternating layers, wetting the pile down as you add each layer. When adding the green and brown layers to the pile the "experts" will tell you that you have to precisely add three times as much brown material as you do green material. For every bucket full of nitrog

#141 - Making Delicious Yogurt The Easy Way At Home

I have been researching various ways of making fresh yogurt here at home instead of spending so much buying manufactured yogurt from the grocery stores. After thoroughly going over each method from start to finish I started noticing flaws in a few of the methods that from a food safety perspective I know from all of my years of training in food safety will allow harmful bacteria to multiply in the milk before it has a chance to become yogurt. I also noticed that most of these methods were quite difficult and required almost constant effort on your part while it is cooking. I'm sorry, but if it is that involved and exacting, I would just rather buy the stuff and let someone else deal with all

#140 - Why Verify Your Soil Microbiology?

One of my neighbors came over yesterday as I was preparing some slides for the microscope from samples that I collected from my soil and compost piles and the question of why verifying the microbiology in the soil is important to do came up. This is an important question so I thought I would discuss it today. I explained to him that I could tell, just from sitting in my house across the street and looking at his lawn, that his soil microbiology was not correct because parts of it were starting to turn brown. He explained that it was normal this time of the year for the grass to turn brown unless he constantly watered it everyday. I looked at him and said: "if I could show you a way to have a

#139 - Is There Really A Food Shortage?

It seems every time I turn around I hear someone talking about the food shortage and wondering how bad it will get. Recently you can't walk into a Walmart or Kroger store without seeing signs on the bare canned vegetable shelves about the food shortage. Lets take a breath here and think about this for a minute and use some common sense before we start yelling "SHTF" and "it's the end of the world". What the stores are supposedly short of is canned vegetables, that's it. Not fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables, only the canned vegetables are "in short supply". Everyone is blaming this on the severe weather and flooding across the United States this spring, but they are incorrect in their a

#138 - Step-By-Step Active Composting - Final Day

I had to take a break from the compost piles yesterday as I was not feeling good so I did not get to turn them on their regular schedule. Since this is the end of the cycle for the main pile skipping a day does not make a difference anyway. I am not trying to heat the main pile up anymore I am just waiting for it to drop out of the Active temperature range to start its slow decomposition cycle. I did check the temperatures on the piles each day, and on both Monday and Tuesday, the main pile was running 126 degrees . . . The second pile with all of the wood shavings continued to run at 165 degrees for both days . . . Today the main pile had dropped to 118 degrees, so it is slowly coming out

#137 - Organic Garden Pest Control Solutions

Since giving the tip yesterday on the organic means of dealing with caterpillars and tomato horn worms in your gardens I have had two people ask me about how to organically deal with other common garden insect pests, so let's go ahead and tackle that one now. I have a few solutions that I can recommend, but first before I would go straight to a pesticide application, even an organic one, I would want to try a couple other methods first that do not cost you anything and may take care of the problem. If you have a fly bothering you, wouldn't just immediately jump to grabbing a shotgun to take care of the problem with when a simple flyswatter would do the trick would you? 1. The first insect co

#136 - Step-By-Step Active Composting - Day 27

Welcome to Day 27 of our Active Composting series where we follow along with the life cycle of a compost pile from beginning to end. When I checked on the piles yesterday the main pile was running at 135 degrees . . . and the second experimental pile was running at 169 degrees. Because the Hawaii weather has been so hot lately both piles were getting quite dry so I gave each of them 2-gallons of water to get them by until today when I turned and watered them on their regular schedule. Today the main pile had dropped to about 132 degrees. The second pile had dropped to about 165 degrees. I noticed that almost all of the sawdust and wood shavings that I had started this pile with were already

#135 - Organic Catepillar & Horn Worm Control

A friend who is having problems with caterpillars and tomato horn worms eating holes in the leaves of his cabbage, kale, tomatoes, and other vegetables in his garden called me to see if I had any organic suggestions for how to deal with them that was safe to use and would not harm the beneficial insects in his garden. A few years ago I found a product called Bacillus Thuringiensis which is a bacteria that attacks caterpillars, loopers, cabbageworms, hornworms, leaf folders and leaf rollers yet does not harm other beneficial insects like nematodes, lady bugs, bees, etc., that we want in our gardens. BT is a completely organic method of dealing with these insects safely. An 8ounce bottle gener

#134 - Step-By-Step Active Composting - Day 25

I checked on the compost piles yesterday in-between downpours caused by the leading effects of Tropical Storm Eric as it gets closer to the Hawaiian Islands but I did not want to keep the tarp off for very long because I did not want to piles to become too saturated from the rain. The main pile is slowing down in its decomposition as it nears the end of the compost cycle as evidenced by its continued lower internal temperatures. It is staying active at 140 degrees though so everything is still progressing as it should. It is common for a pile to drop to a lower temperature range as it gets more mature. The second test pile with the sawdust as the brown carbon component still being a new pile

#133 - Effective DIY Organic Weed Killer

After having the glyphosate incident the other day where our landscapers were caught spraying Roundup weed killer on my yard and garden area I wanted to show you a very effective, completely organic, and cheap weed killer that is completely safe for humans, animals, and even more importantly, safe for the environment. And the best part is you can make it up yourself with products that you more than likely already have in your kitchen. This simple, yet effective DIY organic weed killer only contains three ingredients: White Distilled Vinegar Iodized Salt Biodegradable Dishwashing Liquid Take 1-gallon of distilled white vinegar and add 1-cup of iodized salt to it along with about 2-tablespoons

#132 - Why You Should Be Planting A Garden Now

I have heard many people say that they are prepared for a disaster or whatever SHTF situation may come. They boast about their preps and that they have a purchased a "Seed Vault" with heirloom seeds so that they will be able to grow food afterward in the event of a long-term situation once they run low on their stored food supplies. I hate to say it but in the preparedness world, someone like this is referred to as a victim, not a survivor. Those seeds sitting in your preps are doing you absolutely no good at all, and when the time comes when you finally decide to plant them, unless you are quite experienced at gardening, they aren't going to do you much good then either, except give you a f

#131 - DIY 25-Gallon Compost Tea Brewer

We all know the benefits of using compost and worm castings in our gardens and plants, but many people are not aware of another way of using compost that is even more beneficial to your plants. For those interested in a more natural or organic method of gardening, one of the most important things that you can do to help your plants thrive is to use compost teas and worm teas. In order to do that, you need a way to brew the compost tea or worm tea and that is what we are going to discuss today. As some of you know, I have a Ph.D. in microbiology, so I understand the complexities of the biological ecosystem at the microbic level that is at work in the soil and interacting with our plants. Many



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MSgt. RC Anderson

United States Marine Corps

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