Climate Change – Ice Age?


And now for something completely different:

I have been getting this question a lot so here it is. Q and the A

Why do you say that this current global warming will lead to another Ice Age?

Good Question Everyone!

I am glad someone is listening, so here is my answer again…
The last ice age was called the Little Ice Age and lasted for 500 years. Think Washington crossing the Delaware with ice bergs! Or think Napoléon Bonaparte and the harsh winters he and his armies had or the English war where their armies were almost destroyed by the worst winter they had ever had.
What brought this about?
The cutting down of trees in Europe caused a global warming called Medieval Warming period. The Medieval Warm Period (MWP), Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly was a time of very warm climate lasting from about AD 950 to 1250. It was followed by a cooler period termed the Little Ice Age for about another 300 to 500 years or from AD 1500 to about AD 1800. Global Warming is always followed by Global Cooling. Why you ask and how does that affect us now?

Ok here we go…

First off, if you think that just cutting down most of Europe’s forest could cause a 300 plus ice age without having cars and other pollutants, then imagine what we are doing now. Secondly we need to think at least 7 generations down the road and how what we do affects them.

Here is the mechanics of warm followed by cold.

What causees the climate changes? What causes Winter, Spring , Summer and Fall? Motion of earth in relation to the sun, etc has a lot to do with it.
It warms and cools the earth’s oceans. This is normal. We have always had warm periods followed by cold periods.

Here is why

Salt water (ocean) sinks when cold and rises when hot. However Fresh water (ice bergs, glaziers etc) does not.

We owe our climates to the Gulf Stream which relies on what salt water does to cause the stream or current to circulate. It is this circulation that cause the changes in our weather. Damage the Gulf Stream in any way and our weather changes to produce a continuous cold.

How is the Gulf Stream damaged? As it gets warmer, it starts to melt the Glaciers which are fresh water. As more and more fresh water gets melted into the ocean, the fresh water stops the Gulf Stream circulation. Bingo Ice Age!

The length of the Ice Age is determine by the amount of fresh water dumped into the ocean and how long it takes to get the salt levels back up to normal.
Speaking of fresh water, many folks have mentioned to me and I have seen many articles which states that certain places like the article, the glaciers are getting bigger! They suggestion that maybe it is not warming after all?
Here is the thing:
First off remember that the Glaciers are fresh water. Then remember what I said about how salt water and fresh water act differently when cold? Well , it also happens that fresh water freezes at higher temps then salt water freezes and so with all that fresh water melting, it will freeze over faster and make a thin layer of ice that will eventually build up during heavy water but melt again during hot summers.

We are cutting down more and more trees then ever before. The world was basically covered with enough trees that they absorbed any carbon dioxide and returned oxygen. Where is the forest America had once, where is the forest in other countries? And now we are adding cars, planes things that increase the carbon and other gases with not enough trees to absorb it. The ocean absorbs it and it gets warmer but it doesn’t help because fresh water isn’t affected that way, and sea life cannot handle the warm fresh water either. Add Plastics and other toxins and we have a great soup that affects us all.

Right now, if all humans were to leave the planet, it would take the earth hundreds if not thousands of years to recover.

We are not that far away from an Ice Age (big time), each winter it will get colder and colder as there is more water in the air and around from the heat. Eventually the cold winter will last all year(s).

While you and I and maybe our children may not see this Ice Age, it will effect the whole world in years to come in the amount of damage (i.e. length of the Ice Age) but also wether humans will survive it.
Andy Lopez
Invisible Gardener
Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

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More Gardening Questions


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Gardening Questions

You can listen to the radio show about this answer here

A Reader has a few questions:

I very much enjoy your articles on gardening in the Malibu Surfside News.- – -

My question is, where in the process do I add the rock dust you mention in many of your articles?  How much? 

Answer:

Best to mix it with the compost as you add it. A good amount of rock dust would be 1 lb per bag of compost. Actually the compost should have been made with rock dust to begin with! You can order a 50 lb bag from AgroWin in Encinitas, shipped to you. Peaceful Valley Farm supplies in Grass Valley North Ca , sell palletized azomite which is easier to apply. I personally use both. Actually I buy 5 different types of rock dust from various places around the world to insure a complete mineral blend.  I also buy Gypsum locally here in Malibu from Anawalt lumber. It is also another form of rock dust. I would mix it together to get a pound of a rock dust blend to go into the beds.  The key here is live compost. Almost everything sold in the stores in plastic bags is not alive with the proper microbes needed for proper assimilation of the rock dust. Aged horse manure is one good source of these microbes , thats why making your own compost or knowing someone that does, is very important. In Malibu, I know of one good source of home made live compost that comes with its own source of earthworms, too. I’ve had it tested for microbes and the lab went nuts with all the variety of microbes it found. Remember, the bacteria eat first and it is their “poop” that the plants eat.

Question:

Do I add a layer of compost near the top of the planter?  I kind of envision a bottom layer of rich compost that deep roots will eventually find, and a layer of compost near the top of the planter to provide early  nourishment to the seedlings.  We want to grow vegetables. – – -

We are total novices at this.  From what I’ve learned, we should install a drip irrigation system.  I very much value your input on this.  We are a totally organic household, no plastics, filtered water, no chemicals.  Both planters have water spigots right next to them.  

I’m not sure if the salt air will impact what we can grow.  Any experience with this?

We are so excited to get started, but, we really want to get it set up correctly to maximize how well our plantings do.  

Sincerely,

James and family

Answer:

Install the drip system using the new types of drips on market which allow you to bury it. Place about 2/3 way up from bottom of bed. I would have a few heads that go to watering above with rest below soil. The salt from the ocean should not damage your vegetables, you will just need to learn which varieties do well in this type of climate. Just make sure they get plenty of direct sunlight, out of wind, and do not over water. Having compost rich bottom layer and rich top layer sound good but seeds do not like it too rich. I would instead mix evenly the compost with the potting soil and add as a top layer of mulch, azalea/gardenia mix. This is actually a great earthworm castings mix with essential Mycorrhiza. Great for both seeds and plants to get started on!

Enjoy your Organic Garden.

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

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The relationship between Brix, Bacteria, Carbohydrates,  Minerals, Pests and Foliar Sprayings


The Radio show that covers this article is available here

Brix-vs-Pests

“If the Bug does not attack the plant, The plant will not get the disease that the bug is spreading. The pest will not attack the plant if a certain type of complex carbohydrate is present in high enough levels.”

Invisible Gardener

There is a relationship between The Brix level of a plant and its ability to hold off pests and diseases. What is that? By using Foliar spraying you can raise the Brix level of a plant within a short period of time and thru regular applications you can keep the Brix levels up and avoid pests and the diseases they carry. A healthy tree rich in minerals  and low in simple carbohydrates, high in complex carbohydrates,  will not get attacked by pests and will therefore not get that disease associated with that pest.

You use a refractometer to get a Brix level reading. You read the crushed leaves for it’s “juice”. The Brix level will tell you the measurement of plant sugar level of the plant. This will also tell you what the complex carbohydrate level is, and will also show you the mineral levels.

The Key to pest and disease control is that the higher the Mineral levels the lower the simple Carbohydrate levels of a certain type while the plant still maintains high levels of the  complex carbohydrate  ( for more information on the carbohydrates and plants and the many different types of carbohydrates please go here to wikipedia.).  Insects use simple carbohydrates as their energy source. A certain type of complex carbohydrate is produced when high mineral levels are present over when low mineral levels which produces simple carbohydrates. So certain types of complex carbohydrates  cannot be metabolize by insects for their energy needs and it is this complex carbohydrate the plant produces if it has access to all its mineral needs for it to grow and build.

So High levels of complex carbohydrates produces Low levels of  other types more digestible simple carbohydrates. Low levels of complex carbohydrates produces high levels of the simple more digestible carbohydrates. It is these complex Carbohydrates levels in plants that makes them a poor source of energy for insects, while high levels of the simple carbohydrates are a much better source of food for them.

What is Foliar spraying applications?

It is a method of applying nutrition and minerals as well as natural pest and disease controls to the leaves of plants.

Nutrition can be applied to plants thru the method known as foliar spray applications. This is when you mix either an organic fertilizer or some other type of organic product with water and you then spray the leaves or other parts of the plant. By doing this you have allowed the plants to absorb what you put into the water directly into their system, much like what happens when you place something on your skin and it is absorbed into your body. Any thing you spray the plant will affect the plant by either providing nutrients needed by the plant with for its food production or by protecting the plant from attacking pest or disease.

Pests and Diseases can be controlled by foliar sprayings of organic and or natural mixtures.

Foliar spray applications is also a useful tool in raising the Brix levels of plants.

Without the presence of bacteria , the minerals will not be available. That is the purpose of making compost! Bring the minerals and bacteria together!

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

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What GMO’s are Good and what GMO’s are Bad?


Invisible Gardener:

Please read

Originally posted on Dont Panic Its Organic©:

What GMO’s are Good and what GMO’s are Bad?

Genetically Engineered Organisms and Genetically Modified Organisms are not the same thing. As new GMO bills come into Law, we will find ourselves not being able to buy any Genetically Modified Crops at all!  Why? Because they are  all grouped together right along with the dangerous types of GMO’s. What? There are good types of GMO’s?  GMO’s fall under several classifications: Natural mutations show up in nature on their own, Open-Pollinated are either self pollinated or thru specific cross pollination with certain traits in mind thru controlled cross-breeding within proper species, some open pollinated varieties are  (being my favorite vegetable) for example the Bloomsdale spinach or Sugar Snaps or Super sweet Corn, to name a few. Traditional hybrids arise from controlled cross-breeding to achieve a certain trait of the parent for example Sweet 100 Tomato is actually…

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Tips on How to Build a Raised Bed Part 2


Tips on How  to Build a Raised Bed   Part 2

Tip:  Location
Select a site that gets at least 6 to  8 hours of sun per day. A flat, level area and access to water would be nice. Should be protected from the heavy winds or if not then plan on making a cover for it.

Tip : How Big?

   The size and shape of your garden is a matter of what you want to grow and how much space you have available and your reach!   You can rotate the soil every few years to insure the best growing environment for your vegetables.  I prefer to add compost to the beds every season and to rotate the soil as well as let a bed alone with a green cover crop then turn everything over and top off with a composted animal manure like horse or even llama. Always add rock dust as needed (every time really). Keep the raised bed garden to around four feet wide so you can access the middle of the raised bed from either side without getting inside. Make this less if you are short or have a short reach.

How High?

12 inches up to 18 inches ( I like 24 inches up and 24 inches below ground level) depending on cost requirements (more soil costs more initially but provides deeper root systems space for your plants!) and while many vegetables grow well in a bed that is six inches of soil, they will do much better if they have at least 18 inches to 36 inches of soil to work with as well as an additional 18 inches below ground.

Tip : Preparing Your Soil. dig down as far as you can and then replace the bottom layer with wire mesh to protect from gophers. Use 1/4 inch mesh. You can have a layer of rocks right on the mesh.  Run the mesh as the way to the wood and nail together. Blend with the local soil equal parts compost, organic potting soil. Add about 10 lbs of rock dust to the mix. The last layer should be the azalea/gardenia mix. (yes, I used this particular type a lot—wonder why?).

Tip : This is a good time to place a soaker/drip line about 1/2 way up from the bottom. This will allow roots to come down to get water while keeping water below ground (controls pests and diseases and saves water).

Tip: Building the Bed.

Using rot-resistant lumber such as aged cedar, redwood or even oak or one of many natural materials such as rocks, tree trunks, etc. I would treat all wood used with OrangeTKO. Paint it on and let it dry. Never ever use Creosote treated wood. It is very bad stuff to have around. Ask your doctor. There are untreated railroad ties available.

Cut your pieces to the desired size, then attach them together to make a  frame. You can attach them in a variety of ways. You can make a joint at each corner, screwing the corners together with screws.

  

Tip:  Filling Your Garden Bed.  Take this time  to fill your bed with the best organic mixture of quality topsoil, compost, and any aged manure. I also use the best organic potting soil I can find as well as add rock dust to increase mineral content. Top the garden off with a top layer of an acid mulch like, oh like, um. oh say, azalea/gardenia mix?

Next series I will call  “The Toxic Garden”. I will start with Creosote in the Garden.

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

If you like my shows they are available free either thru SoundCloud or thru FaceBook or from my website. You can help by showing your support by joining my club. Members get free weekly radio shows (members can get their questions answered on the show), plus get all 20 + ebooks free.

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Don’t Panic It’s Organic! – How to Build a Raised Bed part 1

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Don’t Panic It’s Organic! – Live & Recorded Episodes:. above is the  Radio show that goes with this article How to Build a Raised Bed   Part 1 Your Raised Bed To have your own raised bed(s) is a wonderful … Continue reading

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Growing Roses in a Drought


Growing Roses in Malibu/Drought

rose-cover

Many people think that roses would be hard to grow here in Malibu where it is foggy a lot . But actually it is very easy and roses also do well with a lot less water then you think.

One of the funny things about Malibu, is that we really are in a mediterranean  climate see for yourself

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_climate#mediaviewer/File:Medclim.png

so roses grow early well there too and if you really want to see roses take off, try growing some of these rose varieties:

Tea roses, tea roses, tea roses, and perhaps did I mention tea roses?  They will bloom all of the time in Malibu starting in the early spring and keep right on thru summer and onto  fall with little care and regular but deep watering. There are many varieties of tea roses, google it and you will see.

The Robin Hood Rose

Also known as Mediterranean Musk Rose, this is a Rose hedge that produces delicate flowers that last early spring, all summer and if your lucky into early fall. Grows in clusters, much like a typical rose bush.  Very fragrant (I mean really fragrant!), very resistant to diseases and pests especially if grown organically. It also is resistant to the diseases that the fog brings and to top it off, it will do with little water as long as the water is kept below ground and deep and well amended, well mulched.

Watering Basics

Place a drip line around the rose about 2 feet out from base yet within the well. Try a 2 gallon per hour drip head. One rose should get three drip heads placed at 12-4-8 on the clock. Watering should be done once a week for an hour but you might have to do that twice a week during extremely hot months and especially if you have bad soil. You can help reduce watering while keeping happy roses by applying rock dust (for minerals) compost and mulch with a good acid mulch like Azalea-Gardenia mix which we have available here in Malibu. I would make sure the compost is alive.

Avoid having a rose next to a lawn as over head watering is not good.

Organic Fertilizations

Apply a good organic fertilizer once a month. Spray with a good organic liquid fertilizer made for foliar feeding such as liquid seaweed. There are many organic liquid rose fertilizers available that you can spray. Learn to use Coffee, Cream and Molasses once a month to keep Brix levels up. Use 1 gallon liquid coffee, 1 cup milk, and 1 oz granny smith molasses. Spray roses in afternoon or  early in am.

Roses love compost tea so spray them that once a month too.

Use coffee grinds around base of plants, mixed into soil, will increase earthworms.

Remember to prune them back in February, yes February not January. This will be much better for them as it will help them avoid the aphids come spring time.

Use a refractometer to determine the roses Brix level if you wish to see if they are healthy or not and if you are doing the right thing or not. Roses should have around a 20 Brix level reading, higher would be excellent. A refractometer does not have to cost much. They range from $35 (EBAy) to Thousands of dollars for labs. I have one that cost me $35, one that cost me $300 both give the same reading.

Happy organic rose growing!

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

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