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The Living Medicine Cabinet

ClosedCircuit

New Member
:)

Hey everybody,

Its been a while...well not so long - since I have been regularly active. My life has been a bit busier than normal lately...certainly for the better so I have nothing to complain about really. But, I miss you all and the daily lessons I take away from almost every post I read here. I couldn't be more excited to get back into the routine of posting, contributing, and best of all GROWING.

Unfortunately, you fine men and women were not the only thing I neglected in the past month or so. I have done absolutely nothing to get my grow in order. A FINE STARTING POINT INDEED! Well I shouldn't say that. I have taken the liberty of ordering my soil supplies from buildasoil. They just showed up today at my office!



There was a mix up because they were out of stock of my pumice for a day right after I placed the order during the weekend...anyways I'll be getting the rest of my stuff in a few days. Those guys are awesome and I greatly recommend them despite this mistake...really friendly people. I know they have the support of several members on this forum. I'll go into more detail on what my soil will look like...and really everything else pertaining to my grow very soon :rolleyes3

I think many of you were already aware but did you know most seed banks no longer accept Mastercard because Mastercard refuses to do business with cannabis related businesses? So can you still use one of their cards at dispensaries? Well I wasn't, and conveniently as of two years ago my credit union switched everything over to Mastercard from Visa for some better features...so here I am trying to figure out how I am going to buy seeds. I tried to purchase a prepaid card at 7-11 with my debit card which was declined. That seemed liked an odd coincidence to me since I had just made a different purchase at a different store minutes before. I'll just have to take out cash, load it on a card, then purchase the seeds with the card. It could be nothing, but it got me thinking that someone somewhere is intentionally trying to make it hard to purchase seeds. :30:

I'll wrap it up here and let you all know whats coming up next...

I'll be in Japan for two weeks starting this coming Thursday so I need to get my soil mixed and let it sit for a while. Me being gone actually works out perfectly in that way.

Phew so I said I was wrapping it up...let me just tell you briefly tell you why I called this "The Living Medicine Cabinet," and I'll be done :)

I'm certainly not the first, and will not be the last person to grow in a confined space. Some know them as micro grows. Call them what you want. My goal here is to demonstrate the potential and hazards of a space this small. As our country moves towards legalization in all sectors, many more people will begin to grow cannabis. Not all will openly embrace the fields of marijuana some of us have become accustomed to :) Some people, who only need to supply themselves, will want to approach this on a smaller and more manageable scale because of a need for discretion or maybe even because they physically/medically cannot manage more. Whatever it is, I want to provide them the blueprints for an easily reproducible, pure, form of medicine. If I can help anyone in anyway through my own journey I would be most satisfied!

So there you go...a half assed introduction. :thumb:

You all have a good night and get ready to watch me do some growing!
 
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ClosedCircuit

New Member
So some of you know I have been working on a Hugelkultur project.

I just wanted to quickly put it out there that Horizon Herb and Seed has been a huge let down. Placed an order on 4/30 for over $140 worth of seed and root. They have not even shipped my order yet. I purposely ordered my seeds so I would get them before I go out of country and can get my seedlings going.

"You should have mentioned the trip in the shipping notes so we shipped it sooner."

A trip happening a full month later? Really? No apologies, nothing. All they are going to do is pull my shipment until the 8th of June when I am back. How convenient...they have the power to do that because it hadn't even left Horizon yet! Maybe if I am lucky enough they will leave the Comfrey in its packaging for 3 weeks (killing it) so that I will have a whole new fiasco to deal with when I need a refund for dead plants.

I will never recommend them to anybody and I hope the mods keep this post up so that we actually get some unbiased opinions of vendors on this site.
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
Subbed! Great to have you back journaling again CC. I'll catch up later after I deal with my little crisis. :love:
 

ClosedCircuit

New Member
He Makes the Soil...Mostly

So I'm just going to come out and say this - figuring out how to recycle the Ocean Forest from my last grow had me scratching my head a bit. The only direction I had in the beginning of planning all this was that I wanted to mix in more of my own castings and slowly recycle the OF into completely custom soil.

One has to consider that the proportions which many of us use as a rough guideline for a potted soil composition is most likely also in play for the OF soil. I.E. it is premixed and contains the basic Castings/Compost, Peat Moss, and Perlite (aeration) - possibly in proportions close to the "rule of thirds" 1/3 Humus, 1/3 Aeration, 1/3 Peat Moss in addition all the other ingredients in Ocean Forest. I would link to their site for a complete list but this post would likely be removed by a mod. So look it up for yourself. :)

Also run on over to COOrganics thread on basic organic soil for a better understanding of how to build your own Living Soil potted mix.

Back to the soil - I have not found any reliable guesstimates or published ratios for how OF is mixed. Keeping in mind the full ingredient list and examining the OF soil its plain to see that there is a fair amount of peat moss and perlite. DUH! Those are the most important things to note in my opinion because its ultimately going to determine how I mix the soil with my home-made worm castings. The casting of course have no specific aeration element other than undigested minuscule pieces of paper, egg shell, and really any kind of rough organic matter. The trick with the castings is that some of the remaining undigested organic material plays the same role as the Peat Moss in the OF and even arguably works to aerate the soil by adding a measure of microporosity to the soil. That's why I'm not a huge fan of Peat Moss (besides the fact that is a frighteningly limited resource that is totally unregulated in America). A good compost/casting mix with varying texture and undigested matter will hold moisture on its own no problem. Peat Moss can be easily replaced with cheaper, more sustainable options (leaf mold, rice hulls, etc). I'm really just diluting the OF with castings, but I almost have to think of the castings and OF as two separate soils that must be made to marry.

I may just do a terrible job at talking through this next point but bare with me...

In total I had just short of 6 gallons of Ocean Forest...probably more like 5.5 gallons since I didn't fill the old containers up all the way. I'm calling it 6 for ease of math. But lets break down the ingredients by volume using the rule of thirds.

6 gallons of Ocean Forest
2 Gallons Humus (Castings/Compost/Gauno)
2 Gallons Perlite
2 gallons Peat Moss

*I don't know the volume of all the other amendments in OF but I would assume its about 1/2 - 3/4 gallon more or less out of the 6 gallons I have here. And keep in mind that its actually more like 5.5 gallons so all the above amendments could be closer to 1.5 gallon a piece. See my predicament? I'm pretty much flying blind - but I refuse to let this soil go to waste.

I'm growing in a 10 gallon container exactly like the one the castings are pictured in below. So using all the OF only gives us around 50-60% of the soil I need.

I'm shooting for...
4-ish gallons Castings (and Humus from OF)
3-ish gallons Aerations (1.5-2 gallons of Perlite from OF and 1 additional gallon of Pumice)
3-ish gallons of Peat Moss and organic material

And last but not least the Clackamous Coots style amendment kit from Build a Soil.​




Anyways, the mixing started a bit too late in the day - but you take what time you can some days.



Had to do a wee bit of sifting to remove the undigested paper wads, chestnuts, wood chunks, over sized egg shell fragments, etc from the castings. I still ended up with a bunch of soldier fly larvae in it, which should be alot of fun during my grow when I open the cabinet and a bunch of giant ass flies barrel out. Its all worth it for the black gold! :thumb:








Time to toss the Ocean forest in. The arugula I planted in it really took over the containers. Before this picture I cut the arugula and tossed some of it into the soil and some into my worm bin.






The Clakamous Kit + Pumice




I only added about 1/2 gallon of pumice in this picture because I am saving the rest for when I pot it. I will be trying to use the very handy SWICK method. I'll need to add a slight layer of pumice in the bottom of the pot so it can draw water out of the SWICK reservoir and into the soil. More on that later. But in the meantime please read up on Sue's thread on the topic.



And voila! Well in this photo the container is short some soil but you get the idea. And see how its dark out side in this one? lol And yes I did try to pick the maple seed helicopter things out of the soil.






So in the end we have a soil that roughly fits the bill with the desired proportions we need. Its not perfect, but this is really just an experiment looking at how I can best recycle the OF soil and turn it into something completely different...more like real soil and less like atypical potting soil.

I'm going to keep chanting something in this journal, and that is Keep It Simple Stupid. I love and respect so many of you. Yet too many of us bicker over what is in our soil and what to add to re-nourish it. I have always been under the impression that Living Soil should not require as many ingredients needed to grow in a typical bottle feeding set up. And yet, many of our best LOS growers are making use of a dozen or so ingredients through out their grows to supplement the soil. So, is LOS still easy at that point? Relatively, when compared to bottled grows that constantly battle deficiency or burn. Should raising a crop be completely mindless? No, but it sure does require that we wrap our heads around alot of different concepts...Many of which are not even that well understood in the science community.

I suppose I'm just wary of the consumerism side of the cannabis growing world where every single item is made sound like SOMETHING YOU MUST HAVE! ITS THE LAST THING YOU WILL EVER BUY!

Ya right. You see that kind of marketing even on Build a Soil, It can be hard to determine what is truly useful. We all know what we are doing here. Alot of what we do is on faith...and that isn't just LOS growers. We mostly have no idea whats going on with our plants. They do not speak to us; forcing us to read the vaguest of signals sometimes. Being open to our misconceptions and understanding the likeliness of making a mistake (read: doing too much) is often times more important than getting it right.

That said, I am trying to be mindful of what is necessary and what is maybe just an added bonus. You can expect that I will try vet certain products in this journal and show you what works and what doesn't through my own trial and error.

Its late on the East Coast with thunderstorms rolling in as we speak. Have a good night everyone and stay safe!

:thanks:
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
One of the things that attracts me to Clackamas Coot's approach is his insistence that you find local, sustainable amendments and components - the exact opposite of the trend you speak of. They've worked out the bare minimal approach, consistently applied over time.

Great soil building post. I already used my daily allotment of reps on you, or there'd be more.
 

ClosedCircuit

New Member
One of the things that attracts me to Clackamas Coot's approach is his insistence that you find local, sustainable amendments and components - the exact opposite of the trend you speak of. They've worked out the bare minimal approach, consistently applied over time.

Great soil building post. I already used my daily allotment of reps on you, or there'd be more.
Its a method I really want to take to heart. Of course it requires that not only learn more about the soil, but to know how to source it locally and as cheaply as possible. That will be a project down the road for sure. Getting all the minerals you need could be almost impossible, but I think one could find substantial alternatives.

edit: and thank you for all the reps :)
 

ClosedCircuit

New Member
I really liked your last update since I am still new to growing I like to read as much as I can about all different types of growing
:welldone:
Feel free to ask whatever questions you like. I am a newby too. I just read alot...or at least I think I do. Never seems like I know enough.
 

SweetSue

Member of the Year: 2015 & 2016 - Member of the Month: Mar 2015, Sept 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016
IT'S THE LAST THING YOU WILL EVER BUY!

Yeah, I don't know what that thing is or even if it exists. :laugh2:
 

Scarfinger68

New Member
So some of you know I have been working on a Hugelkultur project.

I just wanted to quickly put it out there that Horizon Herb and Seed has been a huge let down. Placed an order on 4/30 for over $140 worth of seed and root. They have not even shipped my order yet. I purposely ordered my seeds so I would get them before I go out of country and can get my seedlings going.

"You should have mentioned the trip in the shipping notes so we shipped it sooner."

A trip happening a full month later? Really? No apologies, nothing. All they are going to do is pull my shipment until the 8th of June when I am back. How convenient...they have the power to do that because it hadn't even left Horizon yet! Maybe if I am lucky enough they will leave the Comfrey in its packaging for 3 weeks (killing it) so that I will have a whole new fiasco to deal with when I need a refund for dead plants.

I will never recommend them to anybody and I hope the mods keep this post up so that we actually get some unbiased opinions of vendors on this site.
I just ordered from Midweek Song. I choose them because they were a sponsor of 420.

Ironically you and I spent approx. the same amount. Only I placed my order on a Sunday and received it on my doorstep 6 days later (London to USA).

$140.24 Complete

Blue Dream Feminized 5
Bank Name: Humboldt Seed Organisation HUM501F 1
Sour Kush Feminized 6
Bank Name: Reserva Privada DNA-056 1
Northern Lights x Chronic Feminized Single Seed
Bank Name: Spanish Seeds SPAN5P&M 1
Critical x Cheese Candy Feminized Single Seed
Bank Name: Midweek Song BLIM5 1
Pink Diesel x Amnesia Feminized Single Seed
Bank Name: Midweek Song MWS04 1
OG's Kush Feminized Single Seed
Bank Name: Blim Burn Seeds BLIM321P&M 1
Cheese Feminized Single Seed
Bank Name: Blim Burn Seeds BLIM2 1
 

ClosedCircuit

New Member
I just ordered from Midweek Song. I choose them because they were a sponsor of 420.

Ironically you and I spent approx. the same amount. Only I placed my order on a Sunday and received it on my doorstep 6 days later (London to USA).
Horizon Herb is a vegetable and culinary/medicinal herb supplier. It sucks because their selection is great...haven't been able to find anywhere else that can replace them yet.

I have never heard of midweek song before. So you would definitely recommend them?
 

ClosedCircuit

New Member
IT'S THE LAST THING YOU WILL EVER BUY!

Yeah, I don't know what that thing is or even if it exists. :laugh2:

See exactly! Its already been seen that there is more than one way to reach the same end goal. Part of the beauty in all of this is all the moving pieces.
 

Scarfinger68

New Member
Horizon Herb is a vegetable and culinary/medicinal herb supplier. It sucks because their selection is great...haven't been able to find anywhere else that can replace them yet.

I have never heard of midweek song before. So you would definitely recommend them?
Placed my order on May 17th. Package was on my doorstep 6 days later. They send a tracking number that lets you know when it gets to the states.

I never heard of them either until I saw a post stating they were a new sponsor.

 
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