Blog: Truth is an incremental process
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[video/audio] Humanure, Solar Ovens and a bit of a ramble

A look at raw food, solar cookers, low water vegetable production, the importance of soil, and humanure as a fertilizer

Date:   3/11/2009 9:51:35 AM   ( 13 y ) ... viewed 2278 times

I was going to look into humanure, but when I searched humanure on Curezone I found one of Lapis's old blogs about raw food

I thought that was interesting, as he mentions "there is an emerging raw vegan permaculture movement that may just prove raw foods to be the missing ingredient in sustainable community". I haven't yet thought about raw, but I guess that is possible. Fuhrman argues for cooked food, saying we digest them better, and micronutrients from vegetables in soup get eaten anyway, as they are in the liquid. However, as Lapis points out, a cooked seed won't grow. If I wanted to, I could go raw, but I am not sure. Let me try a raw organic parsnip. Mmmm, yep I could go raw if I really wanted.

Lapis also says:
"Raw foodists choose not to eat cooked food because heating food above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, (the "raw" definition of cooking), produces disease-causing compounds in food, makes the nutrition in food less assimilable, and destroys the enzymes in the food. When the naturally-occurring enzymes that all whole food contain are destroyed by cooking, the body has to produce the very same enzymes for digestion, thus diverting energy that would otherwise be used for healing and cleansing. All forms of cooking kill enzymes. The processing of food also destroys enzymes."

If that is true, then people coming off long water fasts may be well advised to stick with raw, since their digestive systems may find it a bit hard to produce enzymes after so long.

Then somehow I managed to discover solar cookers or ovens, which look very interesting, see and and - maybe I will look into that after I work out if raw is best!

Thinking about what I blogged about yesterday, peak oil and Cuba's special period, particularly how they had to find elderly people to train oxen again, I came across an interesting bit of knowledge that could easily be lost in time. Thankfully the writer, Steve Solomon, was kind enough to upload a copy to the Internet for people to read. I have skim read it, and as far as I gather he basically says that crops can be planted with a lower density and not need watering. That is pretty hot knowledge (pardon the pun) with climate change ahead of us. His ebook is embedded here:

Gardening Without Irrigation: or without much anyway by Steve Solomon

On page 15, at the end of chapter 2, he says...
'Would lowering plant density as much as this book suggests equally lower the yield of the plot? Surprisingly, the amount harvested does not drop proportionately. In most cases having a plant density one-eighth of that recommended by intensive gardening advocates will result in a yield about half as great as on closely planted raised beds.'
(Internet Readers: In the print copy of this book are color pictures of my own "irrigationless" garden. Looking at them about here in the book would add reality to these ideas.)

Now in the book he points out that he found the need to use a little fertilizer because most of the nutrients are near the surface and the crop has to grow deeper roots to access the water. They were not too organic in those days, in fact the Cuban special period video claims that that fertilizer does not help the soil but hinders it. So maybe the solution would simply be with correct crop rotation / care, so that the soil itself can recover and nutrients grow at a deeper level. Also the plants would probably adapt by natural selection (I guess).

That led me to find out that there is such a thing as soil science and the Wikipedia article on it says "Accurate to this modern understanding of soil is Nikiforoff's 1959 definition of soil as the "excited skin of the sub aerial part of the earth's crust".

Anyway, what should we do with that valuable soil? Cr@p on it! Yes that's right!
Don't worry, you don't have to buy a copy, you can read it free online at

If you do try this, don't forget to invite your friends around to sample your food (cooked or uncooked), and tell them how you fertilized it. But wait until they have taken their first bite before you tell them, of course.

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