[NAFEX] kelp and compost

Peter Knop knop at erols.com
Sat Jan 31 17:38:48 EST 2004


THANKS to Dan Kellman for a delightful post.  Wish he would write a garden
column for the gardening publications.  People might learn something.....
Kelp is the original source of sodium alginate - used in everything from ice
cream to the old bakelite telephones, medicines, etc. as a
"suspension/dispersion" agent
    Some work from Clemson U shows that kelp can add cold hardiness to
plants - used in heavy doses.  We postulate that it is the sodium alginate,
BUT, probably helped by the various trace elements in kelp - all good for
plants and the garden.
     BUT if you have a properly taken care of garden, with adequate organic
matter and nutrient content, adding this stuff makes no difference - except
the speculative cold hardiness ( 2 to 4 degrees max).
     We at one time were involved in marketing Alginure, a ground and
treated kelp product - but before we actually put it on the market, we
tested it under many different conditions - used about 10,000 pounds as I
remember (this was like 30 years ago).  Clemson helped as it was seen as a
potential boon to the fruit industry.
     Bottom line:  After spending a LOT of dollars and effort, we decided
NOT to carry the product.  Company making the stuff went bankrupt when it
did not get enough repeat customers (it was well distributed in the UK and
to a lesser extent elsewhere). Did not have the sophisticated mail order
netwqork available today - otherwise I am sure it would still be going
strong as we had LOTS of testimonials, all scientifically meaningless as we
discovered with our own testing.
    Recommendation:  COMPOST!  Take ALL of your organic waste (paper
included, not to mention old dish rags, cotton, wool and other organic based
things) and COMPOST.  Inks and colourings are really not a problem anymore
as most heavy metals have been eliminated, and whatever is used is so
miniscule, that it may even have a beneficial effect (unless you have
excessive concentrations already - which is generally unlikely), as ALL
trace elements, in some amount appear to be useful.  If you happen to live
next to a printing plant which discards a bad run of colour covers for a
magazine - don't run out and grab it as one might one's neighbor's leaves or
newspapers as it will possibly have more than a min iscule amount). Grass of
course is a top notch addition to the compost pile as it adds a good deal of
nitrogen, and where needed, moisture.  Leaves can be too dry and have a very
low nitrogen carbon ration (lots of carbon, little Nitrogen and nitrogen
feeds the buggies which decompose the material - fungi seem to be able to do
with much less Nitrogen as it appears that many of them have some sort of
nitogen fixing capability for one reason or another - very poorly understood
to this day). Newspapers are the same with regards to Nitrogen content.
Branches, sticks, stumps left over scraps from building ( NO TREATED
MATERIAL), also make good additions - just take longer to decompose, so if
room, put them in a separate pile if you want to use compost quickly.  For
the lazy ones (or extra busy ones), with room, use static composting - dump
it in a pile and leave it - every six or so inches chuck in a bit of garden
dirt and make sure it is moist.  Do not turn.  This will not kill weed
seeds, etc. but it sure makes for good organic addition to the soil, and if
weeds etc. are pulled before they all go to seed, there should be no seeds
in it anyway.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <nafex-request at lists.ibiblio.org>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 9:05 AM
Subject: nafex Digest, Vol 12, Issue 55


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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Spray N' Groan (Don Yellman)
>    2. Re: Spray N' Groan (Waite8 at aol.com)
>    3. Spray-N-Grow (Jim F)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 01:26:42 -0500
> From: Don Yellman <dyellman at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [NAFEX] Spray N' Groan
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <401B4AA2.7090805 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
>
> 1.  There is a reason why the ingredients in Spray N' Grow are secret.
> It is because they consist mainly of water and a color change agent.
> When more water is added to the original water, it makes the solution
> change from a sickly clear to a sickly yellow color.  This is an
> impressive scientific phenomenon.
>
> 2.  Many years ago, a fellow down in Houston was fiddling around in his
> garage when he discovered a magic solution.  But the solution he found
> was not liquid.  It was marketing.  Direct mail marketing, to be exact,
> with a heavy component of testimonials from happy consumers.  If you
> mail out enough brochures, somebody will buy your stuff, and if you
> price it high, many of them are going to appreciate it because, well, if
> it's expensive it must be good.  This fellow from Houston was no fool.
> He had figured out a basic characteristic of human nature.
>
> 3.  Most of the people who buy this stuff are experienced and capable
> gardeners.  They grow beautiful vegetables and fruits.  When they apply
> Spray N' Grow they still grow beautiful vegetables and fruits.  But now
> that they have spent 20 bucks for a small bottle of water, they want to
> credit the product for their success.  And they are happy to offer their
> cards, letters and photographs.  Most of them never wonder why a fellow
> from Houston with no scientific credentials was able to discover an
> agricultural miracle that had eluded researchers the world over.  Not
> that there is anything wrong with being from Houston.  Far from it.
>
> 4.  In fact, the invention of Spray N' Grow in Houston is an anomaly.
> Most of the real action takes place around San Francisco.  That lovely
> city is the epicenter of "bio-dynamics", wherein, as Jim Erdman has
> observed, burying substances in a cow's skull for later use is a
> principal element of the system.  Concentrating "life forces" with
> crystals, chants, and seances is a growth industry in San Francisco,
> where there always seems to be a shortage of life forces.
>
> 5.  The world is full of hokum, and I would be the last to call anyone
> foolish for buying Spray N' Grown.  The reason?  Because I bought some
> myself, tried it for two years, and discovered that using it or not
> using it produced exactly the same results.  So, like Bernie, I learned
> something, and it only cost me a little over 20 bucks.  With the costs
> of education so high, that's very reasonable.
>
> Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 04:33:39 -0500
> From: Waite8 at aol.com
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Spray N' Groan
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org (North American Fruit Explorers)
> Message-ID: <07EE11E9.327ED356.0005539E at aol.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>
> May I add my voice to this. I bought the stuff years ago and kept telling
myself that I would see results. Bad Idea! I have a bottle in my basement
that might become a collectors item. Thanks to all of you who have taken the
time to shed light on this. Waite Maclin, Maine, Zone 5
>
>
> In a message dated 1/31/2004 1:26:42 AM Eastern Standard Time, Don Yellman
<dyellman at earthlink.net> writes:
>
> >1. There is a reason why the ingredients in Spray N' Grow are secret.
> >It is because they consist mainly of water and a color change agent.
> >When more water is added to the original water, it makes the solution
> >change from a sickly clear to a sickly yellow color. This is an
> >impressive scientific phenomenon.
> >
> >2. Many years ago, a fellow down in Houston was fiddling around in his
> >garage when he discovered a magic solution. But the solution he found
> >was not liquid. It was marketing. Direct mail marketing, to be exact,
> >with a heavy component of testimonials from happy consumers. If you
> >mail out enough brochures, somebody will buy your stuff, and if you
> >price it high, many of them are going to appreciate it because, well, if
> >it's expensive it must be good. This fellow from Houston was no fool.
> >He had figured out a basic characteristic of human nature.
> >
> >3. Most of the people who buy this stuff are experienced and capable
> >gardeners. They grow beautiful vegetables and fruits. When they apply
> >Spray N' Grow they still grow beautiful vegetables and fruits. But now
> >that they have spent 20 bucks for a small bottle of water, they want to
> >credit the product for their success. And they are happy to offer their
> >cards, letters and photographs. Most of them never wonder why a fellow
> >from Houston with no scientific credentials was able to discover an
> >agricultural miracle that had eluded researchers the world over. Not
> >that there is anything wrong with being from Houston. Far from it.
> >
> >4. In fact, the invention of Spray N' Grow in Houston is an anomaly.
> >Most of the real action takes place around San Francisco. That lovely
> >city is the epicenter of "bio-dynamics", wherein, as Jim Erdman has
> >observed, burying substances in a cow's skull for later use is a
> >principal element of the system. Concentrating "life forces" with
> >crystals, chants, and seances is a growth industry in San Francisco,
> >where there always seems to be a shortage of life forces.
> >
> >5. The world is full of hokum, and I would be the last to call anyone
> >foolish for buying Spray N' Grown. The reason? Because I bought some
> >myself, tried it for two years, and discovered that using it or not
> >using it produced exactly the same results. So, like Bernie, I learned
> >something, and it only cost me a little over 20 bucks. With the costs
> >of education so high, that's very reasonable.
> >
> >Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 05:57:44 -0800 (PST)
> From: Jim F <bonfire58_2000 at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [NAFEX] Spray-N-Grow
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20040131135744.97910.qmail at web60005.mail.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>      For anyone who wonders, Spray-N-Grow is the extract of powdered kelp.
I'd sure like to hear from anyone who got results from anything grown on a
properly fertilized garden.  The only results I got is when I sprayed it on
unfertilized plants - I got identical results with kelp that I dried,
powdered, extracted.
>
> Jim F.
>
>
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