[permaculture] gypsum and soil compaction?

Green Singer greenmansinger at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 9 22:24:20 EST 2010

Hey folks,

I've been a lurker for a while, but I've finally got a question that I want to put out to the larger group: I'm working on a new home construction site, surrounded by relatively flat, compacted soil.  The owner wants to create orchards and gardens, and I'm encouraging him to look at silvipasture as well, at least in his long-term plan.  He's building in what is these days considered 'traditional' style--stick-built, tight envelope, sheet rock--and the latter is where the interesting part begins.  I've heard that gypsum is a helpful soil amendment for restructuring soil, and it was pointed out to me before I'd worked with it much that sheetrock is basically pure gypsum, pressed into boards.  So, does anyone know:

1) If there are any safety concerns (additives, etc.) to using sheetrock?

2) How much volume per area is appropriate? I seem to remember the numbers being pretty high.

*3) How the heck to get those damned boards back into powdered form?*

While my employer is in some ways very much on board with 'sustainability', he's still importing all of his building materials, and creating a lot of waste.  A great way to illustrate "closing loops" would be to turn one of his waste streams into an input, which I know would please him greatly--he already had the idea, though he thought it was lime and just generally good for gardens, and was thinking of renting a wood-chipper, but didn't know if it would survive.

Anyone have any experience with any of any of this?


Marvin Warren
Finger Lakes bioregion
Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft.

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