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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:41 pm 
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Location: Midlothian,TEXAS
Open forums, such as this, do invite "people with answers" to participate. However, not every contribution is valid. I'm sure your credentials are strong and you know your stuff, but from a forum standpoint, we don't necessarily know who you are. I'm not saying this about you, but there are a lot of quacks out there. Even in the science world you will find many differences of opinion. There's scientific evidence out there that will tell you that organics are bad for the environment, but that's not going to fly here without someone taking it to task. I understand that you are dealing in factual information but, as I said, we don't know you.

While I may not have an argument with you, I too, would like to know what Howard Garrett (aka the Dirt Doctor) thinks about your statement that, "it's a myth that sugars from molasses will feed or help activate the beneficial microbes of the soil."

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Last edited by kbrew on Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:23 pm 
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Soil Secrets:

Everyone on this site is open to learning from the experience or expertise of others. That's why we use this forum. I have found this to be a community of critical thinkers (not followers) that are open to new ideas and practices based on scientific, as well as, sound anecdotal evidence from a credible source.

Having said that, you still haven't really put forth any verifiable credentials of your own. What is the name of your company? Where is it located? What are your personal credentials, not your employees? And, where is the link to the scientific study about the effect of molasses on soil microbes so that we may read it for ourselves? We are capable of understanding such things.

I don't know how you got to this forum but, one can plainly see the link at the top of the page which, when clicked on, takes you directly to the Dirt Doctor web site. There you can read all about Howard Garrett, "The Dirt Doctor", and decide for yourself if he has any credentials. Then, you will have learned a bit and will be able to stop saying you "truly don't know who he is". By the way, the disrespect you infer by constantly refering to him as "Dr.Dirt" is not lost on anyone.

Have a nice day! :wink: [/u]


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:34 pm 
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Well said!

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 Post subject: dry molasses and brands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:41 pm 
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Posts: 12
Location: New Mexico
Our company's primary mission is to provide technical support via consultation and services with our staff of P.hD and Certified Soil Scientists, Plant Physiologists and Soil Microbiologists. We do create materials for Soil Restoration Protocols and even mass merchandise some at our own stores in New Mexico and at 200 Meijer Stores in the Midwest. Since we are not marketing in Texas (we are label approved) my remarks here are not intended to try and sell you products but rather offer sound advice. I'm not aware of the brands of organic products available in your region so I cannot help you in that regard. Since this forum is not the proper venue to try and indorse or market brand name products of any kind, I will avoid doing so. If you care to contact me via personal message or email, I will then give you more direct advise. As for giving you web sites to verify research, a search on the Internet, as well as the various science indices in which published research is catalogued, will reveal the work of many Research Scientists who have already researched questions about soil microbiology inoculation and their effectiveness. Peer-review journals are not easily found on the Internet but rather through interlibrary search. An article that is published in a peer-reviewed journal has methods, results, and conclusions that are found to be scientifically viable by objective outside scientists. If a study was not publishable, using sound scientific methods with statistical significance, it will not likely be considered for publication. All life science-related databases such as Agricola, Water Resources, Biosis, Science Citation Index, etc., can be used in your search. Keywords you can use include compost tea, tea, leachate, extract, compost extracts, disease suppression, soil microbial inoculation, Soil Microbe Chemostat equations, soil pathology and soil disease.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:02 pm 
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Location: Garland, Texas
I am very open to listening to what Soil Secrets has to say and look forward to continued contributions.

It is ironic that our own DChall San Antonio has often made the claims of the inferiority of the dried molasses product in comparison to the liquid version. Same basic description of the product as Soil Secrets. Yet, no one seemed to take such great exception to his assertions.

The comment
Quote:
I have found this to be a community of critical thinkers (not followers) that are open to new ideas and practices based on scientific, as well as, sound anecdotal evidence from a credible source.
did get me though. To the contrary. with a few exceptions. I find this is a forum full of followers. Hey, I am a self admitted follower without question (I am past the not questioning part now) of HG's program. I base this statement on the number of people making suggestions for solutions, when they have never applied the solution themselves. Yet they still state, as fact, the approach without acknowledging their lack of real life experience. I have often heard HG make a suggestion followed by the statement "you're in charge of that research".

The whole organic program is an evolving one. Again, HG himself has admittedly changed his suggestions and position from his early days.

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 Post subject: Dr. Dirt? Dirt Doctor?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:06 pm 
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Location: New Mexico
Well, we often refer to simple mistakes like this as a Freudian slip. My mistake with no blatant disrespect intended. I have since looked into the DirtDoctor.com site in more detail and now have a clear understanding of who the man is. As I wrote earlier, there are many nurseries and individuals in the Southwestern Region of the US who use that name or title (either way), so I was not sure who we were dealing with. As for my credentials, I wrote my Ph.D dissertation on Soil Ecology and the Soil Food Web about 26 years ago based off an undergraduate paper and research project I did in 1974. I'm technically a Physiologists not a Soil Scientist. I also have a Ph.D in Human Cardiovascular Physiology from the U. of Wisconsin. My first Masters and P.hD are from NMSU in New Mexico. At this point in my professional and business life, I subordinate my credentials and knowledge to my staff who are far better equipped to do the hard science that efficacy tests demand. Like the bank president who may not know how to run the teller line, I depend on my scientists and business managers to make my company's successful. My wife and I own and run a Cleanroom lab in Albuquerque where contract work on Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, and any other materials needing exact biological tech work done. We also do all our own culturing and manufacturing of ProBiotics used in our Soils Consultation business and manufacturing businesses. We operate the largest native tree and plant nursery/farm in New Mexico (Trees That Please) and move over 15,000 large caliper trees all over the Southwest and Midwest each year, all contract grown. Trees That Please is one of the oldest tree and plant farms in New Mexico dating back to the 70's. We also own and operate two Organic fertilizer companies that manufacture retail ready Soil Restoration products along with complementary products. Currently, there are two Wholesale Distributors in Texas who are negotiating the contracts to distribute our products in Texas so the names of products and companies are premature in this discussion. Hope this helps


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:09 pm 
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Location: Irving,TX
Mr. Clean wrote:

It is ironic that our own DChall San Antonio has often made the claims of the inferiority of the dried molasses product in comparison to the liquid version. Same basic description of the product as Soil Secrets. Yet, no one seemed to take such great exception to his assertions.


It is not the assertion that I took exception to but, rather the manner or tone in wich it was presented. If someone has contrary, beneficial information to share, I want to hear it. I found the Dr.Dirt comments disparaging and unnecessary. I don't think using a "hard-core approach" (his words) is a good way to get a point across.

A simple assertion accompanied by the scientific data or studies to back-it-up is all anyone needs to come to their own conclusions...not posturing. If it seems like I am blowing this out of proportion, I am sorry. My brother was bullied as a child and I am very sensitive to this sort of behavior and cannot tolerate even a hint of it.

Mr Clean: judging by the number of posts you have made, you are more actively involved in these forums than I and may have a different perspective as to the "followers" comment. I do not read every post, or every forum for that matter, and can only speak from my own experience. But, I do not share your opinion.

Soil Secrets: Thank you for clarifying your position and providing your credentials.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:32 am 
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Location: Keller (North FW),Texas
I have few things to add below and wanted to comment that I have really enjoyed seeing the great sense of community here at the site from the advocates posting about this topic. We all have found someone and something to believe in here, Howard Garrett and Organics. Both are here to make the world a better place and we have followed, led, objected and debated topics all in trying to give a hand with the cause here, organics and natural living. Most of the people posting advice on the forum have taken what he has taught us, as well as from others here on the board and made that knowledge into practice. And posters like me, then post advice based on the successes that we have had with products and application rates and techniques or ones that did not work as expected. It is the many different ideas and experiences that we have here collectively that I believe make this the greatest gardening forum, bar none.

In regards to someone that has not practiced what they are posting about, so be it, they are just trying to help and are possibly just repeating what they have read here, another hopefully organic forum or from the info pages on the main site. Kudos to them for caring enough to take their time to do that!

The only thing I got from the negative posts about organics, the products we use and trust and "The Dirt Doctor" as he stated Dr.Dirt is that he may employ the best scientists but the worst marketing people. Coming to a site and defaming the person that mostly all the people are here because of is not sound marketing or good judgment. Will I buy the product you were attempting to sell now? By no means will I buy it. I do not like companies that feel the need to tear down one product to build theirs up. It just tells me that you truly have nothing I need. Why? Because you can only tell me why I don't need theirs, and not why I need your product. Plus, I have read the site linked on Soil Secrets' posts, and, it is basically just humus, fulvic acid and seaweed with a few other substances being marketed in a dry form and bagged for convenience. Maybe that is too basic of a breakdown of the product, but, I already use most of those in one shape or another and don’t need to spend the extra money to buy it in his company’s bag with their pretty logo. If I can make a suggestion to you, they do sell advertising space here on the site. If you have something to sell, as it seems that is your purpose of being here, why not buy some ad space rather than trying to get free advertising? That would help to support the organics cause and movement.

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"It begins with a garden... and becomes a way of life"
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:42 pm 
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Location: Lavon,Texas
Amen to Scott. You put it very well, along with the rest of the posters. I agree if you are trying to sell a product, why not buy some space and promote it. Just maybe someone may purchase your product. I still have not seen the name of the product you are trying to sell. How am I to do the research if you continue to with hold that information?

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Converting one person at a time to Organics, the only way to go!! [ ME ]


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:21 pm 
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Location: Garland, Texas
Suzan wrote:
It is not the assertion that I took exception to but, rather the manner or tone in wich it was presented.
...
If it seems like I am blowing this out of proportion, I am sorry. My brother was bullied as a child and I am very sensitive to this sort of behavior and cannot tolerate even a hint of it.
...
I and may have a different perspective as to the "followers" comment. I do not read every post, or every forum for that matter, and can only speak from my own experience. But, I do not share your opinion.


Suzan, first “manner and tone” are perceptions. I read and re-read Soil Secret’s posts and saw mostly just a stating of information. Because of your admitted bias, you should do the same.

It is perfectly fine to have an opposing opinion. Just make sure that you form your opinions with the appropriate amount of research.


Scott-in-Texas wrote:
In regards to someone that has not practiced what they are posting about, so be it, they are just trying to help and are possibly just repeating what they have read here, another hopefully organic forum or from the info pages on the main site. Kudos to them for caring enough to take their time to do that!


And then there are those, like many who just feel compelled to “post something” regardless of the lack of substance. That is rampant across many forums and this one is no exception. IMO this is no less a problem than someone who has only read a book about finance and then comes on and posts financial planning advice. Yeah…kudos :roll:

Scott-in-Texas wrote:
The only thing I got from the negative posts about organics, the products we use and trust and "The Dirt Doctor" as he stated Dr.Dirt is that he may employ the best scientists but the worst marketing people.


I missed the part where organics (in general) were shown in a negative light. He did question the viability of a product, again a viewpoint shared by a moderator on this forum. Soil Secrets seems to own a native tree and plants company as well as an organic fertilizer company. It would be ludicrous for him to bash the industry.

I guess that you prefer bad science, but good marketing.

Scott-in-Texas wrote:
Coming to a site and defaming the person that mostly all the people are here because of is not sound marketing or good judgment. Will I buy the product you were attempting to sell now? By no means will I buy it. I do not like companies that feel the need to tear down one product to build theirs up. It just tells me that you truly have nothing I need. Why? Because you can only tell me why I don't need theirs, and not why I need your product.


Statements like these are so too commonon this forum. First, who or what was defamed? I’m still looking for the post where Soil Secrets attempted to sell anything. He did mention that he is attempting to get into the Texas market, but nowhere did he say “don’t buy this product, buy mine instead”. Your statement
Quote:
Will I buy the product you were attempting to sell now? By no means will I buy it.
proves your lack of objectivity.

Gar wrote:
...if you are trying to sell a product, why not buy some space and promote it. Just maybe someone may purchase your product. I still have not seen the name of the product you are trying to sell. How am I to do the research if you continue to with hold that information?


If you were truly interested, you would have read his post…

Soil Secrets wrote:
Currently, there are two Wholesale Distributors in Texas who are negotiating the contracts to distribute our products in Texas so the names of products and companies are premature in this discussion. Hope this helps


I come to this site to learn more about organic approaches to my world and share my own experiences. I will share information that I have read about, but with the disclaimer that I have no personal experience. I want to learn of products and techniques that work and those that don’t from people who have tried the product or technique. I don’t mind a bit of pioneering of my own, but also enjoy the opportunity not to throw my money away or waste my efforts on those that are ineffective.

I believe in the benefits of organics, and want to see more products and people using those products. I don’t believe that the way to encourage this is to promote the good and hide the bad. It only takes one bad experience for a newbie who is tentative about the organic approach in the first place, to turn that person away for good. IMO, the organic "movement" (as someone put it) does not benefit from a bunch of rah-rah cheerleaders, but can benefit from a group who will discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. Honesty is always the best policy.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:46 am 
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Mr. Clean wrote:
It is perfectly fine to have an opposing opinion. Just make sure that you form your opinions with the appropriate amount of research.



I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this. But, if it is that had I done as much viewing/posting as you I would feel as you do about the users of this forum, you are wrong. You seem to occupy a very pessimistic throne. The very fact that people are choosing to come here to find alternatives to the chemical approach makes them non-followers...no matter what the post.

I suppose in the grand view of things everyone must, at first, follow someone who has expertise in an area they do not. As we try methods new to us, we are free to keep those that produce results and discard ones that don't. Thereby, tailoring an organic program to suit our individual needs.


Last edited by Suzan on Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:51 am 
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I must apologize to Ken Trotter, the originator of this thread. I hope you got the help you were looking for.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:52 pm 
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Location: Creston B.C. Canada
I have to voice my opinion on the side of soil secrets and Mr. clean. As Mr. clean has illustrated most of the posting done on this thread can only be explained in one of two ways, either the poster did not read the entire post they were responding to or, the poster displayed an unwillingness to objectively review the statements made in the post they were responding to. The prize goes to the people who read the posts entirely, researched the the information put forward with keen interest then determined for themselves whether they aggree/disagree and whether or not they themselves were qualified to respond with anything more than opinion on the subject. Had any of you done so you would have found merit in soil secrets statements coming from such icons of organic practices as Sir Albert Howard, J.I. Rodale and others. As well you would have found additional information about soil secrets and who he has been associated with. You then could have searched the associates and found some very interesting papers published by those individuals. You also could have responded, as I did, to soil secrets offer to email you papers he has authored and co-authored on the topic at hand. As for my Impression of soil secrets posting here for commercial gain, I don't see it . If it is true then soil secrets is indeed a poor marketer as he makes it more difficult to access his products than I would was this my objective and certainly far more difficult than does Mr. Garrett, the real commercial beneficiary of this site intended or not. Interestingly though I don't begrudge Mr. Garrett one bit for this and thank him for originating this site. Those people I will not thank though are the ones who are hostile to outsiders, Intentionally lacking in objectivity, unwilling to do the work they wish others to do and all those people who believe a Ph.D simply stands for "piled higher and deeper". Education is the secret here and it comes from two things "theory" and "practice" each of which alone is only half the equation!

Lets lighten up do more listening less bashing and more learning.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:49 am 
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Location: Arlington
I have been watching this thread and find it very interesting. I've learned a couple of things (gonna have to eat more shrimp so I can have the shells for the compost pile :D ) and have come up with a comment/question of my own. Most of us on this site are home owners wanting to be more responsible in how we take care of our little piece of land. We want to stop using chemicals and have great looking yards. We generally mulch our grass clippings back into our yard instead of bagging them and sending them off to the landfill. If I am understanding how the microherd (the Captins term) in our lawns is re-established after all the years of chemical applications, it seems that dry molasses is a good amendment. The grass clippings are a "green", and the dry molasses is an inexpensive "brown". Wouldn't the addition of dry molasses help to speed the break down of the grass clippings? Also, don't you need some "browns" for the production of humic acid?

From reading other threads about molasses use, it appears that molasses is more effective on the less healthy yards, and does not have much effect on healthy yards that have been organic for longer periods of time.

I have been waiting for someone to post this link off of this site that shows research on the effectiveness of molasses in cleaning groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents.

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_org_research.php?id=12


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:08 am 
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I should probably stay out of this but here goes. Here's what I think I know about molasses.

Personally I have seen no effect of spraying molasses on my lawn or garden.

If you want to buy molasses, the cheapest way to get it is in liquid form at the local farmers co-op. They sell feed grade molasses by the pound if you bring in your own container. The last molasses I got was $0.10 per pound. So a gallon cost me $1.50.

Dry molasses has several drawbacks. One is that if you open the bag and don't use the entire quantity, the next time you come back the contents will have absorbed enough humidity to become a solid brick. Another drawback is that it only contains about 15 pounds of molasses in a 50 pound bag. The rest is rice hulls or chipped corn cobs.

I think molasses has a place in organic gardening. Fire ants seem to hate sugar. If you saturate a fire ant mound with a molasses solution, they go nuts. My personal theories are (1) that the molasses stimulates a disease in the ant colony, (2) it causes a distasteful bacterial growth on their food supply, or (3) it interrupts one of the biochemical processes that the ants use for life in general. I have no proof at all, but the fact that so many people have such good luck with the molasses drenches on fire ants means that there is something about molasses the university scientists have not found yet. I also use molasses to attract sweet ants to a bait I make with yeast and table sugar. I believe the yeast is taken back to the mound by the ants and there is has some disruptive effect on the ants, because they soon disappear (7 days or so).

Before I took on this (unpaid) moderator job, I mentioned to the site administrators that I did not see eye to eye with Howard on all his thoughts on the organic program. We had a little discussion and I guess we agreed on something because he owns this site and I'm still here. Molasses is one area we disagree on. I do think the use of molasses on turf is harmless and may have a deterrent effect on fire ants, so I don't discourage anyone from using it for those reasons. I also do not encourage anyone to use molasses for general gardening unless they bring it up first. Oh, I just thought of another possible use for molasses in an organic program. If you mix an ounce or two per gallon of water along with liquid seaweed, the mix seems to have a lower surface tension that allows it to stick to the plant foliage better.

I also want to say something about using the scientific method in agricultural research in general and about using it for organic research in particular. One of the basics of the scientific method of research is you must have a controlled experiment. That means you have a set of tests where there is no experimenting going on. These are called the 'control group' of test subjects. With the other group or groups, you change one thing about the environment for that group and leave all the rest of the conditions just like the control. The problem with this testing in agriculture is that there are too many parameters to control effectively. When testing a soil amendment that claims to retain water better, how do you manage that experiment? You're supposed to water each plant the same or you lose control of the experiment. But if one plant needs far less water and you over water it, you may stimulate a detrimental microbial growth underground. If you are testing the effect of molasses on plant production, do you look at the micro view, the microbes, or do you look at the macro view, the acreage production from the entire crop? The potential for getting out of control on an experiment is tremendous in agriculture. The problem with doing an organic experiment is that there is very little unadulterated soil around to experiment with. Universities have been testing chemicals increasingly heavily since the turn of the last century. Until the chemicals are purged from the soils and the microbial populations restored, those soils are going to suffer the effects of repeated doses of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. I know that farmers and ranchers can start getting good results after three years of no chemicals but I'm not sure that's good enough for good university research.

If anyone would like to discuss any of these "off topic" topics, let's make some new threads with appropriate subject lines so we can attract the attention of people who know something about the subject. This thread has gone to heck in a handbasket if you ask me (not that I'm any help :P ).

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