FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the best time to call or come by for an office visit? 

 Answer:  It is best to come by during the normal office hours.  They are posted on the bottom of the page.

 

 Contaminants: 

Does your soil testing include information on contaminants (such as lead, PCBs, etc.) that might be present in my soil?

 

Answer:  No.  Our testing is generally limited to the status of soil nutrients plus organic matter, pH and cation exchange capacity.  We can evaluate heavy metals, however for other contaminants we would refer you to a testing laboratory, although, we are not able to evaluate the results of such tests for you.

 

 Site Inspections:

 

What sorts of things are included in your site inspections and what measures do you take to insure I will able to understand and retain the information?

 

Answer:  The extent of your inspection will depend on the scope of your planned project and what you tell us you want to know as regards the suitability or needed improvements you will need to consider in carrying our your plans.  In general, we will cover such basics as a survey of your site layout; soil types; vegetation composition; health status of land, vegetation and animals; weeds and pest animal problems and control; livestock feed improvement; needed soil sampling (followed by an analysis and prescription report); management potential and recommendations for orchards, vineyards, pastures, organic fruit and vegetable production and other potential uses.  If you wish to have an inspection of your site, call Gary at (360) 943-5670.

 

 BLOSSOM Name:
What does the word BLOSSOM mean in BLOSSOM Consulting Services and why did you pick that word and logo?

 

Answer:  BLOSSOM is Capitalized because it originally stood for Black Lake Organic Superior Soils and Optimum Mixes.  But BLOSSOM has since also come to mean the flowering and fulfillment of a total and wholesome approach to growing plants and food crops for greatest health and nourishment of all life.

 

 Complete Organic Fertilizers:
 Your BLOOM line of complete organic fertilizers have earned a high reputation for performance and results in gardening of ornamental as well as food-producing plants.

 

If I have my soil tested through BLOSSOM Consulting and put on the kinds and amounts of fertilizing materials you prescribe, do I need to also add the appropriate BLOOM fertilizer for the class of plants I’m growing?

 

Answer:  The short answer is no.  Generally, nothing more is needed, at least the first year.  However, after that you may need to replace nutrients that are lost.  Using a BLOOM mix could do the job, but a second soil test would tell you precisely what to add or when to add it.  The different nutrient elements have varying rates of solubilitity, availability and uptake by the plant.  We cannot say exactly how long before  the optimum situation is achieved or is likely to last. If your plants show signs of decline you can foliar feed with liquid fish, kelp or seawater extract followed by a supplement ground application with BLOOM fertilizer.

 

 

BLOOM Solubility:  
Will it work to dissolve the BLOOM fertilizers you developed in water and use that to drench the ground?

 

Answer: No. Many of the materials in the BLOOM mixes are not soluble. They are best used worked into the soil.

 

Consulting Options: 

Reading some of your articles is very informative.  If I and some friends want to get a more complete and current picture of your overall gardening, soil, and nutrition perspectives and ask you questions about those subjects, what are the options in terms of format?

 

Answer:  We can have individual or group sessions that are held in the Olympia area, at the office, or elsewhere where travel is involved. The fees for the various types of meetings and presentations are posted in the "BLOSSOM Consulting Fees Schedule" area on this site which is currently at the bottom of most of the pages.

 

In deciding upon the place and format we need to know the approximate number of people involved and the level of their existing gardening knowledge to tailor the discussion or lecture to the audience make-up.  Where groups of more than 3 or 4 are involved, a meeting location other than the BLOSSOM Consulting office needs to be found.  Where the meeting arrangements are made by others, the $100 per hour rate will generally be applied.  Where group meetings are held locally and we have to make arrangements, there will usually be a $20 per person charge.  For a single individual, a fee of $50 per hour will usually be charged. For a small group the minimum charge is $100.

 

 

Q. In reading some of your articles, it appears that you are really down on Certified Organics and organic gardening methods generally. Can you explain why that is?

 

  A. Because I need to get people’s attention, and because I have something better. Organic gardening and farming is a form of agriculture known as organiculture; whereas what I advocate is called Nutri-Culture. Organiculture has come to mean mainly the avoidance of toxic and synthetic (unnatural) chemicals, but also it has a soil-building or enhancement aspect, mainly involving incorporation of organic matter into farm and garden soils.

   

Unfortunately, these two practices together do little to positively improve the fertility of soils, such as to raise the nutritional content of crops that enables people or livestock to achieve and maintain a high state of health that gives them vigor and protects them from disease and protects plants from diseases and insect pests. The main thing that organiculture is missing is nutrient minerals, which Nutri-Culture supplies, along with a message that the real object of producing and eating food is nutritional health. The distinction is critical to people’s enjoyment of life and to a sustainable future for mankind and planet Earth.

  

 Q. Biochar appears to be a very important part of your overall Nutri-Culture system. Can you explain more about it and how to use biochar in gardening and farming?

 

 

A. Biochar is indeed a major aspect or component of the Nutri-Culture system. It can be said that it is essentially unknown to organiculture and to conventional (chemical) farming and gardening, although it is receiving a lot of attention and increasingly being used by proponents of Ecological Agriculture. Part of the reason for this is that biochar has only recently come on the scene as a consequence of recent discoveries of its widespread use by a now-extinct large agricultural civilization centuries ago in the Amazon River basin. Their farming soils, known as Terra Preta, were made black and highly productive on essentially a permanent basis through incorporation of biochar.

 

 Biochar is enthusiastically embraced as an integrated component of the Nutri-Culture system to give it the prominence its amazing attributes warrants, rather than have it just stand alone and separate. Biochar is basically a certain grade of cleanly made charcoal used in agriculture. It is a great boon to agriculture with profound benefits for all of humanity and, indeed, for the future of civilization. There are articles on biochar and Terra Preta on this site in the Resources, Articles section of this website. A short but complete article by Gary Kline, which describes how to employ biochar in an incremental and economic five-year plan, is available to Nutri-Culture presentation attendees.

 

  Q. Verminculture is given as a major component of your Nutri-Culture System. Why do you give it such prominence when it seems like it would be impractical to carry out on more than a very small scale?

  

A. Vermiculture refers to the deliberate propagation or fostering of earthworms to produce worm castings and produce more earthworms. Earthworms are grown in intensive cultural systems using special feedstocks in order to generate worm castings (manure) for use in highly prized potting media and special crop gardening, and occasionally in broader scale farming where they are usually fostered in place in order to increase the quality and yield of commercial crops. Their use and cultivation needs to be expanded into wider practice for the benefits worms and their castings can bring to soil improvement and enrichment, and this is not so hard to do as it may appear.

  

My principal inspiration and enthusiasm for wider employment of earthworms in agriculture came from Harnessing the Earthworm (1949 rev. 1957) by Dr. Thomas J. Barrett, a pioneering vermiculturist, who transformed his own California homestead into a horticultural mecca, visited by thousands of people, through the use of his Earthmaster system of both intensive and extensive propagation. His orchard trees were stimulated by placing vegetative matter under mulch material at the outer canopy edge and transferring intensively-produced worm egg casings into that vegetative matter from which they hatch and would expand out.

 

 Even without inoculating with worms or casings, this method can be made to work simply by supplying the feedstock and mulching. Adding fine biochar to the food would further enhance the fertility and soil creation or transformation effect. Earthworms in the Amazon basin are thought to have played a very substantial role in the creation of Terra Preta soils. Charles Darwin claimed that all topsoil was created by earthworm activity. We should give them the job of resurrecting soils.

  

 © 2016, Gary L. Kline

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