Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blackwater

No, not the mercenary guys engendered by the bush/cheney administration, but the kind of black water that results after forest fires.  This little irrigation ditch near our home is black from ash washing down the Rio Grande and into the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District irrigation works.   The fires occurred fifty miles away. I have never seen the water in this condition before.  I assume it has nutrients in the ash that might be good for crops.  Correct me if I am wrong.

5 comments:

Bubba Muntzer said...

At home we put some ashes in every hill of potatoes we planted. It's the poor man's lime, you might say. They both contain something the root needs to "fix" nitrogen, which is a necessary stage of the process by which the root takes nutrients from the soil.

You've probably seen those reports in National Geographic and so forth where they go out to where there's a been a forest fire a few years later and new greenery is just thriving in the ashes.

Here is George Washington Carver recommending putting ashes and lime in compost intended for sweet potatoes. (Looks like it's organic, too!)

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/guides/carver_sweetpotatoes.html

Albuquerque Art Business Assn. (AABA) said...

I think the ash might be harmless enough, perhaps even good - but what of the various fire retardents and the slurry dumped on the fires? Would be nice to know what they contain.

Rodney said...

not to mention what mysterious elements might be found in the ash from years of lab dumping wastes in the canyons around LANL.

Kathryn said...

Hi I studied some anthropology and also lived abroad in developing countries for many years. Ash is commonly used in slash and burn agriculture when nomadic people cut down folliage, burned the brush for ferilizer then moved on. The problem is that for the short term the natural fertililzer worked but in the long term it burns the soil requiring many years for new growth. Try water purification, charcoal filters at end of drain spout. In Texas at A&M they have many soil restoration ideas. kathryn mcdonald

Kathryn said...

PS Ash is used to make lye which burns soil. Slash and burn agriculture relied on fertilizer obtained after clearing bus of folliage, good for a season or two but then soil requires years to repair itself. Primarily used by nomads, forest fires are random and not generally planted with crops afterward so regrowth occurs at a natural rate with indigenous plant life. kathryn mcdonald texas