Tips For A No Weeds and No Bugs Urban Permaculture Garden

Soil PreparationTo produce delicious fruits and vegetables in an urban permaculture garden, all starts with the soil preparation. This easy method helps minimize weeding and requires minimal watering.1. Lightly sprinkle the complete grass or soil area that you want to make into an urban garden with fresh compost. This attracts the worms to come to the surface and find all the delicious layers you put on.2. The most important first step in creating your urban permaculture garden, is to cover the grass or soil thoroughly with wet newspaper, at least 5 pages thick, making sure there are no colored ink pages included.3. Then cover the newspaper with plain flat cardboard and water it well. Flattened cardboard boxes are good to use for this.Raised Garden Beds1. Use untreated 8″ x 1″ or 12″ x 1″ timber to make square or rectangular garden beds, no wider than an arm span from each side to the middle. This allows you to work your permaculture garden from all sides without stepping on the growing area. This way, the worms and insects do all the hard work for you, and their habitat is not overly disturbed or compressed when you plant or weed your crops.2. Lay out your raised garden boxes on the prepared area of cardboard, leaving wheelbarrow width walkways all around them. Peg the boxes to the ground.Filling Your Raised Garden Beds1. Cover the wet cardboard inside the raised boxes with a thin layer of coffee grounds. This benefits fruits and vegetables in a similar way to what nitrogen does. Coffee grounds obtained at no cost, from coffee shops can also be used later as a top sprinkling to enhance growth.2. Next add any layer of manure at this stage but not too thick. Horse manure from quality stables is good, as these horses have a very good balanced diet. Alternatively, use sheep pellets or chicken manure. The soil that chickens have turned over in their yards can also be added here.3. Next you can add a thick layer of compost dirt. See the compost section to learn how best to make this, otherwise, buy some from the garden center.4. On top of that, you can add a layer of potting mix if you are planting seeds or want a finer soil to plant your seedlings directly into.5. A layer of organic wood chips, leaf mulch, or year old calf shed cleanings tucked in between plants after you have planted, keeps the top soil darkened to allow the worms to come up around all your plants and stops weed seeds germinating. The worms leave their fresh worm juice right there beside your plants.6. Prior to planting anything in your new garden boxes, give these layers of soil a gentle soak with the best water you can find, and leave them to settle for a week or so, watering daily. This encourages the worms, insects and bug life to take up residence and work their magic in your soil.Beneficial Additions To Your Soil Layers1. If you have access to them, a thin layer of wilted comfrey leaves laid on top of the coffee grounds provides valuable nutrients. We grow two large controlled clumps of this, so a source of compost material lays under our fruit trees. This is a prolific, powerful medicinal plant but needs cutting to wilt in the sun first to stop it taking root and spreading throughout your garden.2. Then to tune into the magnetic field of the earth, you can sprinkle a thin layer of paramagnetic rock dust on the compost. Paramagnetic rock dust can also be added to compost mixes in about 1:10. You may need to search for a supplier near you.3. Liquid chicken, sheep or cow manures, worm juice or diluted seaweed liquid are all very beneficial manures to add to your garden. The dilution needs to be weak to avoid burning the plants. These dilutions and rates of applications are easily found on the web.4. We watered our cabbages twice a week with liquid cow manure (one cow pat to a large bucket of water), when we were dairying in the perfect growing climate of Wairoa and grew giant species of cabbages. The outer leaves reached waist height and the hearts were huge! We felt like we had unlocked a secret from Eden!Pest Control And Ways to Provide For Beneficial Insects And Animals1.When you plant your cabbage, cauliflowers or broccoli, make a bamboo A frame shape and drape fine white mesh over the plants, to save having to spray for white butterfly.2. Keeping ducks on your walkways ensures the snails and annoying bugs are eliminated, but you will need to cut some plastic mesh to make a small fence inside the garden boxes, that the ducks can’t get over, to protect the vegetables in your garden boxes. You may need to clip one wing on your ducks if they fly. Feed the ducks kibbled maize, after they have eaten from the walkways.We have a drake and three ducks and rear the ducklings for meat and have eggs for baking. Peeking and Muscovey are good eating ducks and make a beautiful feature in the garden when they float in the pond. The water they bathe in is excellent to water the gardens with. We give them clean water every day.3. Make a space full of rocks to encourage frogs and geckos to come to live in, as they can deal with bugs and pests also. Frogs love a small pond.Insect Life1. If you really want to be kind to your insect friends, you can make a watered down molasses solution to sprinkle on top of your newly created garden. Do this after your garden’s first watering. This will feed all the worms, bugs and the bee colonies that are going to do the gardening for you, as they love that little bit of sugar content..2. Bees have a memory of where they get good water and the sweetest nectar, so if you cater for their needs it ensures you get good visitation when you need them for pollinating. They have a good memory and will bring their friends back with them. The wonderful tasting fruits you grow will also attract the bees, thus ensuring pollination when you grow fruits all year round.3. Plant many blue and purple plants like lavender and make sure you grow colorful flowers to attract the bees throughout the season. Provide a water bath for both birds and bees for resting and drinking. Planting lavender under the windows of your house helps keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay and brings the bees across. This ensures they find all the plants that need polination as they fly back out of your garden.Water Retention Walkways1. Box up the far sides of all the walkways around your garden beds enabling them to hold 8 to 12 inches deep of either untreated sawdust, calf shed wood chips, or tree and leaf mulch from your local tree removal firm. Avoid pine mulch.2. Another way to get a good walkway filler is to ask to clean out horse boxes at stables. You will receive unlimited access to good untreated woodchips, complete with horse urine.These walkways become large worm breeding areas and the next year are ready to become the compost material for your garden beds. You then just refill your walkways annually.3. The rain water is held in the fibrous wood materials in the walkways and seeps into your garden beds as they need it. When it rains you collect all the run-off across your section in these walkways and this way you are collecting water for your garden for a future drought.When we made our walkways, we spirit leveled them to hold water evenly along their full length. The paper and cardboard being thicker in the walkways and up the sides keeps the water in for as long as possible.4. The outside edges of your planned garden area planted with fruit trees close to the walkways enables them to enjoy the wonderful moisture from your walkways too.5. Lay any tree branches, mulch or grass clippings under your trees and watch the wonderful forest floor develop there. Better still, feed the grass clippings to the chickens first and watch them make beautiful compost soil out of it.6. This forest floor soil is excellent to grow seedlings in, mixed with potting mix. Mushrooms can also grow in this rich moist atmosphere under the trees.Composting1. Soils love compost that have a 1 part nitrogen to a 25 part carbon ratio. Making compost in this ratio, ensures your stack will not sink down to half the size, but stay the size you made it. Just add layers and layers in this ratio, and cover the stack until it is ready. Properly made it will be ready in a couple of months but it is more common to leave it six months to a year.2. Nitrogen equates to the hot things such as manures or road kill and the carbon equates to the dry wood based matter such as dry grass clippings, dry wood chips, paper, cardboard, or dry tree mulch.3. A compost made in this ratio is a source of hot water for a shower. Wrap black polythene pipe around and through your compost, connect it to a hose and shower head and there you can have a shower in the garden before heading home.Leaf Curl and Fungi1. Copper tacks in the trunks of your fruit trees stops leaf curl and flea collars around the base of your apple trees can stop the apple moth that climbs up the tree before it mates with the ones that flies into the tree.2. Fungi send out a filament underground, like an internet connection to every tree and plant in your garden so anything you do anywhere in your garden affects the entire area. Your garden is a living, communicating entity.Harvesting and Replanting1. Only cut the tops of vegetables like cauliflowers and broccoli when you harvest. Leave the roots in the ground for the soil life to break down, as the rotting roots make good water walkways deeper into the ground.2. When replanting, just make a small hole, add a bit of compost dirt, then plant your new plant or seeds without disturbing the soil life too much. The soil stays soft and workable if you keep adding mulch to the top and keep the moisture levels right.3. Your garden will be very lush using no dig, no spray, no weeds, no bugs, urban permaculture garden technology and needing only minimal watering to produce delicious fruits and vegetables. The mulch on the top of the soil slows down the evaporation rate of the available water.Now what if the water you do need to water your garden with is the very best filtration method that man has discovered? This structured water we use, gives us amazing growth, double fruiting and fruit that tastes full of energy.We are sure you will be as amazed as we are with the results.Visit our website below, to be amazed and enlightened.I hope you liked my article with tips for a No Weeds and No Bugs Urban Permaculture Garden.

The Definition of Autism – How Will Possible Changes Affect Special Education Services?

There has been much talk about the potential changes to the Autism Diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) when the updated, fifth version is published (the projected date of publication is May of 2013). One of the expected changes is to combine several disorders including, Autism,Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) into one category called Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although this change concerns some people, most people in the fields of medicine, community services and education already lump these diagnoses together.The major concern is over the potential changes to the specific criteria that people will have to meet to receive the official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the current manual, a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting six or more of 12 specified behaviors. The proposed changes to the criteria narrow the field; a person would have to exhibit three or more deficits in social interaction and communication and exhibit at least two repetitive behaviors. The fear is that this will leave out a large group of people who are considered high functioning (including a huge portion of children with the current diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS). Currently, scientific, trial testing of the new criteria is under way and this data will be used to make final recommendations.Although changes to the diagnosis will likely affect service delivery in the medical field and the community services field they are not projected to make significant changes in the education field because qualification for special education is not based on a particular diagnosis but on educational needs. Currently the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines the educational category of Autism as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.” Each state has their own interpretation of this law so it is worthwhile to search for your state’s educational definition of Autism.Some people fear that a change to the official DSM diagnosis will give school districts a way to stop or decrease services for certain students who currently qualify for services. If schools attempt to do this, many experts believe that children who are on the higher functioning end of the Autism spectrum may still qualify for special education under the category of Other Health Impaired. It is also important to note that a school district cannot discontinue providing a service such as Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy unless the child exhibits significant improvement and there is no longer a need for remediation in that area.

SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.