October 2015 Meeting – Field Trip

Post-field trip note from John:

Dearest Twig Necks,

             Those blessed among us who showed-up in the bowels of Los Lunas/Tome yesterday were treated to a display of horticultural expertise of serious proportions. The owner, Michael Melendrez ( the “r”is correct), gave us about two hours of high-speed Basic Chemistry which had the vicious ring of truth, and opened further possibility that we may yet be able to create conditions in which our trees THRIVE, rather than just survive. Now, you all know that I resist bonsai fad/breathless expose’s from the Tiny Tree Elite, but Mr. Michael is another beast entirely…. You can check out his roll on several websites, including his company Soil Solutions.
            That’s right, leaf lips— you must now become Organic Chemists!!! And we are going to do just that! Kenn and Vickie have already greased the wheels to have Michael come to do programs with us after the first of the year, and I guarantee that you will stand in awe of his knowledge and zeal. I’ve been privileged to know a few High Priests of Plants ( Julius Nuccio, Jack Catlin, Ryuzo Nomura, etc.), and Mr. Michael is one of them.
          I’m going to give you a couple of his tidbits that exposed my own ignorance, and caused involuntary bowel movements among those present:
  1) Liquid fish fertilizer is bad  because of chemical additions used to make it safe ( Mr. Nomura in L.A., mentioned above, used to make his own fish emulsion and manure teas in a thoroughly revolting process which I’ll never forget).
   2) Mushroom compost is bad because of its calcium-producing tendencies.
   3) Our efforts to acidify chemically are creating more salinity.
   4) We are overusing compost, which also tends to boost PH.
          There were numerous other proclamations which I don’t remember. I AM NOT suggesting that we immediately throw everything away and obey The Gospel Of St. Michael……. yet. But, lets get hip to the fact that we can and must do better so that we don’t slip away from our beloved little art out of discouragement ( San Patricio!!! You shyster rata!!! Are you out there??).
           Some good news: All these magic potions are available from his nursery, AS WELL AS his potting soil at $7.00 a bag. I am thus able to steer us away( get it?) from Miracle Grow toward this well thought-out mix. A cubic yard is cheap, so let’s pressure the pickup owners to volunteer— which reminds me, email that linthead Richard Fox and shame him into no longer malingering over a cheesy new knee. I am going to apply pressure on Mother Burt to devote a little club $$$ to get some of these mixtures.
           Which further reminds me, what do you think about getting the club set up to video future demos/programs ??  Gordon van Scratchy is a wizard at this, as is my Techogeek son. I keep hearing about some $500.00 required to become pros in this area — think on it.
         Which, quaternally, reminds me to report that Geo had a productive time in London— more ammunition to be able to put Dad in a nice Home in La Jolla with a balloon-tired wheel chair for beach sand maneuvers ……
         OK– I’ll remind you of our workshop on the 17th at a later date. Meanwhile, consult all websites on the Artisan’s Cup in Portland which occurred last weekend, and was either the Second Coming of Bonsai Christ, or an ostentatious episode of grandiose feces-flinging— I’m not sure which. Look at all photos, and reread “Spirit of Bonsai”on our website. We will discuss further, with Heavy Input from our members who attended. Be sure to check Michael’s websites for info on the Happy World of soil chem.
Saikei Susan!!! Stop saving lives and get back to Treeland!!!