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Leaves

When I arrived at work this morning, the campus landscaping crew was busy pruning the palo brea trees right outside the building.

It took an hour or so before I had that asterisk moment. (kind of like a lightbulb, but not quite.) I can't believe it took that long.

I dragged in two armloads of spiny branches, and spent all my spare moments today stripping off the all the leaves.

Palo brea leaves cause a mild allergic reaction, in addition to the unpleasant finger stabs.

I need to do some leaf nutrient analysis tests, which requires a fairly large/unknown amount of leaf material, which I need to attempt to homogenize/standardize.

So next I need to figure out how I'm going to dry and chop the leaves up. The lab's drying oven failed recently, and I don't know how soon they'll get a replacement.

OH - food dehydrator. Yes, THAT was a lightbulb.

The standard tool for chopping up leaf material is a Wiley cutting mill (do an image search to see). Nobody has one around here. Alternative ideas welcome.

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Meanwhile, I've been learning about the methods used to quantify leaf fiber content, which involve boiling leaves in various detergents that basically extract out everything and leave the fiber behind. This requires specialized, expensive "Gooch crucibles" for the filtration steps. Science eBay to the rescue.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1233473.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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