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How to Propagate Figs "Impossibly" Fast (and instantly reverse a false narrative)

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  • How to Propagate Figs "Impossibly" Fast (and instantly reverse a false narrative)

    This thread completely undermines and destroys the fake narrative about me that was created and pushed by Wills Cottrell and his cultish followers at ourfigs.com.

    Their entire case against me--which has been wrongfully and illegally pushed since day one--basically boils down to this: they say that the estimated propagation rates I said I could produce were impossible, that I was aware of that supposed impossibility, and that I was therefore a thief/liar/scammer/etc from the very beginning for 'taking people's money while willfully claiming to be able to do something I knew was impossible'. So to provide a formal summary:

    "The False Narrative" -- 'James/GreenFin claimed to be able to propagate figs at a rate that is impossible (i.e. 7x, whereby 1 plant would be used to create 6 additional plants every 2 months; in other words, the total number of plants could increase by a factor of 7 every 2 months, meaning 1 plant could become almost 350 shippable plants in just 6 months, though James went conservative and capped sales at approximately half that to be on the safe side). Since James/GreenFin knew his estimated propagation rates were impossible and that he wouldn't be able to meet his estimated delivery dates, the propagation project is therefore a scam and James is a thief/liar/scammer/conman/etc who deserves to be fought and undermined every step of the way in a concerted effort to stop the propagation project, bankrupt him, and destroy his good name.'


    We don't have to look far to find an example articulating the False Narrative, since Wills and his goons did it so often. Here's an example quoted from Wills:

    Originally posted by Wills at https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/200705-im-done-with-this-whole-figcuttings-com-scam/page2
    So his plan was to sell you trees.......use your money to buy cuttings of those varieties............root them...........grow them out to a size where he could take 50 cuttings of that tree...........root those..............grow them out to a size they could be shipped.............all of that in 6 months? He KNEW that would not work so he was stealing your money, period. It was criminal. All we can do at this point is try to keep him from stealing from more people.
    [...]
    he did not start this to help anyone, he was desperate for cash and saw a way to get it.........but greed does things to people and James crossed over from "in over his head" to dishonest and a crook long long ago.
    and more:
    Originally posted by Wills at https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/238012-ok-i-hope-this-is-the-last-post-i-ever-make-on-the-figcuttings-com-scam
    What he did was dishonest, he knew days after all this started he would never be able to do what he said he would yet kept taking the money.....GREED.
    Originally posted by Wills at https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/155308-www-figcuttings-com-scam
    Two years or so ago when he posted that sale here without asking if it was ok I deleted it. I took some heat over it at the time but I said then what he was promising was not possible and would be a disaster.
    If I can demonstrate that my estimated propagation rates were not only possible, but completely rational (and actually conservative no less!), then the basis of Wills' argument is totally destroyed. If Wills' argument is destroyed--and if it is instead true that I was right, and that I was being completely rational and honest and well-intentioned (which is indeed the case), then that means Wills was totally out of line when he was doing all of his smearing, undermining, sabotaging, mud-slinging, brainwashing, interfering with my PayPal accounts, riling people up, casting shade, casting aspersions, organizing protests, lying about me committing fraud, lying about what I say and do, urging people to submit false claims to the Kansas attorney general office, misrepresenting'/lying about what the AG judgment means, etc, etc, etc, etc. It means that Wills was 100% the bad guy this whole time, that he was actively seeking to undermine an honest fellow collector, and that he was engaging in these nefarious activities to the detriment of every single person who ordered from me (since this project would have likely been completed on time or close to it without Wills' interference). And for what? To protect his profits?? Makes me sick. The guy is a deceiver and manipulator, likely long-skilled in the area of perception manipulation (he brags about being a Wall Street guy, and perception manipulation is part and parcel to the very essence of Wall Street). Everyone who fell for his devious tricks should be furious at him for being an epic scumbag toward me, for intentionally misleading and manipulating them, and for directly causing them huge amounts of frustration and anger by slowing down the propagation project and causing it to take 18 months longer than it otherwise would have. Come on, people, wake up!

    With everyone now on the same page regarding the fact that the 'James is a thief/liar/scammer/conman' narrative being pushed by Wills is completely dependent on my proposed propagation rates being impossible, we can now move forward and see whether Wills was right...or whether I was the one being honest. If it turns out that Wills was pushing a false narrative and that I was the one who was actually telling the truth, then it will be summarily proven that I have been grossly and extensively libeled and defamed by him. And since all of the subsequent attacks on me have all been propped up by the false narrative, they would all come tumbling down and be exposed as the thinly veiled and maliciously false attacks that they really are.

    When I google around for similar libel/defamation cases, I am taken aback at how large the settlements are against people like Wills for doing what he's done. When people do what Wills has done (and to a lesser extent, what Kelby and some of the other questionable people involved in the smear campaign have done), the judgements are in the millions of dollars. Sometimes in the 10's of millions. The judgments are so large because they're not just compensatory damages for lost income, they're largely punitive in nature, meant to punish people like Wills/Kelby/etc and to send a very strong message to other people that such disgusting business practices are not tolerated. I think that the unbelievable extent and depravity of the conspiracy enacted by Wills, Kelby, and their cohorts quite frankly ranks among the very worst that can be found online, and is every bit deserving of the same caliber of punishment as those similar cases: around $50 million. The almost indescribable amount of mental and physical anguish that I've gone through as a direct result of their illicit and malicious defamation campaign screams out for justice. I have been needlessly put through hell on earth the past couple years, with the attacks led by Wills/Kelby/etc, and joined in by hordes of misled and riled up collectors who have been so thoroughly brainwashed that they think all the false claims against me are 'common knowledge' that 'everybody knows' because they've been asserted and repeated without challenge so many times. (Let's not forget that Wills strategically preemptively banned me from ourfigs long ago without legitimate cause so that he could push a torrent of lies about me without being contradicted by the truth.)

    I cannot adequately convey the frustration and white-hot rage I've felt and had to work through for the past 2 years as Wills has done his scummy smearing and caused a cascade of overwhelming problems. It angers me beyond belief that he and his followers undermined this philanthropic project, creating a 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecy' type of situation that has screwed over everyone involved. It also angers me that he has intentionally misrepresented and smeared me, portraying me largely as the opposite of what I actually am. What's crazy is that he actually threatened to do exactly that long ago in a damning series of emails that he stupidly sent (and that my lawyer shook his head in disbelief about): for example, Wills bragged about the power he had with his forum, and about how he could willfully trick the members there into believing lies about me. He bragged that he could do it "like a politician does," by spinning everything and using 'half lies' (i.e. lies that start with a shred of truth, but are then twisted and conjoined with something false so as to create the impression of truthiness while smuggling in the false part). The guy is delusional, 2-faced, greedy as can be, and has no compunction whatsoever about immediately turning to underhanded, scummy, illegal tactics when facing legitimate business competition. I had naively thought he would compete on price and product like an upstanding businessman; instead he immediately went the zero-character route and tried to destroy me with false allegations and sundry other illegal tactics.

    So without further ado, let's get started. Over the next 3 posts I'll share 15 pics that will destroy the false narrative. Don't worry, haters: this butt-whoopin' will be fun and educational

  • #2
    This is my aquaponics tunnel that I had been experimenting with since January 2011. These pics are from 2013.

    This is a "constant flood" aquaponics system, meaning that the water level in the big 15'x11' gravel grow bed (i.e. the floor) is only a few inches beneath the top of the gravel. Poopy fish water is pumped from the 1,300 gallon fish tank (at the back end of the tunnel) to the growbed, where it is deposited near the door and flows back through the gravel before waterfalling back into the fish tank.

    This environment is perfect for doing airlayers by simply bending fig branches down to the gravel and pinning them down with some rocks or bricks. Since the humidity is so high down at the surface of the gravel (due to all the water inches below), the branches start rooting almost immediately at each leaf junction. The roots grow extremely fast due to the near perfect environment---substantially faster than they do with typical airlayers.

    I experimented with a Black Mission fig, placing a tiny plant directly into the gravel. A very short time later, it grew to be the small bush you see in the pics.

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    • #3
      Here you can see the roots growing out of each leaf junction. The roots were beautiful, strong, and free from any disease or pest, since typical adversaries like root knot nematodes can't survive in this sort of aquaponics system. (In fact, it even serves as a great way to rid an infested plant of rkn, since the nematodes get washed away and killed when they leave the roots during part of their life cycle.)

      After just 6 weeks I was able to cut the pinned branch at each leaf junction, thereby creating 6 new plants that I potted up for a few days while I decided what to do with them. (there was also a 7th that I potted up as you see in the pics, but it was the tip of the branch and didn't have roots yet, so it struggled and didn't make it)

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      • #4
        I decided to put the newly created trees in the ground. 5 went into a cluster in this greenhouse, and the 6th was planted outdoors. All of them thrived.

        So overall, I had created 6 new plants in just 6 weeks, meaning I started with 1 and ended up with 7 for a 7x increase. Also note that I did it in just 6 weeks, which is less than the 2 month figure I had conservatively used in my official propagation rate estimates.

        At this point it should be very easy to see how the propagation could proceed exponentially if desired: simply place the 6 new plants in their own tunnel aquaponics gravel grow beds and repeat the same process: let them grow, pin their branches down, and harvest the ensuing 'airlayers' in about 6 weeks. At the end of 6 months this process would yield almost 350 plants.

        It should also be incredibly obvious that these propagation rates could be ramped way up by simply pinning down more than 1 branch at a time. For example, I could have easily bent down 3 additional branches on the original tree, thereby rooting 4 branches at once. Each branch would have yielded around 6 beautifully rooted plants 6 weeks later, for a total of 24 new plants created in just 6 weeks, and many thousands in 6 months. This is what can be done with properly designed tunnel aquaponics systems.

        At this point, it should be clear that I was not deviously exaggerating about the estimated propagation rates I used when offering the $7 trees. On the complete and total contrary, it should now be clear that I was using extremely conservative estimated rates and that I was likewise being extremely conservative by limiting almost all varieties to 100 total sales, with a few being allowed to go up to 200 sales. It also bears repeating that all of my estimates were based on cold hard facts learned from actual hands-on experimentation.

        There was no guesswork: if I could lease the 10-acre field across from my house that had been open my entire lifetime, and set up more tunnel aquaponics systems, I could meet practically any production level needed, and rather easily at that.

        So why didn't I meet my estimated delivery deadlines? Because I couldn't lease the field even though I had already lined things up with the realtor.

        Why couldn't I lease the field? Because the owner of the field had gotten cancer and had to quickly sell off his properties and businesses. If I had gone to the realtor near the beginning of the $7 tree project, I would have been able to lease the property, put up all the tunnel aquaponics systems I would need (they're pretty cheap and can go up extremely fast, especially if you have cash to pay workers), and likely completed the propagation project in the original estimated timeframe (summer 2016).

        Why didn't I lease the field early on, when it was still available? Because Wills had already launched a smear campaign meant to scare people off, and it had an enormous affect: it initiated a colossal wave of doubt and cold feet, which chilled sales and sent my customer service time through the roof (trying to answer all the emails and reassure people that I indeed knew what I was doing). It was so bad that it caused me to get stuck not being quite sure if the sales would warrant and support the major financial commitment of leasing that land and building all the facilities. Without Wills' interference, I would have gone to the realtor the 1st week of the $7 tree sale, secured the lease, had the new tunnel aquaponics systems up and running within a month, and made everyone happy (well, everyone except for the profiteering competitors who want prices to remain sky high so they can milk as much profit as possible from their fellow collectors).

        Every single delay of this project goes back to the cascade of crap that resulted from Wills' underhanded smear campaign against me. ALL OF IT. Furthermore, without the smear campaign there never would have been the avalanche of emails/calls/pm's/etc that completely overwhelmed me, since the trees would have been produced and shipped on time, and since he wouldn't have been drumming up the doubt, cold feet, confusion, and anger that he did in reality. I have put probably 4 or 5 times more work into this project than it would have required without Wills. He has wasted my time, caused me enormous financial loss, libeled me, and defamed me...and yet the thing that still makes me the most angry is that he screwed over everyone in the process. His greediness hurt innumerable good folks who deserved better. Without his wrongheaded smear campaign, people would have gotten their trees on time and would never have had to go through any of the frustration and anguish that they've been subjected to over the past couple of years.

        It is time for the fig community to wrap their head around the truth and to rally to my side. I am a loyal friend to the fig community and have been since the beginning. I tried to do a good deed, got faced with a wrongful wrath of hate and sabotage, and still persevered despite extreme and prolonged hardship. It is time that I start being treated the way I deserve to be based on that reality, and stop being wrongfully treated as the thief/scammer/conman that Wills makes me out to be. I worked hard and used my gifts to discover and create something magical, and I wanted to share that magic with the whole fig community and use it to make everyone happy. My intentions were honest and pure from the beginning, and I absolutely had a great plan for doing what I said I could do, as has just been summarily proven in this thread.

        To all of you who have engaged in or supported the smear campaign, either creating or repeating the supposedly damning details of that fake narrative: Will you open your eyes and be fair now, even though it means admitting to yourself that you engaged in wrongful behavior towards me? The vast majority of people tend to cling to their wrong beliefs in such situations, even in the face of total proof, since they like to think of themselves as wise, good, and fair people. They don't want to have to admit to themselves that they got caught up in a mob mentality and committed atrocities of which they are now ashamed, so instead their minds get defensive and desperately search for ways to still rationalize their behavior. It's sad, but it's human nature.

        My question to you is this: will you stand up now and do the right thing, even though it's not the easy thing? Since my operating principle from the beginning has always been, "Do that which is in the best interest of the customers at all times," I was faced with the daily reality of having to choose the right/hard thing over the easy thing. For example, working 20 hours a day and sleeping on the ground out in the orchard because I was too tired to even make it back to the house. That was the hard thing, but the right thing to do. The wrong but much easier thing to do would have been to shirk the necessary work and instead go inside and post updates, answer emails, answer phone calls, blah blah blah. The people who think I should have spent that time communicating to them wrongfully think that there was enough time to do both; there wasn't. You would have agreed if you had been here yourself and been abreast of all the facts, but you weren't: you were sitting at your place in a state of ignorance, wrongly making presumptuous claims about the reality on the ground here and what I should be doing. Will you redeem yourselves? Time will tell.

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        • #5
          So to beat a dead horse...

          Those pics are from 2013. I had learned/invented a method for propagating figs 'impossibly fast' (impossible according to Wills and his vaunted band of 'experts', lol). The pics demonstrate how I created 6 new trees from 1 mother in just 6 weeks, and they show how and why each new tree started life with a big clean root ball (in a bareroot condition that could be immediately shipped to states that require barerooting). Furthermore, to everyone but perhaps the very dumbest of the haters, it should be immediately obvious that I could have easily propagated at an even higher rate by simply pinning down additional branches.

          In other words, it isn't just the case that I really could propagate trees at a rate of 7x every 2 months (which was the purportedly "impossible" rate I used for my later estimates)...I could in fact propagate trees at a rate of 13x or 25x every 2 months by simply pinning down a total of 2 or 4 branches, respectively, instead of just 1. And do you want to guess just how fast fig trees put out branches when they're growing in a greenhouse aquaponics system with unlimited water, nutrients, and light? You've never seen a fig tree really grow until you've seen it grow in that setting. It's breathtaking, even compared to the growth rates of established in-ground trees with loads of mulch and fertilizer. It's just not a fair competition.

          I had a plan in place from the very beginning to use this technique on a large scale to meet production if there were runaway sales. There was an open 10-acre field beside my house that had been open for 40+ years, and I had negotiated an arrangement to lease the land and put up large aquaponics greenhouses modeled on the small test system above. Issues of light and heat were trivial and had already been solved. And without the smear campaign against me, I would have leased that land, put up the greenhouses, and amazed you all with the magic I would have created. But instead I was trashed, seeds of doubt were maliciously spread, and sales were affected to such an extent that I was caught in an in-between state, not knowing whether to make the enormous commitment to lease and build next door or not. When I eventually decided after many months to make the jump despite continued volatile and unpredictable sales, I learned that I had just barely missed the boat: the owner of the land had gotten cancer, bad, and had been forced to quickly sell the land and his area businesses.

          I reported these facts online to the fig community along the way, but they were diminished or outright ignored, and were instead replaced in the forums with a never-ending stream of false claims and false allegations meant to obfuscate the truth. The simple truth is that I had a darn good plan and already had the techniques and field lined up, and everything got thrown sideways when the smear campaign caused me to wait a few months and the landowner got cancer. It was incredibly bad luck and bad timing, but there is simply no 'James was the bad guy' stuff whatsoever in the true course of events as they happened. I did due diligence. I had a great location lined up and a great plan. I was honest and straightforward with the entire fig community when all this went down, remember?? I went through that disappointment and the subsequent search for new land in a very public way (that was nonetheless ignored or misrepresented), and gave refunds to every single person who wanted one at that point. I have worked relentlessly ever since to follow through for everyone despite all the obstacles. And rather than being rightfully respected and thanked for doing that, I have been maliciously attacked and smeared on almost a daily basis. Shame on everyone engaging in that garbage.

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          • #6
            This nonsense even spilled over to my fish business, and I was forbidden from accepting pre-orders for fish despite never having a single customer complaint ever. Why? 'Just to be on the safe side' I was told by the assistant Attorney General last fall, right before I was to receive almost my entire year's revenues. Because, as I was told, 'what if a tornado hits and wipes everything out and there's no fish and no money to refund to the fish customers?'

            So I did the best I could, and cleaned up the previous year's heaters as well as I could (I get new ones every year because they're not reliable for more than 1 season), but it wasn't enough, and some of the heaters predictably failed in late winter.

            When 99% of my fish predictably died this winter due to my inability to adequately heat their water (since I wasn't allowed the pre-order money that I always use to do so), I lost around 1,000 pounds of fish that would have grown into around 4,000 pounds of stockers for this spring and would have netted me around $40,000. That money could have easily solved all of the lingering problems regarding refunds and lack of money for shipping of ready orders, but instead it all went down the toilet and several thousand innocent lives were sadly and needlessly lost in a cruel manner. I tried as hard as I could and did everything I could to save those lives, but Wills was successfully able to cause their deaths. Turns out Wills, Kelby, and the AG's office were the tornado.

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            • #7
              Hmm...If you could do it, why didn't you?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GetFiggyWithIt View Post
                Hmm...If you could do it, why didn't you?
                You could read the thread to know. Why didn't you?

                If you did read it, then did you not understand that part, or are you just feigning ignorance? It's pretty clear and straightforward so long as you're not blindly committed to the ridiculous false narrative about me.

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