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Tips for phosphorus content?

 
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Hello,
I'm running a small composting operation, using primarily yard wastes. My bosses do not want to use any manures, which seems to be the best source of P. Any ideas for something to mix in? Or is it just unlikely that we'll get a good P content without manure or food scraps?
 
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If the reason they're against manure because they're seeking to avoid using animals or animal products in their system, I suppose bone meal would be out of the question?

Because if they're okay with bone meal, it'll do the trick.

-CK
 
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Is wood ash a source?
 
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Clare, spent brewer's grain seems to be a source. I have composted quite a bit of it in the past and high P showed up in our soil tests.

SBG is dense and wet, so having a good source of chunky brown/carbon material like wood chip helps for preventing anaerobic pockets, as will thorough mixing...

Many breweries give it away for free, especially small start-ups. Most of them want a regular arrangement, and will pay $ for it (or they should, since they are avoiding a garbage bill, if that's the alternative).
A little more on that here: permies.com/t/97333/critters/brewery-mash-business-case
 
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Seeds, nuts and grains are excellent sources of Phosphorus.

As for sources from yard waste, chestnuts and related trees might be one option; it's rare to find one without a carpet of the seeds underneath it.  Might be hard to find enough to meet your needs, though.
If you live in an area with a lot of orchards, there might be a processing facility that can help. Peach and cherry processing facitlites must have a solid waste stream of the pits. Mango, Squash, and Avocado processors probably have a lot of seed in their waste streams as well.

Also, grain farms might have variable amounts of old or rotted grain they would be happy to have someone take off their hands. I've read that the current trade war is making grain hard to sell and storage facilities are charging high prices as they fill up, so some farms are storing it haphazardly in barns and sheds, in hopes that prices will move in their favor. But if it doesn't, that grain might end up being little more than a waste product.
Best of luck!
 
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hau Clare, I would bet that the reason your bosses don't want to use manures is because they think it will smell to high heaven.  
The others have mentioned great ways to get potassium into the compost without having to use manures at all.

If you talk to them you might mention that there are manures that don't smell when placed into a compost heap such as horse, donkey, chicken, well basically any manure other than cow, can be de odorized by placing it in the middle section of a heap.
If they don't feel up to giving that a trial, just bring up the other's suggestions, they all work very well.

Redhawk
 
Kenneth Elwell
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Dr. RedHawk, the manure restriction may also be for vegan reasons...
 
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Clare Lb wrote:My bosses do not want to use any manures

what they don't know won't hurt them. just take care not to get caught when you sneak in manures of your choice.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:Dr. RedHawk, the manure restriction may also be for vegan reasons...



Good soil contains earthworms, earthworms are not vegan so I don't think being vegan is a viable excuse or reason for not putting the best items for soil nutrient density into a compost.
The only way to not have "meat" organisms in soil is to not use real soil i.e. hydroponics, even aquaponics has a meat organism source (fish).

I know a couple that is vegan, they grow their vegetables according to what I teach with no problem.
 
Kenneth Elwell
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:

Kenneth Elwell wrote:Dr. RedHawk, the manure restriction may also be for vegan reasons...



Good soil contains earthworms, earthworms are not vegan so I don't think being vegan is a viable excuse or reason for not putting the best items for soil nutrient density into a compost.
The only way to not have "meat" organisms in soil is to not use real soil i.e. hydroponics, even aquaponics has a meat organism source (fish).

I know a couple that is vegan, they grow their vegetables according to what I teach with no problem.



From my understanding of Veganism, besides not eating animals, not exploiting animals  is another tenet. So, no honey, since one would be exploiting the bees; no leather; etc...
So, not using manures from animals, even though the animals are being exploited by others, still encourages that behavior to occur on your behalf, so that you would have the manure...
An argument could be made both for or against earthworms in a farming scenario... are you merely coexisting with the worms, or are you "feeding the worms" by your composting actions and thereby benefiting from the increased worm activity (read: exploiting the worms) and the worm castings... tunnels...?

 
Bryant RedHawk
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In my experience Zealots can be found in any movement, that doesn't make them right, just means they are engrossed and usually entrenched in that particular way of thinking.

Those that follow a strict vegan protocol are missing out on the total nutritional values their foods could have because of their beliefs taking president over scientific knowledge.
That is their choice and their right, I have no problem with them following their values.

But, when someone wants to improve the soil, I find it offensive for them to want to do it half assed because of their beliefs. That is just me and my 45 years of research work and no one else has to be like  me.
 
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