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Marital composting

 
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My better half has now taken over all composting and has created 4 large bins, 1 household waste with worm bin inserts, 1 without, 1 for doggy doo doo and 1 for humanure production. I chop and drop anything he doesn't manage to get his hands on.....
My comfrey, when not chopped and dropped goes into a potato sack in a large water barrel and I use that for watering esp tomatoes and corn. Should I only be doing this one a week or more often. Is there a way of making a concentrate?
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this was absolutely not the content I expected from the thread title.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Tereza Okava wrote:this was absolutely not the content I expected from the thread title.



He will be going in the 3rd sack along if I dont get a proper bed and kitchen soon....
 
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hau Mandy, I would like to suggest that DH reconsider the separation of pet manure, it could be added to the humanure bin  with no ill effects, which would leave you an extra bin for creating microorganism rich compost specifically for compost tea production (or just another bin for regular compost for the gardens).

It sounds like you have a good stand of comfrey, do you cut up the comfrey stalks when you put them into the potato sack for steeping in water? (more surface area equals more "tea" getting into the water)
I think a weekly dousing with this comfrey tea is plenty. You can make a concentrate of comfrey, it will just take some time and a little heat.

How to make a comfrey concentrate:
gather comfrey and chop coarsely, place in large stock pot, pressing the comfrey down as you load the pot to within 3 inches of the rim, add water to just cover the comfrey.
Place the filled stock pot on a burner and turn the heat on as low as it will go, cover the pot, check often enough that the water is just below simmer (we simply want the water to be hot no boiling or simmering).
Let the pot stew for around 4 hours then turn off heat and let it cool completely still covered (this takes up to six hours).
Once the water is cool to the touch, separate the liquid from the solids, empty the solids into a bucket for adding to compost heap, pour the liquid back into the pot and set heat to a low simmer, reduce the liquid by 1/4, at this point you can sterilize some canning jars and lids.
One the liquid has reduced by 1/4 pour into the prepared canning jars and set lids and rings. Now you can decide how long you want to keep this concentrate, if you want to keep it for more than one month you will need to water bath can the jars, if not, place the cool jars either in a cool and dark place or in the fridge.
Water bathed jars will keep in a dark place for up to 1 year.

Redhawk
 
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Canning your compost tea??? Interesting idea. Id like to know what the house would smell like when boiling down the comfrey. Welcome to the new "boot" Eric Fischer !!!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Bill, a comfrey decoction isn't really a compost tea, it is a true decoction of a single plant and would not contain any of the microbiome organisms.
The technique doesn't boil the comfrey, it steeps in heated water that would be around 180 degrees f, boiling is 210 f, the smell is not overpowering at the lower temp needed for any part because you are never over 195 f.

Since it would be a simple decoction it can be canned for keeping over an extended period of time because there are no desirable microorganisms in it, just the minerals and other nutrient compounds.

Compost teas always contain microorganisms we are trying to install into soil, which is why we want to grow them and immediately use them so they remain viable and active.

Redhawk
 
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When using the comfrey decoction ( never heard this term before ) what ratio to water should it be applied with, and how frequently?
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Mandy,

It sounds like you have a good stand of comfrey, do you cut up the comfrey stalks when you put them into the potato sack for steeping in water? (more surface area equals more "tea" getting into the water)
I think a weekly dousing with this comfrey tea is plenty. You can make a concentrate of comfrey, it will just take some time and a little heat.

How to make a comfrey concentrate:
gather comfrey and chop coarsely, place in large stock pot, pressing the comfrey down as you load the pot to within 3 inches of the rim, add water to just cover the comfrey.
Place the filled stock pot on a burner and turn the heat on as low as it will go, cover the pot, check often enough that the water is just below simmer (we simply want the water to be hot no boiling or simmering).
Let the pot stew for around 4 hours then turn off heat and let it cool completely still covered (this takes up to six hours).

Redhawk



Brilliant idea for canning! I will make this on the sun oven which will keep the concoction at a tad below the simmer then let cool over night.
Yes I do chop my comfrey for increased sa/v, (chem teacher).
I am just about to chop one of my 4 nursery beds prior to splitting so as soon as my lastest batch of dog food is cooked and canned I will be on this like the flies around a certain couple of compost bags....
Thank you so much for your help, Redhawk.
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Bryant RedHawk
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Robert Dearborn wrote:When using the comfrey decoction ( never heard this term before ) what ratio to water should it be applied with, and how frequently?



For the last 4 years I have done experiments with dilutions and came to the conclusion that most liquid amendment materials do best at a 10:1 dilution.
Frequency is normally once per week but every other week works well for established plants that you are just wanting to maintain health with the additions.

In the world of the herbalist decoctions are very normal to make, we are taking all the goodness out of the herbs unlike making a tea, where you are trying to leave the bitter compounds in the tea materials.
 
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