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the value of comfrey  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Mike Haych wrote:I would agree that the dandelion/comfrey is not a good comparison. Not sure why you made it....

Since you want to purse the dandelion angle, check the data for the dandelion plant.



It was one of the plants you listed. The whole plant has higher ppm but, again, comfrey is so much larger & you get 4 cuts per year it's silly to compare.
 
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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One of our cows got very sick with calcium deficiency recently and the vets here don't have the food supplement, they just offer to come and give regular injections. So I'm very interested in this calcium accumulator question. We give the cows our ground up eggshells, but that's evidently not enough.

In comparing various plants' ability to accumulate calcium, doesn't a lot depend on the availability of calcium in the soil the plants are growing in? The main source of fodder currently is fresh alfalfa, and poplar leaves. We've got pigweed (weedy amaranth) and other weeds in our gardens to feed the cow at this point, but is it really true that pigweed in the same garden will have much more calcium than, say, lambsquarters and malva neglecta? Sorry, we don't have comfrey at all in this region.

Thanks
 
Cj Sloane
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Rebecca Norman wrote:... is it really true that pigweed in the same garden will have much more calcium than, say, lambsquarters and malva neglecta?



That was a question of mine about that chart. I was wondering if it was all part of one study and if the plants were all grown the same way by the same person in the same plot! So many variables!

Where is the calcium for the eggs coming from? I just did a google search for calcium lock out due to pH and the whole page is totally weed questions - grown hyrdroponically! This might be the type of question for someone from the Ag dept or local university if there's someone like that near you.
 
Posts: 34
Location: West Tennessee
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I was planning to plant some Comfrey underneath my Red Bud trees. I know that these trees are Nitrogen fixing legumes. I would like to hear some thoughts about this before I plant. I think that it will not only look nice but the two plants would be mutually beneficial.
-tfrankeberger
 
Rebecca Norman
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Cj Verde wrote:Where is the calcium for the eggs coming from? I just did a google search for calcium lock out due to pH and the whole page is totally weed questions - grown hyrdroponically! This might be the type of question for someone from the Ag dept or local university if there's someone like that near you.



Oops, the eggs are from the market so the calcium is from outside. When we get a dog proof chicken yard and house ready we'll get our own chickens, but there are so many other building projects too.

Thank you for the tip on what to search google for, "calcium lock-out" and pH.
 
Cj Sloane
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I don't know if the calcium is being locked out, it was just a thought. Also, If anything is going to be able to bring up calcium I'd think it would be trees which you're already feeding. I think you might need to see what other locals are doing if they have this problem -and report back!
 
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Location: an hour south of Atlanta, Georgia
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The dwarf comfreys seem to be another species, not the Russian deep-rooted type. Does anyone know or have anyone grown a few of each? There are two variegated varieties, too. I think i understood that the dwarfs are runners, so have much more shallow roots. This, too, may have it's place. But, curious as to what others experienced.
BTW, is there a vegan or nutrition forum here ?
 
Posts: 166
Location: Kentucky 6b
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Troy McCoy wrote:Horizon Herbs offers Bocking 14 roots for a good price. They have a few different quantities, but here is a link for 20 live roots (could probably be divided even further, knowing comfrey's ambitious nature):
http://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=1606

-Troy
http://pittsburghpermaculture.org



That's actually a great price. Judging by the pics they don't look to be root cuttings so much as they are crowns. I bought 2 year crowns from Coe's, great guy to work with, and they ran $50 for 10, and he threw in 7 or so root cuttings for free. Put in last November so I'm looking forward to seeing them take off come spring.
 
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Hey guys - my most recent blog post is on using comfrey as a skin soother. There's a recipe for making Comfrey Cubes, which are the best things in the world for sunburns. Thought you'd like this one: http://www.nwedible.com/sunburn-soothing-comfrey/
 
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Location: Minnesota
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Erica Strauss wrote:Hey guys - my most recent blog post is on using comfrey as a skin soother. There's a recipe for making Comfrey Cubes, which are the best things in the world for sunburns. Thought you'd like this one: http://www.nwedible.com/sunburn-soothing-comfrey/



Thanks for this article Erica!
and love the light jab to us permies lol
I have run across your blog a few times and always good info. I have used comfrey many times on different ailments but never thought to freeze it for use later.
Great idea
 
Posts: 1995
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Just some feedback from a crude planting experiment I did last year.

I divided a crown and made root cuttings averaging about 3 inches long. I direct planted these in a number of places - sometimes directly through sod - and mostly just by a simply slitting the soil with a spade, dropping the rooted piece in, pressing it down iwth my heel and walking away. I didn't water, but the ground was reasonably moist. I wanted to see how lazy I could be getting these established.

This year I think about 40% of them established - overwhelmingly these were the roots stuck where there was some kind of mulch in place (mostly wood chip) and less competition from grass.

More recently still I divided a crown and stuck root pieces in pots with potting mix and gave them an initial watering before leaving them out in the garden. With these I had 100% success rate, and every transplant I have made has taken well.

My impression is that while comfrey has a reputation for growing from even a snippet of root, it does benefit from come care and attention when getting it established.
 
gardener
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I took this photo this morning.  What happened was I have a Jujube tree in its third year in the ground that has been struggling until this year, when it finally put on some nice growth.  There was a large vigorous comfrey plant next to it this summer that was starting to shade out some of its lower foliage, so I whacked it all down about a week ago and used it to mulch around a young fig tree nearby.  At the same time I also put my hose by the Jujube tree and gave it a long deep watering.  

So this morning I wandered out that way and saw that the comfrey had put out new growth about four inches long, which was being given the complete salad bar treatment by a turtle so happy (to find all that lush new wet growth in what is otherwise a very dry late-summer landscape)  that he wouldn't even go back into his shell at my approach.  Instead he gave me the territorial evil-eye as you can see in the photo.  

Obligatory on-topic "value of comfrey" comment: it attracts turtles!  

I posted same picture to my FaceBook with the comment "If this turtle could Yelp, I believe I would be getting a good review for the Organic Comfrey Buffet at 101 Jujube Tree Place."
 
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Steve Nicolini wrote:How long did it usually take you to gather the slugs and drown them?  Do slugs benefit a farm in any way other than feed for ducks?

Who here has eaten comfrey?



I've taken comfrey tea, occasionally. It is very comforting with a good dab of honey, and a finger or two of whiskey on cold nights. Eating comfrey raw, I can't see that happening: It has hairs on the leaves that might irritate your mouth. Cooked, then? I have not tried, but a meal of it as a vegetable once in a while should not be a problem. As usual, when we think about potential damage to the kidneys etc, DOSAGE is what should be considered. Alcohol is even good for you in small doses, like an occasional glass. A bottle of booze a night is probably not that great for your health either!
I use it as mulch [it decomposes amazingly quickly and kills weeds if thick enough] and on the side, as fodder to my chicken:[It disappears very quickly too]
Here too, remember that variety is the spice of life, and I would not raise my chickens on comfrey only. Every day, I give them scraps of a lot of things, including the occasional road kills, grain, hay... They should have variety every day.
 
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Hello my name is Gilbert Brandt is there anyone interested in russian blocking 14 root cuttings for 75 cents a piece. I also have root crowns starting a $5 dollars if interested you can contact me here are at gilbertbrandt28@gmail.com thank you.
 
pollinator
Posts: 319
Location: Clemson, SC ("new" Zone 8a)
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gilbert Brandt wrote:Hello my name is Gilbert Brandt is there anyone interested in russian blocking 14 root cuttings for 75 cents a piece. I also have root crowns starting a $5 dollars if interested you can contact me here are at gilbertbrandt28@gmail.com thank you.


Hello Gilbert, just FYI, you should also post this in the Blatant Advertising forum...  https://permies.com/f/149/blatant-advertising

Good luck!
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1995
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Michael Cox wrote:Just some feedback from a crude planting experiment I did last year.

I divided a crown and made root cuttings averaging about 3 inches long. I direct planted these in a number of places - sometimes directly through sod - and mostly just by a simply slitting the soil with a spade, dropping the rooted piece in, pressing it down iwth my heel and walking away. I didn't water, but the ground was reasonably moist.  I wanted to see how lazy I could be getting these established.

This year I think about 40% of them established - overwhelmingly these were the roots stuck where there was some kind of mulch in place (mostly wood chip) and less competition from grass.

More recently still I divided a crown and stuck root pieces in pots with potting mix and gave them an initial watering before leaving them out in the garden. With these I had 100% success rate, and every transplant I have made has taken well.

My impression is that while comfrey has a reputation for growing from even a snippet of root, it does benefit from come care and attention when getting it established.



I just rediscovered this comment from 2 years ago and it is due a revision. It turns out that my success rate with this lazy-planting strategy for comfrey roots is more like 80%. Plants that did very little beyond make a single leaf last year and much stronger this year. I've got more crowns that are ready to divide as well, and more fence line that could benefit from it. Ultimately I'd like to see if comfrey can displace stinging nettles along the fences where the mower can't quite cut.
 
pollinator
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Leah Sattler wrote:wow! sue thanks. I am going to have use comfrey slug traps protect my garden (especially my cabbage) next year! the beer traps were pretty pathetic and a pain to maintain.



Stop drinking the beer. Job done!
 
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Another comfrey lover here. Our whole family has actually eaten, battered and deep-fried, and lived to tell the tale.  Just eat it in moderation. Tastes like a lot of other deep-fried food. We also use it medicinally, externally. I've a friend who frequently incurs sprains to various extremities (she claims it's because she's a dancer) and she swears by the efficacy of a comfrey poultice. It was called knitbone for a reason. I know lots of other great uses have been mentioned, but I don't think anybody's really highlighted how much pollinators love comfrey. And it just keeps blooming and blooming, falling over, blooming some more. How excellent is comfrey?
 
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