I wasnt sure where to post this but I guess it fits in organic. I post mostly to ask about the subject but I will first post what I know or think I know so others can go on from there.
Chitosan is a substance that you obtain by first demineralizing, then deproteinizing (spelling?) and finally deacetylizing chitin. The process is done by subjecting chitin from insects, fungus or crustaceans to alcaly substances and warm temperatures.
But why make it? Proponents claim that it inmunizes the plant to insect attack by simulating it and making the plant inmune system kick in before there is a pest, has the same effect against fungal diseases it seems. It also stimulates chitin disolving fungi and bacteria in the soil and they afterward guard plants against attack.
It can be applied as a foliar spray, drench, with irrigation and mixed with compost before going into the soil.
Now for my questions:
DO anyne know of a simple, economic and farm friendly way to produce it?
Do anyone have experience with it?
Is it more effective than just blending chitin?
Thank you very much in advance.
In regards to prawn (shrimp) shells, I don't know about the commercial use of such things other than as an arthritis treatment, but, when dried and powdered they make a very good natural flavour enhancer in Indian/Asian dishes - a 1/4 of a teaspoon added to a big pot is all that is needed.
preheat oven to 200C
remove prawn shells and heads from green (raw) prawns
place all the shells and heads onto metal trays - don't crowd the trays, leave space so they dry properly
place trays in the oven and turn the oven off
it may be necessary to mix the shells around to ensure even drying - DO NOT COOK THEM.
As the oven cools, leave the door ajar
This process REALLY smells, so it's best done in summer when the house can be left open, or otherwise done in an outside oven.
Once the shells are completely dried, use a grinder (preferably a hand grinder) to turn them into powder/flakes.
place in screw top jars and keep in a cool dry place - they will last for years - decades.
You may consider using the same stuff on plants to see if it makes a worthwhile additive to soil.
'Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.'