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I have 2 - 50L buckets of fish guts/ bones, how best to use?  RSS feed

 
dan collins
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Location: Nova Scotia
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Given 2 - 50L buckets of fish guts/ bones tonite, what would you do, in need of ideas? Must be delt with sunday morning(stinks and I live in black bear country). Been thinking of putting in hugel bed proir to the wood being buried after digging 18" deep bed maybe 10' long.

 
John Polk
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That would certainly give you a good dose of Nitrogen for your bed.
But, DO get it buried before the black bears find it.
They will come looking once they get a whiff of it.

 
chip sanft
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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I think I'd just bury it. Bears have amazing noses and if they get curious they're going to dig the stuff up. I'm not saying don't bury it -- that's what I'd do. But I wouldn't spend a lot of time setting things up: if a bear digs up some buried fish guts etc., it's no big deal, unless you spent a lot of time getting your bed set just right.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Similar question--I want to remediate soil with fish bones without remediating my already-questinoable popularity with my neighbors right out of this neighborhood. In other words, without having it stink to hi high heaven.

* I can buy bone meal (at 3x the cost, and even thought it's "organic" I don't think that mean its from pasture-fed animals or anything. So I think it might not even have enough phosphorous to do the job right, plus I don't know for sure if fish bones are specifically significantly better for this than any other kind of bone.
* I can buy fish bones, with some meat still on it, and try to bury it, take it out when it's "dry", and then spread it on my bed.

I am in an urban area. I don't think there are bears. But there is a possum, my two feline landlords, Apollo and Snowball, and of course raccoons. Then there's general unknown. And, once i buried it, it would kindly begin to remediate the soil where I buried it while the stuff rots (which isn't the area I'm as concerned about).

What I really want to do is drop fish bones ground up as a kind of dust on top of the soil AND the mulch, let rain wash it in, let it enter the system a little wee bit at a time. But without stink. I'd rather not till it into the soil for mulitiple reasons. I could spike it in, I suppose, but again I have concerns about animal interests.

Anyone have any ideas that don't involve something exotic I don't have a way of getting? would black soldier flies be something to research here?

(BTW I am already growing sunflowers to remediate slowly, but I want to take a two-pronged approach).

Thanks permageniuses!

 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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BSF larvae are great if you get a few fish every week or every other day, but not if you get 100 liters of it in one bunch.

Burying it and composting is about the only thing I can think of for binges like that.

 
John Elliott
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I would suggest cooking it first. Applied directly, you are going to have rotting fish stink until the bacteria have done their work. If you cook it, that is going to remove a lot of the potential offensive odors. And then the bacteria can still do their work breaking it down into plant nutrients.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Thanks. So it'll still have a pretty good stink, no? I'm thinking I'll need to find someone who has a farm/field and enough space to burn it to ash.

Would just using seashells work equally well?? It seems like calcium phosphate is the thing needed, and that's in compost in general, and more highly concentrated in bone of any animal, and the reason for using fish (wild caught) is just that they have less lead in them than industrial farmed animal bone meal? and that it might be cheaper/free?

Thanks much!
 
John Elliott
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Seashells are just calcium carbonate, they don't contain any phosphorus/phosphate.

If you burn your fish guts to ash, you will lose the nitrogen in it, but you will be left with the phosphorus and potassium. When I said "cook", I was thinking of boiling it -- enough to denature the proteins, but not enough cooking to burn off the nitrogen.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Thanks! i am thinking of asking for crowd-boning--like crowd-funding but everyone in the neighborhood contributes bones from their fish or meat that they buy and then in a few years they can have a carrot. Who's in? Seriously though, I would be happy to share from the garden when it's producing in a few years.
 
John Elliott
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I'm looking forward to the upcoming deer season down here. I'm going to leave buckets with all the deer processors so that they don't have to worry about any stinky bones piling up. And then they go in with a biochar burn.
 
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