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Making your own fertilizers -

 
James Slaughter
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out of weeds, snails (slugs), fruit pips / seeds?, etc. Anyone have any experience of doing this? The idea is about creating a more scientifically measured (as to npk, calcium, micronutrients, minerals) product for application than the standard "compost tea" that is created by soaking random material in a barrel and straining off to mix with water for root application.

DRY mix - dried material, ground, and then either mixed with water later or applied directly to soil.

LIQUID product - such as seaweed solution, fish fertilizer, etc. I'm sure this would be a potentially smelly process.

Just wondering if there could be any potential for doing this not only for the value to the farmer but also as a potential product for sale at the farm gate. Many people are more used to the idea of a more concentrated form of fertilizer, rather than the old grab a shovel and get some ****.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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I think there's a lot of making special fertilizers in Biodynamics.

 
James Slaughter
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Yup, they sure do. However I believe their preparations still fall into the category of scientifically unmeasured in regards to the chemical results.
From wiki - "Steiner believed that these preparations mediated terrestrial and cosmic forces into the soil." Though they may have some basis in science, and though they may work, I doubt that most people in the home garden would want to do "Yarrow blossoms (Achillea millefolium) are stuffed into urinary bladders from Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), placed in the sun during summer, buried in earth during winter and retrieved in the spring" or "Chamomile blossoms (Matricaria recutita) are stuffed into small intestines from cattle buried in humus-rich earth in the autumn and retrieved in the spring".

I guess I'm searching more for a chemists approach, with a proven, measurable, and stable product at the end.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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James Slaughter wrote:
I guess I'm searching more for a chemists approach, with a proven, measurable, and stable product at the end.


Looks like an excellent and worthy project!

 
Leila Rich
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James, I think the old 'it depends' is in full-effect here
I don't know much about artificial ferts, but I imagine part of their attraction is a consistent, predictable result, whereas my slugs would probably have a different nutritional value to yours...
While I understand your desire for definitive answers, I think permaculture and biodynamics have a...fluidity...that is just too complex and unpredictable for industrial ag mpk paradigms.
 
James Slaughter
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http://www.nutrisoil.com.au/nutrisoil/

and

http://www.nutrisoil.com.au/images/uploaded/0000/0307/Laboratory_Report.pdf

just as a reference to what others are currently doing.

Though this may not be 100% accurate at least it gives a point of reference and perhaps a good model for a sale-able permaculture product. God knows, come the end of oil, fertilizer prices are bound to bloom...excuse the pun.
 
Leila Rich
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Oops, I should've been more specific: I think that while it's totally possible to get predictable outputs from predictable inputs, part of permaculture's attraction for me is unpredictability.

 
John Polk
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The unpredictability factor will always be there...that is part of the challenge.

If you produce one ton of comfrey leaves on nutrient rich soil, and I produce the same quantity on nutrient poor soil, you will have a much richer fertilizer than I will. A dynamic accumulator cannot accumulate what is not there to start with.

Industrial agriculture is essentially practicing "hydroponics" on a large scale. Hydroponics is the practice of raising crops in an inert media, and artificially supplying the needed nutrients with the irrigation. The lifeless dirt they use cannot feed the plants...they need to supply all of the required nutrients artificially.

A pound of soil can grow food. A ton of dirt cannot.
 
chrissy bauman
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Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
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why dont you make a big batch with all your leftover scraps, then send it off as a soil sample? then you can mix up your own personal recipe.
 
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