Hi all, I know I'm pretty late to this thread, but this is my first experiment with making liquid fertilizer from weed and grass clippings. I started this 3 days ago, with a 45l air pump aerating the brew, and the fermentation took off. The pics below show how active the fermentation was at 24 hours in, and now at 72 hours. Its fermentation activity is drastically reduced.
My question is how long do I leave an aerated liquid brew like this?? I can only find info on non-aerated brews, but I'm not sure how long I can keep an aerobic brew like this going. I'm concerned that the rate of fermentation is greatly increased, and I shouldn't let it brew for as long as I would in an anaerobic brew. Or does it matter cause it's constantly aerated
He did say in the video that the ditution is 1 to 10 not 1-2 as quoted. In making nettle ferments if the nettle is used for a nutrient it is appled one way and if it is aged and allowed to ferment it is used for insect control . I do not think grass works the same as these herbal ferments . I feed my grasses to my animals .
Couple years ago we cut the weeds on a parcel of land about 6k sq meters. Got lazy and left the piles for more than 6 months, ended up with a form of compost. The next year we forgot a couple piles which were under some non-productive mango trees. Voila! We got mangos. At that point we moved all the rest of the piles (not under mangos) and scattered on our garden, which covers about 500 sq meters. Weed pulling there now takes about 30 minutes a week. The weed mulch covers the dirt (which hardens quickly under the sun here), maintaining the moisture. As a result, when we plant we no longer till, in fact, we no longer use a shovel, just digging with our hands. We then piled the cut weeds in our trenches (pathways) which pulls water from the drive and is about 2-3 feet deep in places. Not only is it soft to walk on barefoot, but it also protects the moisture and is cool on the feet. We love weeds. The 6k sq meters is slowly being converted into orchard, but there will still be weeds. We have another parcel about 2.2 sq meters that will be the new weed garden.
We have never used any commercial products on our land, which has never had commercial products before us.
We highly recommend weeds! Makes the job easier!
Charlotte Anthony - If you mean fermenting for fertilizer, I am leery of doing that, as the weeds we use are 90% cogon or more, which is an invasive weed. We are careful to cut these weeds before flowering, as the flower contains at least 3000 seeds, and, when using as mulch we monitor every day for any sprouting and remove that immediately before the roots take hold. Until there is more research done on cogon fertilizer, I think we will refrain (unless we do a very small segregated test area). Beginning to research the silica crystals and uses. Cogon here is used for thatching, and many farmers use it for cattle feed (the cows turn up their noses at the cogon when it is barely a shoot, and when it begins to flower, only eating newly mature leaves - watching a cow turn up her nose is quite a site to see!).
Thekla McDaniels wrote:As Juan says, anaerobic fermentations, whether teas or piles, create substances toxic to plants. The decomposition of your weeds or grass clippings is where this thread starts, but there are micro-organisms participating in the decomposition process. Which micro organisms is determined by the conditions in the broth/pile. The anaerobic organisms make some lethal things, and gasses are lost to the atmosphere as well. Since we all breathe it, my bias is to keep it clean
I would dispute the assertion that anaerobic fermentations create substances toxic to plants. Anaerobic fermentations are used extensively in Korean Natural Farming to good effect.
Furthermore, gassing off of nutrients happens more, not less, in aerobic composting. This is part of the reason why JADAM (offshoot of KNF) prefers anaerobic composting or fermentation. The other reason is that it's easier and far less time/resource intensive than aerobic composting. You need a container, lid, and water. No airstones or vortex machines necessary. I read how Paul Wheaton is no longer in favor of aerobic composting, since after all the gassing off and labor turning piles, you end up with 5% of the original volume.
Actively aerated compost tea is touted to provide more of the "beneficial" microorganisms. You also are supposed to get fewer undesirable ciliates. JADAM says to stop thinking in terms of beneficial or nonbeneficial microorganisms. JADAM says that despite recent advances, we still understand only a tiny fraction of what is happening in the soil.
So we have a bit of a clash between two respected contributors to biology based growing methods. I have to say that aerobic composting seems to be more trouble than it's worth here in dry southern california. My compost piles dry out instantly, even in the shade. I tried a hugelkulture, but it's a lot of work. Anaerobic fermentation in mostly airtight containers seem like the lowest labor/input nutrient recycling method, the biggest downside being the smell if you don't use sugar (which feels wasteful in its own way).