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Nutrient cycling fish guts etc

 
Tracey Chappell
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Hey guys I'm helping some friends with a design for their small suburban block and need some ideas. He's a keen fisherman and has a fish cleaning sink outside. Currently it all collects in a bucket then she digs it into the garden. We are looking for a way with less handling (baby number 2 on the way and less digging space with all the plantings) to get the fish guts into the system. I thought of some slotted pipe going straight into a veggie bed but I think the stink coming back up the pipe would be bad. Someone suggested a worm farm but I can't quite picture how this would work given the height of the worm farm under a sink etc. I thought maybe putting an empty top tray under the sink to catch the guts then placing it straight into the worm farm? Their composting skills are basic so don't want to risk a rat infestation. Any ideas? Thanks.
 
alex Keenan
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Many many decades ago I worked at a trout farm. One of my jobs was cleaning fish. The guts went into a bucket and then into a hole in the ground.
I remember going on hog food runs where we collected fish heads and guts to feed to pigs.
Later I worked at canneries in the summer while going to college. Waste was ground and piped into the bay.
Times have changed fish waste is now used (except bycatch but the is another story)
What you have i a lot of protein. Heat it up to kill parasites and you have something poultry or hog would likely eat.
Run it through a garbage disposal and you can easily mix it with a carbon source like wood chips or saw dust.
Smaller parts are harder for rodents to get.
One person I know butchers chickens and covers with a few feet of wood chips. Does not take long for protein to break down.
 
John Duffy
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You might try some Black Soldier Fly larva. I saw a You tube video where they demolished a large salmon carcass in about 48 hours. Nothing left but a skeleton
 
Marco Banks
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Perhaps it would be easier if you could start with a long trench and then you wouldn't have to always dig a new hole -- you'd just drop the fish guts into the end of the trench and back-fill just that part. It would take a lot of buckets of fish guts to get to the end of the trench.

Hire someone to dig the trench for you and then the hard work would be done. But in the meantime, once you've got the trench dug, as you wait for the fish to bite, perhaps you could plant something down in the trench -- tomatoes? Then, as the bucket needs to be emptied, you dump it next to a growing tomato plant, backfill to cover the stench and keep the flies away, and enjoy the bounty of the tomato plants even as they enjoy the extra nitrogen and nutrition they'll get from the fish guts.

Did that make sense?

Tomatoes would work well because you can bury the vine and it doesn't hurt the plant at all. So a 1 foot deep trench with a 3 foot tall tomato plant would hold a lot of fish guts, and would give you months of hole-digging relief. You might even use that trench to toss other compostable bio-mass into. Again, all of it would help your tomatoes to thrive, and it would hold more water as well.

Around here, there are always a group of day-laborers hanging around outside the Home Depot, looking for a job. I'd grab one, and put him to work for two hours digging a long trench. It might not even take him that long. For $20, you'd be set for the rest of the summer and fall.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Why not take the fish parts and turn them into fish emulsion? That way you can just dilute and water the plants with it.

Fish emulsion is not hard nor time consuming to make just take all the fish parts, fill a blender or food processor add water a little at a time and whirr up, when the liquid will pour easily you just pour into a jug and cap.

If you want, you can even ferment the emulsion but it really isn't necessary. I use fish emulsion on fruit trees, all the vegetables, grape vines, herbs, etc. Works a treat and if you are a fisherman, it is free.

I've seen people go to the trouble of drying the really juicy parts first but I have never bothered taking that much time.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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I would throw them right to some chickens, uncooked. It's amazing what funky stuff they will eat, and turn into eggs and meat, without harm to themselves. Cooking it or feeding it to soldier flies just seems like an extra step, though that might help with tough parts (though I can't imagine what would be that tough on a fish. I cook up whole trapped rodents and chickens can then eat them skin and all) You will get a lot of the fertilizer value back out the other end of the chicken (and this can then go to soldier flies to ratchet the nutrient loop a bit tighter)....
 
jimmy gallop
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Location: east and dfw texas
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I throw all of mine in a blue 55 barrel with a lid its there till I need it been putting them in there for 2 years now you do have to pick your times for opening it.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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