A way to make manure like amendments without any animals.
I know I'll be building a hoop house in the spring so I'm going to need a way to create a lot of compost cheaply and quickly.
The solution was found in a Mother Earth News, article by Roy Dycus.
Roy was doing some experiments to see how different mixtures of fresh cut greens would produce methane. While experimenting he noticed the bags were creating a manure-like compost.
What he did.
In the first step, he collected fresh cut greens pretty much anything he had around, grass, leaves, kudzu, comfrey etc.
Second, he put the fresh cut goodness in plastic bags and tied them loosely to allow the gas to escape. (If the ingredients are a little drier, as with his grass and leaf bag, just add a 1/2 gallon of water.)
Third, he set the bags out in the sun to let them brew.
During the experiment Roy checked the bags every three days, he noticed pungent odors like a silage or pickled smell.
By day 21 to 30 all of the odor was gone.
The leaves and grasses looked like normal compost and the sacks full of the wetter organic material resembled fresh cow manure. The really wet bags were like the freshest cow manure he's ever seen.
Roy replicated this experiment with the same results.
To test the manure Roy Dug holes four ft apart and placed a large shovel full of the amendment into the soil with no other fertilizing.
anaerobic compost will have an excessive number of ciliates, these critters eat bacteria, fungi, nematodes and all the other micro organisms we want to add to the soil.
ciliates thrive in anaerobic conditions only, thus by keeping O2 present we are limiting the ability of "bad" critters to multiply or even survive.
As we find out more about how soil organisms work, we also find out which "accepted" methods are actually more harmful than helpful.