Adam Geriak

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since Dec 12, 2014
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Cape Cod, zone 7a
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Recent posts by Adam Geriak

Adam, does your fish manure come from a salt water farm or a fresh water farm? I wonder if it makes a difference.

Yes it is a salt water fish farm. I wonder how concentrated the salt will be on the waste product. If it is a problem, I also wonder how I could remove it?

I don't claim to have expertise in using fish manure as fertilizer but our garden produces a bounteous crop of veggies every year.

I think it would would great as fertilizer too, I'm not sure how this attachment thingy works, but I've just tried to attach an image of the chemical analysis.

I've been toying with the idea of selling this material to local farmers to spread on their fields/orchards/vineyards etc. What do y'all think?

I still think it would be worth a shot with pure waste stream chips and maybe some sand/silicates (which should be readily available on the cape). If you can get a 10 yard load of chips, mix that stuff in and passively aerate it with some good ideas on here

Composting it with wood chip really seems like a great idea. I am somewhat space limited right now. If I do some good clearly to a section of this land I'd have access to somewhere near 1,000 square feet on a rather narrow plot. I am a little concerned about running out of room. Anybody have ideas on how much space it might take to compost?

Maybe even strain it and sell it as a liquid fertilizer or a powdered concentrate.  Like fish emulsion where very small amounts are used? If it is super high in nitrogen then selling it as a "concentrate" that gets diluted could save lots of processing time.

I don't think I'd want to separate the liquid from the solid. From my understanding of nutrient cycling, N tends to be soluble and moves into water readily but P stays bound up to sediment. This is such a high P substance and I want to retain that. Now I'm thinking if I did dehydrate it then the N may evaporate away. I think if I am to use it as a fertilizer, then I'm, going to have to spread it on the field or garden whole.

Does anyone know how much farmers pay for fertilizer per acre? I wonder what the difference would be between price of synthetic and natural and organic fertilizers.

I've also just found that they market themselves as "Antibiotic, Hormone, and chemical free". Lol I hate marketing like this because you can't have hormone free fish! Or chemical free water...water IS a chemical!!

2 years ago

Tj Jefferson wrote:Nope, I try to do everything super cheap and I get free chips, but maybe someone else does. I think mixed with the perlite and fish sludge you would have a fantastic potting medium in 6-8 months. we have been discussing wood chip composting on here.

You would definitely have to turn it a few times but I think you could have a great product in bulk. You would need somewhere around 8x the wood chip mass compared with the fish shmutz. I dump carcasses in the wood chips and it works, but takes more time. Yours would degrade very quickly. They are likely paying a tipping fee- and you should be getting a portion of that too. I could charge $20 a load for chips, but I take them for free because they know they had better be CLEAN or they will be back paying to dump. My suspicion is that they are probably paying around $60 a dump liquid like that in MA.

and yes, thats a lot of chips. Like hundreds of yards if you are getting 600 gallons a week. It is doable if you have the space. Potting soil sells for about $100/yard in bulk, so most places make their own from bark, coir, sand, perlite and peat or similar mixtures. None of those are cheap though, and most are not biologically very active. Additionally, there would be some (maybe a lot) of mycoremediation of the antibiotics if you used an appropriate fungal tea, if they are using them. you may need to protect your groundwater from getting contaminated. Definitely not something minor but something absolutely awesome to do for the environment if they are otherwise dumping this stuff.

I am making mine from composted chips and I add in 1/4 dirt. Perlite alone is pretty valuable, I wish I had that deal!

This could be a waste stream business! My hero!

This is all very exciting isn't it? My mind is racing with the possibilities.

Are you saying to spray the composting pile with compost tea in order to mycoremediate? I'm not sure they use anti-biotics, they seem to be a "progressive" company, will definitely find out though.

Do you think there could be any retail application for this potting soil? Like a bagged option say? Maybe then I would need to screen it for a more picky demographic.

Do you think there is any use for this material without composting it? It is either a thick sludge or just a very wet perlite type consistancy. What if I was to simply dry it out (I'm thinking large solar oven) and apply it as fertilizer?
2 years ago

Tj Jefferson wrote:Mix it with wood chips and sell it as potting soil. You win from both the perlite and nitrogen. Thats a great resource. Are there any nurseries you could contract with locally to provide them with it? Potting soil sells at a premium.

You think wood chips? My instinct would be to mix it with sphagnum moss and compost for potting soil. Do you have any experience with making potting soil similar to that?
2 years ago

stephen lowe wrote:I'm not sure what fish manure is. Is it a byproduct of some sort of fish farm? The only thing I would be worried about if it is from a fish farm is antibiotics/other weird chemicals being fed to the fish. Also why is it mixed with perlite?

Yes this is an indoor fish farm. My best guess is that perlite is used as a filter to catch the fish manure. Good point, I suppose that would be a wise question to ask.
2 years ago
I've just come across a rather significant fish manure source relatively close to me. It seems to be about 500 gallons per week of a mixture of fish manure and perlite. Currently, the business is throwing this resource into the trash.

I'm wondering if anyone here has expertise about fertilizer and compost.

Does this resource need any processing before being used/sold as fertilizer? Is it more appropriately used as a compost additive?

Thanks for the input.
2 years ago
When the term "Reed Bed" is discussed, are we talking about a polyculture? Are there a wide varieity of plants that can thrive in this environment (zone 6). Also, can a similar bed be created from road runoff?
3 years ago
The front of my house faces South and we have a couple feet of exposed cement foundation. If I live in a zone 6 climate, how far could i experiment with gorwing out of my zone. I've thought about growing zone 7 plants, but could I potentially go zone 8 or beyond?
3 years ago
Hi Claire, I think my fiance and I are in a similar point in our lives as you. We are currently living on the cape. We are in the process of discovering community over here.

Good luck in your pursuit.
5 years ago
Hi Rob, My fiancé and I have goals and dreams of moving to Midcoast Maine, and we also have dreams of joining/starting an intentional community. Alas, we have a baby on the way and no money to speak of. So for the time being, we are stuck in the "rat-race" region of CT trying to save money.

Good luck on your search
5 years ago
Thanks for your response!

So root to root competition is an important factor when considering community composition.

How about mutualism? Is there any cases where the roots from 2 different plant species mutually benefit off of eachother?

My interest here stems from a garden design lens. Can landscapes be designed to maximize root-root interactions?
6 years ago