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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:41 pm 
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Location: Norman, Oklahoma (Zone 7)
I read somewhere that CaptainCompostAL added a few cans of canned fish to his compost tea...can we do that? Sound icky, but I would like to try it. Can someone give me an idea of what might be the benefit of this idea and also what might happen once I do it?
Blech... :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:15 am 
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As a sustainable (not necessarily a strict organic solution) answer, you can buy many sardine/herring products that are packed in soybean oils. Herring fish is cousin to the menhedan fish which is what most commercial fish emulsions are made from today. Fish oils are both a natural sticker-spreader as well as a great beneficial fungal food in composting and aerobic tea brewing.

Using any form of fresh or cooked fish stuff is best used in aerobic tea brewing, if it is slightly decomposed first in a separate closed 5 gallon bucket, mixed with extra heavy browns like sawdust or ground pine needles, with extra molasses or sugar in it for faster decomposition and more fungal growth first, before applying to the aerobic tea brew.

The extra constant oxygen and added sugary products in the fishy tea brew, will totally mask the natural fishy smells, and make the high proteins and minerals in the fish more available to the plants as a foliar/soil drench at application time.

Beneficial fungi like mycrorhizza help make phosphorus more available from complex proteins to plant roots than aerobic bacteria can in composting and aerobic tea brewing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:35 am 
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If you decompose fish in a closed container, won't that go anaerobic? Do you need to provide air somehow?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:53 am 
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I leave my 5 gallon buckets closed with the lid on lightly, not tight.
After a few days, you can see a great layer of white mold (fungi) on top of the moist fishy, sawdust, undone compost mixture. By the way, all beneficial fungi are aerobic.

After I put some of the fishy paste in my aerobic compost tea brews with more sugar or molasses in the brew, the fresh healthy aerobic bacteria and fungi and actinomycetes from the mature compost in the tea, digest and control all the pathogenic and anaerobic microbes in the tea brew in aprrox. 1-3 days of constant aeration.

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 Post subject: Pathogenic microbes?!?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:25 pm 
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Speaking of microbes, I have an additional question for you.

It recently rained here in central Oklahoma. I suppose you Texans out there just received a little of that 800 mile Thunderstorm that just moved Northeast from Mexico. Well, I put out my big trashcans to catch some rainwater (boy did I). One of my cans was half full of rather fresh (week old) grass clippings (mulched and chopped fine). Well, that can filled up about 3/4 full. I stirred it a bit yesterday and it STANK! Like something dead. Well, I thought to myself...aha! I'll make "compost tea" or something like that. I stirred it up really good and and let it sit until this evening (24 hours). I stirred it real good again and strained off all the saturated, stinky grass clippings onto my compost pile (which I had just turned and added extra shredded newspaper to, in order to soak up some of the heavy moisture). ..the brown ucky water, however, I scopped up and poured on my bush beans. I poured the remnant on the grass and beside of redbud tree. Both of these sites I don't particularly value, just in case something went terribly wrong...I didn't want the experiment to go awry with my precious babies.

Did I just pour anaerobic, pathogenic microbes all over the place? Will it all die, or just ...grow normally? I will watch for the next week, but I wanted to check with you guys first. Is this nasty stink the product of UNfinished compost...and should only very decomposed material be used in soil drenches/foliar sprays...or was my "brew" okay and somewhat (maybe) beneficial?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:14 am 
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As long as you have a healthy garden, with rich organic soil, with good natural mulches, there should be plenty of good healthy aerobic microbes from the soil, mulches, and the air, to neutralize any pathogenic or anaerobic microbes from your tea recipe.

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