Strange Brews

Most things have now either been direct seeded or transplanted into the field. We will get some photos up of the field as it grows periodically, we promise. However, the theme of this entry is all about fertilizing. We have been working on ways of giving our plants that extra boost in their early days in the field. We have been given some great advice from the local farmers and have started using materials we have on farm to mix into helpful concoctions.

Nettles and comfrey are both abundant here and both are amazingly nutritive and medicinal herbs. They are also fabulous fertilizers if you turn them into a tea. We did two separate barrels, one for each. We chopped each of the plants’ fresh leaves into these buckets and filled them with water. We let them sit for a couple of weeks to go through their fermentation stage. They got very stinky for a bit, but once the smell and bubbles abated, we knew we had come out the other side. It is ready for use now on the plants…diluted of course, as it is such strong stuff. Nettle is high in iron and magnesium  and comfrey is packed with phosphorous and potassium. Both are an all round nitrogen boost.

Comfrey and Nettle tea

Comfrey and Nettle tea

 

Filling the manure tea bags.

Filling the manure tea bags.

Steeping the bags.

Steeping the bags.

 

 

And did I mention stinky? The next ‘tea’ we made was chicken manure tea. This valley is know for being low in phosphorous and we have access to old, decomposed chicken manure here on the farm (chicken droppings are high in the stuff). We did much the same thing as we did with the plant teas, but shoveled the manure into two giant ‘tea-bags’ (two old pillow cases), dropped them into a super large container of water and have let them steep. So far they smell like…..well I don’t want to say, but needless to say we have ourselves a crazy strong mixture of phosphorous rich fertilizer. 

You might want to think twice next time when we ask you around for tea!

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