Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Check this link to a free e version of a 1940s book written by Maye E Bruce. Astonishing results in the production of humus from a Biodynamic-like compost activator. Just started on it so cannot comment, but it really is worth a read.

http://www.journeytoforever.org/farm_library/QR/QRToC.html

Photos are of the author at her desk and with her compost.

Happy composting -

Elaine

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Thanks for the link Elaine ~

I have comfrey, and have taught my mum to slash them and soak them in a bucket with lid to make liquid manure, she's been able to get at least 2 or 3 cuttings from one small patch of comfrey during summer ~ Although I think she didn't follow all my instructions and don't stir it while brewing or dilute it enough when using it ~

I've bought a packet of Yarrow seeds from ebay with the comfrey root cuttings, but they didn't seem to germinate, until I waited too long to tipped out the soil from the seed tray ... some feathery leafed plants grew at that spot and I think they could be yarrow... I will take a picture on the weekend and upload it, so someone more knowledgeble can tell me whether they are yarrow or not...

I don't know about elderflower.. google images looks nice, are they a shrub?
Hi Florence ... Yarrow are indeed the owners of feather leaves - on a rhizome, leaves look as though they are standing up direct from the soil. I found several Yarrow plants at Bunnings and bought my original one at a general nursery several years ago so they are not hard to find usually.

Elder - eek - now here is a weed-in-the-making. It suckers freely, it is a small tree or mine was until I figured it was going to take over the yard and chopped it down instead.

Comfrey tea - yecch. I'm not sure stirring would help much. It is given to clumping and rotting and stinking from the anaerobic bacteria. It's great stuff if you can stand the smell. I made mine in a 10L drum with a gauze lid and it still stank, air or no air - but not enough air apparently.

Elaine
I think it is BD that recommend everything has as much air as possible incorporated, Anthony recommends using a fish tank pump to aerate brews.
My comfrey grew better in Sydney than here, but still grows here OK. Comfrey doesn't spread in the way mint does - its big danger is if you disturb the roots, as any piece of root grows. So if you dig it up, you can end up with it spreading everywhere - very, very hard to get rid of.

I used make the tea in a big garbage bin but I'm with Elaine on that - it really stank. I've been wondering if aerating through flowforms or something might work.

The other thing I used do is pile up the comfrey leaves, run over with the lawnmower, and empty the catcher into the compost - quite an amazing activator and doesn't take very long at all..
Comfrey would probably do better in a cooler climate, I've never looked into it but I guess that it came from Europe. The recommendation for Briz is that it will do well in part sun - mine is on the south-east side of the house, and only gets sun to around 10am then the trees shade it.

It sure does grow from little bits - that's a blessing or a blight, depending on what you want!

Flow-forms - well if you have some, they would be ideal. They do a good job with liquid manure and BD preps. Have you got some or can you make some? Wouldn't mind some flow forms I could actually afford! The commercial ones are worth a king's ransom.

Your interim measure of mowing and composting the comfrey sounds like a very good idea. I just tear it up in small bundles and put it into the compost - it disappears very quickly and unless you've got heaps of the stuff, you could save yourself the petrol and just use your hands or hedge clippers in a barrow.
No, I don't have flowforms unfortunately - and yes, they are expensive.
This is interesting - a "garbage enzyme" developed in Thailand:
http://www.o3enzyme.com/enzymeproduction.htm
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