Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cho Inputs part II

Drake and I made three inputs today.  IMO #1,  Lactic Acid Bacteria, and Fermented Plant Juice.

Rice baskets to prepare for IMO #1
IMO #1 is the corner stone of Natural Farming.  The first step is to collect the leaves from your local area.  These aerobic microoganisms like 70% shade, not too wet.  Drake and I went into the forrest on the side of our house and in a bamboo forrest near us and searched through leaf piles looking for those with visible signs of white mold.  We cooked dry and fluffy white rice, waited for it to cool, then placed them into a lahala baskets leaving one-third air space and put the lahala lids on.  Lastly we placed those baskets onto our dirt floor shaded greenhouse surrounded by the leave we collected and covered with a straw mat and old bed sheet.  We are hoping to find white cottony mold in the air space of each container in about 4 days.

Drake placing mold leaves to surround rice baskets

Next we made Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB).  Because these are anaerobic microorganisms they are used to create balance when making compost and are powerful tillers making soil soft and fluffy.  The first step is to collect the water from rinsing rice and let it sit for several days with a paper breathable top to culture microorganisms.  Then pour milk (I used powdered milk) filling container to 2/3 full over the rice rinse water.  The ratio is nine parts milk to one part rise rinse water.  In five days or so the solids will float to the top of the container and these may be discarded or feed to animals.  The clear liquid at the bottom is the LAB.  Mix this liquid with equal parts (50/50) of brown sugar to preserve and stabilize the LAB for long periods.

Rice rinse water, powdered milk and the Ball jar  to make LAB

Lastly we made fermented plant juice (FPJ) using comfrey leaves from our garden.  I conclude this post by citing a few attributes of this amazing plant from wikipedia.  FPJ uses sugar to extract the essential and vital properties of the plant through osmotic pressure.  These properties can be transferred to other plants in your garden by spraying typically at a ratio of 1 to 500.

Drake with Comfrey leaves and brown sugar for FPJ

Simply gather the plant leaves, knead brown sugar (50% each) into the leaves, and pack into a container, again leaving 1/3 airspace on top of jar and put a breathable paper cover on.  In 5 days or so the liquid will separate, poor that off and you have FPJ.

Brown Sugar and Comfrey Leaves
Pack into jar 2/3 full

Comfrey is a particularly valuable source of fertility to the organic gardener. It is very deep rooted and acts as a dynamic accumulator, mining a host of nutrients from the soil. These are then made available through its fast growing leaves (up to 4-5 pounds per plant per cut) which, lacking fibre, quickly break down to a thick black liquid. There is also no risk of nitrogen robbery when comfrey is dug into the soil as the C:N ratio of the leaves is lower than that of well-rotted compost. Comfrey is an excellent source of potassium, an essential plant nutrient needed for flowerseed and fruit production. Its leaves contain 2-3 times more potassium than farmyard manure, mined from deep in the subsoil, tapping into reserves that would not normally be available to plants.

One of the country names for comfrey was ‘knitbone’, a reminder of its traditional use in healing bone fractures. Modern science confirms that comfrey can influence the course of bone ailments.[
The herb contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. Comfrey was used in an attempt to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from bronchial problems, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. It was reputed to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating "many female disorders".

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eric, I'm so glad I checked out your blog. I've actually been trying to find out where I can get Comfrey locally. I am not very familiar with the plant but from what I understand there is a variety that is propagated via root clumps rather than by seed? I have been trying to find Comfrey to experiment with as chicken feed supplement. From what I have read, a few plants is supposed to provide the daily calcium and protein requirements for laying hens. Any information you would like to share on where to get, or how to grow comfrey would be greatly appreciated.