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8461Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: soil science part 3: microbes

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  • Anders Skarlind
    Dec 19, 2008
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      Dieter ...

      At 05:25 2008-12-19, you wrote:
      >Jeff, Anders,
      >My comments regarding the reduction in volume or mass during heap
      >composting are widely known facts

      got any reference?

      > and not limited to my own compost
      >heaps. If you add manure, soil or well cured compost, you obviously
      >have to deduce that amount from your calculation.

      say 10% soil+old compost and 10% manure would be typical for my composts

      >With manure this reduction in volume takes place inside the animal.
      >If you compare the amount of vegetation consumed by an animal with the
      >amount of manure produced, the comparison is likely to be even more
      >unfavourable. Obviously, part of it is converted into meat or milk,
      >but another part is lost due to methane emissions etc.
      >It is simple: every conversion includes losses, there can never be a 1
      >to 1 relation. If you convert DC to AC and then back to DC you are
      >bound to have considerable losses. Hence, direct application of OM
      >which avoids conversions such as heap composting and manure involves
      >the fewest losses.
      >Dieter Brand
      >PS: Anders, in Natural Farming, roots stay in the soil, they should
      >never be on the compost heap.

      Because you shouldn't do any weeding right? Do you live up to that
      yourself? And is it your opinion that this is always practicable on
      the way to NF?

      My opinion is that NF is an interesting concept. I fell in love with
      this idea immediately when I heard of it 27 years ago, but in
      practice it has not turned out to be a directly workable route for me
      in my northern cold and fairly humid climate, with my fairly poorly
      drained clay soil. With my methods I may or may not end up in the
      ideal world of NF, with all its no's. I don't really care which. I
      think somewhat differently. If I can grow sound crops and improve my
      soil and get my growing system working in partnership with nature, I
      don't really care if this involves some weeding and working of the soil or not.

      Interesting that NF is so full of people who only want to think
      inside of a narrowly defined NF box. I can't help wonder if this has
      something to do with the predominance of vegans in NF circles.
      (Excuse me for this impass. Just my preconceptions on vegans popping
      up - generalised from a bunch of folks I've met through the years. A
      rule with a few exceptions.)

      You rarely fall trap to this, Dieter, but sometimes even you, it seems.


      >On 12/15/08, Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
      > > Yeah sorry about that ...
      > > I was thinking sawdust, not wheat straw...
      > > I just looked it up...
      > > wheat straw (fresh) is between 75-125 depending on the source
      > >
      > > but the end still applies.. finished compost still has a low
      > > percentage N content (lower ratio means bigger finished compost)...
      > > instead of having 100 lbs of compost we would have about 320-480lbs
      > >
      > > ANd that INCLUDES THE MICROBES...
      > > The microbes do not fly in with their own nitrogen supply, they come
      > > in and dine on what's available
      > >
      > > I think the problem with Dieter's compost is he ends up with piles
      > > that are A) too much browns, and B) too dry.. this of course increases
      > > the losses of the CO2 back to the atmosphere
      > >
      > > I think my problem is my piles never get big enough,
      > > mine take a full year to compost (but I have a frozen season), and
      > > never get warm to the touch,
      > > Interestingly my pure leaf mold (sheet) only takes 1 extra month over
      > > my mixed garden and grass compost.
      > >
      > > very little Nitrogen is fixed by COMPOSTING microbes.
      > > although in soil there are some microbes that do independly fix
      > > nitrogen, this process isn't at all optimized in an active compost
      > > pile, my understanding is even though those microbes are not symbiotic
      > > , they do depend on a great deal of rooting exudates for food
      > > source,.. that is they are specialized and are not capable of using
      > > complex molecules typical in compost piles (cellose, hemi-cellose,
      > > lignin), although there may be likely some of the EM or BD innoculants
      > > contain A) these N fixing microbes and B) food that they can use like
      > > molasses or milk solids, the ammount of fixation would still be
      > > dependent on the food supply, and would not amount to a great deal in
      > > a short period of time in a compost pile, but rather are ecologically
      > > important in the fact that they help balance the 'small' portion of
      > > natural losses over long periods of time.
      > >
      > > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Anders Skarlind
      > > <Anders.Skalman@...> wrote:
      > >>
      > >> At 22:49 2008-12-14, Jeff wrote:
      > >> >I don't understand this. Well cured compost has very little N. In
      > >> >fact a lot of it is lost during high temperature heap composting
      > >> >
      > >> >In a way you are right
      > >> >Ok, start with 1 ton of wheat straw, organic matter is roughly 50
      > >> >percent carbon
      > >> >SO 1000 lbs carbon, the straw has a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 600 to
      > >> >1.
      > >>
      > >> A more typical number would be 60:1.
      > >>
      > >> Anders
      > >>
      > >
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