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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Compost

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  • Adam Henne
    I wouldn t worry about aiming for a pH level. You get the compost you get, and you can test it when s it s done breaking down, and amend it accordingly when
    Message 1 of 7 , May 17, 2002
      I wouldn't worry about "aiming" for a pH level. You
      get the compost you get, and you can test it when's
      it's done breaking down, and amend it accordingly when
      adding it to your soil. You might want to just try
      breaking up large chunks, with a chipper or just a
      machete or something, and add nitrogen-rich raw
      materials like grass clippings or manure.
      adam
      --- Zack Domike <arcada888@...> wrote:
      > A question on compost. I have built on a small
      > site,
      > and so lifted alot of sod. This is dense with roots
      > of shrubs, and not composting very rapidly. I have
      > the sod in piles elevated on stick "platforms."
      >
      > Any suggestions about the pH that I should aim for
      > in
      > compost? What else could I use to layer with the
      > root-bound sod that will hasten bacterial action?
      >
      > Thanks, Zachary
      >
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    • RobinFern�ndez-Medina
      In Mollisons books I read that a healthy soil tends to hover around a few Ph points from Neutral. Natural action corrects Ph is what I understood. Do nothing
      Message 2 of 7 , May 18, 2002
        In Mollisons books I read that a healthy soil tends to hover around a few Ph points from Neutral. Natural action corrects Ph is what I understood. Do nothing approach.
        Robin
        Allan Balliett <igg@...> wrote: >Any suggestions about the pH that I should aim for in
        >compost? What else could I use to layer with the
        >root-bound sod that will hasten bacterial action?

        I always try to get at least one third high quality animal manure
        layered into my stacks. I would also work to get some finished
        compost to use to innoculate the new pile, especially if you have
        doubts about it.

        -Allan

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      • souscayrous
        The intuitive appeal of compost is manifest: the organic movement has sought the perfect compost as its holy grail for almost a century now. I suppose the
        Message 3 of 7 , May 18, 2002
          The intuitive appeal of compost is manifest: the organic movement has sought
          the perfect compost as its holy grail for almost a century now. I suppose
          the first thing we must realise is that Natural Farming is not Organic
          Farming. This is how Fukuoka puts it in The One-Straw Revolution (page 13 of
          the pdf version found in this groups files section);


          "The second is NO CHEMICAL FERTILIZER OR PREPARED COMPOST People interfere
          with nature and, try as they may, they cannot heal the resulting wounds.
          Their careless farming practices drain the soil of essential nutrients and
          the result is yearly depletion of the land. If left to itself, the soil
          maintains its fertility naturally, in accordance with the orderly cycle of
          plant and animal life."

          And, again, on the following page (14), he goes on to illustrates the
          confused thinking of modern agricultural practices (a mind-set that organic
          agriculture shares);


          "I have been known, in chatting with soil fertility experts, to ask, "If a
          field is left to itself, will the soil's fertility increase or will it
          become depleted?” They usually pause and say something like, "Well, let's
          see ... It'll become depleted. No, not when you remember that when rice is
          grown for a long time in the same field without fertilizer, the harvest
          settles at about 9 bushels (525 pounds) per quarter acre. The earth would
          become neither enriched nor depleted."
          These specialists are referring to a cultivated, flooded field; if nature
          is left to itself, fertility increases. Organic remains of plants and
          animals accumulate and are decomposed on the surface by bacteria and fungi.
          With the movement of rainwater, the nutrients are taken deep into the soil
          to become food for microorganisms, earthworms, and other small animals.
          Plant roots reach to the lower soil strata and draw the nutrients back up to
          the surface."


          Simple alternatives to compost for soil improvement are cover crops, green
          manures, and mulching with whatever you have to hand. Check out the archive
          section of this group for some previous discussion concerning soil
          improvement.
          The essential difference would seem to be to not incorporate anything
          directly into the soil but let it be drawn in by the action of earthworms,
          rain, microbial breakdown etc: in other words to let the soil work on the
          organic matter at its own natural rate, if not..."(such) practices drain the
          soil of essential nutrients and the result is the yearly depletion of the
          land."


          Souscayrous...enjoying the bountiful rainfall of Spring


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Robin Fernández-Medina [mailto:flyingdebris1@...]
          Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 6:25 PM
          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Compost



          In Mollisons books I read that a healthy soil tends to hover around a few
          Ph points from Neutral. Natural action corrects Ph is what I understood. Do
          nothing approach.
          Robin
          Allan Balliett <igg@...> wrote: >Any suggestions about the pH that I
          should aim for in
          >compost? What else could I use to layer with the
          >root-bound sod that will hasten bacterial action?

          I always try to get at least one third high quality animal manure
          layered into my stacks. I would also work to get some finished
          compost to use to innoculate the new pile, especially if you have
          doubts about it.

          -Allan
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