Yesterday received a call from a friend who works at a local health food store saying that they had some spoiled fruit (bananas and apples) and that I should come pick some up. Well, they had 30 boxes of bananas there out back to be thrown in the dumpsters.
Why so many? Instead of the 7 boxes they ordered, 30 were delivered by mistake and were destined to be dumped that evening. I couldn’t believe the waste! All these boxes of perfectly good bananas – just trashed. I told the guy why don’t they call up the local homeless shelter (even brought up the LA zoo) give some to the workers — somebody to take this food!
This year we are using moremycorrhizae in the garden than in previous years and each Friday the guys brew up a batch of compost tea for foliar. OK, it might be a figment of our imagination – the tomatoes look larger and healthier… but the true test comes in summer!
This growing year it’s not a matter of just growing plants, but improving the soil and optimizing the plants productivity and disease resistance.
This recent NewFarm.org articlespotlights a Pilipino farmer (Gil Carandang) who is cultivating microorganisms using household items as vodka, sugar, milk and rice. This is really exciting stuff, we’ve already been interested in adding more beneficial indigenous microbes to our little plot of land.
In 2003 Gil was at the Eco Farm Conference ( same time we were up there to give a workshop) . We purchased his paper ($10) that was sold there and have yet to try his revolutionary (and downright simple) method — due to there is no “recipe” or measurements. We really need to time experiment – time and experimentation are key to better learning and understanding. I did email him and he said he’ll have some recipes by late May.
Hmmm, could see a mirco-lab in the basement (well, that is when we clear all the pots and stuff out)
Excerpts from theNew Farm article:
Rather than grow plants, Carandang advocates growing soil. Not multiplying dirt, but building up the soil’s life and diversity—that is the foundation of this system. And the building blocks are microorganisms, whose most essential work is to break down nutrients into forms that are accessible to plants and animals. Without them, the planet would be bare rock.
….Patty Salmon is a goat rancher who has been turning her farm organic for years, but has always hit a wall when it comes to feed. With only 8 acres, she can’t possibly grow all the grain and forage for her herd of 100. Carandang explained that his brother, a chicken farmer, ferments his feed and applies Lacto bacillus to it. This causes a pre-digestion that makes a greater percentage of the nutrients available to the chickens, and results in their eating less. Salmon thinks maybe she can extend her reach by doing the same. (this is something to consider – especially for the urban and city “farmers” )
read more >>
HAPPY EARTH DAY!
Weather Report: Nice.