Sunday, May 12, 2013

What's Growing On?

Things are looking alive in the one flower bed I planted about 2 weeks ago. I went up to Santa Rosa last week to drop off that monster worm compost bin and a rain barrel at my buddy's place. It freed up some much needed space. While I was up that way. I had planned on stopping at Sonoma Compost in Petaluma. I love their compost and have been using it for quite some time now. I had spoken to Josh over at Boogie Brew a few days prior and decided to stop in and see him for a few things. Turns out, he has his hands on the composting business too. So I took a yard of his stuff instead. It was kind of a nightmare when I got back into Oakland.
We had lifted the compost, which was in a huge nylon tote bag. Into the bed of a little pickup on a pallet. Well..... somehow the weight of the compost shifted. Forced open the tailgate and slid its happy ass right out the back, onto busy Harrison Street traffic. Somewhat funny, but how the hell was I get this back into the truck? For being the skinny fuck that I am. I have some strength to me. So I figured I would flag down 3 other fellas to help lift it. But not a damn person would stop! Bay Area sucks for stuff like this. People are so caught up in their own stuff, they seldom help anyone out. I've experienced this on many levels. I'm not just saying this based on one experience.
I ended up using a 5 gallon bucket to shovel all the compost out of the nylon tote into the bed of the truck and once the tote was light enough to pick up. I threw it into the back.
I've brewed 3 batches of this Boogie Brew compost tea. I gotta admit, I like it better than my own compound. My plants germinated really fast and since inoculating the compost with this worm tea. Everything is looking insanely healthy.
The micro biology taking place in the veggie beds are allowing available nutrients in the compost to become easily available to the roots of the veggies growing. Essentially the soil is alive! I don't have any discoloration in leafs, I'm not noticing any aphids or white flies, and these plants have a glow to them like one has after getting laid really good.
So in conclusion. The ideal is to build soil. Not just any ol' soil either. But yet healthy, nutrient dense, and soil that is alive with trillions of micro organisms. And I did this with a few ingredients. My veggie beds are 10' long x 5' wide x 18" tall. Which will hold about 2 cubic yards of soil. The ingredients consist of: Mallard Plus & biodynamic Compost from Sonoma Compost, about 100lbs of worm castings, 6 bags of biochar, 50lbs of glacial rock dust, 44lbs of azomite, 15lbs of Oyster shell (fine grain), 15lbs of Sea kelp, and a 5lbs bag of RTi's Mycorrhizae. I mixed it all up while dumping each wheel barrel into the bed and every 6 inch I gave a good watering to make sure there was moisture throughout the entire thing. Once done. I brewed 20 gallons of worm tea. Showered the compost with that brewed worm tea. I let it sit for a day and started planting my seeds. Minus the tomato plants. I started those indoors a while ago.




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  2. I had built a giant worm compost bin in addition to my much smaller one, which I use most. I decided to built the big bin (5'x10') to generate some income. But I don't produce enough waste to feed worms on my own. So I'm in the process of working with small home gardeners and cafes to run food waste through the worms. I'm avoiding manures and landscaping items because I don't know enough about the sources.
    I don't need to do heap composting because I don't have typical landscaping. Native plants will drop their leaves and whatnot and I just let it decompose right there.
    I fetched compost for the veggie beds from outside sources because I'm seeking the best in quality, which I haven't produced myself. Though this doesn't have to be the case for everyone. I'm on a very small lot of land of only 1/10th of an acre. Of that, 1200 sq. ft consist of house and garage and very little concrete for the driveway. I just don't have enough space to produce 10 cubic yards of compost for these beds.