Fish guts soup

No, it’s not dinner, it’s apparently the ultimate fertilizer.

I’ve been reading about and seeing it online a lot lately, so decided to have a go. It’s called FAA, which stands for Fish Amino Acid. It’s one of the tools of Korean Natural Farming which uses microbes to do most of its work.

I’m fascinated by using microbes to do the work in our garden, so have given it a go, writing this little guide for you in the process.

Of course, we’ll not know the results for at least 3 months, by when I’ll be itching for a peek. There again, I might have forgotten about it altogether, so if I haven’t posted anything about it by the beginning of December, please remind me!

Basically, it’s equal amounts of fish scraps mixed with an equal amount (by weight) of raw or brown sugar or molasses.

Molasses is one of the leftovers from the processing of sugar cane and essentially contains all of the goodies left behind after white sugar is extracted. In many cases, brown sugar is just white sugar that has had watered down molasses sprayed over it to add the brown colour back.


Here’s how to make your own FAA

This looks like a pretty easy and forgiving process. You will need –

  • A bucket with a tight fitting lid.
  • Raw seafood scraps.
  • Brown sugar or molasses.
  • (optional) A little Bokashi liquid or leachate.

It all starts with leftover fish
and a bucket with a tight fitting lid
Gloves are essential
Add your brown sugar
Mix it thoroughly with the fish scraps
Don’t forget to clean your work area.

  • Get your fish and seafood waste.
  • Don’t forget to snap on the latex or rubber (whichever is your particular kink). Gloves, that is.
  • Break the seafood into chunks
  • Mix in brown sugar or molasses.
  • Make sure all of the surfaces of the fish are rubbed with sugar. This is particularly true of the insides.
  • Rub it all again to make sure.
  • I’ve added a splash of Bokashi leachate. It’s an anaerobic process so I reckon this will help kick things off.
  • Seal up the bucket.
  • Hose it all down to prevent possible flies and smells from stuff you’ve spilled.

That’s all. It seems a pretty forgiving process. Now you put it aside for 3 – 6 months. In that time everything except for a few bones and shell should turn into an odourless liquid.

The key seems to be in the balance between raw material and sugar or molasses. They should be equal by weight.

The anaerobic bacteria will digest the seafood scraps and feed off of the sugar as well. With all that energy, they’ll make short work of the source material.

There’s more than enough liquid in the scraps to allow the bacteria to thrive. I’ve added an optional splash of Bokashi leachate which maybe will kick things along faster because it already contains anaerobic microbes and nutrients leached from the kitchen scraps in the Bokashi bin.

That’s it for now. In 3 months, I’ll have either the best foliar fertilizer in the world or a god awful stinking mess.

Wish me luck!

A family with a garden near Gawler where we experiment with sustainability.