Bringing home the goodness

The new fertilizer extractors are going to get a workout.
The new fertilizer extractors are going to get a workout.

I’m sitting at Cafe Sia, writing this post. I thought I’d spend more time in the community and support local businesses a bit more too. So…I’ll be writing my Monday posts from here and my Thursday posts from Poetic Justice. If you’re nearby from 10 – 11 on those days, give me a wave or come and sit and (Covid permitting) we can wave at each other from 1.5 metres apart.

Nettles, Thistles and Banana skins - awesome fertilizer ingredients!
Nettles, Thistles and Banana skins – awesome fertilizer ingredients!

Bringing home the goodness

Lots of folks spend much of their gardening time removing weeds. Many even remove them from their property – via the green bin!

At Ligaya Garden, we often bring IN weeds! Many weeds are super nutritious for both us and the garden. Even those that we use for the garden provide nutrition for us eventually through the vegetables that we eat from our block.

Nettles and Thistles are classic examples of plants that are reviled by some gardeners but loved by us! They’re so rich in so many things that are good for the microbes and soil fauna in the front garden and the microbes in the aquaponics that we just love bringing them home.The chooks love them too, so whatever we don’t turn into beautiful, potent, liquid fertiliser goes to them and is eventually converted to eggs and chook poo. This week we also scored a big box of potassium rich banana skins too!

The chooks get leftovers from the fertilizer production.
The chooks get leftovers from the liquid fertilizer production and produce…more fertilizer!

I went today to harvest both from Greg’s Shared Garden where they abound in unsprayed glory! Harvested about 3 kg of fine, young specimens for drying and tincturing for their direct health benefits. Another 10 – 12 kg came home to be added to the Compost Tea Press to make my potent extract for the garden and aquaponics. Over one or two more bumper weed harvests, this should provide enough concentrated liquid compost tea for the rest of the year.

This is the first of two batches I’ll make. That should be enough for the next 12 months. My Nettle and Thistle extract, when blended with a Comfrey extract gives a massive boost to flowering, fruit set and retention in the right season. It makes Tomatoes go crazy!

We're comparing Nettles prepared the traditional way.
We’re comparing Nettles prepared the traditional way.

This year, I’ll be making a Nettle tea the traditional way by fermenting it in a bucket for several months. We’ll see how the stinky brew does by comparison.

Collecting weeds also has further ecological ramifications. By collecting them, we are reducing the amount of seeds out there and reducing their spread. This helps land owners manage their infestation problems with less or no use of herbicides. That makes it a win win situation that, in this area benefits the health of our rivers too!

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