More goodness for the garden from waste materials

Hi Everyone! I’m happy to bring you our first post from Ligaya Garden for 2022!

Not spaghetti sauce, Fish Amino Acid vinegar extract!

The pic above’s not a bucket of spaghetti sauce, its actually a bucket Fish Amino Acid vinegar extract erm… extracting. Smells great too! It’s the second stage in the process of drawing out the maximum goodness from fish scraps and because the first extraction stage, the traditional method of making Fish Amino Acid (FAA) fertilizer using sugar or molasses in an anaerobic environment reduces the smell a lot, when I add vinegar to the leftovers, the smell is just that of pickled fish. Delicious!

Waste and pest damaged fruit can be fermented and returned to the soil.

In the bucket in the next pic, all of the fruit that’s been damaged by varmints is getting a second life and fermenting nicely into a liquid brew so that it doesn’t get wasted and boy are the varmints busy this year! We have a plague of rats getting at the fruit trees and the Tomatoes. They’re like kids and don’t bother with the leafy greens (of which we have heaps) but want the brightest, prettiest things, then they take a couple of bites and ignore it. Maybe I can work out a way of making fermented rat liquid fertilizer…but I don’t think I’ll go there…

A rat attacked Plum!
A rat attacked Plum!

Fruit is pretty well the life goal of most fruit trees and they put a lot of energy and nutrients into producing it, especially phosphorus and potassium and this is one way to reclaim some of the nutrients so that they can be added to the root zone of the trees without the hassle of making regular compost. All you have to do is soak waste or scrap fruit in rainwater for a week or so (in this warm weather) and naturally occurring microbes on the fruit’s surface will start the job of fermenting the fruit for you. Then you just strain and water the resulting liquid onto the root of the plants that the fruit came from. Easy!

We don’t have a compost heap here in the garden. We have a deep litter system with chooks working over most of the organic material that comes into the garden, breaking it down, removing bugs and mixing poo and feathers into it. We also make a lot of liquid additives for our plants and soil and as I’m getting the hang of making them, I’m also incorporating them into the aquaponics. The ultimate goal is to reduce the reliance of fish as a nutrient source in the aquaponics system. The fish will just be pest control and the homemade liquid fertilizers will be the nutrients. Such a system is called ‘bioponics’ and reduces many of the expenses of an aquaponics system, especially on in which the yield is reduced because folks like us don’t eat the fish. Plus it’s one less thing that needs doing.

The pulp left after either of the mixes I’ve shown you today get  strained out and are favourite of the worms in the worm farms.  I think I can hear them smacking their lips now. At least, I think it’s their lips  💋 😅

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