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Old 06-19-2019, 01:59 PM #101
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Encarsia work well for whitefly,needs a few rounds to get rid of them though.They usually come as a program spaced a week apart for 4 weeks.Good luck getting rid of them,little fuckers can cause total devastation
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:47 PM #102
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Originally Posted by RandyCalifornia View Post
those are worm castings^
Thanks for confirming, like I said that's what I originally thought they were. I was surprised by how much there is, and how big it is. It makes so much sense to me now that they would call these worm castings, they are like molded clay or something. I guess I'm more used to Earth worm compost? I used to raise red wigglers, I would love to do it again here. Sadly I have only found one person with leaf litter worms, and they are 4 hours away and over priced.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:08 PM #103
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Originally Posted by Hookahhead View Post
Thanks for confirming, like I said that's what I originally thought they were. I was surprised by how much there is, and how big it is. It makes so much sense to me now that they would call these worm castings, they are like molded clay or something. I guess I'm more used to Earth worm compost? I used to raise red wigglers, I would love to do it again here. Sadly I have only found one person with leaf litter worms, and they are 4 hours away and over priced.
If you find someone with an abundance of horse manure you will almost surely find red wrigglers.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:23 AM #104
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I collect aged horse manure, as well as pick psychedelic mushrooms. I also do my own composting. I have yet to find any native composting worm a species. On occasion I find Hercules beetle grubs, locals tell me they taste like marshmallows but I've yet to try them haha.



Psilocybe cubensis

Panaeolus cyanescens
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:47 AM #105
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hookakead; is the manure piled up? that seems necessary to me. I even found composting worms here in Mexico from a horse farm that never heard of composting worms. same at my isolated farm in Canada.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:08 AM #106
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Yes, I collect from mounds of horse and sheep compost, and I screen the material. I haven't seen any worms. Maybe I should rummage through some fresher material? I have found deep dwelling earthworms while digging in the soil. I'll try to poke around and see what I can find this week, I would be stoked to have those little guys back again!

On the other hand, it's almost impossible NOT to culture black soldier flies here. I see the females all the time. I helped a neighbor start a bin to feed to some chickens and peacocks he raises. They are highly attracted to a bit of moist, fermenting chicken feed.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:44 AM #107
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So I have been doing a lot of reading/research this past week. I decided that I'm going to do a 2 part ferment/compost on the algae. So I went back to the river to collect some more. This time I collected from the right side, but you can see where I collected last week is growing back quickly.



I knew I wanted to collect a lot of material. I had originally cleaned out a 30 gallon trash can, I guess I was dreaming big haha. What I really ended up with was a large feed sack about 2/3 full. I hung the feed sack from a tree so that it could drain some while I worked.



After I finished collecting, the sack was still pretty damn heavy. So I came back to the house and ate lunch, smoked a bowl, screwed around a bit and finally went back to collect my goodies about 3 hours later. The sack was much lighter and not soaking wet, so I threw it on my shoulder and moved to the porch. I had more than a 5 gallon bucket worth, but not enough for the 30 gallon trash can... so I had to improvise a little bit. I took a large, heavy duty trash bag and put it inside another feed sack. I transferred the algae to it. Another reason I wanted the algae to drain out was so that it could absorb more of the 1.5 gallon of lacto/molasses culture I started 3 days ago. It took another gallon of water mixed with more molasses to get the whole thing soaking wet, but without any freestanding water. The idea is to do a very wet, yet still a "solid fermentation".



Then I took an old piece of hose and quickly sanitized it in some bleach solution. This was probably unnecessary, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I twisted the bag around the hose, and zip tied it into place.



The other end of the hose was placed into a bottle of water, making a rudimentary airlock. Sorry about the photo, the sun had set by this time.



The lacto culture I used was already chugging along nicely, and the extra molasses I added should keep them going. This should drop the pH somewhere between 3-4, effectively "pasteurizing" the material. After 10-14 days it should be done. I will then drain and save the liquid. I will mix a large portion of powdered egg shells into the solids. Eggshells are calcium carbonate, and are very good at neutralizing the lactic acid. I have been adding them during my normal lacto ferments as a buffer.

The high acid content should help break down some of the hemi/cellulose in the material, making it easier for fungi or other organisms to digest. I haven't decided whether I am going to do another anerobic ferment with a trichoderma culture, or use traditional thermophillic composting. I would prefer to retain as much nutrients as possible, which is why I didn't start with a traditional green/brown thermophillic compost. Compost is a great soil additive full of microbes, but is very low in nutrients compared to the starting material (most of it off gasses or washes away). I'm open to suggestions, I'm just playing around.

Side note: Research shows the bacteria can produce much more lactic acid in a buffered solution (their own metabolites are no longer hindering them). Using eggshells is a good way to get soluble calcium to your plants, and brings the pH up to around 6... so you're not dumping strong acid directly on your plants. I tend to use more like 1/4 cup of brew per gallon of water instead of 1-2 tbs that is normally called for... without any ill effect.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:27 AM #108
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Absolutely FAR OUT! What marvellous complexities we cannahumans can create!

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Old 06-25-2019, 02:13 PM #109
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Good time to add bio char if you’re using it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:14 PM #110
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I don't have real biochar, as in purposefully created in a low oxygen environment. I do however have the "charcoal" I posted earlier, which is just the unburnt remains of a normal fire. I don't want to use this in the first step, the ferment. The calcium carbonate from the ashes would counteract some of the lactic acid. In this step I want the pH to drop as low as possible to inhibit/kill off any non LAB microbes. I also believe the acidic treatment will help break down some of the cellulose. If I choose to do a normal thermophillic compost in the second step, biochar would be a good addition.

One of the papers I studied used lacto fermentation on urine. After the activity died down, they mixed the brew with biochar and thermophillicly composted it. The low pH environment inhibited the conversion of urea to ammonia, preserving much more nitrogen as ammonia gasses off easily. The biochar is very good at "holding onto" nutrients, and provides a carbon source for other microbes.
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