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BANGKOK 23 April 2019 05:31
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jandtaa

Composting, compost teas and humanure

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I put some corrugated cardboard above the heap yesterday in the hope that maybe a BSF would lay some eggs as this may be the easiest way to send. No luck, maybe too overcast and not hot enough, but will persevere.

I'm surprised that i have so many in the heap. I don't very often see adult BSF, just occasionally sitting on an eggplant leaf. In flight they look very similar to a mud dauber/potter wasp.

When I uncovered the heap yesterday, it was steaming. The grubs were happily feeding and apparently not bothered by the heat.

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Sounds promising. If all else fails a bag full of compost and grubs I suppose?

Changing the subject slightly, I am going to try something new. With my probiotic I get over the top temperature in less than two weeks in the thermophillic process. I am going to mix that stage of compost with rice bran, duckweed and probiotic (EMA style)and bag ferment it. After that I will mix in lime,gysum, dolomite and rockphosphate then pelletise it as fertiliser.

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I made my first compost tea. Used the dry cow manure from he market, in a bucket with a bubbler from aquarium. Nothing else addedd. Within a few hours of brewing the whole thing had a foam on top.

(I scraped it off thinking that it was going to overflow, not realising that this 'foam' was a good sign, and all was well!)

I bubbled for 24hrs, strained, then used.

My first attempt. Success. :)

One question though, is the leftover manure still good for applying to the garden, or for putting into the worm bin, or has all of the goodness been brewed out of it?

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I haven't forgotten you IA.

The problem is that I don't really have the numbers of BSF larvae in the compost at the moment.

I have had to keep a heavy cover on the heap because anything less just gets ripped apart by the local chickens eager to get at the grubs. Obviously the heavy cover probably makes it difficult for new larvae to find their way into the heap.

The wierd thing is that the BSF only seem interested in this one heap. This heap contains mostly kitchen waste, including fish, fruit cores and peels, bones, prawn shells etc. I keep a bucket at the house with some diluted EM and ALL the kitchen waste (including a lot of uneaten rice) goes in there. I keep it topped up with water just enough so everything is submerged. Bubbles away nicely and no offensive smells, just that strong sour odor. When it's full I take off the compost cover and add to the heap with a load of swept up leaves.

The BSF are only attracted to this heap, my other heaps that consist of only garden waste, cow manure and rice husks hold no interest for the BSF.

Maybe you could try this on a small scale somewhere, you actually may find that you do have BSF in your area after all, just that they don't find your compost attractive enough.

I've had absolutely no joy getting the BSF to lay eggs in corrugated cardboard - sorry, but will persevere.

Had another surprise this morning when I went to empty my house bucket on the heap. Took the cover off and saw that there were loads of small white maggots. I thought this unusual as BSF larvae are supposed to excrete something that keeps normal flies away.

I tipped my bucket of waste on top and was amazed to see these maggots start to jump. Considering their size, they could jump really high, maybe a foot. I've never seen anything like this before and found it fascinating.

A wonder of nature that is new to me.

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I made this a while ago:

This is emptying it (and done some other modifications)

Arjen

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