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gixxerific
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Don't be hard on yourself we are all learning here.

But I believe what the theory on the same fungal treatment would coincide with human disease. Take the flu virus you give millions of people the same vaccine against the same strain of virus eventually the virus will evolve to where it is not affected or as effected. Same with the evolution of a species after a while it will evolve to overcome hardships. Hope this makes sense.

Oh and about the times there was basically 3 times to let it go. I don't have time right now (working on this deck next door) but can't remember off hand but at different time limits encouraged different types of teas. One was more microbial one was more fungal and the other can't quite remember but get he idea. Hope you understand and hope I explained it at least half right.

Thanks for your help, after I get this going I"ll be able to help you and the circle begins. :D

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Wow did this heat up fast... :D

O.K., here goes...

The sugar thing. SImple sugars are best; that's why we use molasses instead of more refined stuff. I was experimenting with a dried honey and getting good results, but way more expensive. And molasses doesn't make it foam (we see foam on surf and in rapids, right? Not a drop of the stuff in sight :lol: ). Molasses is an excellent bacterial food, which makes LOTS of proteins and THAT'S what foams. Yucca and saponins are also famous for foaming; if it get's to be an issue, just a wee drop of EVOO smooths the roiled waters...

Corn stimulates a specific fungus (Trichoderma) which in itself is antifungal. Like I said, fungus is the hard part in teamaking, so I'd skip the corn in the tea and do that directly on the leaves ONLY when I saw fungal issues. Trichoderma can be pretty aggressive and non-specific; it eats everything. I discussed this species with Dr. Ingham as an anti-fungal and her comment was she didn't like relying on any one organism for anything; a balanced ecosystem is what we are striving towards, so ANY dominant organism is a bad thing (Human beings, take note... :roll: ). THIS is why I like switching up and changing things; remeber the old lady who swallowed the fly? Let's be sure we don't have to get to swallowing horses, right?

Fish emulsion and hydrolysate are not really the same thing; emulsions are just ground up fish guts and bones. Hydrolysates start there, but use enzymes to further the breakdown and make a finer, more stable product (mineral contents from bones and such is more readily available). Cold processing is another key thing to look for; many of these products (emulsions AND hydrolysates) are by products of other industries, and a lot of the time there is cooking involved which makes things seperate a LOT more. I found an inexpensive hydrolysate from dogfish, but further investigation found they were cooking it to extract the shark cartilage, and it broke down way too fast and got stinky a LOT quicker, as well as being pretty oily, which doesn't help the tea one bit either. Cold processed is better for everybody, nose included...

Timing your tea; sorry to disagree with T$, but over 36 hours has been shown in the lab (Dr. Ingham's lab, among others) to gain nothing and often allow for food, or worse yet, oxygen depletion. In some cases there may be benefits (hard to extract foodstocks), but I have done hundreds, nay thousands of tea quality assessments under a microscope and 36 hours is almost always optimal, no matter what the recipe. Rolling a little of the last batch into a new one can be beneficial and I DID read a white paper about long brewing, actually letting it get slightly anaerobic and bringing it back to widen the facultative anaerobe population, but that's a little advanced for those without the professional tools to assess it and I wouldn't recommend it for home gardener's (if the tea goes bad, don't use it in the garden, dump it on the compost and turn it. The pile will sort things out...)

Stella, not surprised to hear you say tea is the difference between so-so and excellent gardens; it is the difference between so-so and excellent soil, or leaf colonies, or rhizospheres. It is Mother Nature's littlest helpers in vast quantity, and SHE knows what she is doing, unlike the rest of us. So you don't need to know the whys or hows; it just does it the way Mother has done it for millions of years. And YOU helped... :D

Go forth and spread tea...

S
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stella1751
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Gix, on page 1 of this thread, Applestar posted a hyperlink to a discussion she had last year about ACT in the permaculture forum. The hyperlink to that discussion is

[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9219[/url]

There are two great hyperlinks within this hyperlink that I found to be terrifically informative:

1) [url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9219[/url]

This one was about purchasing a compost brewer, but there was a tiny section in there that I found fascinating. It follows:
Alternatively, you can design your own tea recipe, but this will take some testing to make sure you are NOT adding too much food, and reducing oxygen, through the growth of the beneficial organisms, below aerobic levels. Foods that should be considered are:
 a diversity of sugars for bacterial growth, but realize that often the compost itself contains adequate bacterial foods to grow a great set of bacteria. Addition of more bacterial foods can just cause problems.
 Citric acid to help buffer pH to the right level, as well as feeding beneficial bacteria
 Cold-water kelp (higher in nutrients) to serve as a source of micro-nutrients (K, Co, B, etc, please check the label of the product you buy to make sure you are adding micronutrients you need. How do you know micronutrients are needed? A soil chemistry, or plant tissue test might be a good idea)
 Humic acids fro fungal growth, but realize that you want data to show you that this material can actually help grow fungi. Harsh extractants can make the humic materials very difficult for fungi, or anything else, to use.
I kind of sort of remembered as Applestar saying brown sugar was okay. (Hey, if I live long enough, she might say it! Who can know what the future holds?) GREAT list of ingredients, BTW, and verification of your thinking that corn syrup could be substituted for molasses :lol:

Talk to me, someone, please, about citric acids. Would this be like organic orange juice?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

top_dollar_bread
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Stella your on point with time of brewing, brew times can help breed a more diverse micro heard in tea’s but brewing for a long time will make a put-to-sleep tea.
Meaning many of the organisms in the tea have went dormant or died off.
(HG your right, over 36 hours, should be done by professionals with proper tools but I have to disagree on gaining nothing???)
explain more please

[url]https://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach_pgs/c_06_tea_definitions.html[/url]
here’s a link on tea definitions, by the great people at the soil food web
A short brew of around 12 hours will favor the growth of fungi, while a 24 hour brew will favor the growth of bacteria and a long brew of 36–48 hours will favor the growth of protozoa. Also that Molasses will promote the growth of bacteria and kelp and humic acid will promote the growth of fungi. Sphagnum peat moss or hay can be added as a source of protozoa, so there isn’t a real need to brew over 36 hours!!!

From page 2 of thread, taken form wikipedia

Here’s another interesting read
[url]https://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx[/url]
brewing compost tea by Elaine Ingham, president, soil foodweb inc

gix
other sugars like brown sugar can be added but molasses is recommended and has been the secret to many bottled organic fertilizers for years.

You see molasses isn’t just a sugar/carbohydrate, it contains a nice amount of potash, sulfur and a variety of micronutrients.
This is the main idea of adding molasses because a balance supply of mineral nutrients is essential for microorganisms to survive and thrive. Micronutrients found in organic amendments like molasses, kelp, buckwheat, comfrey and alfalfa are all derived from other plants and ther for quickly and easily available to our soil organisms and our plants. The micro herd in our tea’s/soil depend on tiny amounts of trace minerals as catalysts to help break down organic fertilizers to a form our plants can use.
Molasses also works as a chelate, chelates (like humic acid), are known for unlocking chemical nutrients into a form that is easily available for soil critters and plants. It is also said that chelated minerals also help gardeners make dramatic cuts in fertilizer application, by locking minerals in availed forms and preventing soil unbalances.

last time I quoted this book, the admin hit me up and deleted it, so im going take another route and give out a link on the book “The Soul of Soil: a soil-building guide for master gardners and famersâ€

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gixxerific
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Okay than way too much info I'm tired.

I said I saw about 5+ kinds of molasses at the store, one was unsulfered and there was a black strap version as well so next time I'm there.......

That whole thing on the timing is what I remember, I read that at Wikipedia myself it thought 36 was key for people like us.

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Sorry for overwhelming you, Gix. This compost tea excites zealotry. I suppose it's like being a reformed smoker; you want to convert everyone you see with a butt dangling from his or her lips :lol:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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stella1751 wrote:Sorry for overwhelming you, Gix. This compost tea excites zealotry. I suppose it's like being a reformed smoker; you want to convert everyone you see with a butt dangling from his or her lips :lol:
All I meant was way to much info to process since my my last post earlier today. What with all the links not including the ones you relinked which I have read several times. I will get back to it, never fear. :D I'm exausted and need sleep.

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top_dollar_bread wrote:Man was I disappointed, I read my bottle and it said in fine print that this is vinegar flavored as apple cider..now I got me a bottle of stuff I don’t know what to do with.
I actually wanted to drink REAL apple cider vinegar for the health benefits and use for brewing tea’s but I guess not.
You can use it to help make GOOD ACV. So as not to contaminate this thread, I'll go into more details in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=92060#92060]this thread in Non-gardening Hoo-ha.[/url] Make your comments over there. :wink:

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Hey folks,

I am following this thread, but enough information has been forthcoming that I don;t need to ask questions at this point. I will be purchasing some of the base products listed at my garden supply store this week and giving the ACT a try.

I am curious if anyone knows why the text on page five of this thread suddenly stopped auto wrapping. On my computer, all the text is single line requiring scrolling from left to right in order to read a comment. The first four pages remain in auto wrap mode with normal page width. All other threads are normal mode. Are others experiencing this?

Ted
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applestar
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Tedlin, I think it's the multi-line Googlebook Link. Some browsers can't handle that, though mine (Firefox v3.5.2 for Mac OSX) is working. I've edited it to embed the link. Let me know if this fixed the problem.

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Thanks applestar,

That was it. I have Firefox on my laptop also. I never thought of switching over for this thread.

Ted
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Can someone tell me a good reliable supplier of leonordite/humic acid. I would prefer to purchase it in small dry bulk quantities for my garden. My intention is to incorporate it in an ACT brew solution.

Apparently there is some disagreement between suppliers of humic acid derived from leonordite deposits in North Dakota and New Mexico with each claiming special organic attributes different from the other. The North Dakota producers claim their product also contains fulvic acid while the New Mexico product does not.

I've checked a few "organic" garden supply outlets with products called humates. The term humates really isn't very descriptive of the actual contents and the packages don't detail the origins of the humate.

I also don't like to buy products which claim to contain numerous benificial minerals and ingredients. In most cases the claimed ingredients are only in trace amounts.

Ted
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Tedlin, I live right in leonardite country, and I don't know how to get my hands on retail quantities of it. However, I found this website:

[url]https://www.bhbentonite.com/lignite.html[/url]

Glenrock is about 20 miles southeast of me. This company says it is about 10 miles north of Glenrock. In this country (don't ask me to explain), that often means northwest. If that's the case, this company shouldn't be far from me. They don't say, though, whether they offer the product retail, but it does say they offer it in 50 lb bags. It might be worth some research. If you think it's worth it, I'll drive out there and ask some follow-up questions about possible distributors :)

BTW, I was very afraid when I planted my first garden up here in the Casper area. Driving around the outskirts of the city, I saw huge areas of foliage-free, salt-crusted land. I asked what the salt was and was told bentonite. Apparently, it builds up so high in the soil around here, you just can't flush it out.

While anyone else is considering Tedlin's question about leonardite, please consider my earlier one about citric acid. I've been researching this, and it appears that it can be chemically produced. I don't want that kind, so I'm thinking about getting some frozen orange juice concentrate and adding a TBSP of this to my next batch of tea.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Top $, it has been my experience that brewing over 36 hours is beneficial to higher lifeforms (protozoa in particular) at the expense of bacteria. I would rather get the balanced lot into the soil than lean heavily on predators that may imbalance the soil biology you introduce them to as well. The Serengeti only supports so many lions, so let's not wipe out our wildebeests... :wink:

If you were dealing with a highly bacterial soil, that might be beneficial, but why is it highly bacterial in the first place? Might be you are sending your protozoa to certain doom if you don't have that piece of information. Without exact answers to dozens of questions like that, the smart thing to do is start balanced and let Mother sort out who she keeps and who goes; that's the way it will end up in the long run anyhow. We can influence a little, but we don't get to choose. This is not about control of environment, it is about supplementing environment...

HG
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ahh, i see
wonderful explanation!!
The Helpful Gardener wrote:This is not about control of environment, it is about supplementing environment...
HG
i 100% agree

stella
citric acid is usually sold in powder form, but naturally found in citrus fruits. Lemons and limes have high concentrations of citric acid, accounting for their bitter taste. Also oranges,tangerines,raspberries and blackberries.
i believe its used in tea's for its chelation abilities??

this is going to be a long one (sorry)

IMO dry leonordite is best used as a soil conditioner or to help build soil health. To me stable humus like humates (leonoridite, mostly humic acid) is best applied to soil were it provides long term storage reservoirs for nutrients and microorganisms.

Fulvic acid on the other hand is what I believe to be better for compost tea’s, fulvic acid is found in active humus or in other terms organic matter still actively decomposing (finished compost/composted manure).
Many like my self prefer to use fulvic acid with liquid fertilizer mixes, where it buffers the soluble fertilizer, chelates it, and improves its uptake for the plants.

I find no reason to go out and a buy a product that consist of only leonoridite(stable humus, humic acid) or even products that only contain fulvic acid, when I can go out buy or make products witch carry a variety of them all.

Humus, humate, humic acid, fulvic acid and humin are all (from my knowledge) transformed from organic matter, humus stable or not can be done naturally or with compost.

Organic mater and humus are included in animal feces
earthworm casting (vermicompost) and bat guano are considered by some to be the best organic manure there is!!
both have humus acids as well as other beneficial qualities

When adding any amendment to compost tea’s, my goal is give the microorganisms a variety of goods to choose from.
the variety of ingredients I add, to me, do just that.
Liquid karma and E/A inoculants that I mentioned have a variety of ingredients that are well known for plant and soil health. E/A has blue/green algae plus beneficial bacteria and fungi, ect, LK on the other hand is put together perfectly IMO
both have fulvic and humic acids if my memory serves me right.
I also don't like to buy products which claim to contain numerous beneficial minerals and ingredients. In most cases the claimed ingredients are only in trace amounts.
To me there is no need to add ingredients beyond small or trace amounts, most numerous beneficial nutrients listed, are trace elements/trace minerals, meaning you don’t need much but its good to have them.

Most good reputation products understand this and they also understand that healthy living organic soils tend to hold on to nutrients, till needed, yet at the same time make more with additions of organic matter.

I stress less is best!! Balance is key, microbes will balance soil better if soil additions are not excessive
Organic gardeners still need to remember to fertilize when needed but not excessively, irrigate thoroughly but not frequently and always promote good soil structure by adding organic matter and minimizing tilling.

The numerous of beneficial minerals claimed in good products will benefit your soil with time.
Just follow the instructions on the bottle/bag/box and by the time you find its empty, you can bet that all those numerous beneficial are now cycling in your soil, just be patient.


here’s some info on LK, a product that contains numerous beneficial ingredients, IMO a great ACT additive
[url]https://www.rosemania.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/product57.html[/url]

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I don't want to be a party-pooper, but can I just interject a voice of reason here.... :mrgreen:

Organic Gardening, IMHO and TO ME, is us trying to mimic Mother Nature, to support her, in retribution for the negative impacts and bad choices made by us or others in the past, as well as to prevent further harm to, if not reverse and improve, the natural ecosystem where we garden.

So it doesn't make sense to me -- living in NJ -- to seek out imported exotic bird poop from South America, bat poop from Mexico, fishing industry by-products from Alaska, or deposits from North Dakota or New Mexico. Even the Lobster Compost from Maine is on my ? list, though that one I might let pass.

Of course if you live near any of these regions, then by all means. In my case, I'll look for local ingredients like NJ Green Sand and NJ shore and Delaware Bay fish and crab industry by-products, mushroom compost from Pennsylvania, etc. My garden soil and compost pile are full of earthworms, so I don't feel the need to procure worm casting by the bag when they're already in the soil and compost. :cool: If I really wanted it, I could just start a worm composter myself. :wink:

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I dunno, Applestar. I disagree. Your theory assumes that Mother Nature creates the greatest, most productive soil in ALL areas. Organic gardening, for me, is creating the greatest, most productive soil in MY area, in taking a slab of clay and using it to create a masterpiece porcelain vase.

I don't think we subvert her ways when we attempt to satisfy all the needs of our plants. We are not working against her; we are learning from her :?
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I agree with A_S on using local ingredients to the best of are knowledge but nature is immense and exploring its diversities to help build soil, to me is a good thing. I do my best to learn from what I get my hands on and do what I can, not to abuse what I gained from her.

To me buying a import beer is no different then buying imported amendments. Pick ones you like or were recommended, then kick back and enjoy

it all comes down to the gardener. If he or she wished to use local organic products, it can be done successfully & if you wish to be more diverse well this can be done as well.
Nature to me is one huge ecosystem and with organics, if we wish, can learn and or use from this immense great planet.

i do think some things like EWC is best bought locally or harvested your self. I use to get my EWC from a local vermicomposter and felt happy I supported her cause.

But some are new to gardening, composting, organics & pointing them to products with good reps is a start and local suppliers should be on the top of the list.

Like EWC guano doesn’t have to be imported, people do make bat shelters and collect the guano. I don’t know any locals who do this, so I buy from imports.
I do understand that guano is sometimes mined in a un-environmentally fashion, so i choose suppliers who are proud on how they harvest the goods & recommend them for those who wish to explore beyond ther reach.
I also explain to many, not to abuse guano or any good thing.
I stress to fertilize when needed but not excessively.
guano is manure, ther are lots, and lots of alternatives but no other poop has the diversity or an impact like guano. Just do a search on this stuff, its got history.

guano is actually recommended to be mixed with water and diluted. Not much is needed to a gallon of water, yet it blows stuff like miracle grow away.
Let alone added to AACT; its guano in my experience that have helped me turn many gardeners away from synthetics.
With organics and good gardening practices, the goods guano or any manure alternatives give,(inoculants) is IMO recycled and kept in the soil. No need to keep applying the same manure(nothing wrong either),but why not be creative, mix it up, your soil biology will thank you.

Seaweed and kelp are from the sea beyond most reach but these are also harvested for food, medicine, vitamins, and biofueals; not just fertilizers. Like seaweed, fish emulsion, blood, bone meal, some rock dust, coffee grounds and other organic amendments are by products.
Some may not be from a local supplier but I still prefer to use them over synthetics alternatives & recommend others to do so as well.

With out things like peat moss and coco coir, many would struggle with container gardening. These are imported but are important in building soil especially for container plants.

I could keep going but its really simple, if your happy with your garden, then keep doing what your doing. If in your heart you want to explore while benefiting your soil, do it.
Its all opinion to me, every one is different. Organics can be as simple as adding compost or as diverse as some of the ACT mixes listed.
Its an art and a science!!

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Hmmm. My concern is more that they have to be transported from THERE to HERE -- fossil fuel consumption, carbon footprint, etc.

I think even when she hasn't combined them in situ, Mother Nature has provided with all the ingredients necessary for you to make great soil locally. :wink: I want to look first at my own household waste products, then garden and yard waste products, THEN what can I buy. Weed tea, suggested by HG, has tremendously expanded my yard waste possibilities. :D I might not have to go buy alfafa pellets any more. :cool:

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Love this discussion! Re: Applestar's and Stella's last posts, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I fully believe in using home-grown/local amendments whenever possible. When I started my first compost pile, I trotted off into the virgin woods behind my property and dutifully scooped up leaf mold and the soil underneath (complete with some organic locally grown worms :D) and haven't even remotely considered ordering South American bird poo.

That said, when you're dealing with dead soil... soil that's been destroyed by chemicals in the past... there's a lot to be said for bringing in some organic, nutrient/microbe-rich amendments to infuse some life into the soil. And, if your only two options for a particular amendment are 1) to purchase it from out of state or 2) use a chemical equivalent, I will purchase it from out of state if I have to (with the idea that that's likely to be a one-time purchase, as my soil becomes more nutritionally balanced).

My personal goal is to be able to use home-grown/very local amendments exclusively... eventually. But in the meantime, as a new organic gardener, I will buy what I need to to create a richly organic soil food web.

For example, I recently bought a small bag of alfalfa hay for a compost tea recipe, but I'm considering growing alfalfa as a green manure crop. I ordered beneficial nematodes, but am hoping that they will reproduce and populate my property for a long time to come. I won't beat myself up if one of those items didn't happen to be produced in my home town. :)
Julia in Georgia

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i feel you ther A_S
but we should be pushing for a change in energy, fuel, instead of avoiding goods from afar.
To many goods (not just fertilizers) come from far places and this shouldn’t be stopped!
We should be shaming and pushing the fast food and chemical synthetic agriculture companies to alternatives.
by just avoiding you are doing IMO a small part, if it really bothers you, more can be done.
Again opinions

When it comes to gardening thought, your absolutely right!, organic gardening doesn’t have to involve commercial products, fertilizing can be done with composting, top mulching with green manures, recycling garden waste, etc. its all on the gardener

A_S
instead of not using alfalfa, why not grow it? alfalfa is to good for me to let go, but thats me :P

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Wow! I came back to add to my post that I have two buckets brewing that will be ready in the morning -- I didn't even realize TDB had slipped a post in before mine already, let alone GeorgiaGirl's comments and TDB's second post.

I was going to say that the 1/4" soaker tubing that TDB posted about was inspired! I just got some -- made from recycled bicycle tires :mrgreen: -- a couple of days ago. Was momentarily frustrated when I realized I needed some kind of a coupler to connect to the solid air tubing, but ta-dah! inside straw of telescoping juicebox straw is the perfect size for slipping inside both the air tubing and the soaker tubing (you need to use a solid guide object (I used a leg of wire garden border fencing) for pushing into the soaker tubing.

One bucket is standard rainbarrel water, compost, molasses + wheat germ and a bit of sourdough starter. Second bucket is weed tea, compost, molasses + wheat germ and agar agar flakes (they're both pantry cleanup waste -- i.e. expired). Looking at my jungle of a garden, I'm not so sure I want to give them any :roll: Definitely giving some to the container plants and foliar spraying the pumpkins, melons, tomatoes, and apple trees. Oh, I do have to give the high nitrogen to the corn. :wink:

I AM growing some alfalfa -- I got a small bagful of sprouting alfalfa seeds from the healthfood store bulk section this time, if they don't do well (don't know if there are varietal differences for sprouting alfalfa vs. regular ground growing kind) I'll get some covercrop seeds. But the weed tea, supplemented with good weeds like nettles, chickweed, and sorrel are highly nutritious and really helps in that I no longer have to put weeds with seedheads/sprouting roots in the trash anymore.

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Lot's of good info as usual. Got a question though about my ACT. It stinks with the lid on. I took the lid off to stir and OH MY!!! it really stank. Like an all green compost kind of stink. :shock:

:EDIT: Big time edit I had a big 'ol explanation typed up about to send and realized my very stupid mistake. Supposed to be 36 hours, for some odd reason I had it figured for 3 day's which would be 72 hours. Who knew there were two 12 hour periods in a day? :oops: :x

I guess it's trashed right. All that time and effort I screwed up bad. :oops: I was blaming low air flow I'm going to turn it off now there is a big storm coming in anyways.

What should I do with what I have? Pour it down the sewer, drink it to remind me not to ever do it again?

Help an idiot out please. :cry:

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Humus, humate, humic acid, fulvic acid and humin are all (from my knowledge) transformed from organic matter, humus stable or not can be done naturally or with compost.
Right, Top $, spot on. Compost is making your own. Without the exact knowledge of biospecific assays, it makes no sense to start adding expensive additions (see how much fulvic acid goes for? :shock: )
So it doesn't make sense to me -- living in NJ -- to seek out imported exotic bird poop from South America, bat poop from Mexico, fishing industry by-products from Alaska, or deposits from North Dakota or New Mexico. Even the Lobster Compost from Maine is on my ? list, though that one I might let pass.
I here ya, AS and the shipping does a bit of damage to Mother as well. Lobster is a great way to get chitin into the mix, but so is crab, or shrimp shells. What have you got locally? THAT'S the best stuff to use...
I dunno, Applestar. I disagree. Your theory assumes that Mother Nature creates the greatest, most productive soil in ALL areas. Organic gardening, for me, is creating the greatest, most productive soil in MY area, in taking a slab of clay and using it to create a masterpiece porcelain vase.
I hear what you are saying, stella, but I still agree with AS. NAture makes the most APPROPRIATE soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns. A desert soil is just NOT gonna be a productive soil, so plants and biology are adapted and the ecosystem develops within these parameters. Along come people and now we want not just veggies but golf courses in the desert. We need to begin to recognize there are places we are just not meant to garden or live. Your clay soil, undisturbed by humans, would chug down the succesional road, with grasses giving way to forbs, to trees then evergreens. THAT is the natural plan I think AS was talking about.

THAT said, AS, we CAN find items from elsewhere that have value. Greensand is a fine example, rock phosphate another. Just because we are organic doesn't mean we need to eschew non-native additions completely; what about BT, nematodes or milky spore? Outside additions to be sure, but still quite beneficial and not going to be found in the numbers in your soil that you can temporarily attain (while adding diversity to your native populations, I might add). Where do we draw that line? DO we start worrying about regional genotypic variances when adding nematodes? I like good tools in the garden, and some of these are good tools... bat guano from Chile is NOT Ba good fix for us when we can develop nitrogen in the soil biology. We cannto develop chitin in that manner (without a serious bug infestation, which is what chitin helps us avoid), so maybe lobster compost from Maine is o.k. in Connecticut. Maybe even Jersey... :wink:

HG
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stella1751
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HG wrote:
NAture makes the most APPROPRIATE soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns.
Millions of years ago, Wyoming was part of a great ocean. Today, I use fossilized mussel shells, always handy, to secure ground and plant covers from her winds while I order crabmeal from one of the new marine areas.

Millions of years ago, Wyoming was part of a vast jungle, the origins of the North American eohippus, or dog horse, a small animal that fought its way through miles of thick foliage closely resembling this year's squash. Today, two mammals roughly the same size and build walk beside me while I restore my small patch of Wyoming to that jungle by using dung from one of the new jungle areas.

The face of Mother Nature is ever changing. I disagree that Nature makes the most appropriate soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns. I believe Nature is limited, restricted, by the existing biology and weather patterns. Wyoming adapted to its present condition over millions of years. The ocean gave way to dry land; the jungle yielded to sagebrush. Forces of nature were responsible for this adaptation: Glaciation, Volcanoes, Earthquakes.

I am, we are, the new force of nature, its willing acolytes. We are nature's latest secret weapon, its new glaciers, volcanos, and earthquakes. Yes, it will take a million years with millions of us working side-by-side, and none of us or our children or our grandchildren will live to perceive the difference we are making, no more than that fossilized mussel holding down my tarp can perceive that it is no longer enveloped by the ocean.

My amendments to the soil are no more or less natural to the state than was the first lava that rained down upon it millions of years ago. I bow to the volcano, and it returns the courtesy.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Since writing the above, I've thought about the narrowness of the perspective. Yes, there is a new force of nature, and yes, the organic gardener is part of that force. However, the role of the organic gardener will likely prove far less pervasive than we would hope. We are naught but a gnat on the hide of corporate greed, and it is mankind's corporations that are now altering the face of nature.

I do believe that nature is limited by her biology and weather patterns, but the environment in which we work is increasingly altered by deleterious global effects set into motion by mankind. I think, however, that this awareness, an awareness of a world gone topsy-turvy, virtually mandates experimentation on our parts. I don't think we can limit ourselves to local amendments while perched on the cusp of geological and meteorological evolution and regional adaptation. What was once considered local may now be wholly appropriate to a different region 8)
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Stella’s got some good points.
Many have found evidence that earth was once, one huge land mass Pangaea around 250 million years ago, they also speculate that ther had probably been other land masses before Pangaea but that fact that all the continents were once one huge land is the point.
It wasn’t till continents started to drift that then formed the oceans and land masses or biology and weather, that we live on today. Oceans and weather have not restricted us humans and IMO we should use what we can, when needed, & most importantly responsibly!
nature is limited, restricted, by the existing biology and weather patterns.

I agree stella but I also agree that
Nature, makes the most APPROPRIATE(balanced) soil for a given area, based on the existing biology and weather patterns.

This doesn’t mean we/humans (part of nature) cant or shouldn’t help the existing biology.
Nature uses what ever she can from its limits/restrictions/existing biology and this IMHO is what life is all about.

I remember reading an article on rock dust. It explained that places like Europe, north America, and Russia have such rich soils simply because the land have been renewed; I think it was ten times in past million years. From climates changes, ( the end of ice ages) when the ice melts it grinds the crust of the earths surface and leaves behind fertile pulverizes rock dust.
But places that were close to the equator couldn’t be covered by ice, so we labeled the land as unfertile for certain crops. BUT still nature adapts and native plants found in these area’s thrive by looking for every last drop of certain elements.
The article goes on with failing to gain fertile land with synthetics but the point was that adding rock dust from other countries is what PROPERLY changed the fertility of the so called unfertile soils.
All we had to do is asked our selves what would Mother do??

Using what we got to the best of are knowledge is what , Nature our mother, our the teacher, the land, the ocean has been trying to show us. We owe everything to our planet, galaxy, the universe and everything that comes with it.
Places like the desert shouldn’t have golf courses and some places should be preserved for other forms of life but people do live in deserts, think of the Middle East. When I had drove to Vegas, I remember looking out my window thinking to my self, why not grow here? Why not build solar panels here?
Some of the greatest agriculture technologies actually originated in deserts, and still to this day people live ther.
To me its when people abuse good things that causes unbalances and crap hits the fan. Destruction of habitat, oil/gas production, unsustainable agriculture projects, etc.

Earth, life, energy is diverse and we can learn a lot from the diversity we see among us.
Golf course IMO don’t have to be so darn bad for the environments, I think things like AACT, guano, foliar spraying, IPM, rock dust (glacial, volcanic) can change the way we make nice golf courses or ball parks.

Young land masses like Hawaii are rich in volcanic minerals; I see nothing wrong with using these rock dust to help build soil. My home California is actually right next to a super volcano, so im sure volcanic minerals are no stranger to my soils biology (are any ones to honest).
But like A_S and HG I do see wrong in how its shipped and I am always concerned on how its obtained/mined.
But IMO a little goes a long way, this is why I use products that are made up of a little of everything. I look for products with good reps and good people behind it, people that arnt trying to abuse something great. Instead they are trying to use every organic, natural element to make a product worth using in small amounts.
Chitin can be found in cell walls of some fungi, and any thing with a exoskeleton or any thing who eats these, lots a lots of alternatives. Guano high in N doesn’t just add N, look at what they eat and where the guano comes from. Bats that eat insects have chitin in there droppings, guano sits in caves (rock minerals) and insects among other live forms live and die and dissolve in the guano. Guano shouldn’t just be looked at just for NPK value it does much more then that. You want inoculants, humus, humus acids, rock minerals, nutrients from fruits/oceans, etc guano is as diverse as the species of bats and birds!

Again I am a avid organic gardener and the soil is the soul of my passion. Ther for I don’t fertilize much and many of the products I buy, advice the me (the buyer) not too.
This a ACT thread and AACT, top mulching with compost/organic matter(green manures) is my main method of feeding my soil.
Adding ingredients from far places is done responsibly to best of my knowledge & IMO worth it.
If as a whole we push to change the way we fuel vehicles of transportation, then most wouldn’t stress on goods from afar

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DEEP THOUGHTS! Great discussions! Love it! :D

I'm just going to make a mundane comment that covering the 2nd bucket with double layer piece of floating cover, tied on with straw bale twine, worked beautifully. Tip out the tea with the cover on, and it's micro strained for the fine mist pump sprayer. :wink:

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Gixxerific, I got distracted by the philosphy behind the organic movement and the use of non-regional amendments in our teas. I'm hoping you got an answer to your question about your over-steeped tea. Just in case you didn't, I pulled the following from an HG post on page 5:
Timing your tea; sorry to disagree with T$, but over 36 hours has been shown in the lab (Dr. Ingham's lab, among others) to gain nothing and often allow for food, or worse yet, oxygen depletion. In some cases there may be benefits (hard to extract foodstocks), but I have done hundreds, nay thousands of tea quality assessments under a microscope and 36 hours is almost always optimal, no matter what the recipe. Rolling a little of the last batch into a new one can be beneficial and I DID read a white paper about long brewing, actually letting it get slightly anaerobic and bringing it back to widen the facultative anaerobe population, but that's a little advanced for those without the professional tools to assess it and I wouldn't recommend it for home gardener's (if the tea goes bad, don't use it in the garden, dump it on the compost and turn it. The pile will sort things out...)
TDB, it's here! My Humax and Seabird Guano have arrived! I can't begin a new batch until Sunday. (I just fed the backyard on Monday and the frontyard on Wednesday.) However, I'm pretty excited to see the plants' reaction to this stuff!

Today I picked up a can of lime juice frozen concentrate. My new recipe for this, what may well be my last, pot of tea will be:

2 handfuls composted manure
2 cups seabird guano
5 TBSP humax (The Humax says 2 tsp per gallon for fertilization. I am thinking 5 TBSP per compost tea would be enough.)
2 heaping TBSP frozen lime juice concentrate
5 TBSP molasses

I've got to go back and research that list of four things you want to put in and make sure I've got all four. If I have to edit this post, I will mark it as edited :shock:

[Addition begins at this point]: Okay. I need
  • 1) A diversity of sugars for bacterial growth. Check. I've got molasses, corn fructose syrup, and sugar syrup.

    2) Citric acid to help buffer pH to the right level. Check. Haven't a clue what this means, but I know I've got it.

    3) Cold-water kelp (higher in nutrients) to serve as a source of micronutrients. Nope. I am using composted manure for my nutrients.

    4) Humic acids for fungal growth. Check. Not only is it a humic acid, it is derived from leonardite and probably mined in Williston, ND. Welcome home, my little acid friends!
So, what do you guys think?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Gix, my bad
i was going to help but like stella got caught up
ok first as you probably already know by now, ther is 12 hours in a day :P
had too man sry, second what was your tea recipe?? you may have posted it but i cant seem to find it..
when the tea smells, its a good sign the microbes went anaerobic,
maybe your pump isnt doing so good you may need a better one or use two pumps.
Too much ingredients will also cause the tea to go anaerobic, especially food high in N, try not to add to much compost, i recommend 1 cup for 5 gals.

the smelly tea can be used for the compost, or try soaking shredded paper and cardboard in the tea, before adding to the compost.
I make my tea's in 5 gallon buckets so this is for 5 gallons of tea
1-2 cups compost/composted manure/EWC, alfalfa or bat guano
5 TBSP of fish emulsion
5 TBSP of kelp meal
5 TBSP of molasses
I let this mix brew with two air stones for 1-3 days and dilute it with another 5gallons of water before i use on the plants. The air stones are pumped with a cheap fish tank air pump and the tea can be used as a foliar spray if you add the dry/clumpy ingredients in a nylon sock. In the end you get 10 gallons of great organic tea for your plants to love.
i recommend this recipe! also stir the tea every now and then..this will help aerate it and brew the the tea for two days max try to avoid anything longer
2 handfuls composted manure
2 cups seabird guano
5 TBSP humax (The Humax says 2 tsp per gallon for fertilization. I am thinking 5 TBSP per compost tea would be enough.)
2 heaping TBSP frozen lime juice concentrate
5 TBSP molasses
stella IMO go with less seabird guano! When i use 2 cups of guano, its because i left out the compost, instead im making guano tea or manure tea
try 5 TBSP or less, everything else looks good!!
i have never used lime juice so please let me know how this works out!!
good luck
oh and PH is nothing to be to concern about, with tea's!!
applestar wrote:DEEP THOUGHTS! Great discussions! Love it! :D

I'm just going to make a mundane comment that covering the 2nd bucket with double layer piece of floating cover, tied on with straw bale twine, worked beautifully. Tip out the tea with the cover on, and it's micro strained for the fine mist pump sprayer. :wink:
like the idea's A_S
both tire and floating cover!! i use a nylon sock to strain but my kat got of hold of it :evil: oh well

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I forgot to mention -- my latest compost is heavy on blueclaw crab carcasses as DH has been back on his favorite summer diet of steamed crab dinners :>

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Stella, I question the need for the citric acid; a good tea should be pretty well pH balanced to begin with IF you are fungally/bacterially balanced. Perhaps developing fungal sides of the tea might be beneficial to you instead. I have heard good things about feather meal (while nigh in nitrogen it is also high in carbon; s'why feathers take so long to rot). While that might not be as available, I have heard good things about oatmeal as well; high mucilage content is good for both fungal and bacterial, a nice balanced food. The cheap instant stuff is more chopped and actually better... haven't tried either but they have been on the list... the real question I am asking is which comes first pH or fungal/bacterial ratios? If THAT is balanced properly, then the tea should be balanced. Is it your water to start with? Even that, unless it is way out of sorts (like 8 or higher), should be o.k.

In keeping with your thought on humans as a force of Nature, you forget one particular trait we humans bring to the mix; ration/irration. While it seems easy to rationalize the absolutely correct path for green sustainability, we must keep in mind that we are a species that has made handing small slips of paper back and forth our highest priority, and we are all too willing to damage vast swaths of Nature in the pursuit of more small pieces of paper. We also have a sense of the aesthetic that we don't see much in Nature (elephant painting is starting to sway my opinion on that) that causes us to move plant material and planetary products willy nilly about the planet, simply because they are pretty or help us make more pretty things, with little or no concern to the obvious and devasatating impacts these transigents have. We continue to feed ourselves by depleting soils that have taken hundreds of thousands of years to accumulate, to produce inferior quality foodcrops in ridiculous quantity, raising stock in conditions that not only result in inferior nutrition of the final product, but dishonor and degrade the very species we exploit. We continue to pollute our waters at an alarming rate despite the fact that we are in decreasing supply and increasing demand, sullying the very crux of life on the planet. We will trade polar bears for SUV's, jobs for forests and fields, and even other peoples of our own species to maintain the lofty heights to which we have risen in the First World (ask the Inuit or the Marshall Islanders what I mean by that). No other species commits these intraspecial crimes without being under high population pressure, yet we remain oblivious to this glaring reality and continue to breed unchecked despite growing evidence that we are beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet. So a little commerce in the name of doing the planet right is hardly criminal in the grand scheme of things. I love your posts and agree that these tools can bve valuable in the search for soil health, but come back again to my point that we CANNOT do what Mother does, we do not see the million selections over millenia that have gone into comprising a functioning soil food web. We bring human hubris (which I hope my examples have identified as horribly flawed) to the mix everytime we step away from true natural models, and the localized species that just make the best sense. While I agree there are places for tools from other lands, we need to be reasoined and reasonable about how we do that.

T$, nice post; I agree on the air thing. No such thing as too much air, and if clogging is an issue use bigger holes in the hose. While small bubbles have more surface, the best part of gas exchange in any liquid happens at the surface, and a bigger bubble has better lift, thus better circulation. Drilling PVC (a good example; not my favorite green product, but useful in this instance) can make a wonderful manifold for very little money. And get a good pump the first time; little aquarium units poop out pretty quick unless you rebuild them. Love these [url=https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10428/product.web]bigger aquariums pumps[/url]though... good price for this volume and pressure... [url=https://store.123ponds.com/air-pumps---aeration.html]pond pumps[/url]work great too...
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I thought [url=https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=15868]this[/url] or [url=https://www.thepondoutlet.com/home/tpo/page_3572_245/sunny_air_pump_solar_oxygenator.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=ponds]this[/url] Solar pond oxigenator pump would be good for SUPPLEMENTING the aerating action during daylight hours. The issue I have with these listings is that there's no meaningful spec for the pump -- I don't need the dimensions, how STRONG is the pump?

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top_dollar_bread wrote: when the tea smells, its a good sign the microbes went anaerobic,
maybe your pump isnt doing so good you may need a better one or use two pumps.
Too much ingredients will also cause the tea to go anaerobic, especially food high in N, try not to add to much compost, i recommend 1 cup for 5 gals.
I make my tea's in 5 gallon buckets so this is for 5 gallons of tea
1-2 cups compost/composted manure/EWC, alfalfa or bat guano
5 TBSP of fish emulsion
5 TBSP of kelp meal
5 TBSP of molasses
I let this mix brew with two air stones for 1-3 days and dilute it with another 5gallons of water before i use on the plants. The air stones are pumped with a cheap fish tank air pump and the tea can be used as a foliar spray if you add the dry/clumpy ingredients in a nylon sock. In the end you get 10 gallons of great organic tea for your plants to love.
Thanks Ted, The above recipe is what I made sub Karo syrup for molasses. I now have some Blasckstrap Molasses. I made a new batch last night we shall see on sun morning. I knew it went anaerobic, but wasn't sure if it would hurt my garden. I dumped it down the street, it was raining so back to nature it went to get sorted out. My compost was too wet to put it in there. I'm also thinking my pump might be too small. I'm going to get another one soon, but I'm broke, really broke. :cry: I bought a 5 inch airstone which I also think I might replace with a gang valve and three separate stones, which brings me back to the desire for a bigger pump.

Again thanks Ted and Stella whom I PM'd earlier so as to not clog up this thread.

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It doesn't hurt to use a nice branch with some sturdy whisk-like branchlets on it to stir the bucket from the bottom. I keep one next to the ACT buckets just for this purpose and give the tea a good stir whenever I'm not too lazy to untie the straw bale string and take off the burlap/spunfabric cover. :wink:

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Applestar wrote:
It doesn't hurt to use a nice branch with some sturdy whisk-like branchlets on it to stir the bucket from the bottom. I keep one next to the ACT buckets just for this purpose and give the tea a good stir
I use a two-foot long screwdriver I received as a birthday present. I'd always wanted one--it is a very serious-looking tool--but I never knew what I might use if for. Now I know: It is my compost tea stirrer :lol:
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Okay. The new batch is now cooking. I will feed it to the backyard squash tomorrow night. That would be three days from now, Gix :lol:

Here's the recipe I finally settled on:

1 handful composted manure
1/4 cup seabird guano
5 TBSP Humax (humic acid)
2 heaping TBSP lime juice frozen concentrate
5 TBSP molasses

The backyard squash have given me a serious thumbs up on only one recipe thus far, the one using alfalfa pellets. I think they grew at least an inch overnight after receiving that. Therefore, I'm not expecting huge results from them.

Wednesday morning, I will give the same recipe to the frontyard squash, peppers, and tomatoes. The peppers have proven the litmus test for this ACT. Truth is, they tend to respond favorably no matter what recipe I use. My Lemon Boys, however, have stalled since the near freeze we had. (I think their blossoms froze.) It will be interesting to see what the frontyard garden thinks of this new recipe!
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stella1751 wrote:Okay. The new batch is now cooking. I will feed it to the backyard squash tomorrow night. That would be three days from now, Gix :lol:

Here's the recipe I finally settled on:

1 handful composted manure
1/4 cup seabird guano
5 TBSP Humax (humic acid)
2 heaping TBSP lime juice frozen concentrate
5 TBSP molasses
Laugh it up Stella. :P

My second batch came out much better. I was getting worried last night. It had a little stink but this morning is was lovely. I threw it on we shall see.

I was going to ask do you guy's have something to hold down the aerators? Mine keeps floating, not to the top but it keeps moving itself around in weird positions. In my fish tank I have my aerator under a big rock to hold it down or it will float to the top.

Thought a rock to hold it down or maybe some kind of screw in clamp than caulking the hole. Any ideas or experience with this?

Thanks

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gix
glad to hear your second batch is better
remember to dilute it before hitting the plants and a little stink isnt too bad..id just give it a nice stir and if i think its needed i add a little more molasses
i use a nice size rock to hold down my air stones, my tubing is pretty thick so the weight of the rock doesnt interfere with air flow..so rocks work for me
though i have to admit, its a little frustrating when i stir my tea, but the rock is free and works!

stella the recipe looks good,
remember when making any tea, try to aim for crop or plants requirements.
for example if the plant is young, its most likely using its energy to grow, try brewing a nitrogen rich tea, with some P and a little K ingredients.
If the plants are fruiting/flowering, aim to brew a tea with more P,K ingredients and less N.
thats what i try to do, while never forgetting the micro nutrients as well. they are usually present when using organic amendments :D
organic nutrients usually give nutrient analysis and they are worth taking a look at IMO

HG
good read, love the comments on the elephant painting :lol:
also the good advice on the air pumps, would love to get me one you listed but out of my price range.

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My super tech method is to wrap a stone in a scrap of floating cover or netted plastic bag lemons, etc. produce come in, then tie onto the 1/4" soaker tubing -- which is coiled 2 or 3 times inside the bucket. I guess I have 2 or 3 stones tied along the coil I also tie a big rusty nail (for adding extra bit of iron) on the end of the tubing where it's knotted to close the end. :()

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