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  • Harriet Mella

    September 6, 2021 at 4:47 am

    I love KNF. It is a thinking model that has evolved from a completely different mindset. It has so many fantastic tools that you can play with! I have been in trouble with the seasons and the preparation of the IMO, so for me it was a multi year project to start with. Same story with biodynamic preparations. This is my main objection and the cause why I have begun to work a lot with the concept of Mary Bruce. It is so easy. It is so cheap – near to nothing. But of course it sets only the basis for bacterial (and protist) reinoculation and one either is lucky enough to have fungal spores in the “spore bank” or one has to get them there if the picture should become complete.

    Look: you need to differentiate between nutrient addition and reinoculation.

    a soil that has a good structure will have anaerobic crumb insides. And this is the place where the anaerobes belong and to their work. If you apply an anaerobic drench organisms will survive inside (if they are allowed to take a seat) or they will perish. But the nutrients become available and they are depleted less than in an aerobic material (but also potentially harmful if too concentrated!)

    If you eliminate compaction, what you should by any means!, you already have a good amount of anaerobic organisms present. So what do you need to add? Exactly – the other end of the spectrum, that will work with the oxygenated part of the soil that has been opened up.

    So it works in most cases to advocate “aerobic only” if this is the fraction that is missing most frequently in compacted soils

    Anaerobes are a big conceptual box, and I am convinced that the role of Archaea is totally underresearched. Esp. the microaerophilic archea. So I do understand (other than E. Ingham puts it forward) ruminant manure (in correct small proportions, fresh on the surface) as a very valuable inoculant. But of course accumulated, mixed with pee and piled up, not very funny things develop inside. If you want to dispose of those and make the material useful, either much time or much temperature is needed.

    So maybe also the spectrum of anaerobes needs correction. Estuary surface sediment, stirred as protozoan soup can be marvellous, or I see the P500 from the biodyns as such a preparation or the cow pat preparation with basalt (I always forget the english name).

    “Hot” (the medium range) compost has a structural aspect – it offers lignin encaged material which can be a pretty stable carbon module to start with. To get this without heat, you need to work with senescent material and probably high fungal populations that will be so nice and offer you their laccase activity. This is high art!

    The Nearings put forward sheath composting (this may well be a multiple translation effect as I came across the method at the Langerhorst’s in Austria) under potatoes. I have worked with that and added microbial inoculation (I played with Bruce herbs that I cultured kind of aerobically with submersed rabbit dung and a fish tank pump at that time) had fantastic results int erms of soil improvement. But I also had fantastic gopher populations underneath it. So fantastic, that I did not want to repeat it for years. I did mind the sacrifice of the potatoes (the ones I got were marvellous though!), but worse was that I could not grow any subterrestrial crops in the subsequent years anywhere in the garden – only lanterns. I still would like to work with the concept, but probably it is necessary to make smaller dispersed patches.

    Best H