Permaculture Literacy – HHA

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18 Comments

  • Stephen Haley says:

    Thanks Brett. I’ve been composting for years. I usually build a hot pile over the summer at some point when I have materials. I accumulate materials for several months and keep them in “Pre-compost” piles or as I know now Mesophilic piles. Then when I have enough, I go to the local stables for a large load of horse manure (that is also partially composted) and come home to make a 3X3X8 piles in a pallet bin. I insert perforated pipes and make air holes spaced every 1.5 – 2 ft. There are so many worms that I think of it as a hybrid system between regular and vermi compost. I leave about 6″ to a foot of compost in the bottom when I empty it to help the next batch get started faster.

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  • Diana Furlong says:

    I’m pretty sure this is going to work wonders on my micro veg plot. Can’t wait to try this out. Looking forward to the practical section.

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  • Adreena Carr says:

    Composting has been one of my biggest hurdles simply because there isn’t a lot of scrap/organic matter that can be put into the compost. This might have been addressed in a previous video but could kitchen scrap go directly into the garden if placed in a ditch area and then putting soil on top of that?

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    • Jesscy says:

      {HHA Coach} Ah! The ‘dig & drop’ method or trench composting. You can absolutely do this! But educate yourself on the pros & cons for your specific situation…& make sure you don’t compost meat or human feces when using this method.

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  • Joanna Dickey says:

    Hi Bret, how often do you want to apply compost tea to the plants? Is it something you do regularly or just a couple times?

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    • Bret James says:

      Joanna, regularly. It seems many people have their own preferred schedule, we would apply tea (approx) every two weeks during the growing season.

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    • Joanna says:

      Thank you! I just watched a show that recommended making a tea for fertilization out of stinging nettles soaking in water, or comfrey leaves. Have you done this? They recommended letting it sit in the water for 4 weeks, then applying (which seemed too long to me.) Any thoughts on this?

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  • Molly Bouffard says:

    This was a great lesson reinforcing the basics of composting and the different ways we can all start, no matter where we are! Thank you. I”ve been kitchen composting (continuous composting) for years and was too intimidated to try hot composting which everybody made sounds very complicated but now I am empowered to start. I appreciate learning all the terminology to have a way to describe what I’m doing. People around me know that I compost – or at least throw my bread scraps into the woods, lol. They have often asked “Why not just let it go to a landfill? It breaks down the same there, too” so now I have my answer. Because it’s a waste and contributes to greenhouse gasses!! And your (or someone else’s) soil would be so much healthier if you composted. Question to you though. Does it actually “break down the same” in a landfill (albeit wasted) or is there something different that happens in a compost pile? I’m guessing not lots of worms and healthy bacteria in landfills? Thank you!

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    • Bret James says:

      Much of the goal of permaculture is to close loops and keep resources on site – so the energy to truck waste off-site and to export a very valuable resource is a big part of the reason!

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  • Laci says:

    In my garden i have 2 cold compost buckets with drain holes. I placed them there thinking that runoff would put nutrients in the soil. Am i unknowingly adding bad bacteria to my garden since i’m not doing a hot compost method?

    I realize that excess cold compost juices may not be the same as compost tea but i just want to make sure im not being counter-productive by letting it drain into my garden.

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    • Bret James says:

      While I can say for certain on this, my assumption would be If it stinks then its more possible the bacteria are less helpful, but if it does not smell then its likely beneficial.

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  • AurĂ©lie Dolbeau says:

    And I thought I knew a tiny bit about tea compost : “brown liquid out of the compost”. ..How wrong was I ! this is a science đŸ˜‰ super interesting

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  • Tiffani Beckman-McNeil says:

    fantastic info. would teas made from manure tea bags or alfalfa tea bags be beneficial as well? I’ve made them before in 5 gallon buckets to apply to my garden.

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  • Natalie Sullivan says:

    Bret, does this recipe apply to vermicompost too? I’ve been making tea with molasses and aerating for 24 hours. Is that wrong? Thanks. Really good info.

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  • susan tupper says:

    did not quite understand the tea recipe – were those 4 steps to one tea or four different teas? Rather complicated and labor intensive but interesting to learn about. I like black tea so the idea of giving plants some good tea too is rather nice

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    • Bret James says:

      Hey Susan, the steps are all to make one tea. The actual brew creation does not take long – I used to do 150 gallons a week and could prep it in 10 min. But once brewed actually spreading the tea via a hose did take a while (150 gallons took around 2 hours). BUT I spent that time paying attention to the plants and observing them which improved the garden because I spotted pest problems, irrigation issues, nutrient deficiencies etc while doing this. Compost tea is WELL worth the effort. Especially in areas with high organic matter, which yours likely is, you really want to INCREASE soil life to digest that organic matter in the soil.

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