Bio-fertiliser recipe

This bio fertiliser is made using an anaerobic process which extracts and chelates nutrients, vitamins and hormones for quick absorption by plants through their stomata when applied as a foliar spray. This stimulates photosynthesis which allows the plant to convert more sunlight into exudates that feed the microorganisms in the soil which in turn release more nutrients for the plant.

This recipe is the one that Geoff Lawton at the PRI was using when Kay was visiting, and the recipe originally came from the farmers in Central America who could not afford to buy commercial fertiliser. 

Paul Taylor PRI 2011

We have a fresh rumen from a free range organic cow, this has been placed in a 200 litre barrel with an airlock and 2 lts of molasses with 50 lts of water (non chlorinated) for the past 2 days to keep healthy for making biofert.

We split the rumen solution into 2 and parts, about 40 lts of rumen and solution in each barrel and then add the following to each barrel.

• 6 lts of fresh non pasteurised organic full cream milk
• 2 lts of molasses
• ½ rumen and water from barrel (as above) if rumen is not available then use very fresh manure from a pasture fed cow. The best alternative to the rumen is very fresh manure from a nursing calf, use 50 lts of manure per 200 lt drum stir well with water.
• 3 kgs wood and bone ash, 50% phosphito /50% wood and crushed burnt bone ash (phosphito is a specialist process and is optional here).
• ½ kg fresh bakers yeast
• 1-5 lt worm juice
• 10 lts dry kelp powder (used for cattle feed)
• 2 kg rock dust (all-rock)
• 1 kg rock phosphate

Leave for 6 weeks with an air lock, then add another 2 lts of molasses and 1 kg of bakers yeast, leave for another 6-8 weeks in cool climates warmer climates may require shorter time.

The final product should smell strong but certainly not putrid, it should be amber or light brown but not purple or very dark brown (will smell bad anyway), there is typically a skin on top of the liquid. Check with pH meter and it should be around 4.5 at pH 4 it is stable if above pH5 is may require more time to mature.

If making bio fert in cooler climate, keep warm, it may be kept on the west side of a building etc.

Keep the air lock bottle on the side of the barrel and only fill the barrel to 200 mm from the top. Check water in the air lock often to ensure that it is filled adequately.

Takes a bit of practice and a bit of management, this is the basics and will be a great product for gardens, orchards, foliar spray and ground applications.

I have used rumen or manure for making bio fert, at the end added the two barrels together and had a very good product.