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Agriculture Organic farming, remineralization, rock dust, biochar, soil micro organisms and other discussion relating to soil, water and food.

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Old 02-07-2008, 05:47 AM
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Effects of mycorrhizal fungi and biochar 75 Days

Effects of mycorrhizal fungi and biochar 75 Days

Submitted by Tom Miles on Tue, 2008-02-05 05:24.

Effects of mycorrhizal fungi and biochar 75 Days
Robert Flanagan, Hangzhou Sustainable Agricultural Food & Fuel Enterprise Co., Ltd.
(SAFFE), February 5, 2008
I just got to visit my biochar trial at BIOTROP today so I took a few photos to give all you some idea of the profound difference biochar makes to subsoil
Control
Rice Husk Charcoal
Rice Husk Charcoal + VAM
Video:
YouTube - Effects of mycorrhizal fungi and biochar
What we're seeing is the plants treated with VAM fungi + biochar are a lot darker green and show more plant growth at the 75day mark so I'll push on up to day90 and see what happens.
Robert Flanagan
Chairman & President
Hangzhou Sustainable Agricultural Food & Fuel Enterprise Co., Ltd.
Skype "saffechina"
Tel: 86-571-881-850-67
Cell: 86-130-189-959-57



Robert sent me the link to this article talking about his test of mycorrhizal fungi and biochar on plants:


The above article is here: Terra Preta | Intentional use of charcoal in soil
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:02 AM
Vortex Vortex is offline
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There's fungus among us

We (humans) are more closely related to fungi than any OTHER kingdom !!!
All life would probably be dead if it were not for fungus.
In a single cubic inch of soil, there can be 8 miles of fungi cells.

Learn more, watch the video.
Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Remember AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
Randy

Last edited by Vortex : 04-10-2009 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Remember AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:53 PM
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Paul Stamets

Stamets is amazing!

I heard him speak at a conference about 5-6 years ago in Seattle. He went over the ways the fungi can revitalize the soil by breaking down the oil contamination and quite a few other benefits as shown in this video. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:37 AM
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@Aaron, fungus may have good benefit for the soil, but I think the fungus itself need a proper environment to grow. Do the environment needed for proper growing of mycorrhizal fungi mentioned somewhere? I don't think we can just pour it everywhere and expect it to grow.

BTW, this video has been removed by user:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvo1w8gFSts
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:44 AM
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fungus

Sucahyo,

The fungus mix can be spread on just about any soil and it will give incredible results. If there are nutrients and moisture in the soil, it should thrive and help break down the minerals to make them bio available to roots. Not only does the fungus make them more available to roots, the fungus attaches to the roots and becomes extensions to the roots to give a much larger surface area to channel the nutrients to the roots!!!

I have conducted the experiments first hand after I was informed about this and it is incredible. With fungus out performs no fungus plain and simple and I have little experience with gardening and no experience with farming. I believe anyone can see a difference with the fungus mix regardless of soil type or experience. That is a huge testimony to the power of the mychorrizal fungus.

If the fungus is mixed with biochar, the results are synergistically through the roof and furthermore, if it is mixed with rock dust, the results are even more profound.

Last edited by Aaron : 04-17-2009 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:39 AM
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sucahyo sucahyo is offline
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I see, thanks.

I wish there are comparison between burned organic material (biochar) vs fungus processed organic material (?). To compare which is better, burning or decomposing.

In here that fungus seems more commonly known as Mychorizae, or is this different species? But there are fungus book that can be downloaded from scribd using this term.

In here other fungus used are (quick search in Indonesian website):
Rhizobium - trapping Nitrogen from air.
Azotobacter dan Mychorizae - like mentioned

The requirement for applying the above fungus are:
- Applied when the plant start growing roots
- It must have direct contact to the plant young root
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:15 AM
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mychorrizal fungus for germinating seeds

The mychorrizal fungus mix I used listed about 10 different varieties of fungus and they were all considered mychorrizal fungus.

I germinated my seeds with it in addition to putting it in my garden plot.

I germinated my seeds in little jiffy pellets...the kind that swell up to a few cubic inches just by adding water. I poked a hole in the top to put the seed but first I took a pinch of the fungus powder mix and put it in each hole then I added the seed.

I had way above average germination rate and also, they grew much faster than what was indicated on the seed packages.
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:31 AM
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I see. If it is a mix of different fungus I guess the result much be better. If you have better result than in mentioned in the box, I guess your way is better .

BTW, I found a way to make anti pathogen poison. Using potato and sugar, from:
AGRO BINA UTAMA

I hope I don't mistranslate this, edited google translation:

Multiplication Corynebacterium
Mass production using artificial media (liquid) EKG / Extract potato sugar
Following steps:
1. Prepare the tool and the tool material, among others, a simple fermentation equipment, consists of the aerator, KMnO4 (PK solvent), glass wool (as filters), plastic hose, L-shaped hose connection, plastic bottles, container, a pot, stove, washbasin, plastic filter, plastic funnel, ose needle (metal needle), wax, alcohol.
The material consists of potatoes 300 gr / 1 lt water, sugar 20 gr / 1 lt water, water (converted to the number of potatoes and sugar), stater (source) Corynebacterium.

2. Making EKG
- Peeled potatoes, cut thin
- Boil until the potato slices turn white, and then filter potato extract solution
- Add sugar, stir until dissolved and then filter again
- Sterilized by boiler for 15 minutes at a temperature of 120 degrees centigrade and then cool it down
- Enter the solution into a container and then open the mouth bottles stater, take the bacteria colonies by using the needle and insert/ Mix into container or add 5 ml of water into the bottle and move the stater bacterial colonies with the help of needle ose. Close the container.
- Incubate the fermenter in a simple clean room with a temperature of 25-27 degrees centigrade. After 14 days it can be used.

3. Applications
- Prepare the spray solution with 5 ml of solvent blend of Corynebacterium into 1 liter of water.
- Prepare the solution of adhesive blend into 1 ml 100 ml water, then into the previous solution
- Filter and pour the solution into the spray tank, then add 15-16 liters of water.
- spray the seedbed and plant age of 14, 28 and 42 days. Better when soaking ready seed seedling for 15 minutes
- 5ml/liter concentrate, with a dose of 2.5 liters per hectar Corynebacterium formulation with the volume of 500-600 liters of spray, the bacteria population density at least 10 power 6 Cfu / cc
- Application time in in the afternoon, starting at 15:00, avoid application afternoon to prevent the influence of the sun.

(source: Laboratory of Banyumas PHP)
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:48 AM
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mychorrizal strains

I don't know much about the individual strains of the fungus but below is from the website that I bought mine from.

Also, the only pest control I used was diatomaceous earth (fine ground coral that will cut into the bugs), boric acid (very safe) and organic bio soap.

The only bug problem I had was earwigs on the sunflowers and that was it.

From: Garden Grounds - Ingredients


What's in Garden Grounds?

Garden Grounds is an all natural, living organic fertilizer made with recycled coffee grounds, beneficial mycorrhizae and bacteria, and slow release organic fertilizer. Garden Grounds will produce the strongest root systems and the most beautiful plants naturally.


Your soil will be more alive, fertile, moist, and your plants will be healthier and stronger. Garden Grounds contains coffee grounds, organic fertilizer, 8 species of growth-enhancing natural mycorrhizal fungi, 14 strains of beneficial soil bacteria, 11 types of time release carbohydrates and 20 different amino acids. Coffee grounds add organic matter to the soil and contain nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium and micronutrients necessary for plant health. Mycorrhizal fungi are natural ways for roots to increase nutrient and water uptake improving the ability of the plants to grow, fruit and flower. Mycorrhizal fungi form an intricate web that is the conduit for Garden Grounds to enter the plant. These beneficial soil organisms have allowed plants from natural areas to thrive without chemical fertilizers and pesticides for millions of years. Now, with Garden Grounds you can put nature to work for your landscape, lawn and garden and be recycling these beneficial materials.
Total Nitrogen
(N) 1%
Slowly available water soluble nitrogen 0.5%
Water insoluble nitrogen 0.5%
Available Phosphate
(P2o5) 1%
Soluble Potash
(K2o) 3%
Calcium
(Ca) 5%
Magnesium
(Mg) 0.4%
Sulfur
(S) 0.5%
Copper
(Cu) 0.1%
Iron
(Fe) 0.6%
Manganese
(Mn) 0.1%
Sodium
(Na) 0.1%
Zinc
(Zn) 0.1%
Garden Grounds gently and safely feeds the soil with nutrients

Carbohydrates are 6% of the content of Garden Grounds. Eleven different carbohydrates provide an easily digestible metabolic energy source for beneficial soil microbes that improve plant performance. Amino acids are approximately 25% of the content of Garden Grounds. Amino acids are derived from organic proteins and are an excellent biological stimulant and food for beneficial soil microbes
Soil Organism
Function
Glomus intraradices Improves nutrient and water uptake, soil structure, drought tolerance, fruit and flower production Glomus mosseae Improves nutrient and water uptake, drought tolerance, micronutrient acquisition, protects and stimulates plant Roots, fruit and flower production Glomus aggregatum Improves nutrient and water uptake, tolerance of environmental extremes Pisolithus tinctorius Improves nutrient and water uptake, drought protection, tolerance of environmental extremes, disease suppression Rhizopogon
(4 species) Improves plant establishment, nutrient and water uptake, drought protection, soil structure, root growth Bacillus polymyxa Converts atmospheric nitrogen to form usable for plants, produces plant growth hormones, protects root systems Bacillus subtilus
(4 strains) Produces growth activators, protects plant roots Bacillus azotoformans
(2 strains) Converts atmospheric nitrogen to form usable for plants Bacillus coagulans Degrades toxic compounds in soil. produces growth activators, protects plant roots Saccharomyces
(2 strains) Produces vitamins and growth stimulators Bacillus sp
(4 strains) Protect plant roots, stimulates nutrient cycling
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:04 AM
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Thanks.

The coffee being used. Is it raw or baked?

I visit local goverment once a seed research lab garden. It is now used for recreational park. I see soil mix that has some plant root. The soil is dry and elastic. I wish I had better camera with me.


I also wonder if there is a way to make mychorizal grow it self without we have to add it to our land?
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:24 AM
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coffee source

I believe the coffee source is from used grounds that have been let out to dry and ground down but not 100% sure on that.
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:54 AM
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Ok, thanks.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:52 PM
wantfreeenergy wantfreeenergy is offline
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How much mycorrhizal fungi to use? I plan on doing square foot gardens 4 feet by 4 feet. How much fungi should I use. It also sounds like I should mix it into the topsoil right before planting the seeds or transplanting the seedlings?

And if I need to make large quantities of the fungi how do I do it? Vortex posted a thread using coffee grounds. But that would be kinda expensive if I need lots of em. "Of course though I'm gonna see if there's a coffee shop in town. Then I could just used the spent grounds."


And biochar. How much biochar should I use? And how do I go about making it. I was looking for the video of a biochar stove that said there was no smoke coming, "or maybe very little smoke?", coming out of the chimney. But no video.

Oh yeah. I also wanted to say this about Paul Stamets although it's a little OT. I've read something from him that noted a type of mushroom which was used by tribes many moons ago. It was a large mushroom that was dried and then hollowed out with a small opening. Then a plug was made for the opening. It was used for carrying fires for several days so there would no need for stick rubbing every time a fire was needed. Basically one would place a coal ember from the fire into this mushroom then put the plug in and carry it with em. And it was said that the ember could last from 3-5 days. KEWL

Last edited by wantfreeenergy : 02-28-2010 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:26 PM
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fungus and biochar

Here is direction on fungus use:
Garden Grounds - Directions

That is the exact company I bought mine from and they have bulk
discounts.

Just coffee grounds won't work, it helps by itself, but the fungus is
needed if you want benefits of mycorrhizal fungus. There is some already
in the ground, but if you add it with multi strains, you're doing good.
Biochar is used as a breeding ground to ensure they thrive and multiply.
That is only one use of biochar.

There are quite a few youtube vids on making biochar. Patrick Flannagan
is my biochar expert - ag expert in general and you might find some of
his vids online. It is basically smoldering biomass/wood/corncobs, etc...
under low oxygen. You don't want ash, you want the black burnt biomass.
When it is all turned to coals, you can spray water on it to put it out
and let it cool down and you have your biochar.

Here is my garden strip 4 ft wide by 20 ft long.



I saved all the biomass from the leaves, branches, etc... as much as I
could save from the garden, shredded it on the ground with my lawnmower
with the mulching plug in. I spread it over the top of the soil. All winter
long, whatever charred wood is left over in the morning (very rare because
I like to burn HOT HOT HOT fires and usually everything turns to ash),
I grab it and throw it on the top of the soil. When I'm ready to retill the
ground, it will just grind it in into the soil. I have rock dust, sea agri,
mycorrhizal fungus, biochar, organic biomass, etc... if I had a LOT of
biochar, I'd throw it all over my grass and simply mow over it on every
square inch. Just make sure the char is soft char and not just a piece
of wood that is charred on the outside but is hard wood inside.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:31 PM
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biochar

ps, I want enough biochar to make the garden soil almost pitch black
literally.

The missing ingredient that I don't have it to put hundreds to thousands
of earthworms in that strip. They digest the fungus and biochar and and
carry the carbon deep down into the soil (the only self-regenerating soil
in the world) - that earthworm seems to be the secret to the original
Amazonian Terra Preta. (black earth). They have some peregrine
earthworm but we can use whatever is available to us. There are a lot
of earthworm farms in the US, not sure where you're at, but the prices
are reasonable.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:14 AM
sodpa sodpa is offline
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Interesting Biochar Video

In this video he states that there is a difference in charcoal and biochar. Mainly in the temperature in which they are created. He also states that after crushing it should be pretreated by wetting and mixing with a good soil or compost before adding. Ideal ratio is 8 to 10%.YouTube - MAKING BIOCHAR: with Peter Hirst of New England Biochar
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:06 AM
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biochar

Great vid! 8-10% sounds a little low compared to the real Terra Preta or
is that about right?

I'm simply going to till mine into the ground and that patch will be all mixed
good before anything is planted. There is already a lot of mycorrhizal fungus
and biochar in that soil and I want more biochar. I only have probably a
couple % biochar in my bed but works. My sunflower roots were denser than
steel wool pads, literally!

Here's the book mentioned in the video as the compendium of biochar:
Amazon.com: Biochar for Environmental Management: Science and Technology (9781844076581): Johannes Lehmann, Stephen Joseph: Books

Here is the author's website:
Biochar for Environmental Management: Science and Technology | International Biochar Initiative
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:30 PM
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Biochar

I don't know if 8-10% by weight would be low. As heavy as soil is, it would take a lot of biochar to hit those percentages to any depth. It's a matter of just adding as much as possible. Any amount seems to have some benefits.

The real magic is in the combination of the organic material (compost) and the biochar. One is just as important as the other. This then encourages a flush of micro-organisms and other beneficial life forms such as earth worms. Making all the compounds in the soil itself and the compost more available to the plants. The compost adds soil conditioning, water retention and minerals.

I think it would be worth the effort to crush the biochar ahead of time. To make it disperse more evenly through the soil and make more of it's surface area usable.
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