Saturday, 6 June 2009

Stinging nettle fertiliser

One of the principles of permaculture (http://permacultureprinciples.com/principles.php) includes the idea that one should use whatever is available as a resource rather than waste... that means producing no waste and sometimes that means working out how to make use of some available resource.   I have plenty of chicken manure and stinging nettles.
This photograph shows how the chickens even pile up the manure under their sleeping roosts, making it easy to collect with a shovel...
So here is half a bucketful with water (now rainwater from my tank,  of course) being added to it....  even the garden tap has rainwater coming from it now...
...and the stinging nettles.  These are quite small for this time of the year, probably due to the late rain and cold days.  I have no doubt  that they'll grow well in the next few weeks and that I won't have any kind of short supply.  At this stage, nettles are also good to eat, and healthy too (http://www.frenchgardening.com/tech.html?pid=309088884143)
"nettles offer extraordinary nutrition, both for plants and humans. This homely herb is extraordinarily rich in nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, oligoelements, encymes, and trace minerals, especially iron. For the landlocked, who can't go to the beach and forage seaweeds for their compost, stinging nettle is the answer "
The bucket needs topping up with more water, but I had some water from the blanching of vegetables for the freezer...
I picked these this morning, but I have enough broccoli for us and we are going out for dinner tonight,  so these are all blanched and freezing as I write this...  baby spinach, russian kale and broccoli...
Here is the freezer picture...  spinach, kale and broccoli, all good for either soup or kitchadee whenever the garden is a bit slow...
... and the bucket with the greenish blanching water added.  This mixture will be ready to use in a week or so, when it starts to smell really really bad!  It has to be diluted with water before putting it onto the plants in the garden.   It is the best fertiliser that I have ever used.

2 comments:

Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

unfortunately we have no nettles in our yard, plenty of poo but no nettles. oh well.

Jane said...

Use whatever weeds you have... everyone has some kind of weeds, or leaves or grass clippings or something...