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Old 18-02-2012, 10:18 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default a small study of rotting

towards the end of December i had bags of
left over soybean husks to use eventually in
the worm bins. not wanting to pass up a good
chance of comparing processes i took some
worm castings (about a dry quart) and added
them to layers of wetted husks and then kept
the bin moist.

i started one bin and then a few weeks
later started a second bin. both had more
husks added to them as they compacted. two
bins eventually held five bins of husks.
if i'd continued the test i could have added
another today (about two months from the
start date).

as noted in another thread recently the
fungi side of the rotting equation is somewhat
oriented towards acidic and ammonia. i noticed
last week that things were starting to get a
little strong smelling, but was hoping it would
pass. it didn't. the bacteria in the worm
castings alone could not keep up with the fungi
without their worm hosts to keep the bedding
aerated and stirred. today i broke apart the
first bin and added it to the worm bins.

digging into it was like opening a bottle
of ammonia. phew! tomorrow i'll hope to get
to the second bin.

in the end, the compaction and rotting by
fungi, etc of the worm free bins was good for
getting space back, but the smell and having
to then process it anyways in a second stage
didn't save much. for the storage considerations
it was much easier to store dry bean husks than
to have more bins. much lighter.

this next season i hope to not have quite so
much late husking to do and that will keep the
shells outside and in the ground as fast as i
can get them buried. we'll see...


songbird

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Old 19-02-2012, 02:57 AM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 417
Default a small study of rotting


"songbird" wrote in message
...
towards the end of December i had bags of
left over soybean husks to use eventually in
the worm bins. not wanting to pass up a good
chance of comparing processes i took some
worm castings (about a dry quart) and added
them to layers of wetted husks and then kept
the bin moist.

i started one bin and then a few weeks
later started a second bin. both had more
husks added to them as they compacted. two
bins eventually held five bins of husks.
if i'd continued the test i could have added
another today (about two months from the
start date).

as noted in another thread recently the
fungi side of the rotting equation is somewhat
oriented towards acidic and ammonia. i noticed
last week that things were starting to get a
little strong smelling, but was hoping it would
pass. it didn't. the bacteria in the worm
castings alone could not keep up with the fungi
without their worm hosts to keep the bedding
aerated and stirred. today i broke apart the
first bin and added it to the worm bins.

digging into it was like opening a bottle
of ammonia. phew! tomorrow i'll hope to get
to the second bin.

in the end, the compaction and rotting by
fungi, etc of the worm free bins was good for
getting space back, but the smell and having
to then process it anyways in a second stage
didn't save much. for the storage considerations
it was much easier to store dry bean husks than
to have more bins. much lighter.

this next season i hope to not have quite so
much late husking to do and that will keep the
shells outside and in the ground as fast as i
can get them buried. we'll see...


songbird


What a shame, when one smells ammonia one is loosing nitrogen.
Steve


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Old 19-02-2012, 04:36 AM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Nov 2011
Posts: 67
Default a small study of rotting

In article ,
songbird wrote:

towards the end of December i had bags of
left over soybean husks to use eventually in
the worm bins. not wanting to pass up a good
chance of comparing processes i took some
worm castings (about a dry quart) and added
them to layers of wetted husks and then kept
the bin moist.

i started one bin and then a few weeks
later started a second bin. both had more
husks added to them as they compacted. two
bins eventually held five bins of husks.
if i'd continued the test i could have added
another today (about two months from the
start date).

as noted in another thread recently the
fungi side of the rotting equation is somewhat
oriented towards acidic and ammonia.

Ammonia is basic.

i noticed
last week that things were starting to get a
little strong smelling, but was hoping it would
pass. it didn't. the bacteria in the worm
castings alone could not keep up with the fungi
without their worm hosts to keep the bedding
aerated and stirred. today i broke apart the
first bin and added it to the worm bins.

digging into it was like opening a bottle
of ammonia. phew! tomorrow i'll hope to get
to the second bin.

in the end, the compaction and rotting by
fungi, etc of the worm free bins was good for
getting space back, but the smell and having
to then process it anyways in a second stage
didn't save much. for the storage considerations
it was much easier to store dry bean husks than
to have more bins. much lighter.

this next season i hope to not have quite so
much late husking to do and that will keep the
shells outside and in the ground as fast as i
can get them buried. we'll see...


songbird


Sounds like not enough brown/too much green. You want 25/1, B/G
--

Billy

E Pluribus Unum

Palestinian Villages May Soon Go Dark Once Again
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,815476,00.html
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Old 19-02-2012, 06:12 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 3,072
Default a small study of rotting

Steve Peek wrote:
....
What a shame, when one smells ammonia one is loosing nitrogen.


righto. both bins are now in the worm bins.
the second bin didn't have the same ammonia
smell. the worms will sort it out before spring.
they have a few months.

it was a good test to see though if the worm
casting innoculant of the soybean husks would
be enough bacterial population to keep the fungi
from dominating. it didn't. so test done.
worms added. all is well. ammonia smelly husks
now buried in several inches of worms and dirt.


songbird
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Old 19-02-2012, 06:17 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:
....
Sounds like not enough brown/too much green. You want 25/1, B/G


i wasn't aiming for composting in the
bin. i was aiming to test if the worm
castings would contain enough bacteria to
control fungi. the answer i got was no.

if i were composting in a bin i surely
would have adjusted the proportions
appropriately and mixed from time to time.

as it goes, the bins here, i decidedly
do not want them getting into a hot stage
of composting. Ma would get a bit upset
if she could smell anything. which is why
worm composting works well.


songbird


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Old 19-02-2012, 10:55 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 67
Default a small study of rotting

In article ,
songbird wrote:

Billy wrote:
...
Sounds like not enough brown/too much green. You want 25/1, B/G


i wasn't aiming for composting in the
bin. i was aiming to test if the worm
castings would contain enough bacteria to
control fungi. the answer i got was no.

if i were composting in a bin i surely
would have adjusted the proportions
appropriately and mixed from time to time.

as it goes, the bins here, i decidedly
do not want them getting into a hot stage
of composting. Ma would get a bit upset
if she could smell anything. which is why
worm composting works well.


songbird


Apparently the bacteria, and the fungi didn't get the message that you
weren't composting. What did you expect to happen when you threw a bunch
of organic material together?
--

Billy

E Pluribus Unum

Palestinian Villages May Soon Go Dark Once Again
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,815476,00.html
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Old 20-02-2012, 05:22 AM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 3,072
Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
Billy wrote:
...
Sounds like not enough brown/too much green. You want 25/1, B/G


i wasn't aiming for composting in the
bin. i was aiming to test if the worm
castings would contain enough bacteria to
control fungi. the answer i got was no.

if i were composting in a bin i surely
would have adjusted the proportions
appropriately and mixed from time to time.

as it goes, the bins here, i decidedly
do not want them getting into a hot stage
of composting. Ma would get a bit upset
if she could smell anything. which is why
worm composting works well.


Apparently the bacteria, and the fungi didn't get the message that you
weren't composting. What did you expect to happen when you threw a bunch
of organic material together?


the expectation was that some form of rot
would happen. i consider composting to be
quite different than rotting. which is why
i called it a small study of rotting and not
a small study of composting.

i did not know specifically what would happen.
that's why i did it. to answer the question
about bacteria in worm castings. to see if
castings were enough on their own to moderate or
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.


songbird
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Old 20-02-2012, 06:02 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 67
Default a small study of rotting

In article ,
songbird wrote:

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
Billy wrote:
...
Sounds like not enough brown/too much green. You want 25/1, B/G

i wasn't aiming for composting in the
bin. i was aiming to test if the worm
castings would contain enough bacteria to
control fungi. the answer i got was no.

if i were composting in a bin i surely
would have adjusted the proportions
appropriately and mixed from time to time.

as it goes, the bins here, i decidedly
do not want them getting into a hot stage
of composting. Ma would get a bit upset
if she could smell anything. which is why
worm composting works well.


Apparently the bacteria, and the fungi didn't get the message that you
weren't composting. What did you expect to happen when you threw a bunch
of organic material together?


the expectation was that some form of rot
would happen. i consider composting to be
quite different than rotting. which is why
i called it a small study of rotting and not
a small study of composting.

i did not know specifically what would happen.
that's why i did it. to answer the question
about bacteria in worm castings. to see if
castings were enough on their own to moderate or
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.


songbird


Since fungi create a low pH environment, and bacteria a high pH one
(relatively speaking), it appears the bacteria won (NH4 = pH 7).
--

Billy

E Pluribus Unum

Palestinian Villages May Soon Go Dark Once Again
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,815476,00.html
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Old 20-02-2012, 11:19 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:

....
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.


Since fungi create a low pH environment, and bacteria a high pH one
(relatively speaking), it appears the bacteria won (NH4 = pH 7).


the bin was full of fungi and smelled of ammonia.
hmm... now i'm really confused. hahaha...

ok.

can't revisit atm, experiment terminated, until
next supply of husks comes around.

as side notes, usually in the dirt the bacteria
include species of nitrogen fixers and consumers
of ammonia so it is very rare for me to smell
ammonia coming from dirt unless i've happened to
hit a localized heavy spot of organic material
being decomposed by fungi.

if what you say is true that would be the reverse
case wouldn't it? do you smell ammonia when you
work in your garden soil as compared to what you
smell when messing with the soil/mulch layer boundary?

so i do really think that if the bacteria had
indeed won i would not have been smelling ammonia.
the pH was not measured for either bin so i can't
say what it was.

i do know that the innoculating worm castings
and soil had nitrogen fixing bacteria present because
much of it was taken from the same bin from top
to bottom. so there were anaerobes as well as
aerobes in there. if i dig to the bottom of any
of the bins i'll find the methane/boggy smell,
but the soil above (and the bacteria) filter/consume
the smell/methane before it gets out.

the worms have no trouble with the bottoms of
the bins. their tunnels either let them get
enough oxygen or they are daytripping downstairs
for nummies and then coming up for oxygen later.


songbird
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Old 21-02-2012, 07:53 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Nov 2011
Posts: 67
Default a small study of rotting

In article ,
songbird wrote:

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:

...
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.


Since fungi create a low pH environment, and bacteria a high pH one
(relatively speaking), it appears the bacteria won (NH4 = pH 7).


the bin was full of fungi and smelled of ammonia.
hmm... now i'm really confused. hahaha...

ok.

can't revisit atm, experiment terminated, until
next supply of husks comes around.

as side notes, usually in the dirt the bacteria
include species of nitrogen fixers and consumers
of ammonia so it is very rare for me to smell
ammonia coming from dirt unless i've happened to
hit a localized heavy spot of organic material
being decomposed by fungi.

Nitrogen fixers convert N2 to NH3. The plant uses the NH3.

if what you say is true that would be the reverse
case wouldn't it? do you smell ammonia when you
work in your garden soil as compared to what you
smell when messing with the soil/mulch layer boundary?

I never smell ammonia (NH3) in the soil, but I do, rarely, in the mulch
when the mulch is very thick .50cm. Decomposition of amino acids (acid
+ NH3) can be a strictly chemical reaction.

so i do really think that if the bacteria had
indeed won i would not have been smelling ammonia.
the pH was not measured for either bin so i can't
say what it was.

Ammonia is basic: pH7. Bacteria like basic soils.

i do know that the innoculating worm castings
and soil had nitrogen fixing bacteria present because
much of it was taken from the same bin from top
to bottom. so there were anaerobes as well as
aerobes in there. if i dig to the bottom of any
of the bins i'll find the methane/boggy smell,

Methane has no smell. Gas companies add H2S to it so that it has a
recognizable oder.

but the soil above (and the bacteria) filter/consume
the smell/methane before it gets out.

I have never heard of methane consuming bacteria. If so, they would love
the frozen tundra which releases incredible amounts of methane
(greenhouse gas) as it thaws.

the worms have no trouble with the bottoms of
the bins. their tunnels either let them get
enough oxygen or they are daytripping downstairs
for nummies and then coming up for oxygen later.


songbird

--

Billy

E Pluribus Unum

Palestinian Villages May Soon Go Dark Once Again
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,815476,00.html


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Old 22-02-2012, 09:36 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 3,072
Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:

...
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.

Since fungi create a low pH environment, and bacteria a high pH one
(relatively speaking), it appears the bacteria won (NH4 = pH 7).


the bin was full of fungi and smelled of ammonia.
hmm... now i'm really confused. hahaha...

ok.

can't revisit atm, experiment terminated, until
next supply of husks comes around.

as side notes, usually in the dirt the bacteria
include species of nitrogen fixers and consumers
of ammonia so it is very rare for me to smell
ammonia coming from dirt unless i've happened to
hit a localized heavy spot of organic material
being decomposed by fungi.


Nitrogen fixers convert N2 to NH3. The plant uses the NH3.


and there are bacteria that will turn it
back into the gas form again.


if what you say is true that would be the reverse
case wouldn't it? do you smell ammonia when you
work in your garden soil as compared to what you
smell when messing with the soil/mulch layer boundary?


I never smell ammonia (NH3) in the soil, but I do, rarely, in the mulch
when the mulch is very thick .50cm. Decomposition of amino acids (acid
+ NH3) can be a strictly chemical reaction.


half a cm of mulch is not much mulch at all.
did you mean 5cm? i'm thinking of several
inches of mulch at least for when i notice it.
the bin was about 30cm of soybean husks.

the note about it being a strictly chemical
process is interesting, but in a bin mixed with
worm castings laden with fungi and bacteria i
can't imagine there being much of that going
on that was not mediated by either fungi or
bacteria. the entire bin from top to bottom
was full of spores.


so i do really think that if the bacteria had
indeed won i would not have been smelling ammonia.
the pH was not measured for either bin so i can't
say what it was.


Ammonia is basic: pH7. Bacteria like basic soils.


yep. but they'll be around in other soils
too. there's really not many places that bacteria
will not colonize given a chance.


i do know that the innoculating worm castings
and soil had nitrogen fixing bacteria present because
much of it was taken from the same bin from top
to bottom. so there were anaerobes as well as
aerobes in there. if i dig to the bottom of any
of the bins i'll find the methane/boggy smell,


Methane has no smell. Gas companies add H2S to it so that it has a
recognizable oder.


ah yes. hydrogen sulfide is part of the swampy
smell.


but the soil above (and the bacteria) filter/consume
the smell/methane before it gets out.


I have never heard of methane consuming bacteria. If so, they would love
the frozen tundra which releases incredible amounts of methane
(greenhouse gas) as it thaws.


i'd be sure they are at the boundary, but it
being so cold they are probably limited by the
frozeness below and the more active/warmer
bacteria, etc. above.

if there is an energy source there is likely a
bacteria that feeds off it (i would not be surprised
if there were a bacteria that also feed off nuclear
reactions too).


songbird
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:37 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Nov 2011
Posts: 67
Default a small study of rotting

In article ,
songbird wrote:

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
...
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.

Since fungi create a low pH environment, and bacteria a high pH one
(relatively speaking), it appears the bacteria won (NH4 = pH 7).

the bin was full of fungi and smelled of ammonia.
hmm... now i'm really confused. hahaha...

ok.

can't revisit atm, experiment terminated, until
next supply of husks comes around.

as side notes, usually in the dirt the bacteria
include species of nitrogen fixers and consumers
of ammonia so it is very rare for me to smell
ammonia coming from dirt unless i've happened to
hit a localized heavy spot of organic material
being decomposed by fungi.


Nitrogen fixers convert N2 to NH3. The plant uses the NH3.


and there are bacteria that will turn it
back into the gas form again.

I've read about bacteria mineralizing (oxidizing) NH3 to NO3. I've never
heard of bacteria converting NH3 back to N2. You got a citation?


if what you say is true that would be the reverse
case wouldn't it? do you smell ammonia when you
work in your garden soil as compared to what you
smell when messing with the soil/mulch layer boundary?


I never smell ammonia (NH3) in the soil, but I do, rarely, in the mulch
when the mulch is very thick .50cm. Decomposition of amino acids (acid
+ NH3) can be a strictly chemical reaction.


half a cm of mulch is not much mulch at all.
did you mean 5cm?

Whoops! No I meant 50 cm. I decided to use cm instead of meters.
i'm thinking of several
inches of mulch at least for when i notice it.
the bin was about 30cm of soybean husks.

the note about it being a strictly chemical
process is interesting, but in a bin mixed with
worm castings laden with fungi and bacteria i
can't imagine there being much of that going
on that was not mediated by either fungi or
bacteria. the entire bin from top to bottom
was full of spores.


so i do really think that if the bacteria had
indeed won i would not have been smelling ammonia.
the pH was not measured for either bin so i can't
say what it was.


Ammonia is basic: pH7. Bacteria like basic soils.


yep. but they'll be around in other soils
too. there's really not many places that bacteria
will not colonize given a chance.

True, but above the boiling point, and below the freezing point of
water, not much happens, because water is the media of metabolism.


i do know that the innoculating worm castings
and soil had nitrogen fixing bacteria present because
much of it was taken from the same bin from top
to bottom. so there were anaerobes as well as
aerobes in there. if i dig to the bottom of any
of the bins i'll find the methane/boggy smell,


Methane has no smell. Gas companies add H2S to it so that it has a
recognizable oder.


ah yes. hydrogen sulfide is part of the swampy
smell.


but the soil above (and the bacteria) filter/consume
the smell/methane before it gets out.


I have never heard of methane consuming bacteria. If so, they would love
the frozen tundra which releases incredible amounts of methane
(greenhouse gas) as it thaws.


i'd be sure they are at the boundary, but it
being so cold they are probably limited by the
frozeness below and the more active/warmer
bacteria, etc. above.

if there is an energy source there is likely a
bacteria that feeds off it (i would not be surprised
if there were a bacteria that also feed off nuclear
reactions too).


Not many nutrients in alpha particles, and x-rays. If you mean warm
water, for sure.


songbird

--

Billy

E Pluribus Unum

Palestinian Villages May Soon Go Dark Once Again
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,815476,00.html
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Old 23-02-2012, 08:11 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 3,072
Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
Billy wrote:
songbird wrote:
...
control fungi. at the rate of application of
one dry quart to seventeen dry quarts of husks,
the answer is no.

Since fungi create a low pH environment, and bacteria a high pH one
(relatively speaking), it appears the bacteria won (NH4 = pH 7).

the bin was full of fungi and smelled of ammonia.
hmm... now i'm really confused. hahaha...

ok.

can't revisit atm, experiment terminated, until
next supply of husks comes around.

as side notes, usually in the dirt the bacteria
include species of nitrogen fixers and consumers
of ammonia so it is very rare for me to smell
ammonia coming from dirt unless i've happened to
hit a localized heavy spot of organic material
being decomposed by fungi.


Nitrogen fixers convert N2 to NH3. The plant uses the NH3.


and there are bacteria that will turn it
back into the gas form again.


I've read about bacteria mineralizing (oxidizing) NH3 to NO3. I've never
heard of bacteria converting NH3 back to N2. You got a citation?


not handy. i may be misremembering or
misclassifying, could be an algae, cyanobacteria,
eubacteria or whatever they are being called
these days. nothing like advancements of science
to screw up a poor memorizers brain. anyways
i do know there is a nitrogen cycle.

i did just read about it a few different times
in overview. really. i wasn't daydreaming...

ages ago i was into reef aquaria and they can
be finicky about nitrogen pollution.


if what you say is true that would be the reverse
case wouldn't it? do you smell ammonia when you
work in your garden soil as compared to what you
smell when messing with the soil/mulch layer boundary?


I never smell ammonia (NH3) in the soil, but I do, rarely, in the mulch
when the mulch is very thick .50cm. Decomposition of amino acids (acid
+ NH3) can be a strictly chemical reaction.


half a cm of mulch is not much mulch at all.
did you mean 5cm?


Whoops! No I meant 50 cm. I decided to use cm instead of meters.


50cm is a lot of mulch. i sometimes smell
ammonia from the layer from under 10-15cm of
mulch.


....
if there is an energy source there is likely a
bacteria that feeds off it (i would not be surprised
if there were a bacteria that also feed off nuclear
reactions too).


Not many nutrients in alpha particles, and x-rays. If you mean warm
water, for sure.


not nutrients, energy. like what the
chloroplasts or diatoms get from the sun.


songbird
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Old 24-02-2012, 07:21 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 110
Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:

Plants are adapted to this spectrum, which is determined largely by
oxygen-yet plants are what put the oxygen into the atmosphere to begin
with. When early photosynthetic organisms first appeared on Earth, the
atmosphere lacked oxygen, so they must have used different pigments from
chlorophyll. Only over time as photosynthesis altered the atmospheric
composition, did chlorophyll emerge as optimal.


There are cyanobacteria and several other types that absorb different
spectra than the usual green. There are extremely ancient fossils that
look like they might contain archea or bacteria with pigments that
predated chlorophyl.
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Old 26-02-2012, 06:35 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 762
Default a small study of rotting

Billy wrote:
In article ,
songbird wrote:

towards the end of December i had bags of
left over soybean husks to use eventually in
the worm bins. not wanting to pass up a good
chance of comparing processes i took some
worm castings (about a dry quart) and added
them to layers of wetted husks and then kept
the bin moist.

i started one bin and then a few weeks
later started a second bin. both had more
husks added to them as they compacted. two
bins eventually held five bins of husks.
if i'd continued the test i could have added
another today (about two months from the
start date).

as noted in another thread recently the
fungi side of the rotting equation is somewhat
oriented towards acidic and ammonia.

Ammonia is basic.

i noticed
last week that things were starting to get a
little strong smelling, but was hoping it would
pass. it didn't. the bacteria in the worm
castings alone could not keep up with the fungi
without their worm hosts to keep the bedding
aerated and stirred. today i broke apart the
first bin and added it to the worm bins.

digging into it was like opening a bottle
of ammonia. phew! tomorrow i'll hope to get
to the second bin.

in the end, the compaction and rotting by
fungi, etc of the worm free bins was good for
getting space back, but the smell and having
to then process it anyways in a second stage
didn't save much. for the storage considerations
it was much easier to store dry bean husks than
to have more bins. much lighter.

this next season i hope to not have quite so
much late husking to do and that will keep the
shells outside and in the ground as fast as i
can get them buried. we'll see...


songbird


Sounds like not enough brown/too much green. You want 25/1, B/G


My thought is that the anerobic process from no acces to oxygen is the cause of
the smeely compost.




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