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Old 23-10-2003, 07:32 AM
Down Under On The Bucket Farm
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

Hi Everybody,

I have read a number of times that it is good to add a bit of
blood-and-bone-meal to compost, to get it working faster. This
includes various Web sites, NG posts, and packaging for said
substance.

I have started adding a bit to my compost-in-progress.

However, I am wondering... What exactly is the
chemical/biological mechanism here? The b-b meal is a dry
powder, so I am doubtful of micro-organsms living in there. Is
it just based upon giving the compost a blast of nutrients???

Thanks in advance...


--
Guide To DIY Living
http://www.self-reliance.co.nz
(Work in progress)

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Old 23-10-2003, 11:12 AM
Pat Kiewicz
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

Down Under On The Bucket Farm said:

I have read a number of times that it is good to add a bit of
blood-and-bone-meal to compost, to get it working faster. This
includes various Web sites, NG posts, and packaging for said
substance.

However, I am wondering... What exactly is the
chemical/biological mechanism here?


Blood meal is used to ensure enough nitrogen to get the compost
cooking, especially when the bulk of your material is high in carbon,
like fall leaves, straw, or paper. I suppose you can consider it as
'activating' the microorganisms that are already there. (It's also good
practice to add some old compost to any freshly mixed pile to innoculate it.)

Bone meal is better used directly in the garden for plants that need
a boost of calcium and phosphorous. Depending on how it was processed,
it may or may not contain much nitrogen, which would be more in demand
in the composting process.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(attributed to Don Marti)

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Old 23-10-2003, 12:42 PM
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 23:20:58 -0700, Down Under On The Bucket
Farm wrote:

Hi Everybody,

I have read a number of times that it is good to add a bit of
blood-and-bone-meal to compost, to get it working faster. This
includes various Web sites, NG posts, and packaging for said
substance.

I have started adding a bit to my compost-in-progress.

However, I am wondering... What exactly is the
chemical/biological mechanism here? The b-b meal is a dry
powder, so I am doubtful of micro-organsms living in there. Is
it just based upon giving the compost a blast of nutrients???


I'm a worrier. My concern would be BSE - mad cow disease.
I wouldn't use it, but would find some other non-animal
substance to add to my compost.

There are plenty of other substances that can be used for
this purpose (manure, even small quantities of commercial
fertilizer, greenstone - a natural mineral - various ground
rocks, etc.)

Pat

--
To email me, remove the spam trap and type my first
name in its place.

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Old 23-10-2003, 12:42 PM
Jim W
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

Pat Kiewicz wrote:

Down Under On The Bucket Farm said:

I have read a number of times that it is good to add a bit of
blood-and-bone-meal to compost, to get it working faster. This
includes various Web sites, NG posts, and packaging for said
substance.

However, I am wondering... What exactly is the
chemical/biological mechanism here?


Blood meal is used to ensure enough nitrogen to get the compost
cooking, especially when the bulk of your material is high in carbon,
like fall leaves, straw, or paper. I suppose you can consider it as
'activating' the microorganisms that are already there. (It's also good
practice to add some old compost to any freshly mixed pile to innoculate it.)

Bone meal is better used directly in the garden for plants that need
a boost of calcium and phosphorous. Depending on how it was processed,
it may or may not contain much nitrogen, which would be more in demand
in the composting process.


Killed the crosspost.

Urine is also a very good activator.. Not to everyones preference
though.

Nitrogen (the N in NPK) is needed to promote biological/bacterial
activity and cause your heapt to 'compost' It provides a 'kickstart' for
the heap.

Dried blood on its own works well, but may not be available in your
location.
/
Jim
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Old 23-10-2003, 04:32 PM
Pam - gardengal
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?


wrote in message
...
On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 23:20:58 -0700, Down Under On The Bucket
Farm wrote:

Hi Everybody,

I have read a number of times that it is good to add a bit of
blood-and-bone-meal to compost, to get it working faster. This
includes various Web sites, NG posts, and packaging for said
substance.

I have started adding a bit to my compost-in-progress.

However, I am wondering... What exactly is the
chemical/biological mechanism here? The b-b meal is a dry
powder, so I am doubtful of micro-organsms living in there. Is
it just based upon giving the compost a blast of nutrients???


I'm a worrier. My concern would be BSE - mad cow disease.
I wouldn't use it, but would find some other non-animal
substance to add to my compost.

There are plenty of other substances that can be used for
this purpose (manure, even small quantities of commercial
fertilizer, greenstone - a natural mineral - various ground
rocks, etc.)


Unless you are importing your bone meal from Europe, it is highly unlikely
this should pose any problems. One, there has never been a substantiated
case of BSE in the United States and second, the American method of
processing bone meal differs from the European in that it involves both heat
and solvent treatments, effectively destroying any potential pathogens.

Once again, we can thank the media for blowing things up out of proportion.

If this remains a concern, fish meal, feather meal, alfalfa meal or fresh
manure will work as well. Apply any sparingly - you don't need much to get
things cooking if pile is constructed carefully and aerated properly.

pam - gardengal




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Old 23-10-2003, 05:02 PM
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 15:27:01 GMT, "Pam - gardengal"
wrote:



Unless you are importing your bone meal from Europe, it is highly unlikely
this should pose any problems. One, there has never been a substantiated
case of BSE in the United States and second, the American method of
processing bone meal differs from the European in that it involves both heat
and solvent treatments, effectively destroying any potential pathogens.


There has been in Canada, though.

I have read quite a bit about BSE in the UK, and I do not
believe that the consensus of opinion among authorities on
the matter is that either heat or solvents kill the prions
thought to be responsible for it. [This got to be kind of
an awkward sentence...] In other words, it is believed that
neither heat nor solvents kill prions, AFAIK.

If the authorities thought heat kills prions, believe me,
the British government would have acted on it before now,
and I suspect that the same is true of solvents - at least
any solvents suitable for meat intended for human
consumption.

I don't think there is any way known to kill prions.


Once again, we can thank the media for blowing things up out of proportion.


I don't think so. The media has nothing to do with it.

I have never, ever seen any article on a connection between
bone meal in compost and BSE: it was my own conclusion that
there might be this possibility, based on the fact that
meat-on-the-bone has been implicated in BSE in the UK.

Therefore, I think it's a reasonable conclusion that one
might not want to spread bonemeal around one's garden or use
it in compost - a conclusion that any reasonable person
might make (or might not make).

If this remains a concern, fish meal, feather meal, alfalfa meal or fresh
manure will work as well. Apply any sparingly - you don't need much to get
things cooking if pile is constructed carefully and aerated properly.


Yes, that was my point, perhaps not made as well as it could
have been. There are plenty of alternative substances that
will work.

Pat
--
To email me, remove the spam trap and type my first
name in its place.

CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
United States: http://www.stopthehunger.com/
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Old 23-10-2003, 08:42 PM
omi
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

"Pam - gardengal" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s54...


Unless you are importing your bone meal from Europe, it is highly

unlikely
this should pose any problems. One, there has never been a

substantiated
case of BSE in the United States and second, the American method of
processing bone meal differs from the European in that it involves

both heat
and solvent treatments, effectively destroying any potential

pathogens.
(...)
pam - gardengal


According to a farm newspaper I read each week, most small fertilizer
plants still accept animal bones from meat packers but will no longer
accept dead animals from farmers and individuals. Seems new government
requirements probably due to concerns about BSE make it too costly.
steaming and processing bonemeal - I had not been aware that all US
produced bonemeal was steam-processed but it is probably a good thing
despite the loss of about 10 per cent of the nutrients.

Olin


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Old 24-10-2003, 01:02 AM
Fran
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

"Pam - gardengal" wrote in message

(snip) the American method of
processing bone meal differs from the European in that it involves both

heat
and solvent treatments, effectively destroying any potential pathogens.


The protection against BSE in your example is the fact that there is not yet
any example of BSE having been found in the US. How the Blood and Bone is
made in the US is irrelevant as there is no current treatment known to
destroy the prions that cause BSE



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Old 26-10-2003, 06:02 PM
Glenna Rose
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

writes:

Yes, that was my point, perhaps not made as well as it could
have been. There are plenty of alternative substances that
will work.


I totally agree with Pat here.

Several years ago, before mad cow disease hit the news with great flurry,
I had read there had been an instance of several gardeners becoming ill
with it, with some dying IIRC. The common denominator in those gardeners
was they had all used bone meal when planting their fall bulbs. It was
believed that they inhaled a small amount of powder that had blown into
the air while they were planting. I find it horrible that a simple act of
planting flowers could lead to serious illness or death, but the research
regarding those several individuals indicated that might very well be the
case.

The article I read, which seemed to have been carefully researched, also
talked about certain cultures having a high rate of the disease,
especially in women and children, apparently because of the religious
practice of ingesting a small amount of blood from deceased relatives and
the belief the departed would live forever if this was done.

It seems that in the following media frenzy of covering the disease that a
lot of earlier research was ignored. Whether or not the initial article I
read about it was as carefully researched as it appeared to be, it was
enough for me to decide to no longer use bonemeal (which I had only used
when planting daffodil and tulip bulbs). As Pat stated, there are plenty
of alternative substances that will work. I figure I knowingly do enough
that might be harmful to this ol' body without adding more.

Adding things to compost? I remember the instructor of a composting class
said, "Compost happens." Things will compost, regardless of what we do or
don't do; it's just the rate that concerns us. The first year, my compost
bin (the Seattle Composter) was turned several times during the year. The
second year, not so much. After that, rarely. This past year, not at
all. Know what? There was still a rich layer of incredible soil in the
lower third when I moved it (which was, in effect, turning it). I used
much of that lovely soil in my garden, left the rest in the compost bin
and added to it. I'll bet that next spring, I can turn the bin again and
the lower half to two-thirds will be lovely soil. I look at my compost
bin as a no-work thing. Many of the weeds from all over the yard and
garden go into it, vegetable/fruit kitchen scraps (pre-chickens), and
occasionally some leaves. If I get too impatient that it isn't composting
fast enough, I'll just add a second bin. The grass clippings are used as
mulch so don't get to the bin until they have become weeds from the
garden. The bin gets no special treatment. I leave the lid off except
during winter when our heavy winter rains the Portland, Oregon, area is
so famous for hit. The fruit/vegetable scraps draw fruit flies which
attract the insect eating birds, birds who go on to eating insects in the
garden as well. So my compost bin provides me with rich soil and
insecticide. What a deal!

Glenna



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Old 26-10-2003, 07:32 PM
Tina Gibson
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?



This form of the disease is called 'kuru' and it used to be
endemic (among women and children) in New Guinea, in tribes
in which the women and children ate the brains of dead
enemies. I forget why the women and children did this more
than the men.

Pat

--

Geeze - I can't remember either - wish I had kept that Med Anth. Text. You
always think you'll remember the things you learnt in school. Use it or lose
it I guess.

I sure am rethinking my use of blood and bonemeal now. Have only very
occasionally used it anyhow..


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Old 26-10-2003, 10:12 PM
Pam Rudd
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

When last we left our heros, on Sun, 26 Oct 2003 19:23:57 GMT,
"Tina Gibson" scribbled:
This form of the disease is called 'kuru' and it used to be
endemic (among women and children) in New Guinea, in tribes
in which the women and children ate the brains of dead
enemies. I forget why the women and children did this more
than the men.



Dead relatives, not dead enemies. It was part of the funeral
ritual.

Geeze - I can't remember either - wish I had kept that Med Anth. Text. You
always think you'll remember the things you learnt in school. Use it or lose
it I guess.

I sure am rethinking my use of blood and bonemeal now. Have only very
occasionally used it anyhow..


Well, if you're using products made from US cows, you shouldn't
be any more at risk than if you eat beef from US cows. So far
we've kept it out of this country, but since they've found it in
Canada, I wonder if the US can be far behind.


Pam





--
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."
"ElissaAnn"
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Old 29-10-2003, 12:02 AM
John Savage
 
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Default Compost - Blood And Bone Meal To "Activate"?

Pam Rudd writes:
I sure am rethinking my use of blood and bonemeal now. Have only very
occasionally used it anyhow..


Well, if you're using products made from US cows, you shouldn't
be any more at risk than if you eat beef from US cows. So far


A few years back a national tv gardening program commissioned a lab
analysis of different brands of "Blood & Bone" garden fertiliser here
in Australia. They found that a few brands contained no blood and no
bone. Really! These were a just mixture of chemical fertilisers, in
amounts and proportions that gave a similar N P K etc. analysis to what
would be expected in real organic B & B. I'm not sure whether this was
allowable under retail regulations. Anyway, I'm wondering whether such
a substitution might exist in the US? IIRC, real B & B here carries the
warning that the product may contain traces of arsenic (a former tick
spray, I think, long abandoned but very persistent in the environment).
--
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)



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