**Note: Please wear safety gear when making & using this mix as it is caustic to the skin. Ouch! Good for its intended purposes, though.
Okay so this one is not strictly a fertilizer (like our Biofertilizer recipe #1), it’s more an anti-fungal preparation. Still, anti-fungicides are something our agriculture pours millions, if not billions of dollars into every year. Some of the food you eat today will definitely have had anti-fungicides applied during the growing cycle.
So can you make a natural, low-cost version, which has no crazy side-effects? Yes, you can! And we did. While lots of people watched, who can now go home and make their own.
This preparation was taught to us by the blisteringly awesome Eugenio Gras from COAS in Mexico. COAS works with Campesina farmers in latin america to improve their crops and livelihoods, and to keep them on their land. COAS does this by figuring out ways to do organic agriculture which is decidedly cheaper for the farmer than conventional agriculture.
And they’ve done this partly by devising ways to make organic DIY versions of fertilizers that make plants grow better with more nutritional density, that improves the soils and prevents toxic buildup in the land, the rivers and in the farmers themselves. Everybody wins! Except the conventional fertilizer companies. They don’t win at all.
A situation where a farmer can make their own fertilizer cheaply on their own farm, is a very, very big deal. Especially when you consider that most conventional farmers the world over frequently take out major loans just to be able to buy the fertilizer they need to grow the crops that you and I eat every day.
Add to that a set of DIY fertilizers which give better yields than conventional fertilizers, and are organic (and not toxic to the soil life, the land, the farmer’s family, etc etc) to boot, and you’ve got a very, very, very big deal. I suppose that’s why 60 farmers showed up at our farm from all over Australia to learn how to make BioFertilizers.
This preventative anti-fungicide is designed for agricultural-scale use. In your garden, you could use any number of funky organic anti-fungal preparations (like garlic spray). However, making your own garlic spray for 100 acres (or more) of crops isn’t something that’s very doable – the volumes of ingredients necessary are just too great, and would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming to make.
And that’s where preparations like this Lime Sulphur comes in. A simple, cheap, non-toxic anti-fungicide that anyone can make with basic ingredients, at a scale appropriate for agriculture.
This lime sulphur preparation is generally diluted to 2-3 parts to 100 parts water (so very weak), and sprayed out over crops, trees or any other foliage as a preventative anti-fungal. Eugenio recommends using it in concert with BioFertiliser recipe #1 (or a variation thereof) and phosfito, something I’ll share with you shortly. See also our BioFertilizer recipe #1 which worked splendidly, smells great and is about to be applied to our plants.
- Our past and future adventures with BioFertilizer
- Photos of our BioFertile Farms course with Eugenio Gras and Paul Taylor in October 2010
- Eugenio Gras’s photos of COAS’s work
- Resources relating to this course (including some of COAS’s biofertilizer recipes) and an ongoing discussion on Biofertilizers in english at RegenAG.com
Eugenio Gras was is Australia in 2010 as part of the Regenerative Agriculture Workshop series, which our BioFertile Farms workshop was a part of. Many thanks to Eugenio Gras and Paul Taylor for coming to Milkwood to share their knowledge with us all at this workshop, and also to all the folks who came to learn from near and far.
We’re hoping to bring Eugenio back next year for more Biofertilizer antics, and also to teach us some Chromatography, a technique for cheaply assessing your soil in an ongoing way. If you’re interested in future BioFert events we’ll be doing, jump on our mailing list here.
***NOTE: Biofertilizers, like anything you put on your plants and soil, should be handled carefully and used appropriately.
Next up, the burning of the bones to make phosfito! Viva la BioFertilizer!