Friday, July 26, 2019

Collecting The Soil Amendments

"T" wrote to ask, "How do you collect all those things?" So let's go down the list and I'll explain. 

Coral sand
     There are plenty of beaches here that are coral sand beaches. But I don't collect sand from them. I consider that to be not only rude, but I'd be degrading a beach. No-no's. So I collect from places where rough seas and winds have thrown coral sand onto paths, beach parking lots, and rocky coasts. I don't need a lot of sand. A bucketful lasts quite a while. 

Coral chunks
     Again, I don't collect from beaches. But there are places along the coastline where chunks can often be found among the rocks. As I walk along picking up trash (yeah, I clean up the shoreline whenever I do my collecting), I also pick up the coral rock I find here and there. 

Lava sand
      This comes from my own driveway. The vehicles gradually breakdown the lava gravel used to surface the driveway, creating sand. 

Ocean water
      I collect this along a section of coastline called Honuapo. I use the ocean water there to make sea salt. And I reserve a gallon or two for the compost bins. 

Burned bone
     I know ranchers who let me collect old cattle and horse bones from their pastures. 

Wood ash
     I use wood to heat my house. I also have two friends who do the same. They save their wood ashes for me, and I much appreciate it. 

     I make my own in a special set up designed to make biochar. I use tree trimmings from my farm for this purpose. It's mostly ohia, but also guava, eucalyptus, christmasberry, Norfolk pine, ironwood, and any other tree that I trim.

     I'm fortunate to have a bank of this along the dead river bed running across my farm. 

Feathers & Fur/hair 
     This comes partially from my own animals and partially from friends' livestock. Friends bringing me a bag of feathers or fur can go home with a bag of veggies from the gardens. 

     I collect fallen fruit from many properties. Some from my own, but mostly from other people. I keep a list of people who are happy to have me remove the fallen fruits from their lawns. I usually leave behind a bag of veggies or eggs in exchange. 

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