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Black Gold revisitted

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I was just wondering if the Black Gold that Daner was testing and experimenting with ever qualified to make a good tea? How long before the biology changed and just how complete a compost it became?
  2. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Hi Guys I have been so busy with snow removal up here...that I just have time for a cup of Mrs Jones dandelion tea now and then:waving:

    But yes It's not over yet...my wife is still watering the one sample of grass that I started with the the Black Gold...In the small test pot.

    The b/g has the highest amount of organic mater in It ...Then any other lawn soil sample I have taken this year...So that's a good thing...and I kinda figured It would be. I will try and make some black tea In the spring time...Hoping you guys/Gals can give me some tips as I go along I'm wondering now...with me being a kinda crafty guy...maybe I can make my own Brewer...... this spring should be very Interesting.
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    There are several DIY brewer sites out there just do a search when you are snowed in, actually you would be out working wouldn't you.

    There are several good brewers out there, Bob over at geotea makes an exceptionally good one that is all stainless steel. Remember you need to keep them very clean so stainless is the way to go.
    Have you seen liquids shipped around in 275 gallon plastic totes? These things are all over the place for free or almost free. They are 48"x40" and about 48" tall and are surrounded by an aluminum frame.
    geotea make a brewer that fits inside these vessels and it works really well.

  4. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Bill, Yes I have seen those totes at the equipment auctions etc...your right there a dime a dozen...I'm off to check out that link you sent.
  5. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Bill...I went to that Link ...but the video wont fire up for me...
    Quick question on the brewers...I know that they have to be super clean...now what grade of stainless do they use?? 308...306?? It just came to my mind that It would be cleaner If It was food grade.
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    I have no idea, but I'll call Bob tomorrow and ask him and post the answer
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    What I was curious about, after all of the compost/tea threads, is this.
    When muck is first removed from the water it probably does not have our desired microbe inhabitants and therefore may not make good tea.
    It would be interesting to know what sort of microbe moves in naturally as it dries and whether it will 'finish' to the specs of good compost as the biology changes.
    Would it help to innoculate with good compost tea?
    Do we have any biological tests on the b/g?
  8. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Smallaxe, I'm almost sure that there will be some changes to the b/g as It dries...Practical testing show no sign of visual growth with moist or dry b/g.

    I don't expect this b/g tea to be anything like a good organic compost tea...But will there be a different biological life going on with this process??...will there be a so call "different good guy " in the batch:)...how about sleepy microbes that will wake up with some additives or aeration...lets give It a try.

    Testing ...I will get the more appropriate biology test done...that will make my buddy Gerry happy:waving: I have some samples right here on my desk and heres the picture of them.

    black gold 005.jpg
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    "Practical Testing" - That is a great idea , Daner. :) Thanks, for thinking it.
    It made me do a search for petri dishes and think about experimenting with some color analysis.

    Speaking of which: I thought this was an interesting site on microbes in a dish. Fun pictures.

    Those pictures convinced me to buy the dishes with alar. Is it organic?

    Anyways I have 3 different aged piles of the stuff and the oldest had some mighty fine weeds in it this year. I suppose if I pulled samples from inside the piles, stirred them like frosting, and dropped them onto alar medium and covered - that would be a good start?

    Do them same with the 2 or 3 local compost sales and see what we get. 5 or 6 dishes to start the spring growing season. Now I am really hating this frigid snow cover :(

    When you do make Gerry happy with the testing it will be interesting for all :waving:
  10. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Daner, look for a used bulk milk tank. There are lots of small ones around because everyone is going bigger and bigger. Look in the phone book in the dairy section and make a few phone calls. You might even have a dairy farmer around you that is selling out his quota and has no use for a tank. Remove it for free and away you go.
    The plastic totes go anywhere from $20 to several hundred at a sale. And they aren't nearly as clean or easy to use as a bulk milk tank.

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