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Bone char and other high mineral ingredients

master pollinator
Posts: 632
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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Since I'm now a hardened biochar evangelist, the next logical step in the path of Charring All The Things has led to putting all eggshells, mussel shells and bones into a retort (stainless steel steam table pan) in the wood fire and pyrolising them. This gives me end products which are friable and release the nutrients readily. I've been just incorporating them into the compost pile, but now I'm considering doing compost teas and was wondering if there would be a benefit to putting some of this into the brew.

Thoughts? Methods?
Posts: 35
Location: Noosa Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Hi Phil,

I don't believe so, as in the making of compost teas you are after getting the microbes to multiply.

What you could do is, activate your biochar - bonechar by pouring the completed compost teas over biochar - bonechar and leaving for a couple of day before using.

Posts: 2595
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I think it would be beneficial to the heat sterilized biochar to place it in the fermenter to add good microbes.
Fresh Biochar does in fact have some syn-oil and such between it's pores and so cultivating a strain of microbes that can quickly degrade it, will help with the negative impact that is something seen during the 1st year that biochar is added to soil, when it leaches out 'organic liquids' and by activating the biochar before you add it to the soil you also don't get the usually pull down of mineral from the soil into the biochar pore due to an explosion of soil life between it's pore and it's cation-anion charge.

And some of the dissolved mineral in the compost tea will also will be held and slowly released by the biochar, the same goes for the minerals that get released when the microbes dies/poop/pee/etc.

I have seen some studies that show that the calcium mostly stays put in the bonechar similar to the carbon in regular biochar. But the phosphorus in the bone char is know to migrate out of the structure about 30% per growing season depending on the temperate at which the bonechar was made.
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