Stu's View from the Loo

Mon, 08/13/2012 - 13:12 — Compost Stu

There are a few ripe lemons and grapefruit in the orchard, with orb weavers and St Johns Cross spider webs laden with dew connecting the trees like mist nets. My poor old Avocado tree, the victim of phytophera fungi, stands skeletal amongst the dense green of the citrus. It has become a monkey bar for the little red melon vine that’s new in my neighbourhood. Here and there a few new shoots show me that there is yet hope for a recovery. I’ve recently learned (thanks to Blue Knob Farmers Market workshop) that I can indeed cure it with doses of 1: 1 Phosphoric Acid / water + penetrant on the trunk and lower branches. It produces perfectly round, large stoned avo’s with the richest, oiliest flesh. Lets hope it recovers. A layer of compost mulch will help too. I’m going to mix 3:1 chip mulch and compost toilet compost and spread it thickly around the base of the tree. The mulch will then break down with a dominance of fungal spores and rhizomes producing a mycorrhizal association with the roots of the Avo. Then the war will begin. My “good” fungi will take on the Phytophera and prevent it from dissolving the small root hairs around the larger roots. Compost toilet product is particulary good for this as it consists mainly of lignin, the “woody” part of wood that is deposited when you add the bulking agent to your toilet. The only thing that will break down lignin effectively is fungi, that’s why you see it growing on logs in the forest. With all the extra nutrients that you provide when you use the loo, the fungi will have plenty of food and white hairy threads will appear in the mulch layer very quickly.
I also use compost toilet compost in my vege patch, but not in areas where I am going to grow root crops. I mix it with manure and more sawdust, let it sit and cook for a month or so, then bag it up for future use. The high temperatures required to kill off any (and there probably aren’t that many if you are healthy) pathogens is reached in the first few days, rendering the mix sterile, then the cool temp bacteria re-inhabit and finish of the job. If you have a compost toilet and don’t use the compost, please let me know and I’ll offer you my services to collect it.
Thankyou to every one who gave me feedback on my last article about eating cane toads. I appreciate it, especially the grossed out people. Most was very positive and I am considering a U tube video about cooking and eating them. Any film makers / IT people out there who’d like to help, please get in touch.

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