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General Organics - Ancient Forest

Discussion in 'Organics' started by Nullis, Dec 28, 2010.


    Nullis Moderator

    I picked up a bag of this composted forest humus, supposed to be alive with 35,000 species of bacteria and 5,000+ species of fungi. The plan was to mix into potting soil and use as an inoculum for my actively aerated compost teas.

    Even though the Fox Farm's Ocean Forest I'll be using already has forest humus I like to include a few additional ingredients to customize my soils. I usually add more earthworm castings and some coco coir; this time I decided to mix in some more humus as well (there is a tad too much perlite in the OF if you ask me).

    So, I open the Ancient Forest up and grab a handful of material. It was very rich, dark and moist just as I would expect. Then I was quite shocked to see something wiggling about in my first handful, and there I saw an earthworm! Then another one! Every other handful it seems had one or two, some of them babies. I think this is awesome because I've been wanting some red worms to incorporate into a soil recycling program. Not sure which species of earthworm they are exactly, although they do look red.

    Any other thoughts/comments on this stuff?

    Heisenberg Well-Known Member

    I use it to make a microbe tea. Two handfuls in a sock bubbled in water for two days gives me a hugely diverse microbe community. It's very effective at keeping disease and gunk build up out of my DWC res. I've had my bag for about 8 months now and it still seems fresh. I've used wiggle worm EWC in the past and it isn't nearly as effective.

    Nullis Moderator

    I usually use castings, just got more wiggle worm also but I'd had a bag of a different brand I got somewhere else. One cup per gallon plus some dry microbe enhanced fertilizer, guano, or catalyst/kelp/molasses; but the brew really starts to boom and foam up with the addition of Humega (an Organicare supplement).

    The humega is supposed to have a microbial profile like this:

    • Heterotrophic Bacteria - 6.2 x 108 cfu/ml
    • Anaerobic Bacteria - 4 x 106 cfu/ml
    • Yeasts and Molds - 1.3 x 106 cfu/ml
    • Actinomycetes - 1 x 105 cfu/ml
    • Pseudomonads - 1 x 106 cfu/ml
    • Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria - 1 x 106 cfu/ml
    The what kinds of microbial communities are present in castings likely varies, but I do know that they are supposed to contain high numbers of the amoeba and protozoa that consume large numbers of bacteria thereby releasing their nutrients.

    Naturally I will do one with the humus in addition to castings, and then I'll try it again with a little Humega.
    Jerry Garcia

    Jerry Garcia Well-Known Member

    Pretty cool finding some worms in there. I would love to get into vermicomposting when I have the living space.

    I have a question about your microbe teas...what size/volume pump do you use?

    Nullis Moderator

    It is a cheap/small air pump that I got from a pet store. I use a regular small aquarium air-stone which seems to work well for 1 gallon brews. I've heard about too much turbulence or microscopic air bubbles being detrimental to the microbes, but the aeration is mostly localized to a portion of the container and I've yet to hear them complain.

    RawBudzski Well-Known Member

    I am brewing some tea right now, many ingredients in it including a little ancient forest. I use a wide semi-shallow container, with my industrial pump and 8inch airstone... many bubbles in center but there is 3x more space for bubbles to collect in the calmer corners. if I use my airstone in a 5gal bucket it creates too many bubbles in that small of surface.

    NightbirdX Well-Known Member

    I used to use it. THere was a thread a month or so back which had some test results in it which a guy had compared Premier Peat vs. Alaskan Humus, and they were just about equal. I do agree that it does have retain moisture well though, I ended up taking it out of my program, because I felt it didn't really add anything noticeable in my last run, in fact yields were on par with this mix, but density was down, not that I directly attribute that to the AF, but it is kind of a pain for me to get around where I am, and if it really isn't giving me any noticable benefits, then I'm not going to go out of my way to put it in. I use a lightly amended Pro-Mix based mix. I add in EWC, Kelp Meal, Dolomite lime, Insect Frass, and azomite. I was adding the AF for the humic value and water retention, but I came across Bio-Ag products and get my humic/fulvic there, and just use Pro-Mix without the AF. I really like the water retention and texture of Pro-Mix. IMO if you are using it as a soil amendment, I would say it is overrated, but I could see using it for teas being very beneficial.

    Snafu1236 Well-Known Member

    I think the 'overabundance' of air bubbles gets too much attention.

    Use a 5 gallon bucket with a air pump and 4 or 5" air stone, brew first 24 hrs half power, then turn up ful blast for last 48.

    You see white foam? Youre doing fine.

    missnu Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...I really like the ancient forest alaskan whatever stuff, I like the way it looks and feels and smells..I like how the bag can sit forever and somehow the sutff never dries out...but I don't see any impace on my plants...I was mixing in 25% with my FFOF...I actually see little difference when adding anything to the base soil, other than how much I have to add again later...lol.

    Tripp2005 Well-Known Member

    Hey I have a question I'm also running dwc been brewing a tea of 1 ml hudroguard I scoop plant susscess can I add this to the tea as well haven't had to strain the stuff I've been using but if I add this I will have to strain it cuz I had a top feed 2 times a day

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