Friday, August 15, 2008

Guano-liscious or Bat-tastic

I'm not usually one to speak highly of fecal matter but when it comes to bat guano I have to say, it's delicious!-sort of. Please allow me to explain myself. In the spring Kellie picked up a small bag of Bat Guano from the Clintonville Community Market (, I read the instructions that said to brew a "tea" with it (would you like some crumpets with that?) and use it to water your plants to help fertilize them, as I did about once every two weeks or so. The results have been great! one cup of guano brews about one gallon of tea which I further diluted when watering, so one bag, about 1-2 lbs has lasted almost three months, great deal for about $5.00. I later did more research and found that the balance of nutrients in guano is great for fruit development which I can attest to, especially as dry as the weather has been lately, we have lots of tomatoes (as previous posts have announced) and many of the other vegetable plants seem to love it too. Thanks to happy bug eating bats and other cave-dwelling guano eaters we have a small Collard green plantation, as well as lot's O'maters. In addition, the jungle of tropical fruit plants I have nurtured over the past few years love the poo too! Cherimoya, Sapote, Mango, and of course the passion fruit flowers beautifully every time I feed it. A few draw backs to the treasured booty (huh-huh, get it booty, bat poo, I kill myself sometimes hee-hee-hee!) is 1. The smell of the tea; you want to keep it sealed up tight in a container while it brews because it smells less than wonderful and that smell can carry pretty well, this has also kept me from using it on plants in the house since it can attract fly and gnats for a day or so after watering. 2. You need to be a patient person, it takes about a week to brew the tea so that it doesn't burn your plants, the guano itself is a "hot" fertilizer and it will likely kill you plants if you apply it directly. 3. The bugs, if you don't keep it sealed TIGHT while brewing you will find a plethora of freeloading insects breeding in it. My first few batches rendered a bath of maggot-like larvae floating in it, I also kept finding some strange looking green bugs dead in it, and of course, anywhere there is standing water you will get mosquito's. I even changed to a bucket with a lid but since it didn't seal tight I would open it and get a cloud of skeeters. However, even if you do get bugs in it you can strain them out through a screen with the solids from the guano before using to water and the lumps I just put in the compost pile for added yumminess later on. So that's my two cents on Guano, it may sound creepy but it's a whole lot safer than the E.Coli-Salmonella-SARS-Bird flu stuff that you are getting at the grocery store lately (I know, I had to slip in some propaganda somewhere right?)

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