UK member or Coffee Grounds

Kevin Topek ktopek at houston.rr.com
Fri Dec 14 11:28:50 EST 2001


Michael and Jeff,

I am from the Republic of Texas which is currently part of the United
States. The soil type in my neck o' the woods is affectionately called
gumbo. It is a gray clay that is harder than rock when dry and stickier that
glue when wet. If you can break it up with organic matter and earthworm
activity, it is one of the most fertile substrates on earth, however it is
no small task getting it friable. If you make the mistake of turning it with
organic matter when wet, upon drying it will turn into brick. There is not a
rock for at least 50 miles around here since we are on the Gulf Coastal
Plain in Houston, Texas.

Paul Stamets is one of the best mycologists that ever walked the earth. It
is quite possible that fungal hyphae and actinomycetes are responsible for
the degradation of long chain carbon molecules in coffee grounds media. I
would sure like to know more about coffe grounds, if anyone has some
experimental or anecdotal data. I would also like to get my hands on
industrial waste amounts, but that has proven somewhat difficult in my
locale. Seems it is easier to landfill them than recycle, regardless of the
associated costs. It's a tough row to hoe, I tell ya what.

Kevin

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Dean <mikedean.com at altavista.com>
To: permaculture <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 10:09 AM
Subject: Re: UK member or Coffee Grounds


> Dear Kevin,
>
> very interesting observation indeed. However could you state what type of
soil you worked with and in what country you are from?
>
> Cheers Mike.
>
> On Fri, 14 December 2001, "Kevin Topek" wrote:
>
> >
> > Andrew and Michelle,
> >
> > Coffee grounds have about the same amount of available nitrogen as other
> > kitchen scraps. There is also a substantial portion of available bean
oil
> > which breaks down slowly over time. Coffee grounds do acidify the soil,
but
> > usually not to the detriment of most plants, unless they are acid
intolerant
> > or the application of coffee grounds is too thick, over 2 inches in
depth.
> > In my experience doing bioremediation experiments, coffee grounds are
> > miraculous. I half-heartedly included them in an experiment of breaking
down
> > used automobile crankcase oil contaminated soil. The spent grounds were
the
> > only sample to produce healthy bush bean growth at the end of the
experiment
> > and had earthworms thriving in the formerly contaminated soil. Other
compost
> > applications did not have as remarkable an effect. Do not extrapolate
too
> > much from this, but I am a firm believer that coffee grounds are one of
the
> > most fertile soil amendments available!
> >
> > Kevin Topek
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <Tarliman2 at aol.com>
> > To: permaculture <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> > Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 8:18 AM
> > Subject: Re: UK member
> >
> >
> > > In a message dated Fri, 14 Dec 2001  5:23:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> > "Michelle Bourke" <michelle at thequality.com> writes:
> > >
> > > > I am interested in hearing an answer to Andrew's question about
coffee
> > > > grounds.
> > >
> > > To repeat, I was wondering about their effect on nitrogen in the soil.
I'm
> > also concerned, which I hadn't previously mentioned, about whether I'm
> > acidifying my soil beyond survivability, and if I need to correct my Ph
> > somehow.
> > >
> > > Andrew Ragland
> > > tarliman2 at aol.com
> > >
> > >
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