[permaculture] Humus

John D'hondt dhondt at eircom.net
Tue Nov 15 14:44:38 EST 2011

Sorry Dieter,

The only reference I have at hand would be from Odums, "Fundamentals of 
ecology" a book that is never far from my hand. As Lawrence knows, I am very 
bad in keeping track of everything I read otherwise. I spend an hour or two 
on the PC every day during which time I read hundreds of pages. I simply 
can't keep track of sources for that would mean keeping many megabytes every 
I tend to remember ideas but forget about autor's names or where they wrote 
As I said I did some little bit of work on humus in another life and found 
that Odum was correct in stating that it does not matter much which 
vegetable feedstock is used in humus production. Of course the mineral 
content will differ but the general shape and form of the humic acid 
molecules is the same.
As to animal manures, I definitely remember articles by archeologists who 
excavated medieval middens and found proof of which animals were being kept 
from the chemical analysis of the black stuff in the pits. In one case pigs 
and in another site sheep. To find out more archeological articles are where 
to look. Can't say more for my memory is not that good.

> -- On Mon, 11/14/11, John D'hondt <dhondt at eircom.net> wrote:
>> It is almost impossible to find out afterwards whether broccoli
>> heads or rice bran was used in humus production.
>> In contrast, when animal manures are included it is still
>> possible even after a hundred years (and often much more) to
>> determine exactly which animal contributed to the fertility.
> Do you have any reference for this?
> Dieter
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