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Filtering fermented funk

Posted by Prairie Sundance 
Filtering fermented funk
May 26, 2021 10:30AM
This is my first year attempting a “full” spray schedule, and pretty much every batch I’m applying has some rotting plant material in it, (nettles, comfrey, horsetail, garlic, etc...) Besides the fact that any blowback leaves me smelling like I just crawled out of the dumpster behind the taxidermist, I’m also too stupid to come up with a system for filtering this gunk that feels efficient at all. Everything I’ve tried so far either clogs up and stops filtering altogether or lets so much through that I spend half the time unplugging the spray nozzle on my backpack sprayer, (maybe bigger sprayers aren’t as finicky?)

Please help me by sharing your super effective way to filter your plant based brews, (and favorite soap for removing its aroma before you are kicked out of bed.)

Moderator; is this more appropriate in Sensibly Equipment? Second guessing....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2021 10:45AM by Prairie Sundance.
Re: Filtering fermented funk
May 27, 2021 06:08PM
Organic particulates are part of a nutrient-based approach to orcharding, be it a fermented plant extracts, seed oils not quite liquefied, established layers of gunk finally flaking off the spray tank, or not-totally-soluble humic powders. I strain larger bits of plant matter through a quarter-inch mesh basket when pouring into five gallon buckets. This in turn gets poured through the basket strainer on my PakTank. That very fine mesh can clog (nettle particularly does this) in which case I need to "bottom stir" the strainer to give the extract openings to make it through. Additionally, I have a hand kitchen strainer to catch things floating in the tank water or when pouring a purchased nutrient formulation with a slight mold layer directly into the mix. A tractor-powered sprayer has an in-line strainer as well and it's not unusual for me to stop midway through a spray (when nozzle pressure goes way down) to unscrew that in order to shake accumulated debris out by hitting it against the tractor tire. That in-line strainer gets properly rinsed in between every fill-up as well.

Backpackers have a few options to consider. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bucket before pouring the ferment into backpack sprayer. Don't expect to use every drop: ferments settle in the drum so only use the upper portion, knowing the funk portion can be directed to the compost pile. Utilize a tea infusion approach (pouring boiled water over the herb) rather than a full ferment – you won't get all the constituents out of the herb this way or the biological action but it will still amount to something. And it's a single day process not a week or more.

I deal with the smell factor in two respects. A sense of humor is essential. As is gratitude. Plants used for medicine – and green nutrients are very much medicine – freely offer their gifts. Orchardists may not offer tobacco or similar to honor the gift (as many herbalist friends do) but it's still vital to harvest plants used for fermented extracts with an appreciative heart. And really? You change your shirt and pants, take a shower, and voila! it's a new you. That strong essence isn't much different than stabilized fish, and if it's too much, then buy nutrient formulations rather than go the homegrown route.

Finally, have no fear where to categorize a forum post. The index primarily serves to keep things logical for the long haul. This thread didn't belong in 'Arboreal Microbes' because the biology is much to small to clog any sprayer. If in doubt, use 'Just Talk' and we (the moderators) will take it from there!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2021 03:36AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Filtering fermented funk
November 17, 2021 08:46AM
Hi Prairie, try googling "compost tea filter bag" This is what I use, underneath a kitchen strainer when I'm
"harvesting" my tea ferments into a 5 gallon bucket that then can get dumped into my spray tank. My bag has lasted at least 5 years now so even though these are pretty expensive, they are worth it! I'm pretty sure my bag is a 5 gallon size? Hope this helps!

Vista Ridge Orchard
Zone 8a in Washington
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
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