Black Diamond Vermicompost

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Chief Tokem, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. What's up everyone? I drove up to the headquarters of Black Diamond Vermicompost today and picked up some worm castings from the owner of the company. She was extremely friendly and I can't wait to use the EWC both in my soil mix and to brew some teas.

    I had picked up a few bags of Worm Gold Plus EWC at the local nursery and it does not even come close in comparison to the vermicompost from Black Diamond. The Black Diamond EWC looks and smells 100 times fresher then Worm Gold Plus. It was 20 dollars fro 20 pounds of EWC that she bagged in front of me. It was a bit of a drive but I'm sure it was worth it. These EWC look so much different then the bagged kind from the nursery.

    It looked to me like the company is expanding and if any of you get a chance to pick some up, definitely give it a try. Good price for a great product yet I am not sure how widely they are available outside of the San Luis Obispo area.

    Regardless I am really excited about the really fresh EWC and cant wait to brew some tea. Everyone I have asked so far has not known anything about using aloe vera rather than molasses. At Black Diamond Vermicompost today the owner explained to me that the carbohydrates of molasses only feed a select group of the bacteria in your tea and I am thinking that aloe vera may contain more complex sugar carbs. I would appreciate any clarification on that if anyone has any ideas. I am questioning if I should use a bit of both in my tea for a bit of diversity, or if aloe vera covers it.

    Also, everyone I have talked to so far about tea's around town have told me that they add humic acid. I thought that I had read a thread at some point in which LD and Jerry were talking about side by side tests disproving the effectiveness of humic acid, but wasn't to sure if there were any special specifications about that and was having a bit of trouble finding the thread. Once again I would appreciate if anyone could clear that up for me.

    Thanks very much for the recommendation of Black Diamond Vermicompost LD! I am in the process of building a little tea brewer and will try to takes some pictures of the brewer and EWC while I am working tomorrow. Any help clearing that bit of confusion up for me is much appreciated, and definitely try to get ahold of some Black Diamond EWC if you get a chance.
  2. Chief Tokem

    I'm glad you are pleased with their vermicompost. I would definitely keep her number for other sourcing. Since they're castings are premium quality, then she'll know who all the players in the Central Coast area.

    With the vineyards, orchards, organic farming, champion horse breeders, Cow Poly and their Horticulture School as well as their Agriculture School - you may be in the best area in all of California as far as getting whatever you could possibly want for organic gardening. Just the vineyards and their strict standards - they're beyond nutty. Especially the organic vineyards.

    RE: Tea Brewer

    Just to play Devil's advocate for a minute: the viability of an AACT is dependent on the quality of the humus you intend to use. Worm Gold Plus (or even their Minus version) will not create a tea on the same level as Black Diamond. Simple to understand.

    Then you have the Malibu BDC to work with. This would be another option for brewing an AACT. Since the purpose of an AACT is to inoculate a soil to raise to microbial colonies and since you need to have a good humus to accomplish this feat and since you're going to use some combination of Malibu and Black Diamond - what benefit do you think that you would get?

    Just curious.......

  3. One other thing - with all the money that you'll be saving you can gas up the car and head over to Jocko's Steak House in Nipomo. Probably the best steak in all of California. I stop there anytime I drive to or from Los Angeles.

    My wife lived in Cambria while I was 'away at school' at FCI Lompoc almost 30 years ago. When I graduated we moved to San Luis Obisbo where I attended school at Cow Poly for a couple of years.

  4. Hey thank you very much for the response LD. The owner of Black Diamond actually asked me to email her over a link to some of the info about Aloe Vera vs. Molasses for teas, and just some of the pages over here. She was really happy that somebody had recommended her product to me.

    Oddly enough,my girlfriend and I were talking about the vineyards on the drive up to Black Diamond HQ. I was questioning the existence of organic local vineyards, but obviously they do exist. I always seem to forget that CP has a really big agricultural program also. I definitely am realizing that I am in a great area for organic gardening, but it seems like I am having an easier time finding a source of everything locally, then I am finding any of my supplies at the store around here. We do not have any good organic gardening stores, but in reality I do want to be getting my supplies locally as the will be fresher, cheaper, and I just enjoy involving myself in the local gardening community.

    On the subject of brewing tea, the quality ingredients for a quality tea rule makes sense to me. I was using the worm castings for my soil mix but saved about ten pounds for brewing teas. I saved some of my other soil amendments (meals) to add to my tea but was only sure about using kelp meal for its minerals/trace elements and alfalfa meal for a nitrogen boost. I know that bone/blood meal take longer to break down so they are not ideal to be trying to brew in a tea. At the same time I had read that guano teas can burn your plants pretty easily, so I wanted to try to stay away form them also.

    I looked into Blu's Bled BDC and it looks pretty awesome. You have your manure which I am assuming has a similar effect as a guano but breaks down a little bit easier and then the rest of the mix is basically and FPE. I definitely think I am going to order a bag. It seems like a little bit of Blu's Blend, a little Black Diamond, and some aloe vera would make a really nice tea. I have kind of been realizing that diversity is truly the spice of life and that holds true even in organic gardening. The more diverse my tea is, with bacterial life forms or different types of trace elements/mineral, the more my plants will be able to uptake the nutrients they are being given. Blu's Blend looks like it would really add some nice diversity. I also have some Grower's Secret Pro (EM) and Eco-Hydro-Fish and Eco-Nereo-Kelp that I have been thinking about adding into my teas.

    The Humic/Fulvic acid looks like it could help chelate the Azamtie in my soil mix, and also help break down some of the minerals in my compost. This sounds like a good quality to have in my tea but am unsure of any other real benefits. Any recommendation on a good brand to look into?

    That second post really made me smile though LD! I grew up having family breakfasts and dinners at Jocko's. We all love the place haha. I am sure I still have my Jocko's monkey somewhere at my parent's house. If you are ever in the area, there is a great new steakhouse called The Range, in Santa Margarita, that is just about as amazing. I also grew up visiting my aunt's boyfriend, who was in FCI Lompoc, every now and then with the family. I have no idea why they used to bring me along when I was probably 5 years old, but I have some odd memories of "students" talking to me haha.

    It really makes me laugh what a small world it is. San Luis Obisbo is a great town, I've grown up my whole life in Arroyo Grande which is about 15 miles south of SLO. I really have recently started appreciating the area for all of it horticultural and agricultural activity and business that help me and my garden out. I have actually been thinking about moving with my girlfriend, up somewhere in Oregon oddly enough. This area is beautiful but it is a bit small for me, especially after growing up here.

    On a final note, a local nursery told me that they would possibly be able to order me in some comfrey starts. My friend just build a small raised bed greenhouse (I live in an apartment building and don't have much room to work with outside), so we were thinking about trying to start some comfrey in it. How easy is it to harvest the leaves for FPE's or to grow the plant in general? I just havn't been able to find much of a local source for the botanical ingredients for the teas so I might as well create my own source.

    Thanks again LD. Sorry about the long post, you just got me all nostalgic talking about my childhood haha. Big ups for all the help all the time.

  5. Heya Chief. I can answer these questions for you.

    One, be certain the strain of comfrey you get is a Bocking 14 cultivator. It's sterile and can not produce viable seed. This is critically important as comfrey is very invasive. Once you plant a comfrey bit of root and it gets established, there is almost no getting rid of it

    2nd point is that you really want the comfrey in open ground as it sends a very deep tap root to pull up nutrients from deep in the soil where they are inaccessible. This is the value of comfrey. As leaves drop, they decompose quickly, returning those hard to get to nutrients to the top soil.

    As far as harvesting, you can keep hacking away at it and it keeps putting out fresh leaf material

    The plant grows easily and very quickly but needs lots of water at first.
  6. Chief

    Horizon Herbs in Southern Oregon carries the correct Comfrey cultivar - Bocking 14. The non-invasive one. They are the only source for root cuttings that I've been able to find.

    These root pieces run $2.00 each and you can cut them in half or even thirds. Horizon Herbs also carries the largest collection of medicinal plants that I've been able to find.

    They are not a seed company but rather a working certified Biodynamic Farm that offers about anything you could want - Stinging Nettles, Valarian Root, Dandelion, Yarrow, Lemon Balm and on and on. They have a pack of 18 seeds for $30.00 which has everything you could possibly need or want other than the Bocking 14 Comfrey.

    If you order from them be sure that you're ordering this specific Comfrey plant. They also carry the highly invasive wild variety. Some people like growing it but unless you have a HUGE empty lot I wouldn't advise it.


  7. If you order from them be sure that you're ordering this specific Comfrey plant. They also carry the highly invasive wild variety. Some people like growing it but unless you have a HUGE empty lot I wouldn't advise it.

    How about your neighbors lot? Just curious........
  8. The Humic/Fulvic acid looks like it could help chelate the Azamite in my soil mix, and also help break down some of the minerals in my compost. This sounds like a good quality to have in my tea but am unsure of any other real benefits. Any recommendation on a good brand to look into?

    Good morning Chief. Sounds like you got it going on! LD says to "Keep your friends close and your humus sources closer" *lol* - in other words, if you have a good humus/castings source, hang onto it!

    Jeez, a buck a pound for high quality castings! Sounds like a great deal my friend.

    As far as your humic/fulvic source, go HERE to BioAg. Good people, reasonably priced and very high quality. Many humic sources are derived from Leonardite, which, I believe, is a form of coal, but these folks at BioAg do not - they are the real deal.

    I use humics carefully myself. I'm scared to chelate too much too fast. I generally use it as a foliar feed.

    Tim at Microbe Organics doesnt suggest to add any humic/fulvic additives until your tea is done brewing - I dont remember why off hand, but his word is gold so I listen. It might just be better to make a seperate batch of humic acid & water and use it, instead of even mixing it with your tea.

    I do also add a little fish hydrolysate to my teas.

    Another great sweetener to use in instead of the molasses is Organic Agave Nectar.

    I have tremendous success with comfrey, but the guys have already given you great info about that. If I were you I would get a few plants so that you can harvest your own next year. Good luck! A dollar a pound sounds great to me! (re: ewc)


    MIW - I kinda wish I had an acre of the comfrey. I'd love to have a compost pile - nice and huge of pure comfrey...*lol*

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