Volunteers build 8 new bioreactors for the ONfungi 2023 season

Nov 1, 2021 — Volunteers Pam Steele and Mike Pitcher pose by the bioreactors being started for the 2023 growing season. Along with Dave Bustard (not shown) the team has now filled 4 of 8 bioreactors (update: nov 2). Well done team!

“I’m really impressed with their dedication. They started on a new bioreactor this morning and by finish time it was full,” said Scott the wizard Hortop.

The new volunteers join the bioreactor crew of Scott Hortop, Mark MacKenzie, Kelvin Hodges and Emma Roy. “We have 8 new bioreactors prepping fungal dominant compost (FDC) in support of the 2023 growing season,” said Emma. “I’m looking forward to years of continuing research.”

Follow the Story: Video and plans for the bioreactors are in progress. See you soon.

UPDATE FROM SCOTT: Bioreactors are full!

8 bioreactors now full and cooking for the 2023 season.

November 10, 2021 — Scott the wizard Hortop reports that all 8 of the bioreactors are now full. Special shout out to volunteers Pam Steele and Mike Pitcher who made “an exceptional effort,” says Scott.

The leaves will be used to help Lanark area farmers regenerate overworked soil and store carbon. “We use your leaves to produce a particular type of compost called fungal dominant compost (FDC),” says Scott. “Once digested they serve like a probiotic or inoculant to enliven the biology of degraded soil.”

Previous update: Leaf drop off locations / bagged leaves required

November 5, 2021 — To finish, we need another 200 bags from Almonte.

If the leaves are chopped by your lawn mower that is a great advantage. Grass clippings can be included. Hosta type greenery is welcome. Please do not include stones, shrub brush, walnut detritus or other woody material.

And please: we don’t want to divert leaves that you would otherwise compost on your own property.

Drop Off – anytime before Nov 15th to 4925 March Road, 1 km east from the Almonte roundabout. Long driveway. Drive past the white house to parking behind. Add to the pile! I have a small pickup truck if you need a pickup. Please check with me before coming. Scott Hortop  1 647 637 8838 (old GTA cell phone, sorry).  

Pakenham Residents: We supplied compost to Alberto Suarez-Esteban this summer for his CSA vegetable farm (Kelvin says short video to come). Alberto also needs leaves for a similar purpose this year. Please call 613 255 5509 to arrange a drop-off at 112 Lynx Hollow Road.

This project is a convenient alternative to driving to the Howie Road dump … which is now closed. We are also an option that lets you get rid of the bags immediately before they get wet or fill your garage while waiting for the Municipal collection days (see box below).

A good use of leaves

Would you like your fall leaves to be used to help Almonte area farmers regenerate overworked soil and store carbon. We use your leaves to produce a particular type of compost called fungal dominant compost (FDC). It serves like a probiotic or inoculant to enliven the biology of degraded soil.

Thanks to the many neighbours who contributed 200 bags last year and the help of Joe Lee, Bob Kurus and Al Goddard. We filled 4 bioreactors last year which will be ready to use spring 2022.

This spring we shared the fungal dominant compost from a 2017 batch with several farmers and with several gardeners with a request that they give us “citizen science” type feedback on how it performed. Kelvin and Sue (video results here); Mike N sent in rooting feedback. In each case significant root success was found using the FDC. Emma Roy did an additional larger scale plot test program and it too showed good results. That story here.

The bioreactor project is also supported by the Climate Network Lanark and its Compost Working Group.

Citizen Scientist and Regeneration Influencer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *