one valuable source of natural fertilizer is pigeon dung, and you have the additional benefits of the pigeons eating weeds/bugs, and of course, supplying meat for a tasty meal.
the podcast is about the pigeon houses used to fertilize crops in the Negev.
EgyptToday has an article about Pigeon towers, found near fields to house the pigeons and keep their nests safe from predators:
|Green seen with pigeon Towers – Mahmoud Hawary|
Pigeon towers are unique icons and beautifully shaped, made with all natural materials and a design that allows fresh air to blow through.
Pigeon owners often allow their birds to fly around through the fields. Aside from being bred for consumption, pigeons are also raised as pets. They are really beautiful birds that have a special voice, wisdom and family structure. Pigeons are extremely peaceful and raise their young together.
Notech has an article about the use of pigeon dung for fertilizer in medieval Iran, and notes it could be used today as an alternative to petroleum based fertilizer. They go into more details than the previous article.
Persian pigeon towers are one of the more elegant solutions to the nitrogen-phosphorus problem. These are essentially castles built for thousands of wild pigeons, strategically placed in the middle of the fields. Their droppings were shoveled up once a year and sold to nearby farmers.
Amusing planet has more beautiful photos here.
and moderns "discovering" traditional fertilizers are not just noticing chickens, geese, ducks and pigeons.
This Article in a Japanese paper on how garbage is "greening" the Sahel in Niger, uses the word "rubbish", but Japan had a long tradition of using night soil for fertilizer, so locals know this is a euphemism.
David Warren, who has a south Asian upbringing, a few days ago linked to a BBC article about ducks in rice paddies, and reminisces about using ducks in rice fields.
There are pretty pictures of the now duckherd farmer, leading his flock through his paddies. The more paddy, the better for the ducks; the more ducks, the better for the paddy. God is bountiful.
The ducks, you see, do not like rice. They eat everything else while the rice grows, at all of its stages: weeds, insects, and many wee creatures which the moderns would restrain by truckloads of pesticides. They also replace the fertilizer truckloads, having been designed by nature to distribute their wealth evenly and lightly. This saves the expense of fuel, in a waste of heavy engineering.
Yes, we still do this: it is only news for foreigners who "discover" what everyone knows here in the countryside.
Not just ducks but quails, for eggs.
One local delicacy are duck eggs (usually pickled in brine, dyed red so you know they are not fresh). Lolo loved them.
And of course, duck supply the local delicacy Balut,
why would anyone eat them? Dirty little secret: they are known for it's aphrodesiac properties.
what brought this up?
Last night, Kuya was negotiating with a local chicken farmer to buy his chicken manure.
Our fields are being prepared for the main crop that will be planted when the monsoons come in May, and we use the manure as a natural fertilizer for our organic rice.
We have chicken houses in our area, mainly for friers, but alas the profit is not good, since imported chicken from VietNam is cheaper due to lower wages there.
we once had chicken houses on our farm, on a high area that was too high to grow crops, until a typhoon a couple years ago flattened the area, and we never rebuilt them.
But our neighbors, whose houses survived the typhoon, still "grow" chickens and supply us with the manure.