Composting using coco peat and biochar (or rice husk ash, "Kuntan")

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Bonaventure, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Bonaventure

    Bonaventure New Member

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    Location:
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    I am looking at cardboard box composting method by Hiroko Tabuchi

    The Compost by My Couch: How (and Why) I Started an Odorless Bin at Home

    However, I am stumped in finding coco peat and biochar (or rice husk ash, called "Kuntan" in Japanese). Is coco peat just the same as coco coir bricks? Also how may I possibly find biochar (or kuntan for that matter) in Vancouver?

    And for the ones who had already tried this, can I replace coco peat with peat moss?
     
  2. Verdi-Kim

    Verdi-Kim New Member

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    Bonaventure, I have used the Compost by My Couch since late fall, early winter. I have a lot of experience with traditional and Bokashi composting, and I am loving this indoor box! I had coconut coir from a big box store that I rehydrated to loosen and then partially re-dried to remove excess moisture. In place of Kuntan I used hardwood ash from our outdoor firepit. It has worked really well. Another article: make your own: indoor compost bin. mentions that the box can handle about 1.5 lbs. kitchen scraps a day.

    I think any high carbon source, such as dry shredded leaves, could replace the coco peat. I'm moving away from peat moss due to its being a non-renewable resource. The hardwood ash seems to have worked fine.

    Additionally, I can get 50 pounds of rice husks nearby from a greenhouse supply company for about $12.50 and plan to partially burn some, creating something close to kuntan. I'm not sure of the availability in Canada, but the product seems to be increasingly popular as a vermiculite/perlite replacement. Hope this helps.
     
  3. BruceLee44

    BruceLee44 New Member

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    Hi Verdi-Kim, just wondering on the size of your system. How much volume of coir/ash did you start with and how much food waste are you feeding it daily? Did you add any microbes to get the process started?
     
  4. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    This reminds me of "terra preta", a soil re-discovered in Amazonia, in which biochar is an essential component :

    Terra preta - Wikipedia
     
  5. Verdi-Kim

    Verdi-Kim New Member

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    The ratio for the carbon source (coir, peat, leaves, etc.) and biochar (rice husk ash, hardwood ash or broken hardwood charcoal) is 3/2. The article I read suggests 15 L coir and 10 L rice husk ash.
     

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