A fish per Stalk of Corn

Yes, it could have been a black bear. Since the soil was loose and easy to dig, it could have been other scavengers as well. I wouldn’t exclude dogs either. Some seem to have an instinct for digging. What I learned was that it might be better to make an emulsion rather than bury whole carcasses. I’m assuming that scavengers have a lot of brain processing dedicated to scent processing such that they can tell the difference between scented dirt and a buried meal.

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I’ve had raccoon do the same, but I can’t remember exactly what they were going after- it may have been fish. It was years ago, and I’ve tried just about everything to discover the magic ingredient to super plant vigor. Like the proverbial man who searched the world for an honest man I found that ingredient in my “front yard”. That is, the quick release nitrogen of my own urine or any other source of fast N.

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I was concerned about something digging up my shad so I put them in the ground and let them rot down a bit before planting in the bed. Nothing bothered them while they were rotting. I really figured a skunk would dug them up.

Super plant vigor is all the enemy of fruit quality and sometimes even yield. Nice vigor is good early on. But I’ve seen too many plants in over drive. My figs won’t set a 10% crop when that happened. I can only eat 3-4 pieces of fruit a day. So I’ve searched the world over for quality over quantity.

FN, but of course. I’m speaking of my early years in gardening before I’d ever heard that feeding leaves can starve fruit (well, not exactly), let alone about the craft of sustaining moderate vigor in fruit trees to maximize fruit quality. I think most devoted self taught gardeners tend to seek fairy dust for their plants early on. I got most of my academic education in horticulture 20 years after I started making my living in the dirt so a lot of what I did back then was faith based. Most of those “faiths” were well placed though. Faith in organic matter in the soil and mulch on top, for instance.

It is so much easier to get fact based instructions in almost anything nowadays, thanks to the internet. Of course the internet also passes on lots of myths. Freeloader beware.

“Randomized experiment” pshaww. My fourth grade teacher and Squanto didn’t need no “randomized experiment.”

I’m not talking about the potential positive effects of one fish per hole. Fish would be a good corn fertilizer if something doesn’t dig it up and wipe out the crop. My one concern regarding positive effects is would the fish decompose soon enough to benefit the corn, probably it would. The Indians knew what they were doing. And I’d bet most of the time it was just the guts and waste that went in the hole. That would speed decomposition.

It’s the reported long term negative effects similar to Tordon damage that come into question.

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IIRC the native americans used trash fish and fish waste in the corn hills (they planted in clumps aka hills instead of the rows we use nowadays, and I think the saying was a fish per hill). I suspect that they had dogs, and were well known as hunters to the wildelife which kept the bears, raccoons, and skunks out of their plantings with fish waste. Unlike today, when most wild predators have little or no fear of people.

I suspect the fish provided a lot of N, but also smaller amounts of P and K (most fish emulsion is around 5-1-2) plus calcium from the bones, but that might not have been available for a while.

The ground becoming hard after the fish is a puzzle. There are a few things which can cause that (high Mg, lack of OM and a few others), but putting a few fish in there would not seem like enough to greatly change any of those factors, at least not more than in a small circle around each fish. That change may have had more to do with the clearing of the land and other prep. It would be interesting to get the details on that soil, the analysis of it (ideally before and after but that’s unlikely) and how it compared to the surrounding soils.

Why do you draw me into this stuff? I was fine on the sidelines.

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I’m sorry FN, “What?” was just short for, “what do you mean”- I was confused. Tordon is not a word right on the top of my head as I’ve never used it.

If you don’t want to jump in, just don’t, but I thought your background might be helpful in a general discussion about soil nutrition. Hot there today?

Hey we’re good and you are right. Good dehydrating weather today about 95. But sun is already dropping noticeably lower and I’ve only got a 6 weeks to finish.

Have you tried any of your frozen nects to see if I have any idea what I’m talking about.

No haven’t tried them yet. That’s winter fare.

I just figured you’d try one wedge to see how much room you might want to donate to them.

back in the day, the farmers/fishermen in prince edward island(atlantic canada) were having trouble growing potatoes due to a deficiency of N, but lobsters were so abundant then-- that they literally used the crustaceans as fertilizer.
evidently, if you live on an island surrounded with lobster-rich waters, but can’t grow rice or wheat, you will develop a severe craving for carbs

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Maine Lobstermen I’ve known often can’t stand to eat lobster. Beef steak is what they severely crave, but with potatoes on the side.

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evidently, maine isn’t a place for cattle farming.
in the tropics, you can’t grow strawberries, unless you are farming in the colder high altitudes. So the mountain farmers there, who are so deprived of iodine and sodium due to tropical leaching, eagerly trade their high-value berries with the lowlanders for salt, sardines and other baitfish, which cost a dime a dozen.

evidently, both parties see it as a hard-to-beat deal, and feel each has exploited the other…

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To think I have trouble keeping beef out of my yard. Three escape herds wound up here a few weeks ago. The owners know where to look for them. I have them gate access for easier loading. I raise hay and trade for beef every year so it all works out most of the time. A bull nearly got me this last time so it would not hurt my feelings if those lobster fisherman ate a few more. I’ve had up to 50 head of cattle here at once. I suppose they can smell the grass and know it’s where the hay they eat comes from. Whatever the reason this is where every cow goes when they make a hole through a fence somewhere.


Fish is going up in price as is fertilizer .

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