Fertigation at Earthaven Ecovillage
Transcript from video:
Courtney Brooke: Hey Uncle Zev. What are you doing?
Zev: Oh, hey! I’m emptying out this liquid duck gold.
Courtney Brooke: Duck gold?
Courtney Brooke: What does that mean?
Zev: An unspoken treasure. This is our duck water from the sweet ducks. The ancona ducks have been swimming in here the last week About once a week we empty this out and spread this water around to different plants that need it, with its beautiful phosphorus and all the nitrogen and nutrients in there and the duck oils which make this cool rainbow colored oily skim on the top and feed all the plants with it. It’s one of the amazing yields of the ducks. Along with the eggs, and their manure, and their beauty and companionship, and bug eating, we get fertigation water. So that’s what I’m doing. Fertigation…. fertilize your irrigation. It’s like saying wave irrigating in ways that are also fertilizing the plants because of everything i just said.
Courtney Brooke: So do you recommend having ducks?
Zev: Definitely yeah
Courtney Brooke: Who do you recommend having ducks? Why? who should have ducks?
Zev: Well probably people who have a few other companions, a few other crew to do it with. Once I had ducks by myself, when I lived in someone’s backyard in a salvaged metal and earthen building I built. That meant that if I ever went away for the night or was just really tired or something then it was always like “oh god, I gotta go deal with the ducks” or get someone to duck sit the ducks. But if you got a few compadres and comadres then somebody can take care of them when somebody else goes.
So, people who have a little crew, and who have a little diversified landscape. Especially where you can rotate them through different areas. Different paddocks, kind of mini paddocks and rotate them through the garden at the right time when they’re not going to trample teensy plants. Rotate them through the forest garden and around the mushroom logs when the mushrooms are coming out so that they eat the slugs before they damage the mushrooms and around the house to eat the termites. So a diversified landscape, home scale is one of the ways ducks fit really good.
Also, people in traditional Asian cultures use them in big large scale rice paddies. So they’re all manner of things. The trick is, that we didn’t do here yet, is to have the water they swim and be high in the landscape so you can use gravity to get fertigation water to other points. So, this is currently down here for convenience and that’s a little inconvenient.
Courtney Brooke: Hey ducks!
Zev: There’s six of them but there’s only five here because one of them’s in there right now sitting on eggs breeding. They’re hopefully going to hatch out into a new round little ducklings.