The Most Important Compost You’re Probably Not Using


Alright, this is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com. Today we’re having another exciting episode
for ya and where I’m in the world today. I’m in Conroe, Texas. It’s outside Houston, probably like a half
hour. I don’t know, depending on where in Houston
you are, an hour. And um, I’m at Nature’s Way Resources
and for those of you that are long term viewers, you might’ve saw the video I made here actually
in about three years ago or so. I’ll put a link down below so check that
episode out which basically gives you an overview tour of what they do here at Nature’s Way
Resources. This video is going to be entirely different. In this episode, we’re actually gonna talk
about some of the new happenings here at Nature’s Way Resources, but more specifically about
one of the specific products they have here that’s different than basically any other
composting place that I’ve been to before. It’s the fungal dominating compost. More importantly, how they make it, why it’s
so important, and why you should be using it in your garden and actually even how you
guys can make it if you’re not able to get the fungal dominated compost that they make
here cause it’s quite unfortunate that most places do not sell fungal dominated compost
and it can be very difficult to get. Anyways, let’s head into Nature’s Way
Resources to find out what is going on that’s new and also then get into how this specifically
fungal dominating compost is made. So now I’m here on property at Nature’s
Way Resources. Basically this is just a big soil yard, right. They have all kinds of different, you know,
landscape rocks and actually functional, you know, basal rocks and greensand for trace
minerals into your garden. They have different composts blends, different
soil, pre-made soil mixes that you can just directly plant your vegetables into, or azaleas
or roses or other plants. They have like, over forty different kinds
of mixes for all kinds of different stuff, right, but the new thing they have here, actually
they have a little nursery that they started, selling native plants that will grow really
well here in Texas along with herbs and vegetables, right. The plants you grow here will actually grow
in this climate, in this environment, you know. Some p, some, uh you know, big box stores
you might go to, they might sell you things that don’t really do well right here and,
you know, they know this, and they do that because you’ll have to rebuy them again
next year, replant them because they’re not gonna do well. So that’s really cool that they have a nice
nursery with fruit trees and vegetable plants with pretty affordable prices at that actually. I think it’s like a dollar fifty for a four-inch
pot at this time, and then if you buy in bulk they give you a discount, too. Also, the thing I wanted to mention was that
once they get the plants here and they just feed them organic methods. So like they do composting to all the plants
in their nursery which is really cool to keep their health up to ensure that they’re gonna
be healthy. So when they get planted in your garden, they’re
gonna thrive, you know, especially if you’re using some of the soil that you guys buy here. Anyways I actually wanna do a quick shot on
some of the plants they got at this time of year and also a great resource that Nature’s
Way Resource offers for you guys. So now I’m in the area with their vegetables
and as you guys can see it says “All plants maintained organically to protect bees & butterflies
& your safety.” So you know, that encompasses not spraying
any type of pesticides or chemicals on them. They treat them all naturally as needed and
give them compost tea, and it says “We do not sell GMO plants.” So that’s very important for many people. The next thing I want to show you guys is,
you know, here’s a little demonstration like container garden that they’ve got growing
on, right. It’s basically just in this big, oversized
nursery pot, and the cool thing here that you’ll learn in a second is that you could
get everything you needed to start a garden literally, right. You could buy the plant starts and here’s
some like colored greens. They’ve got plenty of colored greens, little
plants, nice healthy plants at this time. Mustard greens, some okra in here, looks like
some garlic going on in there, too. So you can buy the plants here. You can also get the soil here, right, which
they got filled up a nice soil blend. Some of the best soil actually I’ve found
here in Houston and actually all of Texas for that matter, and also another cool thing
is you can get these free containers. They will provide you with free containers,
you know, for customers here that make a purchase, right, and you can buy a bag of soil and pick
up a whole bunch of containers. So you guys can have a container garden even
if you have a patio or whatever, you know. Some of these containers are actually quite
expensive. Some of these big, large containers that they’ll
give you guys for free for customers could be like twenty dollars, fifteen dollars each,
or you can just get a lot of smaller containers, you know, that are eas, eas, easily, and you
know, have like one plant per container. Now the thing I want to caution you guys against
is I want to encourage you guys to get the biggest container as possible. It’s gonna make your garden experience easier,
because some of the smaller containers, especially in the middle of the summer in the heat, they
dry out really fast and you will need to water them quite often. So make sure you set up an irrigation system. So check it out man, Nature’s Way Resource
is a great resource for your containers to grow a garden, right. These are all the plastic, inexpensive plastic
nursery containers that many trees and shrubs and plants come in that the landscapers bring
and dump here, or leave here, for free, right, and if they take these to a landfill they
have to pay a dumping charge, but if they bring them here and leave them and then Nature’s
Way Resources here gives these and provides these to customers for free so that they don’t
go in a landfill, right. This is amazing. I think more places should recycle the pots. I mean, I know I save almost all my pots,
even the small six-pack ones, I basically give away to people to reuse, but any larger
containers are so valuable for a home gardener, because you always have, you need an extra
pot and you can grow more things if you have more pots. So actually real quick I want to head over
to the pot pile and show you guys some of my favorite pots that you guys should get
if you guys come here. So alright, if you guys come here to get a
pot, right, not that kind of pot, a growing pot, right. I would, if I was you, I wouldn’t waste
your time getting like one gallon pots. I mean, they’re a dime a dozen. There’s so many of those guys here. I mean, maybe a three-gallon pot may be valuable,
but I really want you guys to look for are the large ones like these guys, right. Like a twenty-five-gallon pot here. Now you have, it’s kind of busted out on
the bottom, but you could maybe duct tape fixes everything or glue it up or put some
big like mulch in the bottom so your dirt doesn’t escape out the bottom, but look
at this man, free pot and then you could buy your good soil here to grow in this pot literally,
and actually they have non leaching potting mix that won’t run off and leave stains
on your concrete. But yeah you can grow lots of vegetables inside
here or even like a tree, right, on a patio. That being said, you get what you paid for,
some of these pots are in maybe not the best condition, have some holes, but hey, these
guys will mostly hold soil for you guys. So yeah, if you come here, I would look for
the largest pots that you can and, you know, start growing in it, right. Anyway you guys can grow some food is better
than not growing your food, and I’m so glad that they’re actually keeping plastic out
of the landfill and providing a free service to people to give them pot, I mean pots. So the real reason for this episode today
is because I really want to talk to you guys about fungal dominated compost, right. This is a compost unlike any other that you
normally buy. Like if you go down to your local big box
store and you buy compost. You know, that’s a whole other topic that
I can sit and talk to you guys about for like hours is what is compost and compost is like
a broad definition. It’s like food, right. If you just say oh that’s food. Food for humans and then like specifically
what’s in the food, right. It could be Oreo cookies is food, coke unfortunately
is considered food. You know fish, eggs, dairy, meat is food for
many people. You know, fruits and vegetables are food for
me, and so like there’s so many different categories and it’s quite unfortunate that
compost is being, in my opinion, misused. There’s so many things they’re calling
compost that’s not really compost, you know. It could just be like sawdust is mixed into
a mixture and they call it compost. Or sat and aged for a month, they call it
compost. Or compost can be made out of sewage sludge
and bio solids, which, you know, some places here in the local area offer. They do not offer any kind of bio solids here
at Nature’s Way Resources or sewage sludge, right. Basically, what they do is they convert organic
matter, and this is what you’re seeing here. Mostly the organic matter and it’s a form
of leaves and trees and, you know, shrubs and bark. They turn this material into a properly made
compost, right, and by properly made compost I mean, you know, made properly. Many composts can be made really fast in just
six weeks. Like windrow compost that doesn’t have the
biologic activity and is not of, in my opinion, of good quality to grow good highly nutritious
food. Here instead they make a good quality compost
that can take, you know, one and a half years to make that’s aged properly that like a
good fine wine, you know. The bacteria and the fungi counts are literally
off the charts, and you’re gonna get better growth experiences. That being said, most compost you buy are
bacterial based compost, which are done, you know, using bacteria and in heat to produce
a compost that’s made very fast. The kind of compost I’m talking about today
is fungal dominated compost which has the fungi in it that is actually broken down slowly
over time. The fungal dominated compost they make here
takes them two years. I mean that’s like over like over eight,
seven hundred, seven hundred days, right, to make a compost to turn in to what you guys
see behind me into a product they can sell. You know, that being said, their business
model is sustainable because when people come in to dump off the trees and the limbs and
the shrubs, they gotta pay a fee to dump it off and then they basically sit on the merchandise
for two years and basically allow it to compost and break down and then sell it, you know,
when it’s finally done to turn a profit, right, and more importantly, they’re not
doing this for all profit here, they’re doing it because the owner, John Ferguson,
who is a soil scientist, his heart is in it. I mean, he had chronic, he almost lost his
life like I almost lost my life when I was younger and because of chemicals, right, and
he was gardening and he was using some fungicides and got deathly ill and almost lost his life
because of that. So he found there’s a better way by doing
things proper and not by cutting corners which is unfortunately what many businesses and
companies do these days cause to make a profit is a primary motive and objective to many
companies in the world, and of course this place needs to be sustainable and make turn
a profit, but that is not their primary focus. Their primary focus is to, you know, give
people alternatives and share with them a better way of doing things, and I wish there
would be a place like Nature’s Way Resources in every country, in every city across the
nation to divert things that would normally go to landfill and also to build healthier
soils that can help with things like the changing climate dear I say, right. So anyways, when they accept the brush and
things that they do, they only accept things smaller than, you know, twelve inches in diameter. They don’t want those old, big ass, fat
tree stumps, right, and why is this? Because the thinner leaves and the branches
have more nutrition and so it’s these nutrients that come in on this stock here that basically
get compressed down, composted down, and then it turns it into a very nutritious fertility
agent. I dare not say fertilizer because in the state,
in the great state of Texas agriculture will come in and arrest me, and actually that’s
not too funny because one of the products they offer here is greensand and in the state
of Texas and maybe other states like New Jersey, right, greensand is considered a fertilizer,
and so then you have to go through all these different labeling laws if you want to use
greensand in something cause now you’re making a fertilizer claim, right. So they don’t make any fertilizer claims
although these products here will probably have the most fertility to your garden more
so than miracle stuff in a bag. That’s artificially colored in my opinion. So, but yeah, so there’s so much like, like
idiocy in government and in rules and regulations, but basically getting out of this is just
basically getting back to nature, and in my opinion, in most cases, true nature should
not be regulated. So if you want to get greensand to richer
mixes, they’ll sell to you here, but they can’t actually mix it into many of their
products like they did years ago. So I would encourage you guys to, you know,
get some greensand and actually mix it in your guys yourself, but anyways once they
get the product here like this, it then goes to a big grinding machine, not chipper machine,
to break it down. So let me go ahead and actually show you guys
how that grinder works to basically, as a first step to breaking this down and turning
it into their fungal dominated compost. So now what you guys are seeing behind me
is actually an industrial grinder that they take the green waste that comes in and grind
it up into a smaller particle size. This is imperative for making compost faster. I mean, of course, they could leave big branches
and twigs and everything breaks down over time, but they want to shorten this as much
as possible cause already the process takes two years and it could take a lot longer. So with the grinder behind me, it’s actually
a grinder more like a hammer mill that’s actually flailing and chopping things up and
breaking open the cell walls of the, of the wood and all the different plant material
that’s going in there so that the microbes can have access to it, right. This is not simply a chipper. Chippers are not as good as the grinders because
the grinder will basically break open more cell walls and expose that to the microbes
that can then break it down faster. So I encourage you guys actually instead of
a chipper, get a grinder. They’re much more beneficial. Something just flew out of the air. But, but yeah, so this is the first step. So once they grind it down, then it’s actually
just gonna sit in a pile and they’re just gonna basically let it age, and the fungal
dominated compost that they’re making here basically first starts out as their mulch
material, and be sure to click the subscribe button right down below because we’re actually
gonna go deep into mulch and you’re gonna learn about the best mulch you guys should
be buying, but anyways there mulch material can sit for a year and a half until it’s,
it’s ready to be sold as their premium mulch and then even after that it’s taken and
then processed further into their fungal dominated compost. So let me actually go ahead and show you guys
the first step of making the fungal dominated compost after the grinding. So once they make the wood chips, the wood
chips basically go through different stages and they sit there, right, so some of these
wood chips have been sitting here for like a year, you know, could be a year and half
and they basically slowly overtime they decompose primarily through fungal methods. If you kind of go through some of here, you
can kind of see some of the fungal hyphae and the white in some of the literally mulch
that they’ve created that some slowly breaking down over time. You know, primarily with a carbon based source
they’re not adding the nitrogen to get that compost pile that we want. They’re literally just using all the chips
of the wood and the other brush material to break down slowly, you know. Some people may inoculate their piles with
mushrooms and things like that but basically here they just make the fungal dominated compost
and they might take some of the screening from the last batch and add it to the current
batch as their inoculant to basically get the process going again, and then all there
is is time. They might only turn this pile a few times
a year. The main thing is they do not want to disturb
the microbes in there. You know, if they start flipping this pile
a lot and doing all these things to it, right, that’s gonna lower some of the nutrients
and actually kill a lot of the different mycology in the pile. They do that as minimal as possible. So literally I mean they’re just sitting
on their merchandise for a year and a half to get it to break down. If you want to see more about this process,
be sure to click that subscribe cause you’ll see how they make the different mulches here
and the how they make exactly how they make the fungal dominated compost except for the
final aging step and for that I’m actually gonna have to take you guys over to the woods
to learn why they actually leave their fungal dominated compost actually sitting in a pile
next to the woods here. So one of the cool ways that Nature’s Way
Resources unlike many composting places that I’ve been to. I mean literally this is in the country there’s
like a forest all around us this is a nice wooded area and that’s very important for
making compost because, I mean, in nature. I mean we are creatures of nature but we yet
we do not live in nature, right. In nature there’s all these different, you
know, bacteria and fungi and nematodes in proper balances because nature is a self-balancing
system that we’ve gotten away from. We try to use chemicals and vitamins and drugs
and all these things and all these things to balance our systems when really we just
need to kind of follow nature’s mold and what is already here, right. So being in nature, this area is subject to
nature so different, you know, fungi and beneficial bacteria and nematodes will be blowing into
the land, landing on the compost and, you know, creating the fertility and breaking
all the different materials down into something your plants can use. So one of the final stages in making the fungal
dominated compost, when it’s finished they actually put it on the edge here next to the
forest so that some of the nematodes that are living in the forest can actually migrate
in to the rich fungal dominated compost and do their work, right. Everybody, we’re always looking for a better
home, whether you want to move up into a nice mansion or whatever kind of home it is, right,
and when, when the fungi and bacteria and nematodes see this nice pile of literally
material they can actually move into and start doing their decomposing work, they’re happy
to do so, and then when you bring that product home, now you have the beneficial nematodes
in your soil. You know this is something that’s not gonna
happen in a sterile laboratory. Right, and you know people thing nematodes,
John nematodes are bad. Those are those things that cause root rot
and all kinds of stuff, right. Well think about this, right, we’re always
talking about the bad things in life. It’s bad to do this. It’s bad to do that. There’s bad nematodes, right. I don’t know. There’s a couple dozen bad nematodes out
there, but there’s hundreds of varieties of good nematodes that are beneficial. I mean, I spread beneficial nematodes into
my garden, if I remember I’ll put a link down to the video, but I believe that helped
me tremendously to help keep some of the disease pressures down because now I got nature on
my side, and I want nature not chemicals on my side. So actually I’m glad that they do this step. You know, because they’ve been in business
now over twenty years, they’ve refined their process and they do things to make a better
product. Right, and so I think the next thing we’re
gonna do, I actually wanna go over to their fungal dominated compost, sit down with you
guys in it, smell it, and talk to you guys more about why I believe fungal dominated
compost is a very critical part of your garden that unfortunately most of you guys are missing. So now I’m sitting here on the finished
product, right. This product is from the time it came in is
trees and got, you know, shredded up, ground up. It’s been two years so literally, I mean
when I was here three years ago some of this stuff hadn’t even come in yet, but this
stuff has been sitting here two years and this is known as fungal based or fungal dominated
compost, right, and when I dig into this stuff, it’s nice rich and black and this is unlike
the compost you guys are buying cause you guys saw that it’s literally from trees
and limbs and whatnot and basically has been sitting down over time and you smell it. It has a nice like earthy smell. I’m seeing like little like white threads
going in on some of the pieces of wood here and that’s literally the the fungus or the
fungi that’s in there. It’s quite unfortunate in organic gardening,
you know, it’s usually bacteria based and when you do that, your plants don’t have
the best level of health, right. You can have a lot of problems and, you know,
some of the healthiest gardens I’ve visited in my travels was basically a fungal dominated
compost garden where they basically use wood chips and use those to break down and decompose
over a year and a half, two years and they grow in that rich fertile soil to have dinosaur
tail leaves as big as my head. I’ll put a link down below to that video
so you guys can see how they did it there and, of course, if you have land and space
to get wood chips and let them break down and decompose for several years, by all means
that should be the first thing you wanna do if you have acreage. Of course, I don’t have any kind of acreage
to do that on, to let wood chips break down over a couple of years. Furthermore, I’m like most Americans and
I wanted something yesterday, you know. I don’t wanna wait two years to break down
wood chips. So that’s why there’s a place like Nature’s
Way Resources where you can spend some money where they took the time to make the fungal
dominated compost so you can bring it in. You can start growing in it and reap the rewards,
and so I wanna talk more about that, you know, and so how do you know compost is fungal dominated? Cause you’re gonna call most yard places,
landscape places that make compost and do you have a fungal dominated compost and they’re
gonna be like what and they’re not gonna know what you’re talking about. So what you wanna do is you wanna ask them. Do you have a food soil web analyses that
basically breaks down all the different, you know, life in the soil, and so here they have
a food soil web compost analyses of actually their mulch which is basically the product
that gets turned into this product here. You know, they, the company here, they release
some documents on certain materials, certain legal reasons that probably if they release
some data, you know, the state of Texas might get after them because they’re gonna try
to find another way to fine them or something because they’re doing something wrong and
the laws even though they’ve been doing the same thing for like the last twenty years. Anyways, what we wanna look on here is most
composts are gonna actually be bacterial based have an excellent active and total bacteria
levels and if you look on this testing, the active fungal levels and total fungi will
be very low and that’s a sign that the compost was made basically in a in a fast method. So it’s not really encouraging diversity
in the compost. It’s gonna be bacterial based and that’s
what most of you guys have been putting on for all these years, you guys have been adding
to your garden. I mean, if you guys make compost in, you know,
in a fast method with a lot of heat and add in your carbon and nitrogen, that’s a bacterial
based compost. You wanna fungal compost cause when you do
that you basically get an active fungal in your compost and for example the expected
range on this chart is from low fifteen to high twenty-five and this one right here or
actually the one predecessor to this is three-hundred on this reading. The total fungi is expected between one-hundred
three and three hundred and this is sixteen hundred and two so I think this is like a
ninety percent fungal based and there’s still some bacteria in here, and basically
to get your soils that are bacterial based into more of a fungal range. That’s why I like the fungal dominated compost
to bring that range and the balance down to approximately fifty fifty. You know, I’m not saying you wanna grow
your vegetables in a fungal dominated soil and have ninety percent fungus and no bacteria,
right. The things like trees and blueberries and
things. Of course, yes, they like a more fungal dominated
soil, but the vegetables like bacterial and the whole point is that they should have some
percentage of fungal which more than likely is actually missing in your garden. So that’s why I think this material is quite
beneficial and even growing in a high fungal compost, you could be beneficial as I have
seen. I would encourage all of you guys to experiment,
right. It’s quite unfortunate that most places
don’t sell a fungal dominated compost. It’ll be hard pressed to find any near you. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Houston
area, you guys can come here and pick this stuff up. You can also make it yourself wherever you
live, you can get free woodchips from many landscapers and tree trimmers and all this
kind of stuff. Better to get ground stuff than stuff that
has been chipped up. The other thing I would say to you guys is
there’s another way you can make a fungal rich compost through a slow method in your
own garden and actually we’re gonna flip around to the pile that I’m looking at right
behind me and show you guys a way of composting that I actually make a fifty fity mix of fungal
dominated to bacterial dominated that can actually be quite helpful and really easy
to make. So what I’m looking at now is actually leaf
mold compost, right, and this is probably the other kind of compost I would encourage
you guys to make while it doesn’t have as much fungi as a fungal dominated compost,
you know, this compost also very easy to make and you can basically just make by leaves,
right. Get leaves, collect leaves when they’re
in the fall. Some of you guys can still collect them, some
of you guys it’s past the season. Hopefully you guys collected the leaves and
don’t just add the leaves in with your nitrogenous waste materials from your food scraps and
your garden, right. Basically let the leaves sit in a pile and
break down slowly over time without any high heat, right. This will create a leaf mold compost which
is properly made and have a better balance of fungi to bacteria, right, and if you guys
don’t do it yourself, of course you guys could come here, and you know, once again,
this compost you might screen it back a little bit and get a nice handful. I mean, this is nice, rich, black stuff and
if I smell it. I mean there’s no weird smell. That doesn’t smell like some compost that
I’ve smelled in the past that smells stale or awful. Actually, I’d almost like to make a bed
out of this stuff. I might sleep in it at night actually, it
smells so good. I mean literally it just smells like clean
fresh earth like in the forest on the forest floor. Really cool, and this also has the fungal
activity. If we look at the food soil web analysis,
and you know more so to me than just like what’s an NPK values of like the compost
you’re gonna be adding to your garden, right. I mean, hopefully compost should have lots
of organic matter. Should be well broken down organic matter. The more important component to me is actually
the biological activity of the compost cause that’s really the benefit of the compost. It’s the biology in the compost that’s
gonna continue to break down the organic matter in the compost to turn it into nutrients and
feed your plants. I mean, that’s just the very simple explanation,
but anyways here’s a food soil web analyses of the, the leaf mold compost fine screen
and looking at the data from this test is the active bacteria is expected between fifteen
and twenty-five. This one is actually two hundred seven. The total bacteria is supposed to be between
one hundred and three thousand. This is at eight hundred six which is good. The active fungi is supposed to be between
fifteen and twenty-five and this one kicks butt and a hundred seventy-five, still not
as much as the fungal dominated compost over there. And the total fungal is seven hundred eighty-nine
which is excellent and its expected range is between one and three hundred. So you guys can see the total fungal is basically
seven eight-nine, the total bacterial is about eight hundred six. That’s almost like half and half. So this actually probably a really good balance
compost. If you don’t learn anything else from this
episode, start making some leaf mold compost by piling up some leaves and let them slowly
break down over time. Sift out the rest and you’re gonna get,
you know, something like they have here or a really good, balanced compost that you guys
should grow all your vegetables in, right. So I think the next thing I’d like to do
for you guys is if you guys live in the area, right, they take these different blends and,
you know, while they will sell them straight to you guys so you can make your own blends
of stuff and, you know, that’s personally what I would do. I would probably buy some fungal, buy some
leaf mold, and mix it together. Probably buy a few other different ingredients
they have here and make my own blend, and some of you guys that are, you know, have
been doing this a while, can do that yourselves and that’s definitely going to be a better
value for you guys is by buying the bulk components and mixing it yourself. Of course, for many of you guys, you don’t
want to be soil scientists or try to like figure things out so you guys are gonna wanna
buy one of their premade blends. So now I’m actually gonna go over to the
premade blends and I would buy if I lived in the area. So my favorite blend they have here at Nature’s
Way Resources is actually their seed starter mix. So this would be a great mixture for starting
your seeds and transplants. Very nutritious, it has a fungal dominated
compost in here and it contains, you know, a good percentage of organic matter, right,
and so what I would do is take about one quarter of this and mixed in with like three quarters
of their rose mixed in which is actually a nutrient dense mix and mix those together
and that’s what I would personally grow in inside one of my raised beds if I was not,
you know, formulating my own mixture from some of the bulk ingredients here just to
make things easy. So for example I’d make a half a yard of
this and one and a half yards of their rose mix which is their premium mix. Let’s go over to that rose mix and I’ll
share with you guys more about that and take a lot at the consistency and tell you guys
why it’s so important to use a mix such as that one here in the Houston area. So here’s the rose mix I like a lot and,
you know, they do have like a vegetable gardening blend mix that you guys can get, but you know,
I’ve known several people that got the gardening bed mix and I’ve been to their places and
seen what happens over the time that they’ve had the bed mix and it basically breaks down
over time, right, and that’s good and bad, right. If you guys come here and buy compost and
fill your beds entirely with compost, which is actually something I don’t recommend
here in Houston due to the special climatic conditions here. You know, that stuff is gonna break down over
time. I noticed in my very garden I’d put in compost,
and I grow in straight compost and you can do that provided its good quality made compost,
right, it breaks down cause that’s what organic matter does. Organic matter breaks down the bacteria, the
microbes, the earthworms, all the different creatures in the soil are breaking that down
and pooping out nutrients, and then it basically goes down every year, every couple months,
right, and then you basically top off your bed with new organic materials to bring up
the fertility again because all that stuff is basically going into your plants, getting
digested, and running through its cycle and that’s normal, right, and so what they do
here is, you know, many of their mixes might have a third of sand and this is actually
a special mind sand not from like riverbank sand that can actually have weed seeds and
all this stuff in there. So that’s really good, but it’s a lot
of sand, so what I’ve seen over the time is that people will by their mix, things will
grow really well, but then at the end of the season, you can look in the soil and pretty
much it looks like sand to you because all the organic matter has been broken down, so
now you want to replace that organic matter, right, and for me, I don’t care if my beds
sink down. That’s actually a part of life, that’s
how things work, that’s how nature works. I actually want it to sink down that way I
can replenish it. I don’t want a lot of, you know, sand that
could actually waste space. That being said in Houston, because of the
weather and the climate right, it rains so much. I mean geez, they just had the hurri, the
hurricanes and the floods here. Right, you need a fast draining soil otherwise
your, your plants can basically get root rot because the water is hanging out too long. So you definitely want to have some percentage
of sand and, you know, for most people one-third would be a good level, but I would like to
kind of tweak that a little bit and put a little bit less than a third and have more
organic matter and replace more often than not. So yeah, I would mix this rose mix with the
seed starting mix that has a lot more organic matter to dilute some of this sand in here. Of course, you can come up with your own custom
blends also but this makes it easy for you guys that come here that want to get the best. I mean, if you guys don’t have the money,
because I will say some of the blends are a little bit expensive, a little bit pricey
compared to other places I’ve been to, but you know what, you guys get what you pay for. The stuff here is a little bit more expensive,
but you will get better growing results. If you’ve always grown with the bag stuff
in the big box store and it’s never really worked well for you and you think you have,
you know, black thumbs because it hasn’t worked. Well that’s cause the soil is bad. You gotta get good soil. If you buy good soil here, you will be successful,
and so one of the things I like to teach is I want you guys to have the best opportunity
to be successful by starting out with healthy plants or by starting out with healthy soil,
by using things like compost tea, and rock dust, and earthworm castings that can enrich
your soil and ensure you have the best growing experience, right. So yeah, I really like their stuff here. It’s really good stuff. I think the thing I’d like to do next for
you guys is actually share with you guys, because they like me here. I made a really good video a couple years
ago, be sure to check that link down below. I’ve negotiated special discounted pricing
for you guys. So if you guys come in and say hey I saw you
on John Kohler GrowingYourGreens. I’m one of his tribe. I want the John Kohler discount. They’re gonna hook you guys up with a ten
percent discount. They also, of course, you know, have a discount
available to firefighters, policemen, and veterans as well to honor the people that
have, have, and are serving for this great country here. I think the last thing I’d like to do is
we’re gonna go ahead and sit down with John Ferguson, the soil scientist and owner of
Nature’s Way Resources to learn more about the company and also to learn more about the
importance of the fungal dominated compost in your garden. So now I’m here and I have the pleasure
of interviewing John Ferguson, the soil scientist and owner here at Nature’s Way Resources. He started this company actually many years
ago for a specific purpose and reason and we’re gonna learn more about that today,
but we’re also gonna more importantly learn about the fungal dominated compost that you
guys learned about in this episode, but the first question I have for you John is why
did you start Nature’s Way Resources here. I mean, this is not a business where you’re
literally getting rich off of. I mean, you’re selling compost and all this
stuff and it’s pretty affordable, you know, in the scope of things. For the quality that you’re getting, it’s
an amazing deal. But why’d you start all this hard work literally. Well I started it because I was putting a
vegetable garden in my yard forty years ago using the fungicide captan, washed up afterwards. The next morning I couldn’t bend my fingers,
couldn’t open my eyes, barely breathe. My wife rushed me to the hospital. Doctor said I came within two hours of losing
my life. Took me about six months to recover and I
started studying it and I found a report on, the World Health Organization report, thirty-five
thousand people a year die from captan exposure, and I said what is wrong with this picture? Gardening’s supposed to be fun and safe. So I started questioning what I was taught
in grad school, started learning about the organic methods by logical methods, sustainable,
whatever buzz word you wanna put on it, and what I’ve learned over the last forty years
is they work better, get better results, with lower costs and have none of the environmental
health consequences. Well I was, cause I double majored in physics
and geology, I was a geophysicist for many years in the industry, and I came back, picked
up my two year old son and he screamed cause he didn’t recognize me, and I said okay
I gotta quit traveling internationally, and I said okay what can I do. I passioned gardening. Basically God prompted me to start a landscape,
think about a landscape business. Went all over Houston I couldn’t find good
quality compost, mulch, or soils. Been making compost since I was eight years
old, and I said okay, what would it take to make a thousand yards a year for a small landscape
company. One thing led to another, when I couldn’t
find it, pretty soon a few other things, anyways, I thought I’ll start a compost company and
that’s how I got here. And how long ago was that? I left the oil patch in 1992, spent two years
traveling all over the country using my frequent flier mode, visiting operate, what’d they
do, how’d they do it, what works, what doesn’t work, pre-internet days. Just days at the library, the university library
doing research and magazine articles before and after, and I learned a static pile myth,
it’s all the companies who are profitable produce superior product, the people who had
windrow compost had low quality cheap. It caused problems. Then like I said, I just traveled and visited
hundreds of operations all over the country and the world. Learned some methods and then I had to figure
out what adapted to our climate and soils here. Got in, leased some land, and back in 1994
down in Houston it started then started from there. It was a different world back then. Wow. So like over twenty years you’ve been making
and perfecting your high quality compost that you make here. Yeah, we’re in our twenty-third year. It will be ready to complete our twenty third
year. Wow, amazing. Now something that I wanna bring up real quick
for you guys is you talked about windrow compost. So one of the things I often say is hey not
all compost are created equal and John here surely knows this being in the business. I see a lot of junk myself. Especially some of the junk you buy at big
box stores that I wouldn’t call compost. I’d call them mulches in many cases, but
even if you buy compost by a good reputable company, even your local place that makes
it. It might not be good quality. So John, let’s talk about the windrow compost,
you know. The windrow is a way that most places make
compost. They can make compost really fast, but you
know, just cause it’s fast doesn’t mean it’s good, right. Like slow food movement for example. But you wanna talk about windrow composting
versus the static pile method you guys use here. Why it’s different and why one is better
than the other. Yeah, there’s a chapter in my book that
goes into it for organic professionals, but basically. First I look at plants, ninety percent of
all plants on Earth live in a symbiotic relationship with fungus in the soil. So plants want fungi. Yup. Well if you think about, if you’ve seen
a picture of fungus, it’s like hairs on your head. You feel them going through soil. Every time you turn a pile, you’re ripping
them apart. If someone ripped your arm and leg off, you’re
not gonna be real healthy are ya. Nope. So you get a bacteria based compost. The plant species we call weeds like soils
dominated by bacteria. So you’ve made a compost that will favor
weed growth over perennial plant growth. Then we get into again the, many of the fungi
produce flavonoids. Things we had talked about earlier. Other chemicals that help us be healthy, help
our disease, but if you don’t have the fungus in the soil, you don’t, the plants, these
chemicals absorb into the roots, they don’t get into the fruit or vegetables. Wow. So that’s why, and by static pile you use
longer time frames. You only turn it four or five times instead
of two or three hundred times, and it allows these fungi to grow to very high levels and
allow different species to come in and populate. Like, you know, my compost might have three
thousand species of a fungus in a tablespoon. Species. Twenty-five thousand species of bacteria. It’s biologically alive. It’s just, we let the plant put out what
we call a root exit date to help shift it whatever they want. If anyone wants to learn more, there’s a
great book called Taming of Microbes. Excellent for the home owner about the understating
soil biology. You know, when I was in grad school it was
chemistry and physics. Today the biology is fifteen, twenty times
more important than the chemistry and physics. You get the biology correct and then the chemistry
and physics tend to correct itself. Wow so the time it takes from like a windrow
compost to the kind of compost you do. Like what’s the time difference? Well four to six weeks versus a year and a
half. Wow, so that’s why most places do it cause
they can make a lot of compost and make a lot more money a lot quicker, but you know,
in the end, I mean, we suffer. It’s like processed food. You could go buy a sandwich and eat it, but
you know, there’s all kinds of additives, preservatives, and it’s just not healthy
for you versus growing your garden that can take some months or years to grow some fruits
and then, you know, you’re eating some of the best stuff on Earth. So, you know, good things take time and unfortunately
in our modern society, most people have actually already clicked off this video to not get
to the meat which is this right here which is the interview with John. So, you know, so John, if, how do you know
if you’re buying a good compost. Like right, you can ask somebody hey how long
did it take to make it? Did you use windrows and they could be lying
to you, right? So several ways, we’ll look at price point. Just like you’ll pay more for a Lexus or
a Mercedes than you will for a Kia. They’re both cars, but you know you’re
gonna get different. And it varies in some areas of the country,
but most good compost will retail from eight to twelve dollars a bag depending on the area
of the country you’re in. If you got areas of high landfill rates, they’ll
be less. When you have low, like you’re in Nevada
for land, like here in Texas landfills are cheap, you’ll pay maybe twelve dollars a
bag. Mid-quality compost, maybe six, seven dollars
a bag. Garbage, three or four dollars a bag. So you look at economics. I can go more into it, you know retailers
have to make one-hundred percent markup. Then you’ve got transportation cost and
stuff. You’ve got the cost of the bag. If they’re selling it for a dollar a bag,
you’ve got ten cents worth of a product there. Yup. So that’s two bucks a yard, retail. You’re buying garbage. Some sort of wasteful product. The economics don’t work. Right, so yeah, definitely, you guys wanna
look at the price. That’s definitely one way you can tell,
but another way I would say is ask for soil tests. Unfortunately most places haven’t done soil
tests like they have done here. You wanna get like a food soil web testing
done. And you can see the fungal content in the
product, right. If it’s really low then you know it’s
basically a fast turn, quick turn, high profit compost for them to just keep moving material
through, which hey, it’s a lot better to at least move material through and get it
somewhere else than to have it go in the landfill. Another way I would recommend is hey, buy
some of the compost. Don’t buy a ton of it, but buy a little
bit and do what’s called pot test. Take different composts from different places
and grow your plants out. The one’s you’re gonna grow in the, in
pots of the soil and see which one does better before you invest in filling your whole garden
and this is one of the best and most important things you guys could do. I think the next thing I want to get into
John, before you gotta leave cause I know you’re on a time schedule here. Oh we still got fifteen minutes. Alright, is I wanna talk more about the fungal
dominated compost because we just talked about the bacterial compost which is wide-spread. You can get these most places which unfortunately
they’re not making it properly, but the fungal dominated compost is what you guys
all learned about in this episode is something that’s very rare. I mean, aside from this place here in Texas,
I know maybe one or two other places I’ve ever visited in my life that make it. Like why is a fungal dominated compost so
important to add to people gardens in this day and age? Well ninety percent of plants require fungal
association. Let’s go back to the basics. So a fungal dominated compost, we take the
mulch and we compost it for basically another year and let it go down into almost pure humus
and conglomerate and other things that make it all rich and fertile and full of nutrients
and water. It’s also food for the fungus not counting
the fungus species that are in the compost itself, and it’s the food they know so they
grow to high levels. The Mycorrhizal fungus that will colonize
and plant root can feed off of it and they just get very high levels and you just don’t
have disease problems. You get soil structure. When it rains, it soaks into you soil and
the humus holds it down. It doesn’t run off. Nutrients don’t leach. Many of the microbes can fix nitrogen in the
air so you don’t have to buy artificial fertilizer. I mean, it’s, it just goes on and on, the
benefits. So yeah, I’m hearing that you’re gonna
get better growth, you’re gonna have less disease. You’re literally building your soil. You’re giving your giving your plants something
that they’re not normally getting in a standard bacterial based compost. So let’s talk about why more companies don’t
make the fungal dominated compost. Why can’t somebody in, you know, in Iowa
call their local place and say hey I want some fungal dominated compost and the guys
gonna think you’re from Mars cause you asked for something that he’s never heard of in
his entire life. It’s money. They don’t want to spend the time and the
effort. You know, we have to wait over, almost two
years. Over two years to make the fungal dominated
compost. And the thing is, once you pay the price we
got some stuff just starting out like we looked at, stuff in the middle, and stuff just about
ready. So once you pay the price originally, you’re
in a steady state. But just like making wine, why don’t you
buy a two week old wine. Yeah. I mean, it’s just not very good. And the other thing I wanna talk about real
quick is talking about fungal dominated compost. Right. A lot of people are like John, you’re wrong
man. Like vegetables, they don’t need fungal
dominated soil. Well I didn’t say fungal dominated soil. I said fungal dominated compost added to your
soil, right. So do you wanna, do we wanna, do you wanna
talk about that as a soil scientist real quick that about, about that trees and vegetables
and fungal dominated soil? It varies, it’s a good point John, it varies
from species to specie. You know, carrots and potatoes may, they don’t
need as much fungus, but say you’re going to a fruit, take like something like blueberries. They want about a hundred times more fungus
in the soil than, you know, than bacteria. Strawberries are another fungal lover. So it depends cause you know strawberries
came out of the woods, forest environment. So you think about the history where the vegetables
came from and that kind of gives you a clue. Many vegetables like fifty-fifty. Balance the bacteria and fungus. Yup. So that’s why you use the leaf mold, which
is balanced fifty-fifty fungus bacteria or the fungal, depends on which crop. We want to offer both so the customer gets
the optimal benefit. So let’s talk about that real quick is the
leaf mold. So the fungal dominated compost has all the
fungus and then when you add that to a bacterial compost, then you get a nice balance, but
if you can’t get the fungal dominated compost maybe you can make your own leaf com, leaf
mold compost or buy leaf mold compost. That’s actually a little bit more available
than the fungal dominated compost and actually already get the balance in there. Right, and like the leaf mold turns out because
it’s probably eight-nine, ninety percent leaves and a little bit of grass cuttings,
a little bit of vegetative food waste, and just a touch of horse manure as an inoculant,
and when we’re through with all the tests we, there’s fifty percent fungus, fifty
percent. It’s balanced. Well, if like, Saint Augustine turf likes
equal amounts of bacteria and fungus in a soil. So if you got turf grass, it’s great for
top dressing your yard. If you go to Bermuda it likes two or three
more times bacteria. It’s more of a weedy grass. You go Zoysia, get it like many sixty-forty. Sixty prevent fungus. So it depends on the origin. So that you have to go back to the soil food
web; the soil biology. What does a plant want, but the thing is to
offer both so your customer can get the right choice and when you do, you get faster growth
rates, you don’t get disease, you don’t get the pest problems, and you get better
quality. Your fruits, your foods taste better. They get more nutrients. Right, yeah, and I think that’s the main
thing for me is you know I’ve been to places where they’re just basically taking wood
chips and letting them break down on sight on property and make a good, rich fungal dominated
soil, because they already have a bacterial soil and then it basically balances everything
out. I’ve seen some amazing growth so I would
say that’s it’s probably better to try to overdue the fungi because you’re probably
not gonna be able to get enough anyways, in my opinion. Based on, you just can’t buy fungi dominated
compost and even when you get the best leaf mold compost, it’s only fifty-fifty. Well Jeff Longfield that wrote the book Teeny
Microbes had a book come out a few months ago called Taming the Fungi. It’s excellent. It’s great for home owners. Yeah. I’d recommend that. I’ll put links down below so the rest of
you guys can pick those up. Actually I gotta pick up his new book there. So John, are there any other comments or thoughts
you’d like to share with my viewers today on the fungal dominated compost and all this. No, fungal is just another tool in our tool
box. Yup. And if, we just have to use good quality tools. If you want health, you gotta. It only, well like you’ve talked about many
times. The nutrition in plants. If it’s not in the soil, it doesn’t get
in the plant material. It all starts at the soil. So that’s why I grow my own food, just like
you do. You gotta put it in the soil so that’s where
it starts. I think the other thing I really wanted to
touch up on before you gotta go is besides the micro life, right, and the bacteria and
fungi in the soil. Another thing that’s critical are the minerals
and I know all your mixes here have a blend of different minerals. Up to eighty different minerals using basalt
and you know, using different kinds of, you know, mind. Greensand. Yeah, greensand and rocks and all this stuff,
but do you wanna talk about that and how your life was impacted by including more minerals
in your diet and why you add those and why it’s so important for people to grow in
trace minerals whether that’s rock dust or other kinds of broad spectrum minerals. Well, it’s too long to share with you, but
basically twice in my life I’ve had doctors tell me I needed surgery and by taking minerals,
nutrition I was able to correct both problems. One the first one was just tendonitis in the
joints when I first started the business. Again I solved it through something simple. It was taking Nox Gelati, you make jelly with. Put it in my jelly twice a week. In two weeks I was pain free versus a surgery
the doctor wanted me to do. Had a ruptured disk one time. Eighty-five thousand surgery. Froze my vertebrae, never play sports again. Again taking minerals full of trace minerals
healed up in a few months. Here I am almost sixty-seven. I play basketball with the young guys at church. I play racket ball, I still garden, I can
touch my toes. Full recovery with a hundred bucks worth of
minerals versus, you know, and eighty-five thousand surgery and never do anything again. So, if someone’s interested, you know, we
publish a local gardening newsletter. I went through every element starting with
hydrogen going through all eighty-one elements in the human body and that’s for, and that’s
on the newsletter on the website, you go back and read them, but there’s over four-hundred
human health problems caused by trace element micronutrient deficiencies. I know you’ve talked about that before. Yeah. That’s why we do all these extras. So people get can have good quality food. Healthy bodies, healthy children, healthy
pets. And it all starts with you guys’ soil, right. That’s why John’s here to make the best
quality soil with the fungi, the bacteria, all the different trace minerals so you guys
can actually grow healthy food cause the thing is, you know, if John had healthy food from
the get go and had good minerals and content in his food, you wouldn’t had the health
challenges in my opinion. I mean, I’m not a doctor or anything and
that’s why I continue to grow and preach about growing high quality food and making
sure you got the best soil. And I know some of you guys might squawk and
John that place Nature’s Way Resources. I live in Dallas, but if I lived in Dallas
I would come here to get my soil. I mean if that’s a drive or whether you’re
in Austin. Soil is so important and I’ve been to a
lot of places here in, in Houston area checking out soils and other companies and all that
stuff. It just does not compare. I mean, they really take the time to do it
right. I hope you guys learned in this episode. So John if someone wants to learn more about
Nature’s Way, your website, your address, your phone number, could you give that to
everybody. Well the website is NaturesWayResources.com. The phone number is 936-321-6990. Probably the best thing just go to the website
cause there’s a hundred like I’ve got twenty-seven articles on the different types
of mulches. And I try to explain in layman’s terms how
all this stuff works together. And it’s all out there for people to use
it. So please feel free to download it. Use it. These are just tools like you’re doing to
help people have healthier lives. That’s wonderful. I’m glad you’re here to do all this. Now the final question I have for you before
we go is, you know, if somebody is in another part of the country and they want to start
something like this, will you like help people, you know, start something like this. Cause I mean, there needs to be one of these
in every city in my opinion. Exactly. Yeah, if it’s just little general advice,
yes. I can point them to books. In fact I have a paper on my website. It’s about twenty pages long. It’s where you can learn more about composting,
about minerals, about you know just different subjects. Videos, books, websites. It’s out there. Yeah, I’ll be glad to help. This in my opinion is really the future of
soils and getting good balanced soils that are made properly cause so many places unfortunately
make soils not as good as they could be. So I mean that’s pretty much the end of
this episode today. Johns gotta run and I gotta go off and do
a bunch of other stuff today, but hey if you guys enjoyed this episode at Nature’s Way
Resources, please be sure to give me a thumbs up. The more thumbs up I get. The more likely I’ll be able to come back
and actually drive an hour myself to get here to make a video for you guys to share with
you guys all the wealth of information and microbes that are living here in their space. Also be sure to click that subscribe button
right down below so you don’t miss out on any of my new and upcoming episodes. Coming out every three to four days. You never know what you’ll be learning on
my YouTube channel or where I’ll be showing up. Also be sure to check out some of my past
episodes including some of the links down below to episodes I’ve made here at Nature’s
Way Resources in the past. They are definitely a wealth of knowledge
as well and also be, be sure to stay tuned for the next episode. We’re really, John and I are gonna get into
talking about some of the mulches and the different qualities in the mulch and why you
wanna definitely pay attention before you just mulch your garden with any old wood chips. Alright. So with that my name is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com. We’ll see you next time and until then remember,
keep on growing.

100 thoughts on “The Most Important Compost You’re Probably Not Using

  1. Jump to the following parts of this episode:
    03:09 Plants Maintained Organically
    05:07 Free Plastic Pots So You Can Grow a Garden
    07:21 How Fungal Dominated Compost is Made from Tree/Shrub Waste
    13:35 Why Grinding is Better than Chipping
    15:25 First Step of Fungal Dominated Compost
    17:21 Special Step in Making Fungal Dominated Compost
    20:21 Fungal Dominated Compost Pile, Testing, and Information
    26:06 Leaf Mold Compost – Balanced Fungal and Bacterial Compost
    30:00 My favorite Soil Blend at Nature's Way Resources
    35:10 Interview Starts
    35:28 Why did you start Nature's Way Resources?
    38:35 Which is better Windrow Compost or Static Pile Compost?
    40:47 How long does it take to make windrow compost vs static pile compost?
    41:33 How do you know if you're buying a good compost?
    43:33 Why is fungal dominant compost so important?
    45:09 Why don't more companies make fungal dominated compost?
    45:50 What percentage of fungal soil do you need?
    46:56 Why is leaf mold compost beneficial?
    48:53 Any Final Comments about Fungal Dominated Soil?
    49:30 Why are trace minerals important for human health and soil health?
    52:09 How can someone learn more and contact Nature's Way Resources?
    52:46 Will you help people start a composting business?

  2. John thanks for all your efforts to keep us well informed. Pls where is the location of this company, I am in Houston . Thanks

  3. here's a proven natural formula for compost made in 17 days. http://billionsinchange.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/ShivanshKhaad-InstructionalBooklet-HI-web.pdf

  4. I learned so much from this video! It's a long one, but well worth every minute! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I'm planning a trip down there from Nebraska to start my new raised beds off right. 😊

  5. Loved this video, new gardner in Spring. I have a very small yard/garden. Can't use 1/2 yard, are there bags available.

  6. sir leaf mold IS a fungal compost. it does not get hot. it breaks down fast. i use it and chop the leaves and keep them moist. they break down in a year. "I am organic" as really good lessons comparing the wood ship and leaf mold. I use leaf mold as my base putting it 4in deep on the garden and then cover with a layer of freshly chipped trees and branches and green leaves. this jumpstarts the sheet compost i garden in exclusively.

  7. I swear by mushroom compost. I amend with pine bedding left over plant material from " tomato " plants. Leaves stocks. And chicken poo. That I grow organically. Best stuff ever! Fungus is so under looked.

  8. I don't recommand using greensand since it has to be mined to be extracted so it's not a sustainable/renewable ressource. It's the same for all rock based amendments.

  9. I live in Pasadena in the Los Angeles area I buy from Whittier Fertilizer. Do you know of any good purveyors of quality compost and soil in Southern California? P.S. I am not rich, so cost is an issue.

  10. I have a few decades of experience making compost both on the home garden level, and on a small industrial scale. One thing that I found important is keeping the piles properly stacked. This means that the sides of the windrow or pile should be as close to vertical as possible. By using hand methods, it is easy to get a stack to within fifteen or twenty degrees of vertical.
    This puts the weight of the pile pushing in a downwards direction, which keeps the stack in place, without spreading or drifting, and, equally important, the heap has minimum surface area. A heap that is not stacked well is excessively wasteful. Sun, wind and weather, birds and animals all take their toll, and wastage will be very serious. Sun, especially, evaporates not only water, but the very humus itself, so all of my heaps are completely covered by a thick mulch, which again, preserves a very large proportion of waste by evaporation and attrition from weather.
    Currently, I am managing an area of forest to control the forest fuel overburden to prevent forest fires. The diversity of feedstock is amazing, and the compost turns into 90% pure worm castings in just over one year. The heaps generally are around three tonnes each, and they are hand turned two or three times.
    The heaps amounting to fifteen to twenty tonnes per annum are inoculated with my personal household waste stream and much chemical-free organically rich waste water. The domestic waste from one person, amazingly, is sufficient to inoculate twenty tonnes of forest debris. I use an electric chaff cutter to process the organic materials which consist of dead palm fronds, tree fern fronds, tree fern trunks, branches, bark, leaves, annual weeds, unwanted vines, rotten wood, and occasional animal wastes such as manure or road kills. I use sawdust for covering and odour suppression in my compost toilet, and I also use woodchips at the rate of about one or two tonnes per annum. My garden wastes also provided high nitrogen feedstock.
    Thanks for a great presentation.

  11. John, I just found this video and am so excited. I live and garden in League City, and although it will be about an hour and a half drive up to Conroe, I can't wait to pay Nature's Way Resources a visit. It is so nice to see someone who knows the science and is passionate about his business. Thanks so much for your videos.

  12. nematodes,,will get into your eyes and good buy,,,,,dont want it…..its like putting more tigers in the jungle……

  13. Excellent video John! One of the best I've seen! I live about 90 minutes from Conroe…you can be I'll be making a trip down to Nature's Way asap! Thanks so much for all you do!

  14. Jon, woodchip mulch delivers the BEST results bar none. Allying with the myco's mycelia is the optimal way to harness the power of nature and grow the absolute best organic vegetables fruits and plants overall. Thanks for the info!

  15. great interview. did anyone get what nutrient supplements he took for his tendinitis and back issues?

    as Johns description above, the nutrient articles can be found here

    http://www.natureswayresources.com/gardenarticles.html

  16. Is "Mushroom" compost a fungal dominated compost? I know mushrooms are a fungus, but didn't know if it's the same in this instance. Can anyone help with this answer?

  17. Thank you for this video John.. and also the video from 3 years ago! i live only 10 minutes from Natures way and was doing research for my spring garden when i discovered your video! thank you for this and i will be getting soil for my new raised beds this spring. I really appreciate what you do! thanks!

  18. A surprise to me that the idiocy of claiming to own a term had gone that far. How in hell can any fertilizer company own the term "fertilizer", when the word has been in use for centuries?
    Yup, pure idiocy.

  19. You really want to make a compost bed, heh. There are easier ways to be electrically connected to the Earth. 😀 ("Earthing/grounding")

  20. I left an overview of this video's contents after 35 minutes here https://www.facebook.com/alan.agnew.754/posts/2105640159665015 Great interview. It was the meat of the video.

  21. You can also reuse your fabric pots. I know a lot of people that use them and throw them out after one use, but you can use them over and over again.

  22. John,

    Love your videos, you're a great resource.
    Please check out Elaine Ingham, soil microbiologist in Oregon. she's a wealth of knowledge and does a quick compost to great success. Soil Food Web Inc is her company.

    Take care 🙂

  23. Just so everyone knows. His 10% discount does not work. I went there yesterday and they told me its only for master gardners. Pretty dissapointed about that. It really is a wonderful place and the staff is very friendly.

  24. I use dog, rabbit , and chicken shit , straw , leaves, fish guts , coffee grounds , grass clippings , wood chips
    seems to work well 🙂

  25. I'm happy that I live in Dallas and not that far to get their compost, so happy that you brought it to my attention on the differences. Because it can be confusing.

  26. I love your passion. I learned a lot today and I enjoy the longer videos!! 😊 I’m going to dry my eyes now. 😅

  27. I enjoy watching your videos 🙂 It's cool that you mix in a little bit of life philpsophy and you seem like someone who is trying to live your life in a way that lets you stay true to yourself. That's always inspiring!

  28. I am so happy to know that this place is close for me as I am in Houston. Thanks so much, John, for putting this video together. I had no idea about this place. I do compost and grow my own food… well, some of my own food, and am happy to know I can get some good fungal based compost to add to the experience!

  29. What are differences between Fungal Dominated Compost and Hugelkultur? Aside from it's compost vs raised bed.

  30. I love your videos the only thing I would disagree with is even the compost that you can make in three weeks will eventually turn into fungal compost over a period of time and that being said the compost that can be made in three or four weeks is better than soil a vast vast majority of the time so I would never say compost that you make no matter how you make it is bad because it's better than the dirt that you're planting it in

  31. I'd like to make a bed in this stuff and sleep in it….. when you know you really love compost and gardening veges lol

  32. Hi John its Steven with DFW Organic Growing we are now carrying the fungal dominated compost from Nature's Way here in the Dallas Fort Worth area to supply for our customers. www.dfworganicgrowing.com

  33. Thanks for the great video. Can someone tell me what John Ferguson said that he added to his orange juice at 50:10 to treat his tendonitis?

  34. John, what you do is a service to humankind and when you are emotional we could clearly understand how genuine is your preaching for a good food & health. Thanks a lot for all your effort & help.

  35. Piece of advice, don’t actually go to this place expecting a 10% discount. Speaking from experience. On the other hand, go to this place, they’re great.

  36. Really wish we had a place lie that to get free containers… especially those larger ones. I know a ton of people that could really use them.

  37. Hello. I am doing research to start my own compost company. Is there a possibility for contact with the owner John? I would love to pick his brain a little. I also am a true believer in quality.

  38. John,
    I noticed the same thing that that you talked about in this video when I would do yard clean up and uncover layers of leaves to uncover the network of stuff and rich looking, good smelling fluffy dirt. You’re right, it’s not the same as the compost that I’d get from the box stores, but I previously thought compost is compost. I live in Los Angeles and I sure wish that the type of place featured in your video was local. With that said, a lot of the trees in the surrounding neighborhoods where I live shed huge amounts of leaves in Autum. I realize that this black gold takes time to produce, but I want to give sort of a jump start.
    If I gathered piles of these leaves into my backyard, would be a good idea to dump some bags of Nature’s way, other Leaf mold compost or mold innoculant into the pile, then sprinkle the pile with water occasionally? Or is that completely unnecessary?

  39. My question is these guys get people dropping off trees and shrubs ECT, if these trees and shrubs ECT had chemical fertilizers and insecticides used on them aren't they in the soil now?

  40. So weird. I always heard in Florida that nematodes we’re bad. I was even told to pour a dilute bleach solution over the roots of a dwindling pittosporum.

  41. Thank you! This was definitely an eye opener. I want to ask if there is any resource I can look up to find out what type of soil I need for the different plants I am growing. Thanks in advance!

  42. I make my own fungal compost by sifting out the wood chips from bagged compost sold at big box stores. I then make it damp and put bricks to smash it down and hold in moisture. I forget about it for 8 months and when I go back, all the wood is gone and it’s just rich, black and fine compost. Very spongy feeling that’s smooth like fine clay but doesn’t clump. I sometimes mix dry leaves with it and it seems to help it breakdown faster. So I suggest sifting your bagged compost and breakdown the wood and use the rich compost you sifted to amend your beds. Till the wood chips are ready.

  43. Will spend the next few days contemplating how so many people can be so dense as to think he teared up over the compost. I tend to be a bit of an empath and can almost hear the inner monologue as I put the physical reactions into context with the verbal. In this case you have to filter out what he was trying to get into an informational vid for his viewers. From pure observation Mr. Ferguson seems to be dealing with health problems during the filming. In context, they were speaking of their personal experiences with life threatening and chronic health problems that could be cured simply by having healthier diets and holistic cures, which are so sadly hard to come by. John's reaction also followed Mr. Ferguson's story of missing out on his son growing up while he was away working in the oil industry, which led him to leave the field and try and create something that can improve life for everyone. John ten followed by asking him to help others create organic recycling centers because they are too few and far between. I was so sad after watching the first video and searching for one in my area and there isn't one for about 100 miles. Dumps in our county are free so no one would want to pay to dump unless they cared a lot for the cause. We have no municipal chip piles and when I called the county to see if they chipped or had a pile I was passed around for 30 min just to be told they didn't have the equipment to. Just sad. If I wasn't a single mom with like no budget, I would for sure start a center in my community. I actually don't even have a yard, I live in an apartment and garden in a small plot at my parents. On my zero budget, I scope out leaf mulch that mounds around the fence and tree line, rotate the old wood pile to get the really old fungus from the bottom and compost to amend our sand and clay soil.

  44. Personally, I stay away from mulch as a compost for my farm. It just isn't healthy for the garden nor the animals in it. In fact, it is sometimes very toxic. The only mulch I would use for compost/garden/animals is willow mulch. I would have to make it myself to trust it.

  45. don't sale GMO plants huh so they don't sell commercial corn cotton or soybean bean? amazing …hey whatever extracts money out of people.

  46. "Strawberries like a fungal-dominated environment". I had a little section of tree trunk or limb just sitting upright by my sidewalk for 3 or 4 years or more and some weird cream-colored and truffle-looking fungus started growing on it as the stump broke down. Then a year or two later wild strawberries started growing in the ground next to the wood. No wild strawberries anywhere else in my yard and I've had that yard for 20+ years. I couldn't figure out where they came from. Now I know. They're there for the fungus in the soil next to the tree section/stump.

  47. All goes back to "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW", and "You get back what you put in!" You put crap in you're going to get crap out.
    John you are a "TOP BLOKE", you do all this for us… I for one can't thank you enough👍😆👍

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