At Santa Gadea Farm, mainly multi-year seeds are planted and
harvested: sainfoin, prairies, ray-grass, festuca, lilium, bromas
diandrus and alfalfa, sparing a small part of production land for cereal
(corn, oat). Except for this small amount of cereal land, the rest of
the soil is cultivated with a disc harrow* only once every five or six
years. This contributes efficiently to keep the soil’s structure, as
well as its micro-life. This is of fundamental importance, in order to
have a “healthy” soil. The compost used is a rich, natural substitute of
chemical fertilisers, since the goats’ bedding is changed on a monthly
basis in order to avoid illnesses. These dirty beddings are the organic
basis upon which an anaerobic, low-temperature fermentation takes place
in our manure mounds, and yield a superb, natural compost. This
fermentative process is boosted to a record time of just two months with
the help of a natural, in-house bacterial compound. The application of
these practices on our soil has promoted a spectacular improvement of
its bio-chemical structure and composition, as verified yearly in our
*Disc harrow: while conventional ploughing overturns a layer of about 20cm, the disc harrow overturns just half the layer (10cm maximum). This helps keep thesoil’s structure intact, that is, the web of micro-channels created by roots, insects and worms, through which, as if on highways, circulate oxygen and water molecules. This upper layer is the soil’s most important one, since it is here where80% of all micro-life inhabits. Thus, when ploughed, all these microorganisms,insects and worms are killed, and we force the soil to re-build these “highways” time and again.
Turning manure into compost.
• 20% is pathogenic. These produce putrefaction. Which is to leave heaps of manure in the open, in order to be transformed into compost, but achieving it, instead of in 2 years time, in just 2 months.
• 20% is fermentative. These can be found to inhabit wine, beer, and Santa Gadea cheeses.
• The other 60% are those of an opportunist kind, that is, can work as pathogens or ferments. If conditions in our mound of manure are anaerobic, and pH is below 5, added EMwill cause the 60% opportunist bacteria to operate as a ferment. Since in theseconditions, pathogenic bacteria cannot function, we have deliberately inhibited putrefaction, and increased the fermentative power of the whole.
Thus, by using this technology, we can:
1. Cause a 40 % cutback of CO2 and methane emissions. This is done thanks to a low-temperature fermentation, where EM autotrophic bacteria feed on the emitted gases.
Oxidative or respiration process: C6H12 O6 + 6 O2 >> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + 36 ATP (output of 3.600 cal/g).
Fermentative or anaerobic process: C6H12O6 >> 2C2H5OH + 2 CO2 + 2 ATP (output of 368 cal/g).
The latter is the process that takes place in our manure mound when turning into compost. It is a low-temperature fermentation, since less calories are ouput. In such a fermentative process as occurs in our mounds, the facultative bacteria (opportunistic) feed on the gas particles (they are also autotrophic) that would otherwise be emitted as pollutants. This is the reason why the total amount of emitted gas is so small in the presence of this kind of bacterial technology.
2. Do what our elders have been doing for thousands of years. Which is to leave heaps of manure in the open, in order to be transformed into compost, but achieving it, instead of in 2 years’ time, in just 2 months.