Colin Austin © 5 Sep 20 Creative commons this document may be reproduced but the source should be acknowledged. Information may be used for private use but commercial use requires a license.
This is the easiest way I know to grow Gbiota food, it is dead simple and works fine but lacks the automated flood and drain features of a full blown Gbiota bed – but it is a great way to get started.
Gbiota food is all about bugs and nutrients. It is a way of growing food to enhance our gut biology. It is all about breeding beneficial biology in the soil then growing plants which are both pre and pro biotics to both fortify and feed our gut biology.
Breeding beneficial biology means feeding the good bugs with they food they thrive on. And what they really like is organic material which they break down for their food and enables them to out compete the bad bugs.
This may seem yucky and put some people off but it has been going on for millions of years and is he basis of life on earth.
How to make dead simple Gbiota beds
Find any old crate or box with holes in the bottom. Tote and polystyrene boxes work fine as long as you put holes in the bottom.
You will also need some labile (young) organic waste as some matured compost of equivalent. The good bugs need to be fed.
Collect some labile compost – (posh name for any old rubbish you find kicking around that is partially composted) and fill the crate, purely as a measure.
This may look pretty yukky but the good bugs will think it is better than a flash meal at the Ritz.
Tip this straight onto the ground to form a pile the same size as the crate
You can also dig a hole the same size as the box and fill that with labile compost. This is a good way if you have access to food waste as it resolves the insect and smell problem
Some 40% of food grown on farm is wasted, this is nutrients we just cannot afford to loose and is causing green house gases.
Eating healthy saves the world.
Make a slurry out of mature compost or a mixture of soil plus at least 50% compost. (Vermicast – worm castings or mushroom compost is fine) and fill the box.
Spread the seeds over the surface of the wet compost slurry. I prefer dense seeding when possible.
Measure out the Gbiota mix using 3 litres per square metre
Spread the Gbiota mix over the surface. With small seeds the mix should cover the seeds with larger seed you may need to add some more slurried compost until all the seeds are covered.
Using a compost slurry there should be enough moisture but if unsure lightly sprinkle with water.
Gbiota mix has been specifically developed to provide the combination of minerals, a full spectrum including the trace elements we need for our health but the plants do not need, plus a microbial mix to break down the minerals and make them available to the plants.
Typically apply 3mm which I measure out buy taking the area of my bed (In metres) and multiply by 3 which give the litres needed.
Then water regularly.
The link between soil biology and gut biology is complex. There are god bugs that live in the soil and are part of the processing of decaying vegetable matter. They just love fibre just as the good bugs that live in our guts love fibre.
But there are other good bugs that live in the soil with other gut biology we also need. There are numerous creatures that have biology which is beneficial for us but the one that really stands out is worms. Every been bitten by a worm, if yes then it was not a worm – they don’t have teeth and rely on microorganisms to release their food (bit like us).
So it is important that there are plenty of worms in the bed. My experience is that if you provide food and water they just appear – perhaps they have a crush on me like I have on them. I suggest you give it a go and see if they appear and if not go and buy some.
But the key is to keep on feeding them. That is why I recommend growing in a box (at least for small scale growing). All you have to do is simply lift the box up and add more waste organic material, particularly food scraps, to the pile (or hole). This way you can keep them well fed but the system is enclosed so there is no nasty flies. (OK this is Australia – no more than normal).
I like to grow baby greens, (the step past sprouting and micro greens) and just cut of the new tips.
When the shoots have reached about 50mm cut of the tips, if you tip early the shoots will regrow multiple times. They are unlikely to regrow if the have reached maturity so tip early.
After tipping. Leave enough leaves to continue to fuel the plant so it keeps on growing. If you prune to severely the plants may not recover.
The tips make a nice smoothie, add some banana’s or fruit of your choice, about 10% extra virgin olive oil (healthy and adds body), 20% milk and top up the blender with water.
Start with a slow blend then high, the minimum that is needed (about 1 minute) so you keep the fibre as intact as possible – but it must still taste good.
Add turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper.
Tips can also be used in salads or wraps.
Life cycle of plants and tipping
Growth is slow while plants are germinating and there is no extraction of nutrients from the soil. Sprouts are very popular but all the nutrients are coming from the seed not the soil.
As the roots and leaves system develop the plants have more nutrients and energy so the growth rate increases to a maximum as the plant reaches old age and seeding.
I like to let my plants so they are approaching this period of maximum growth then just cut the tips of the plants (green vegetables only). New shoots will soon appear and I cut this off in a process I call tipping.
There are a couple of issues with tipping. You must start the tipping process before the plant approaches maturity, it will think it is still young and send out vigorous new shoots. If it gets beyond this point it will not re-shoot nicely.
Also you must leave what I call mother leaves on the plant, these are providing energy for the plant and if you cut these off the plant will not grow properly and may even die.
It does not matter if the insects attack these leaves as they will the thrown away anyway.
Floating water table
Note this uses the principle of the floating water table. Water will always tend to move to the finest particles so water will tend to stay in the bed and not be sucked out but the coarse labile compost but will still allow entry of worms from the soil below.
I don’t make or sell anything, I just spend my time writing articles and persuading people to eat healthy but if you want to buy Gbiota Mix just email me with your address and I will let you know where you can buy it. (Australia only at the moment).
This is the most basic form of Gbiota bed, you can learn about the more sophisticated versions in the growing section on this web.
If you want to read a more in depth article about soil and gut biology then Gbiotawhy6ep20
You can always email me firstname.lastname@example.org