Making a Gbiota tribox
I find is useful to put up my drafts so my regular readers can tell me to take out all the politically incorrect and fun rubbish that makes writing a pleasant experience while I do the grunt work of loading all the pics and video clips
We have known about our intelligent control system for some seventy years when people who were deprived of food during the war became fat, as their control system had been trained to store any fat it could.
Years later we find ourselves in a health crisis which starts by people becoming overweight and the classic advice is to cut calories which may be well intentioned but is still training our intelligent control system to store yet more fat.
I try and make people aware of the importance of feeding our gut brain and this message seems well accepted by a dedicated number of home gardeners but has little impact on the bulk of the population.
I tried an approach of persuading people to form groups with these keen gardeners helping the less advantaged people living in flats who did not have the time and skills to grow their own gut food.
Well if you don’t try you will never succeed and this was a bit of damp squib so I thought I must try a new approach and see how easy I could make it for people with no time, space or even interest in growing their own gut food.
The Gbiota stacked bin is my solution.
The basic principle behind the Gbiota system is common to all methods but there are many ways of applying this in practise.
A living soil is created (yes we make soil) by breeding microbes in organic waste and minerals with inoculants such as worms, soldier fly larvae, and a starter of living microbes.
Initially water is flushed through this soil to create what I call soil blood, (because is does a similar job to our blood) a somewhat yukky looking liquid which if you look at it under a microscope is full of an array of creatures, large and small, which is then again flushed through soil in another zone where plants are grown.
We eat the plants which are natural pre and pro biotics and feed our gut brain.
The flower pot method
The flower pot method, using 40 cents flower pots, I described in an earlier post how-to-gpots is the cheapest way I know of applying this method, the stacked boxes I describe here is even easier to use but does need $10 boxes rather than 40cent flower pots (but you only need half as many).
To make one unit (and you will probably need about 4 units to provide a continuous supply of gut brain food) you just need 3 stacking storage boxes eg boxes can be stacked on top of each other with the one above fitting into the lid of the box below.
All the boxes I have seen in my local stores are stacking and vary in size and price from a few dollars per box to up to about $15 per box.
Modifying the stacking boxes
The bottom box you do nothing with, this is to catch the soil blood.
The box above is the breeding box, you just drill holes in the base and in the lid of the box below so the soil blood can drain into the bottom box.
You load this with any organic waste your can lay your hands on, kitchen waste is the obvious, but any organic waste will do including
– your next door neighbours cat which winges away on your windowsill at midnight,
– and may be your next door neighbours son who arrives back at 1 am on his motor bike which he revs up to full bore
– and may be his daughter who insist on playing the latest Taylor Swift hit at 2 in the morning,
-and may be himself who mows the lawn at 5.30 in the morning
-and lets not forget his wife who screems continuously that she cannot think with all this noise.
Any way hopefully you get the message – any organic waste.
Then the minerals, just dial up rent-a-volcano or buy a bag of rock dust if the volcano wont fit into the empty house next door.
It pays to check that your rock dust has the right minerals, most people are short on magnesium, women on iron and men on zinc (one night of hanky panky can exhaust a mans store of zinc). Blood and bone is a good source of zinc and other minerals.
Then add the decomposers, you can buy worm eggs, soldier flies larvae and other maggots just appear with the household waste. If you leave out some old slices of bread the local pigeons may supply you with some free pigeon shit – no credit cards needed or you can buy some professionally created inoculant for $2,000 but the pigeon shit has worked fine for the last two hundred thousand years so can be classified as showing promise.
Again you will have to drill holes in the base of the top box and the lid of the box below. This is where you will grow the actual plants.
You will need some soil for a starter. Most people, including me, hate clay but it does have very fine particles which nutrients will cling to and when you have gone through a few cycles the organic matter will have created aggregates which give the soil a beautiful texture.
If all else fails you can buy a bag of potting mix from the supermarket but that is just to get you going.
Whatever else this must be free draining, just trust me, if the soil does not drain freely you will end up with a squelchy horrible pongy mess which will breed up the wrong sort of microbes, like E-Coli which will test your immune system. So free draining it is.
After a while the organic matter from the breeding box below should give you adequate drainage, but if not some fine drive way gravel may do the trick but is really heavy but Vermiculite or Pearlite are really light and improve the texture of the soil.
But the most important aerator of the soil is our friendly worms.
Now you need to seed. The whole point it to breed microbes and different plant species emit different sugars to attract different species of microbes. As the name of the game is to create a diverse a range of beneficial microbes as possible I make a mix of multiple species.
Currently my magic seed mix has some 26 species of compatible plants which create an excellent mix of baby greens – which is really the end product.
A typical cycle, from harvest to harvest, for a box is about eight weeks which means that with four boxes you will be restarting a box every couple of weeks.
This is where the beauty of the stacked boxes come in. Whenever you have any kitchen scraps you just lift of the top box and the breeding box lid and toss in the scraps.
By the time it comes to rotate the box after eight weeks you simply tip the old soil from the top box onto the decomposed waste and make that box the top box and use what was the top box as the breeding box.
But don’t forget to move the worms back to the lower box – it is amazing how they will have bred up. You will need the kids to help you think of names for them all – they are now your pets.
The best way I have found of watering is to collect up the soil blood from some or all of the box stacks and measure roughly how much fluid you will need for the liquid to saturate the growing and breeding boxes so a reasonable amount actually flows down to the bottom water reservoir box.
This will be used on the next cycle and will flush the root zone with fresh microbes and minerals suspended in the soil blood.
Gently pour this onto the soil in the top box so it floods, this will soak down through the growing and breeding boxes mimicking the flood and drain cycle.
This will expel the stale and air when the soil blood flows down to the bottom water reservoir it will suck in fresh air.
I prefer to push a short piece of ag pipe into the soil and fill through that as the soil blood fills from the base upwards.
It is basically breathing the soil.
This is not quite as good as proper flood and drain where the soil is totally flooded from underneath but it is a lot quicker and seems to work pretty good.
As long as you apply enough soil blood so it goes right down to the bottom water container they all seems to work pretty well.
In the video attached I am reseeding and cover the surface with grass clippings in a vain attempt to fool the local pigeons who have now learned my boxes are a good source of seeds, but they do leave a calling card of fresh inoculants, commonly known as shit.
Have fun flipping
There are some alternatives to this three box stack system which some people may prefer.
The growing and breeding boxes can be combined into one large box. This has an advantage that the plants have bigger root area. The disadvantage is that kitchen waste is normally generated daily but this cannot be put straight into the breeding box but has to be stored separately in some compost box or bag until the box is refurbished.
When the crop is finished and the box is being replenished it is simply emptied and reloaded with the compost on the bottom and the growing soil on top. This is best if the box is flooded from below like in a normal wicking bed.
The best way is to have a long swivel tube so the box can be completely flooded from the filler tub then the swivel tube twisted to let the box completely drain.
A compost tube can be used where organic waste can be placed and the box filled by filling through the compost tube. This compost tube can be moved to refurbish the soil and increase the time between refurbishing the box.
I have many boxes using this system and it is good way of growing but more complicated than the simple three box stack.
If you want more details just email me at email@example.com