To practise organic farming, farms need a lot of preparations.
AMFRI Farms, for example, uses the biodynamic system, an advanced form of organic agriculture, harmonising nature to improve productivity.
The preparations at the farm to produce the best fertiliser are amazing. From these preparations, they create a line of highly fertile elements that they later apply to the crops and farm as fertilisers and pesticides. The different types are coded as; 500 (horn manure), 501 (silica), 502 (yarrow), 503 (chamomile), 504 (stinging nettle), 505 (oak bark), 506 (dandelion), 507 (valerian), 508 (horsetail). 500 and 501 are field preparations, whereas the others are compost preparations.
How to make cow horn manure (500)
- Put the horns in a cool shelter for at least five days to separate the horn bone from the hornskin
- Cut the length of the horn you want to use and remove the bone
- Put the horn in shade for two to three days for it to dry well. Do not put under direct sunlight because that destroys natural elements.
- Isolate the lactating cows from the herd, but do not tether. Feed these cows on legumes and other pastures. Collect the dung from these cows and check well to ensure there is no soil and other impurities.
- Compact this dung well into the female cow horns. We use female cow horns because they are thick and strong and their digestion system is connected to their horns and hooves.
- Select a place to bury your horns. The place should be cool, moist, wet, free from plants and not near the road.
- Dig a pit of one to 1.5 metres deep in any shape you like. Depth/width depends on the number of horns you have.
- While placing the horns in the pit, make sure their tips are facing upwards and in a slanting angle to enable water run on them, but not get inside.
- Mix the soil dug out of the pit with compost or fertile soils and cover the horns in the pit with this.
- Let them remain buried for four months. This should be done during the wet season. If you feed the cows on legumes, you do not need to mix it in. If you do, then mix it well so that it looks soft and fresh.
You can get the manure and mix it in all compost preparations when in a box. You can also mix 50g of the cow horn with 100g of cowpit in 15 litres of water and spray. The manure can be kept for two years if good storage facilities are provided. It is usually spread out late in the afternoon.
Advantages of cow horn manure
- It helps the plant to have deeper rooting system.
- It stimulates soil vitality. Preparation Mix 50g of cow horn manure in 15 litres of rain water/clean water. Stir for one hour in clockwise and anti-clockwise.
How to mix horn silica
Horn silica is coded as 501. It is a six-sided crystal clear stone. It can be picked from rocky areas of Uganda. This is crushed into powder and mixed with a little clean warm water, then stuffed in a cow horn.
The horn’s tip is placed in heaped sand for water to evaporate. The horns are buried into the ground during the dry season for six months.
Mix 1.5g to 15 litres of water per acre. Stir for one hour and spray early in the morning on the leaves.
Advantages of silica
- It helps in the ripeness, sweetness, smell and taste of the fruit
- Increases the shelf life of the fruit
- Helps to expose plants more to sunlight, which is used in photosynthesis