Rescue Earth System
Wood Chippers & Shredders
Shredders, Grinders and Wood Chippers are the best machinery for someone who wants to convert woody material into wood chips or Shredded Ramial Wood. They are also perfect for ensuring that those thousands of leaves, twigs and other garden debris are taken care of quickly.
Wood Chippers & Shredders
Wood Chips are used for a diverse range of Regenerative Restoration Initiatives of the Rescue Earth System. We advocate the use of three primary types of wood chips; High Carbon Wood Chips for Bioremediation Systems & Ag BioSwales, Ramial Chipped Wood for Mulches & Lasagna Garden Beds and Shredded Ramial Wood for Composting & Bushfeed.
Tree stems and big branches are the best source of High Carbon Wood Chips.
Ramial Chipped Wood
Ramial wood chips are those from trees and brush, from branches up to a maximum of 10 cm in diameter with or without leaves. A fairly high percentage of their mass is thin young bark, young wood, and sometimes leaves. The Rescue Earth System favours the inclusion of as many leaves as possible as this increases nitrogen levels and nutrients.
One should try to chip branches from a diverse mix of species. The more diverse the better! And if you mix species as you chip you’ll get a ready mixed Ramial Chipped Wood product that you can add directly to your Lasagna Garden. Although it will slowly decompose, Ramial Chipped Wood can be stored in a pile for many years.
A good example of Ramial Chipped Wood.
It has been proven over time that there are many benefits of applying mulch in your garden. Have you ever wondered why one should use wood chips as mulch? Well, here are a couple of reasons:
- Environmentally friendly – Wood chips are a sustainable source. Most wood chips are produced from alien clearing projects or by chipping wood that would have ended up on a landfill site. So by using wood chips as mulch you are utilising something that would have been burned or not used.
- Moisture retention – When you cover the soil with at least 50mm of wood chip mulch you slow down water evaporation from the ground, reducing water usage significantly, which means you save on your water bill.
- Boost soil health – As the wood chips break down into the soil they increase soil fertility and the presence of earthworms that create vermicompost, which reduces the need to add fertilisers. Wood chip mulch also provides organic matter and adds nutrition. Wood chips are rich in carbon and carbon is a crucial part of healthy soil.
- Wood Chip Size – Wood chips differ in size which helps prevent soil compaction and allows for excellent water filtration. The differently sized chips also break down at different rates so micro-organisms and nutrition will start quickly when the small chips break down almost immediately and last for a long period of time on the bigger chips.
- Organic matter – As the chips breaks down they stimulate the growth of micro organisms and earthworms. The organic matter is worked deep into the ground by these small insects and worms enhancing the growth rate of your trees and plants.
- Weed control – A natural way to reduce the amount of weeds growing in your garden is to apply a thick layer of wood chips (50mm) on your soil.
- Temperature control – Covering the soil with wood chips will block out the sun, keeping your soil cool and protecting the roots of your plants.
- Enhanced appearance – Wood chips enhance the appearance of pathways and gardens. The mulch can also be coloured to increase the effect in the garden.
A good example of Shredded Ramial Wood
Shredded Ramial Wood from trees / shrubs that are suitable for animal feed is mixed with Molasses, Grains, Salt, Urea and PEG to make nutritious Bushfeed.
How to make “bushfeed”!
Using encroaching bush / alien vegetation for livestock feed
Every year when a drought approaches an area or as the drought gets worse, terms such as “Bos-tot-Kos”, “Boskos” and Bushfeed get thrown around regularly. We have been hearing them every day in places like Namibia, Botswana and parts of the Eastern Cape in South Africa the last couple of months. So what exactly does “bos tot kos” mean? In this article we will try and shed some light on the boskos subject.
Bos-tot-kos is when encroaching bush / alien vegetation is cut down and processed into feed for sheep, goats, cattle and game. Producing boskos is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is hard work and needs dedication. You will need some tools to produce it and it is labour intensive. Despite this, the benefits of producing bushfeed are endless. Here are just a few of the advantages:
- Top quality feed can be produced from a source, that is seen as a weed and a problem to many.
- This top quality feed is at your disposal and won’t cost you a cent.
- Charcoal / Firewood can be produced from the bigger branches and the smaller branches of the bush (which will generally be discarded and left in the field to rot) are utilised by turning them into fodder.
- When you make bushfeed you systematically clear your farm by removing alien vegetation / encroaching bush –- creating space for grass to grow when the rain comes.
- It’s an environmentally friendly way of clearing and controlling encroaching bush (instead of burning).
The typical ingredients that go into the final feed mix are:
- Molasses Syrup
- Non-GMO Maize or Sweet Potato (Green Matter & Tubers)
- Trace-Mineral Sea Salt
- Paramagnetic Rock Dust
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Feed Grade Urea
- PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)
PEG forms stable complexes with tannins, thereby preventing the binding between tannins and proteins, it is widely used to reduce the detrimental effect of condensed tannins in ruminant diets.
What do I need to keep in mind?
- The best time to harvest is when it is growing season and there are plenty of leaves and flowers on the branches. During this time the branches contain highest nutritional value.
- Don’t use branches of more than 30mm in diameter for feed as most nutrients are stored in the smaller branches & leaves.
- Cut branches as quickly as possible to avoid the build-up of tannins inside the branches. When you cut down branches in one area / tree and take longer than 10 minutes, the tree can release tannins as part of a defense mechanism.
- Material that’s harvested and chipped during the growing season can be dried and stored to be used at a later stage when the leaves drop.
Most bush species can be used in times of crisis. Some species cannot be used alone, but need to be used in combination with other species for best results.
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