This photo is of two lovely big buckets of comfrey tea, brewed to perfection. We use comfrey in the garden to make a liquid fertiliser, known as tea, with which we feed our tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and the like. It is high in potassium, phosphorus and calcium, thus making it an ideal feed for fruit forming plants. We also use the leaves as an addition to the compost bins and when turning the heaps water with diluted tea, both methods acting as accelerators. The carbon to nitrogen ratio is similar to farmyard manure and therefore it also an ideal vegetative component. The plants in our garden are the common comfrey or Symphytum officinale, also known as knitbone due to its use in the past for treating broken bones by application of a poultice. This plant can become invasive if left unchecked with its substantial roots and propensity to seeds itself everywhere. In an attempt to lessen this anti-social behaviour a sterile cultivar “Bocking 14” was introduced by the pioneer of organic horticulture, Lawrence D Hills. Whilst ours is of the thuggish variety it is cut so often it hasn’t had a chance to become too rampant.
Today I made the last brew of the year, collecting the last few leaves before they retire for the winter, ensuring I was wearing gloves as they are covered in very irritating hairs. These leaves were packed into the buckets before filling to the top with rainwater. Then its a case of waiting 4 or 5 weeks or until you need it, whichever is the longest. Strain and dilute 15:1 or so as needed, I’m never very accurate and nothing terrible has happened yet. I forget to mention that it absolutely stinks, just as well I can’t smell a thing at the moment, but Bossman certainly had a comment or two!