Seabird Guano: The Right Poo will Do?
Guano is a word that originates from Quechua, the Andean indigenous language, and means, “the droppings of seabirds.” The Andean people collected guano for soil conditioning for well over 1,500 years. The ancient Inca Empire so valued seabird guano as a fertiliser, the disturbance of the birds, from which they derived their treasure, was punishable by death. Guano came into widespread public knowledge in 1958 with Ian Fleming’s James Bond. The Dr. No novel is set in a Caribbean guano island. And, of course, Bond defeats the villain at the end, who dies buried in guano!
Today, guano generally refers to the excrement of seabirds and cave-dwelling bats. Bat guano, however, has less fertilising worth than seabird guano, as its nitrogen component tends to leach more readily in cave settings. In contrast, seabird guano is rich in nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, three key ingredients in healthy plant growth.
Seabird Guano: Old World Treasure
Guano was once considered a treasure, so important was it for sustainable agriculture. It was even considered the spoils of war in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) enabling Chile to grow its natural treasury by 900% between 1897 and 1902.
Indeed, the nineteenth century guano trade played a crucial role in the development of modern input-intensive farming practices. It has also inspired the formal colonisation of remote bird islands in numerous parts of the world.
Seabird Guano: The Production Process
The guano “production process” begins as saltwater fish are devoured and digested by sea birds. “Deposited” on rocks and baked in the sun, the excrement—along with bits of eggshells, feathers, insects and microbes—matures into nature’s best fertiliser.
Among other things, seabird guano cleans the soil from toxins, improves soil texture, speeds up the decomposition process and promotes healthy lawn colour and growth.
GROlife is contains this rich seabird guano, along with other natural mineral products sourced from both Australia and around the world. With over sixty minerals and trace nutrients, GROlife is one of the premier mineral fertilisers available, a product developed through rigorous trials and used in Australia’s horticultural industry for nearly two decades. And because of its slow release properties, the mineral ore has high bio-availability—that is, the minerals are easily “digested” by, or absorbed into, the living organisms within the soil.
See here for more on GROlife, and its remarkable benefits for gardening and farming.