I'm posting new cuz it seems like nobody's been back to the original FISH HEADS thread... maybe the Indians put the fish head under the corn for NEXT crop, not the crop they were planting at the time...
Or maybe they did it because that's the way they always did it in the past. And since they did it every year, it seemed to work.
Hi there, it's me, the originator of that fishhead thread. As I understand it the corn seed was placed into the mouth of the fish as it was buried. I didn't do it this way myself as you can read in the previous thread. I'm sure fish waste is a good source of nitrogen as the method compared well with the other two separate rows using manure and 10-10-10. If I had planted a 4th row using no added fertilizer (as a control row) it would have been even more interesting to see the results.
It makes good sence that the decaying fish adds vital nutrients for such a heavy feeder as corn. The Native Americans no doubt tried many methods during their thousands of years isolated in the Americas but must have come to the conclusion that it's best to use this "waste" for a good purpose rather than simply discarding it. vgkg
I typed up a FAQ on the organic gardening forum on how to make homemade fish emulsion and fish fertilizer.
Check it out:
Homemade Fish Emulsion
I did an experiment last year with fourth graders. We dug in fish guts and seeded corn above them. We also planted a control bed. The kids very enthusiastically measured and observed the results. The corn with the corn was taller, greener and had wider lives then tat without. Some disgusting creep ripped of the ears before the kids could enjoy them.
I read a few years ago in Yankee Mag. that the Indians told that as a pratical joke. Burying fish just attracts skunks and other animals to dig them up.
Corn and melons are two of the few crops that can stand fresh fish scraps under the seeds.
Fresh meat or fresh manure or other high nitrogen material will decompose via soil microbes and form ammonium. Most plants can't use nitrogen easily in that form without burning up. The ammonium is broken down again via microbes into nitrates and nitric acid. This is a better organic form of nitrogen for plants.
So you see, the early Native Americans lucked up by choosing corn to grow with fish waste.