29

February

2008

How we make our peat-free coir composts

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Fertile Fibre is the alternative to using peat in horticulture. Its basis is coir – otherwise known as coconut fibre. Coir is used throughout the world making products including rope, string and coconut matting.

The different parts of a coconut

Coconuts when picked are around four times larger than the ones seen for sale in the shops thanks to a large outer casing. The familiar coconut is sent for sale or to be processed into desiccated coconut, or coconut oil. Its shell is ground up for use as fertilizer.

The outer covering is soaked in water to soften and then put into a carding machine which removes the fibre used for rope.

During this process dust and small fibres fall beneath the machines. For us, this is the interesting part.It used to be dumped as waste but now it is collected, dried, and compressed into blocks.

Not all coirs are organically equal

You might think that coir is a standard commodity. However if it has been produced by a factory near the sea, salt water will have been used to soak it. This makes it unsuitable for our Fertile Fibre.

Also some coir is sterilized with methyl bromide. This powerful chemical is used as a soil fumigant and to control pests. However it also depletes the ozone layer, so is completely unacceptable in an organic product.

Quality assured, organically certified

Our stringent quality control procedures on the coir we import means it contains no contaminants.

Fertile Fibre coir comes only from organically grown coconut trees. Certification of organic produce is done by international agencies accredited to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

Fertile Fibre products are certified by The Soil Association, the UK’s leading campaigning and certification organisation for organic food and farming.

Environmental considerations

Producing Fertile Fibre

Fertile Fibre’s raw materials are first checked for quality then processed, blended and packed by us on our farm in Herefordshire. This gives us complete control over the organic integrity of our products.

First the coir is soaked. This is energy-efficient and ensures that the structure and consistency is preserved.

Then nutrients are added. These are totally organic and Soil Association-approved. They are finely ground to ensure thorough dispersion through the coir base. pH is neutral, and our quality control verifies that it remains in the range 5.4–6.0. Our organic nutrients are released gradually and in low concentrations. This reduces the need for top-up feeding. Competitors’ coir which has had chemicals added cannot promise this benefit. This has been proven in ADAS testing.

Each type of compost

Fertile Fibre Compost

We’ve been making and improving on our original composts for more than 18 years. All composts are Soil Association approved.

Vegro Compost

Vegro Composts were developed in 2003. They are all approved by the Vegan Society.

Ingredients

Lists all the ingredients contained in our products.

How to buy from us

Take a look around our online shop, packed with products from composts to perlite, seaweed extracts to weed suppressant mats. Or you’re welcome to email us at info@fertilefibre.com or call us on 01432 853111