Nantahala Farm & Garden in North Carolina
WNC Farm & Garden Book   Vacation House Rental
Seeds/Plants   Chickens   Ducks   Goats   Comfrey   Kelp   Azomite
Home   Email   Follow My Farm Life on Facebook   828-321-9036
Plant spring, summer or fall. Comfrey can be planted any time the soil is not frozen.
Email: orders@healthtreasures.com

Prices & Order Page to Buy Comfrey
Roots, seeds, books.

Comfrey Varieties We Sell:
Bocking #4 Russian Comfrey
Bocking #14 Russian Comfrey

"Wild" Blue Flower Comfrey
True / Common Comfrey Plants
True / Common Comfrey Seed

Information:
General Comfrey Information
How to Grow Comfrey
How to Use Comfrey
3 Types of Comfrey
Comfrey, Permaculture, Fruit Trees


Dried Comfrey:
Dried Comfrey Root

USING COMFREY IN YOUR GARDEN OR FARM:
    Good Nutrition for Farm Animals and Your Soil

Good Eating for All Farm Animals
Lower Your Feed Costs

Comfrey leaves are 22% protein. Grow your own animal food. We feed comfrey to our goats, ducks and chickens. They love it. The photo to the left is a Dominique hen in comfrey and stinging nettle.

It is better to plant comfrey where chickens and other animals can not eat or peck at them all day. They love it so much that they kill it. Plant it away from the animals and then cut the leaves off and give to them.

For our goats we cut the comfrey leaves and put them in a hay rack since goats don't like to eat leaves laying on the ground.

For the chickens and ducks we just throw them on the ground and they eat the entire herb. They get very excited when we feed it to them. We used to have pigs and it was a great treat for them. Sheep, cattle and other farm animals like it too.

Comfrey is especially good for animals you are milking. It gives does, cows and ewes a nutritional boost. You can even dry it and then feed it to your animals in the winter.

Some people say it improves milk production and increases the amount of cream in the milk (from the protein probably). Of course, feed all food supplements in moderation. Variety is always best.

Here's a creative way to use your comfrey:
"I am building ‘forage fences’ with two sets of welded wire panels about 7 feet apart to separate my pastures into paddocks for rotational grazing for dairy goats and sheep. Between the two panels (the 7’ area) I’m planting fruit/nut/pollinator attracting trees, shrubs and plants using permaculture type guilds. The goats can forage through the fences, but will not be able to destroy the trees and shrub trunks in the center. The plants can continue to grow. I’m excited about the invasive comfrey (blue-flowered wild/rough comfrey) because I want it to expand to the outside of the fence for the animals to eat." -Kirsten, South Carolina

Good for Compost Pile, Fertilizer Tea, or Soil Amendment

Comfrey leaves are high in nitrogen (protein), potassium, calcium, iron and phosphate with many trace minerals (micronutrients). They have 1.8-0.5-5.3 NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium). Kelp meal has an NPK of 1.0-0.5-2.5, and compost ranges from 0.5-0.5-0.5 to 4-4-4. So it's better than kelp and some compost.

Comfrey has very long roots (6-8 feet) so are able to bring up nutrients from deep in the soil (dynamic accumulator). Its leaves have 2-3 times more potassium than farmyard manure.

Add comfrey leaves to your compost pile to speed up the composting rate (compost activator) and to add extra nutrients. The leaves break down quickly.

You can put 3-5 inches of comfrey leaves on top of brown compost material such as dead leaves (from other plants) or wood shavings. Add a layer of food scraps from the kitchen and other green (fresh) material. Put some dirt on all of this to help the composting process. The comfrey helps heat up the pile.

Make a fertilizer tea (compost tea) with comfrey leaves. Fill a barrel or bucket half with leaves. Then fill with water. Let them rot for 4–5 weeks. You create comfrey tea. It can be used full strength or diluted 50:50 with water.

Use it to water your plants. Some research shows that comfrey tea sprays activate natural defense mechanisms in seedlings, making them more resistant to disease.

You can also stack dry leaves under a weight such as rocks in a bucket with a hole in the bottom. The leaves decompose and create a thick black comfrey concentrate that oozes out of the hole. Dilute at 15:1 before using. The leaves are low in fiber (low carbon) so over time they decompose into a thick black liquid.

Improve plant growth by adding comfrey leaves to the bottom of planting holes for potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, fruit trees/bushes and other potassium-loving plants. Do not put flowering stalks in holes because they might root.

It will not rob the soil of nitrogen because the Carbon:Nitrogen (C:N) ratio is lower than that of well-rotted compost. This is unlike straw and dry leaves that take nitrogen out of the soil while they decompose.

Use comfrey as a mulch or side dressing (green manure) by putting 2-3 inches of leaves around plants. The leaves slowly break down releasing the nutrients. But it is better to limit mulching root crops and leafy greens with comfrey because they may go to seed sooner.

Fruit Trees

This mulch is especially good for fruit trees. Or better yet grow comfrey plants around fruit trees. Plant 2-6 or more plants around each tree depending on the size of the tree. If planting Russian Comfrey, plant at least 3 feet away from the trunk. Larger trees can have plants placed 3 or more feet apart under the canopy of the tree.

You don't have to harvest the leaves, just let them grow/die/decompose back into the soil. Or you can harvest the leaves and throw them around the tree.

It is best to remove all flowers or flower stalks on the comfrey because they take a lot of the plant's energy to create the seeds. However, we always leave a few plants with flowers because the bees and other beneficial insects love them.

Fast Growing, Bountiful Harvest

Comfrey (compfrey, comphrey, compry) leaves are fast growing. You get about 4-5 pounds of leaves from each cutting of a mature plant (2 years old or older depending on growing conditions). You should get about 4-5 cuttings a year, usually every 5 weeks.

Do not cut the plants the first year but do remove the flowers the first year. Cut when leaves are about 2 feet high. Harvest using scissors, a sickle or a scythe. Cut all of the leaves from the plant at one time. It is best to wear gloves.

It is best to harvest the leaves before they flower since flowering uses up a lot of the plants energy. Harvest on a regular basis so that flowers do not form. Cut the leaves 2 inches from the ground.

Stop cutting in late summer or early fall so the plants have time to regain their energy for winter dormancy. Comfrey plants can withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero without being killed.

If you do not want the plant to spread, then do not rototill or plow the plants. This will cut up the roots into many pieces. Many of the pieces will then grow into a new plant. Of course, if you want more plants this can be an advantage.


 


 
Nantahala Farm in the Mountains of Western NC
Macon County (close to Cherokee, Graham and Swain Counties)
Topton, North Carolina 28781
Location Map
By appointment only. Please email or call before coming over.

828-321-9036
Please call between 8 am and 9 pm Eastern time, any day.
Email: orders@healthtreasures.com


Please support small farms and sustainable living.
We are happy to answer your questions about farming and gardening.
Let us know any comments or suggestions you have about our site, farm or products.
We can add your testimonials so others know your experiences and ideas.
We may be interested in barter. Let us know what you have to offer.
We ship to the United States only.


RENT OUR VACATION HOME
Rental House on Farm


ANIMALS AND POULTRY FOR SALE
Toggenburg Goat   |  Dominique Chickens   |  Bantam Chickens
Ancona Ducks


BUY BEANS, PEAS AND CORN FOR PLANTING
October Beans   |   Rattlesnake Beans   |   Greasy Beans
Black Turtle Beans   |   Mammoth Melting Peas   |   Appalachian Field Corn


LEAFY GREENS: SEEDS FOR PLANTING
Perennial Sea Kale Seeds   |   Mizuna Seeds (Japanese Greens)


BUY SEEDS, ROOTS, BULBS AND PLANTS
Comfrey Plants and Seeds   |   Perennial Bronze Fennel Seed   |   Mangel Beet Seeds
Stinging Nettle Seed   |   Music Garlic   |   Ferry-Morse Seed Packets   |   Perennial Plants


PURCHASE HERBS, FERTILIZERS, FEED SUPPLEMENTS
Frontier Comfrey: Dried Root and Leaf   |   Organic Thorvin Kelp from Iceland
Azomite Trace Minerals Powder   |   Rock Dusts for Soil Health


BOOKS, VIDEOS, HEALTH SUPPLIES, AND FARM EQUIPMENT
Farm and Garden Calendar   |   Future of Food DVD   |   Krystal Salt Rock Crystals
Comfrey Booklet


FARM SITE RESOURCES
Home   |   Farm/Garden Advice by Phone   |   Pay with Paypal
Privacy and Refund Policies

Follow My Farm Life:
"Western North Carolina Farm & Garden Calendar" on Facebook.





All rights reserved. ©2008-2014