Making organic fertilizer from sushi bar fish scrap


Simple and straight forward…fine pieces of fish scrap make a rich odor free fish emulsion when combined with unrefined sugar (or a mix of molasses and sawdust from untreated wood) in thin layers.  Top off with sugar in a thick layer, leave plenty of airspace at the top, and use a cotton tee shirt to allow it to breathe.  Periodically, you will continue to top dress with more sugar as needed.  The perfect rainy day gift making idea.  Who wouldn’t love to be suprized with this zero waste treat for their garden.

Leave in a shaded corner (garage or barn is good) where you can check on it.  It will take a few months to fully breakdown.  The rich dark syrup will then be used as approx one shot glass to 5 gal of water.  It will revive plants and help your farm and gardens grow.


8 thoughts on “Making organic fertilizer from sushi bar fish scrap”

    1. Yes, in fact, when I am building growing mounds, I often bury the whole skeleton, head and all. the breakdown is quick, and there is a quiet respect there for the fish as well. When I strain out the fish from the emulsion, the “picked” fish chunks that did not break down go right into the composting beds as well. I also use the fish parts in my bokashi making. They can be used everywhere.

      1. Thank you for your reply – i was concerned about critter interference – we have skunks, foxes and gofers, and was worried they’d dig , so I better bury ’em deep 🙂

  1. PS – I heard you speak yesterday at the Heirloom Expo and you were excellent – a real inspiration. I’m just learning to garden since we moved to an acre in Sonoma 8 months ago and not knowing any better we spent more than a thousand bucks bringing in organic soil & compost alas – but your lecture inspired me to start learning your techniques and making our own soil. We started a compost pile when we moved here but you’ve given me such great info and enthusiasm to make it work more efficiently. PS – I’m a born / raised native – hapa haole – from Oahu, and am so happy to hear how you’re working with the native species to work your farm. Hawaii has suffered so much alteration over the decades, so many invasives of plant and critter and people, it’s great that you’re gardening in the true spirit of Aloha. Mahalo to you, a hui hou !

    1. Mahalo Frannie! I am so happy that the information has you inspired. Your comments about the true spirit of Aloha brought tears to my eyes. I will continue to try my very best.

      1. Na’u ka hau’oli ! I tried to find you at the expo after your lecture ( and after I’d had lunch- I’m surprised you couldn’t hear my stomach growling from the back row while you were speaking) , but couldn’t find your booth anywhere after walking twice around the grounds and though the expo halls, so I finally gave up because of the heat , knowing I could just as well get in touch with you through your website, but I am sorry I didn’t get to thank you personally. I’m going to convince my husband that we need to plan a trip to the Big Island, and hope we can come help you work your farm for a day or two while we learn from you, if you do that sort of thing ? I also used to cook for a living , so I’m happy to cook and wash dishes in exchange for the benefit of your hard earned farming wisdom ! In the mean time, I hope you’ll post something about how you use cardboard and newspaper for developing your soil and compost. I told my husband about that and when he very excitedly asked me how on earth that worked and how we could start applying it , I was woefully inadequate in trying to relay what little I had picked up on.

        I’m so happy to have come across you and really am so inspired by your fortitude, perseverance, optimism, incredible sense of giving back and aloha.


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