Bocking 4 - Does it Exist in Australia?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by JoeMerc, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    https://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-1371-all-about-comfrey-the-miracle-plant

    Have a listen to someone who has real life experience feeding animals with both Bocking 4 & Bocking 14 Comfrey. Has a lot of practical information about comfrey, not just about the Pyrrolizidine alkoloids.

    Get information from all perspectives - then make YOUR own assessment.
     
  2. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    This is probably a contributing factor as to why Bocking 4 is not available in Australia, being primarily used for animal fodder, although it can be used in the garden.

    Bocking 14 however, can still be purchased here. Bocking 14 can also be used for animal fodder but specializes as a garden variety - it has many valuable uses in the garden.

    "Since the 1930s it has been used for animal feed, but this use has been prohibited in Australia and New Zealand"
     
  3. Nick Ritar

    Nick Ritar Junior Member

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    Where did this information come from?

    Not sure any organisation in Australia has the power to prohibit the feeding of any plant to an animal... maybe the RSPCA could prosecute you for cruelty... but not sure who would enforce the prohibition?

    From Issabell Shepards great site (may she rest in peace) https://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/comfrey.html

    It is listed in the poison schedule here https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012L01200 That doesn't mean it's illegal.
     
  4. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862927/

    "Since the 1930s it has been used for animal feed, but this use has been prohibited in Australia and New Zealand"

    Its only one line but that's what it says. As to its veracity, well it would make sense to me that if they classify a plant as a poison, the government is hardly going to encourage commercial food growers to feed it to their livestock. So it is quite possible that it is illegal to feed it to livestock in these countries.

    It does not mean that a hobby farmer could not feed comfrey to his/her stock though, without anyone knowing - whether it is illegal or not it would be very difficult to enforce.

    If anyone knows more about this feel free to speak out.
     
  5. dreuky

    dreuky Junior Member

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    I've grown comfrey for animals. Planted roots and then it goes wild. dies back ever winter but in summer it goes wild. Sheep will eat a growing plant but not touch cut leaves (fresh or dried) horses won't touch it at all. Didn't even know there were different cultivars so I suppose I just had the normal garden variety. I do use it for poultices and found it good but as far as stock feed goes I think there are lots of plants/grasses that are better.
     
  6. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    Well as far as I can ascertain, the only Comfrey available in Australia is the Symphytum Officinale species and and the Bocking 14 cultivar.

    You were saying your comfrey grew like wild in the summer, which indicates that it is most likely a hybrid which grows faster and larger than S. Officinale.

    When classifying the various Bocking cultivars Lawrence D. Hills said that Bocking 14 was the one most likely to be found in hedges from abandoned comfrey plots.

    Bocking 14 has the highest level of potash of all the comfrey cultivars and species.

    He believed that the higher level of potash in the leaves made it unpalatable to some animals, hence the higher survival rate, but of course made it more suitable as a garden variety than Bocking 4.

    The Bocking 4 cultivar is generally considered a better fodder crop than Bocking 14 for this and other important reasons for example
    Bocking 4 however, has the highest level of protein of all the Bocking cultivars and species - important for growing animals and more than twice the Vitamin B12 that Bocking 4 has.

    As you said, most likely you had the garden variety - probably Bocking 14
     
  7. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    Sorry it timed out before I could edit this.
    It should read:

    The Bocking 4 cultivar is generally considered a better fodder crop than Bocking 14 for this and other important reasons for example
    Bocking 4 has the highest level of protein of all the Bocking cultivars and Comfrey species - important for growing animals and more than twice the Vitamin B12 that Bocking 14 has.
     
  8. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    Department of Agriculture perhaps?
     
  9. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    Or perhaps the Department of Primary Industries?
     
  10. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    To make this thread a more valuable reference point for people who have a strong interest in comfrey, I am including a link to 2 free books by Lawrence D Hills.

    They are similar, but not the same, because they are progressive in nature. Also there are other free books on agriculture which people may be interested in.

    Happy reading !!

    https://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/01aglibwelcome.html

    Hills, Lawrence D. Russian Comfrey: A Hundred Tons an Acre of Stock or Compost for Farm, Garden or Smallholding. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1953.

    The definitive and thoroughly referenced study of the growing, harvest and feeding results using all varieties of comfrey on numerous kinds of livestock and for making compost. Handsomely illustrated. Downloads as a single PDF file of 1.78 mb. OUT OF PRINT.

    Hills, Lawrence D. Comfey Report: The Story of the World's Fastest Protein Builder and Herbal Healer. Pauma Valley, California: The Rateavers, 1975.

    Hill's final statement, information, facts and figures about comfrey. OUT OF PRINT.
     
  11. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    A pic of the Bocking 4 Cultivar.

    Note the rounded leaves.

    It also has thicker stems than the Bocking 14 Cultivar.

    It is generally considered to be Comfrey that is best suited as a fodder crop.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  12. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    The Bocking 14 Cultivar

    Note the more pointed leaves.

    Stems are also thinner than Bocking 4 which means they decompose more quickly in compost.

    Generally considered to be the best garden variety because of a high level of potash in the leaves.

    These plants are 5 months old and the hybrid vigour can readily be observed.

    View attachment 3053
     
  13. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    This is the Lime tree mentioned in a previous post which was brought back from near death with the aid of Bocking 14 Comfrey and other organic fertilizers.

    Let's not forget however, the role of a heavy downpour of rain and some TLC :)

    View attachment 3054
     
  14. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    My glorious Lisbon lemon tree - which contributed to my apathetic approach to the Lime tree.

    37 years of age.

    Still a heavy cropper - though not nearly the performer it was in its youth.

    At its peak, the lemons were enormous, about double the size currently and extremely prolific.

    So much so, that the sheer weight of the fruit would break the main branches.

    The only fertilizer I have given it in the past 5 years is the fallen lemons.

    I will be interested however, to see how it performs once the Bocking 14 Cultivar hits its stride in its second year and is used as a mulch.

    View attachment 3055
     
  15. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    So i take it you have bocking 4 well done!!!
    Keep us posted
    Ps some of your attachments are unavailable!!
    Where are u????
     
  16. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    I think you mean Bocking 14 :)

    I noticed that the attachments are not showing. The size of each attachment is within the allowable limit (ie within 1.5 mb)
    They were initially displaying, but when I came back to have a look, all it showed was a line saying for e.g Attachment 3055
    If I click on the line it shows the pic on my computer. I dont know if other people can see it on theres. Perhaps a bug with the website.

    I shot off a letter to the administrator, but nothing seems to have been done. A pity, because I have a few more pics I would like to upload.

    Im in Melbourne.
     
  17. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    No, the images are not showing on my mobile.

    But I did get the following letter from an administrator, which is encouraging :) To be fair to admin, I only posted a letter to them last night.

    "We are currently running behind in web services, I have received your feedback and will attend to it in the near future."

    Regards Jason
     
  18. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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    This is a link to a video which is an adjunct to the above podcast, covering The Basics of Comfrey Propagation by Root Cuttings.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1epRxWTdZYE

    Very informative !!
     
  19. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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  20. JoeMerc

    JoeMerc Junior Member

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