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Old 05-12-2012, 04:34 AM
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Default Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

Hello everyone. I have a large magnolia tree outside of my house and I've decided to start raking my own leaves, sanitizing them, and using them for myself and probably selling them as well to help support my summer classes this year. It drops so many leaves. I raked a whole trash bag up today and I mowed the yard yesterday lol.

I've been reading the threads about magnolia leaves and the different debates on the best way to sanitize them. I've decided to soak them in steaming hot water, wash them clean, place them in a bowl, and microwave them for a bit.

I have a question though for anyone that has experience with microwaving their magnolia leaves. How many leaves do you microwave at a time? I've seen people say to microwave the leaves for 2-5 minutes so I'm just wondering if there is an average number of leaves you use per minute.

I just want to make sure I'm not using too many leaves or too short an amount of time and not getting them properly sanitized or use too few leaves and accidentally burn them and set my microwave on fire lol. Thanks guys.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

i just boil them.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

Quote:
Originally Posted by danny8524ever View Post
Hello everyone. I have a large magnolia tree outside of my house and I've decided to start raking my own leaves, sanitizing them, and using them for myself and probably selling them as well to help support my summer classes this year. It drops so many leaves. I raked a whole trash bag up today and I mowed the yard yesterday lol.

I've been reading the threads about magnolia leaves and the different debates on the best way to sanitize them. I've decided to soak them in steaming hot water, wash them clean, place them in a bowl, and microwave them for a bit.

I have a question though for anyone that has experience with microwaving their magnolia leaves. How many leaves do you microwave at a time? I've seen people say to microwave the leaves for 2-5 minutes so I'm just wondering if there is an average number of leaves you use per minute.

I just want to make sure I'm not using too many leaves or too short an amount of time and not getting them properly sanitized or use too few leaves and accidentally burn them and set my microwave on fire lol. Thanks guys.
Microwaving will take a little experimentation. The more leaves you have in at one time, the longer you'll have to microwave (because it takes longer to heat all of that up.) The idea with microwaving is to cause the moisture on the leaves to steam and you want the leaves to be exposed to the steam for as long as possible (ideally we're probably talking about 10+ minutes if we're going with autoclave times, but most people do less than that without apparent problems.) I might try getting a big wad of damp leaves and putting them into a heavy duty ziplock bag and starting off with 5 minutes just to make sure you don't go overboard. Once the bag starts to puff up (because of the steam) go 5 additional minutes after that.

That's probably what I would do at least.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

Ok cool thanks.

I could boil them but I don't really want to take anything out of the leaf itself that could go into the soil or microfauna I want to promote. I mean, boiling leaves is how you make tadpole tea. That is obviously taking things out of the leaves, which until I need to make tea I will want to avoid that.

As for the microwaving in bags I had not read about that and it's a pretty good idea. Most of the people were saying they were just putting them in bowls with a little water and microwaving them for different amounts of time. That's why I was confused about the appropriate amount of time. But yes, I think the bag idea is ingenious and I will start doing that.

Thank you very much.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

In order to kill eggs from pests, such as slugs, snails, spiders, millipedes, etc., as well as potential pathogens, you need to heat the leaves to at least boiling for several minutes. The problem with using a microwave, especially for large quantities, is that you can get uneven heating and have "cold spots". Also, overheating the leaves would have the same effect as boiling, as far as removing or changing compounds in the leaves, which I don't think is an issue either way. Whether you boil the leaves or heat them up in the microwave, I'd recommend oven drying the leaves at about 400 F until they are dry. They'll last longer in the viv this way as well. Oven drying heats the leaves quite a bit more than boiling (max of 212 F under standard pressure - and lower at higher altitudes). Not only does this dry and help "cure" the leaves, it will heat treat them more evenly.

Good luck
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

BTW, is that a silverstonei in your avatar? If so, do you work with them?
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

I had thought about using the oven on the leaves but I figured in the end that the microwave would be cheaper to run all day. If anyone has compared the power usage of a stove all day to that of a microwave please let me know. I'll probably do some leaves in the oven and compare them to those I do in the microwave just to see what the difference the two methods has on the leaves.

I had been microwaving large bowls of leaves for five minutes each and there is plenty of steam in there when I open it. I don't use huge amounts at one time specifically because I don't want to use too much and "miss something".

Yes, my avatar is a silverstonei. It's my favorite frog and the reason I got into the hobby. I don't currently have any but I'm working on it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:07 AM
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I usually wash my magnolia (not necessary) and let it air dry (wet leaves add unnecessary time in the oven) then bake for 10-15 minutes at 325... The leaves come out nice and crisp

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

Thanks. I'm just trying to find a good way to go through a trash bag of leaves everyday lol.

So let's say my oven holds 4 trays of leaves and I bake them all for 20 minutes. Now lets say I microwave one bowl of leaves that would be a tray for 5 minutes like other people say they do. The only difference I see is that there could be a difference in the amount of electricity used by the stove and microwave. That and the microwave method requires me to move a little more to switch out bowls.

So if anyone knows if one method is better on the power bill please let me know.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Sanitizing Magnolia Leaves

Solar power! Black garbage bag, tied up tight for a week or more.
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