Friday, April 17, 2015

Aerated Compost Tea-Probotics for the Soil

Our Compost Tea Brewer

Compost Tea is a naturally aerated liquid solution brewed in a compost tea brewer that is teeming with beneficial microorganisms (all species of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi) and soluble nutrients extracted from compost.  The aeration in Compost Tea creates optimum levels of oxygen for growth and reproduction of beneficial aerobic microorganisms. Compost teas are now being produced and used in large-scale agriculture, viticulture, horticulture, nurseries, lawn care, and residential gardens.

The quality of the tea is only as good as the compost used to make it.  We use our own worm castings made at the farm because of their highly diverse microbial composition.


15lbs of fresh worm castings are brewed in a 55 gal drum of well water.   Organic apple juice, organic kelp and humic acid* are added to the mix.  An electric bubbler runs air through the tea for 48-72 hours.  The combination of sugars from the apple juice, kelp, humic acid and oxygen help the microorganisms and fungi multiply in the tea. 

We bottle our tea at 6:00am on Sat. before the Farmers Market.   Compost Tea is highly perishable and must be used within 6 hours to preserve its microbial qualities

•    Improve plant nutrition by increasing nutrient availability in the root system
•    Increase plant growth as a result of protecting foliage with beneficial organisms, preventing disease-causing organisms from weakening the plant
•    Increase plant growth as a result of improving nutrient retention in the soil, and reduce fertilizer use
•    Reduces water loss and improves the water retention of the soil thereby reducing the need for frequent watering
•    Improve and build a better soil structure

Compost tea is a biologically active liquid concentrate that is very perishable. It should be used as soon as possible after bottling. The millions of live microorganisms in the tea use up available oxygen very quickly in the confines of a small container where they can go dormant. Our goal is to put as many active organisms as possible back into the soil or onto the leaf surface, so apply the compost tea as soon as you arrive home.
Compost tea is normally applied at the rate of five gallons of concentrate per acre.

As a soil drench, we recommend 2-3 applications during the growing season. Beneficial organisms can't live long on the leaf surface, so foliar applications should be made every 10 days during periods of high disease pressure.

* Humic Acid is a principal component of humic substances, which are the major organic constituents of soil (humus), peat, coal, many upland streams, dystrophic lakes, and ocean water. It is produced by biodegradation of dead organic matter. When applied to clay soils, humic acid can help break up compacted soils, allowing for enhanced water penetration and better root zone growth and development. When applied to sandy soils, humic acid adds essential organic material necessary for water retention thus improving root growth and enhancing the sandy soil's ability to retain and not leach out vital plant nutrients.  Today, there is a recognized and increasing use of humic acids for their beneficial impact on the growth and cultivation of crops (vegetable & non-vegetable), citrus, turf, flowers, and particularly in organically-deficient soils. Humic acid is not a fertilizer as it does not directly provide nutrients to plants, but is a compliment to fertilizer. Benefits include:

•    Addition of organic matter to organically-deficient soils
•    Increase root vitality
•    Improved nutrient uptake
•    Increased chlorophyll synthesis
•    Better seed germination
•    Increased fertilizer retention
•    Stimulate beneficial microbial activity
•    Healthier plants and improved yields

Starting tomorrow Sat. April 18 at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market (8:00AM-1:00PM) we'll be selling Compost Tea ($8/gal or $3/quart) and Earth Worms ($13/quart)
You can also come to the farm on Friday afternoon to get your compost tea.  ($1 off if you bring your own gallon jug) Please call ahead of time.

We only bring a small amount of compost tea due to its highly perishable nature.  If you want some, please email to reserve your jug.

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