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gixxerific
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Really all this talk about buckets i believe is crazy. The bucket in question I believe was a clean Home Depot bucket, never used. I'm sure it is safe, hell some of us put composted poop in them. :lol: As far as used paint bucket I would be leary but I'm pretty sure that bucket is good enough for 36 hours of ACT.

Now the real question is where's Stella? :(

tedln
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Dono,

Your probably right, but if someone is concerned; it doesn't hurt to ask. Many people are more sensitive to the "organic" concept than others. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate a five.

Ted
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im not to worried on my brewer, but by all means do some research. id love to know if i need to replace my brewer. a while back i asked about plastics and if plastic bottles were safe. I was given a link, who led to another and from that link I got some good info
https://healthychild.org/5steps/5_steps_5/?gclid=COGJ2ZyC55kCFeRM5Qodsl2tSA#what_to_do
I know follow these numbers when choosing what plastics to grow or brew in

oh and my new pump is amazing, ill take photos if any one is interested :D

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stella1751
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Gixxerific wrote:
Now the real question is where's Stella?
I think I'm back in the land of the living. Now I need to read all the new postings in this thread to see what I have missed :shock:

I'm gonna check the ten-day weather forecast after I read all the new postings in this thread. If we're not slated for a hard freeze, I'm going to try that new recipe once again. The peppers are now pushing 3' and are covered with peppers, probably 3 to 4 dozen per plant. I've been picking about three dozen red ones every five days.

They haven't been fertilized for three weeks. I bet they would really appreciate a nice dose of tea. When you're sick, it's all you can do to keep the garden alive with water!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Welcome back Stella, Just made me a new batch a few min ago.

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Stella! Good to see you back! :D

Do you have a season extension plan for your peppers? I'm contemplating hoop tunnel made of PVC pipes (which I already have) or -- I just found out about -- Polyethylene water pipes (which I believe are less toxic) and covered with floating covers for now (lows in low 60's and upper 50's right now slowing things down) and plastic sheeting later. I need to get some rebar to stick in the ground for the pipes to go on, and look around the shed and see if I have some lumber to use as cross brace/support.

Last time, I made a hoop structure just out of the pipes and T and + connectors. It was lovely and seemingly worked well, until the first gusty wind storm pulled it apart. :roll: I've found several DIY instructions on the internet -- some of them are more complicated and measurement-intensive than I care to deal with, but hopefully, I still have time.

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I just started another batch of my new recipe. It took about ten minutes to clean my equipment. Normally, I clean it immediately afterwards; this time my stomach said it would rather I waited. Never again! Earlier in this thread (or in the video), someone said to keep the equipment spotless. Someone else said to leave a little of the old as a basis for the new. I think I just did both. I tried to get it spotless, but I gave it up as a bad job after ten minutes of scrubbing. This new recipe is very dark, almost black, probably because of the humic acid.

BTW, my dogs LOVE it when I "cook" outdoors. They are fascinated, watching me measure out each ingredient, eyeing it as I dump it into the pot. I seriously think they believe I make the tea for them, and they are always disappointed when I spirit it away from them :lol:

Applestar, thanks for the welcome back! I really appreciated your kind PM :D

Applestar asked:
Do you have a season extension plan for your peppers?
One of my raised beds is completely finished, with PVC pipe hoops over it for a tarp to slide over. I haven't been able to afford to finish the other seven. I will definitely cover the peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and far back squash for the first freeze or two. After that, when it gets to be a matter of covering them every night and even for days at a stretch, I just let them go.

I'll have to jury rig some kind of a cover for the peppers. I think if I pound some old 2x4's down the middle and drape a tarp over the top, they should make it for another two to three weeks, worth one more batch of compost tea to spur them on to another growth spurt :D
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Stella,

Welcome back! I always enjoy your posts and learn a lot from you. I admire your determination to get every possible day out of your garden before winter sets in.

I do have a question for you. Like you, I enjoy growing peppers. During the gardening season, we eat all of our bell peppers, a few of our jalapeno peppers and very few of our sweet banana peppers. You grow a lot more peppers than I grow. Do you consume them, freeze them, can them, or give them away.

Ted
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Tedlin asked:
Do you consume [your peppers], freeze them, can them, or give them away?
I give them away. This year I am giving them to a local church. Hot cherry peppers are so pretty, a bright red that looks almost fake. I haven't grown them in a long time, and I just love the way they look! Last week I took in 3 dozen tomatoes, 2 dozen cherry peppers, 2 dozen patty pans, and about a dozen cucumbers. The church workers were thrilled. It's not enough for them to pass out to the needy, but it's enough to say thank you for the assistance the church gave my parents, way back when. Best of all, it gives me an excuse to grow as much as I want without worrying about what I will do with it all.

I have decided to take before and after compost-tea photos of the pepper plants' crowns. What's really been cool about using this tea is the spurt of pale new growth within two days of each feeding. Since I have been ill, I have seen some new growth, but it's a few leaves at a time. The post compost-tea growth was generally a full inch of new growth at a time, a lovely frosting of pale new leaves on the top of each plant. It scared me a little the first time I saw it--you don't want your peppers concentrating on foliage. However, there were plenty of blossoms included in the new growth, blossoms that are now cute little green peppers.

Watch them not do it this time :oops:
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Hey Stella

Glad to hear you are better and very glad to hear about you donating extra produce. I am a big fan of [url=https://www.growinghope.net/projects/plantarow.shtml]A Row For the Hungry[/url]; maybe you could find like minded folk in your area and find out how you CAN make a difference with those needy peeps. Every little bit counts and it's nice to see gardeners coming to the front of positive movements like this. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's gardeners, backyard gardener's like you and I, that will save the world. We can feed the hungry and ourselves, and the wildlife that we ha ve encroached upon, and we can sequester carbon, harness the sun and wind, clean our water systems while we do it.

We're pretty awsome like that 8)

Back to tea, it's like brewing, cleanliness bumps Godliness in this particular instance. Any surviving bacteria are likely real toughies and those are almost always bad guys. Sooner or later you will infect a batch with a lot of facultative anaerobes (like E. coli), they will explode into bloom as the oxygen gets lower and then add alcohols and ammonias (by-products of anaerobic "respiration") that toxify your tea. You spray bad tea, it can actually burn plants. And in this case you CAN'T just trust your nose because there is a pretty big buffer between toxic and stinky. Bad tea can be unscented for hours or days before the hydrated sulfurs start to stink. You all don't have labs and microscopes, so your best bet is religious cleaning. Hydrogen peroxide is your new best friend (iodine combines and clings to plastics, as does chlorine, so don't go there. H2O2 is the answer). FInally when I asked Elaine INgham what she thought was the best sterilant she said "For most living things, dessication is the best sterilant." So instead of brewing back to back, rest the still for a few days. Drying out can be an important ally in good tea...

HG
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Huh. Glad to hear I'm doing something right. I have two buckets (I won't worry about them any more, though I'm still angling for those frosting buckets :wink: ) and usually, one bucket hangs out in the sun and rain (rainwater is poured out soon after) and generally gets thoroughly dried out.

OT but I've been cleaning my Monarch butterfly caterpillar raising containers with hydrogen peroxide -- most folks recommend 10% bleach, but I just don't like using that. So what you said here was reassuring. :D

For cleaning a whole 5 gal bucket, though, I guess you'd need some kind of commercial/cleaning supply size peroxide?

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from the many brewers and batches i have made i find its best to just rinse down with hot water to get all the particle matter and biofilm, then wipe down well with h202 to sterilize and you don't need as much.
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Ah! Thanks for the tip. :D

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Nice, Soil. Well put, and exactly so (although I find a pressure washer really speeds things along). Welcome to the mix.

HG
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HG wrote
Your best bet is religious cleaning. Hydrogen peroxide is your new best friend (iodine combines and clings to plastics, as does chlorine, so don't go there. H2O2 is the answer). FInally when I asked Elaine INgham what she thought was the best sterilant she said "For most living things, dessication is the best sterilant." So instead of brewing back to back, rest the still for a few days. Drying out can be an important ally in good tea...
I did a little of both, scouring it with a plastic choregirl and letting it dessicate, not in that order :lol: The tea turned out beautifully, btw, with what Applestar called a root-beer-float foam. I fed my second batch yesterday. I wanted to get second day photos of the new growth, but there's only enough out there for me to notice, nothing extraordinary. I'm gonna check again tomorrow; maybe it was on the third day? If not, the plants are just plain tired. It's been a tough garden season, what with hail and having someone walk on their bed :evil: and cool temps. I'll check 'em again tomorrow, just in case :)

Our first freeze should come on Sunday. Ouch.
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Quick Q: Does Horse manuer work for tea?

:shock: :P :o :o :o :o :o :o
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Sage, I think the title of this thread is misleading, and I wouldn't ever use a straight up manure in a tea. Just asking for trouble. There is a reason most professionals talk about aerated COMPOST tea (ACT) instead of aerated manure tea; nobody I know recommends or practices actual use of manure in tea. Make it compost first, and the thought there is I would no more use a single source (just horse manure) for a compost than I would use manure in the tea. So asking about single sourcing of any ingredient is missing the point that it is a biodiversity that gives value rather than any one ingredient, and we only get there with multiple inputs from multiple sources.
Aerated compost teas contain all the species that were in the compost. Thus the compost has to be of "tea quality'.Those organisms selected by the temperature, foods present, nutrient composition, oxygen content in the brew grow during the brewing process.

Dr. Elaine Ingham, The Compost Tea Brewing Manual, 5th Edition
Synopsis: GIGO. Limited ingredients in, limited biology out. Limited biology, limited results. Nature abhors only a vacuum more than a monoculture. Good compost is a mix. Good tea is the same thing, only liquid. Make good compost, make good tea... :mrgreen:

HG
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stella1751
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HG, I fixed the title of this thread. I should have done that a long time ago, once I figured out I was in error :oops:

To those of you who are jumping in right at the end, I wanted to make an aerated compost tea using composted manure. I wanted to give my squash some extra quick-release nitrogen because I didn't like the color of their leaves. I had been studying manure teas online, and I thought manure would do the trick, which it did. However, this thread is really about compost teas; the only difference is that I used composted manure for my compost ingredient.

Hope that makes sense :D
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soil
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im new here ( not to compost tea) and the thread title was a bit confusing when i came here. glad you fixed it.
Last edited by soil on Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Let's be clear here, composted manures are a key ingredient to good tea in my mind; there is a lot of conjecture about the potential for bacterial infection and culture from ACT's out there already and it's really just propaganda from the chemical side. Proper composting denotes acceptably low to almost no fecal coliform cultures at all. ACT has been ok'd for next day harvest by EPA, and I know of no instance that shows ACT as a causal agent for any food poisoning (if only we could say the same for chemicals). For instance the infamous spinach infection, which everyone was trying to pin on organic culture ended up being off-site pollution from the beef CAFO next door. I have spent some time on the business end of a microscope looking at teas, and I can tell you there are specific bacteria and fungii I can associate with manure composts that I do not see in numbers in more natural systems. There is increased biological activity associated with manure based composts that are specifically in the business of breaking down foodstuffs, and that is nothing but good in the soil. Keep it aerobic and it takes care of itself. Bad bacteria are almost always anaerobic; there is the real enemy.

And guys, I see everyone getting excited by foam, that is usually dead organisms giving up proteins. There will always be some, but it usually follows a slightly anaerobic incident, when fungii start to break down (fungii are very high in phospholipids, which is a waxy fat, which is why fungii are water proof. Phospholipids are a protein (lipid) attached to phosphorus, and we know that's what makes soaps foamy...) So foam was something I've learned to eyeball with some suspicion. Check your aeration and see if you can't get a bit more, and keep in mind certasin ingredients (yucca extracts, saponins, nettles) can cause some foaming when they are on the brew bill. It's not the end of the world, but foam ain't always something to jump up and down about. Consider the fungii... :wink:

HG
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:foam ain't always something to jump up and down about
Hmm. I didn't intend to sound like I was -- for my part, I was making an observation because the foam pushing up the cover was so amazing looking. But I did think that the foam was a function of the growth process, much like how yeast gets all bubbly and bread dough rises, especially since the foam goes down after a while. So, that's not it, huh? As always, HG, your explanations for "what's really going on" are fascinating. :D -- It sounds almost contradictory that more aeration will *keep down* foam, doesn't it? :lol:

As usual, additional information leaves me with more questions: Would you say that the tea is more potent BEFORE the foam is high? (i.e. stop and use immediately if you see excess amount of foam starting, rather than continue to let it build -- i.e. wait for more more fungii to die-off)? Would it be a good idea to skim off the foam and put that back in the compost pile before using the tea? Is the tea, at high-foam or after high-foam and subsequent collapse of the foam, useless and should be poured back into the compost?

As an aside, we just went on a nature walk in the Pine Barrens where a naturalist explained the presence of large foamy masses along a brown cedar-water creek (they looked like dark ale foam) by demonstrating that rubbing wet Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) foliage together in his hands makes foam, and explaining that many plants that grow in the area produce saponin. :o

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What I Have Learned

I've had some thoughts about why my peppers did not demonstrate the same degree of rapid growth this last time. Yes, it could be the time of the year, and yes, it could be that the plants are tired. However, it could also be the recipe. HG said I didn't need citric acid, which was advised to level out the PH of the tea. I wanted to try citric acid, anyway--I like experimenting--so I did.

I just pulled out the soil analysis I had done on my base soil. The PH was 7.2, which is pretty exciting in a state known for the alkalinity of its soil. No, odds are high that I didn't need the citric acid.

I also need to consider the merits of the seabird guano. That was, without a doubt, the stinkiest soil amendment I have ever purchased. I can't question the humic acid; it appears to have the same qualities, amino acids, as the kelp meal or seaweed concentrate used in previous recipes.

Therefore, to turn this last batch into a learning experience, I think the next time I make compost tea (sometime next summer :( ), I will avoid the citric acid and the guano and instead go with compost or composted manure, humic acid or a seaweed product, molasses, and one other ingredient, something higher in nitrogen, I think. The squash LOVED the composted manure, seaweed concentrate, alfalfa pellet, and molasses recipe; the peppers LOVED TDB's original recipe of composted manure, kelp meal, fish fertilizer, and molasses.

I'll probably mix it up between the two of those, unless someone comes up with another ingredient to play with :lol:

As for the foam on this last batch, it was airier and frothier and taller than on previous batches, bubbling over the side while cooking. The foaming on both pots (same recipe) began at roughly 12-18 hours of brewing and continued bubbling over the side until 24 hours. (Either it made enough space, or it was done with the serious foaming by then.) Based on HG's assertion that "foam ain't always something to jump up and down about," maybe that's another answer to why this batch didn't excite my peppers.

The only batch, by the way, not to foam, was the alfalfa pellet recipe. I think that's interesting 8)

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this learning experience. A lady drove by my place one day while I was out front playing. She stopped and said, "You are quite the green thumb. Every time I drive by here, your plants have grown more." (I gave her a squash.) Although ACT can't receive all the credit, it definitely deserves some. I credit it particularly with having pushed my peppers from having an average year to them having a spectacular year.

Pre-ACT Peppers: July 27, 2009

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/Peppers.jpg[/img]

Post-ACT Peppers: September 20, 2009 (roughly eight weeks later)

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/40600015.jpg[/img]

Close-up of Post-ACT peppers:

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/40600020.jpg[/img]

Thanks, Guys!
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Nice pics Stella! Peppers look great...

It does not suprise me so much to find alfalfa in the non-foaming category as it is such a bacterial food that it might have kept the fungal mass low. Nor does certain plants liking certain recipes more than others; from weeds to redwoods they all like a fairly specific fungal;bacterial ratio. Wish I had a list, but this is still newish ground we are breaking here. The scientistas are working it... Suffice to say that most veggies like a balanced 1:1, so try to balance recipes around there as well, but keep in mind that fungal is the hard part, and bacteria are looking for just the slightest chance to back down the successiional scale ( Mother always wants to be fungal/old growth evergreen, but fire/flood/volcanoe/bulldozer/anaerobic incident always pushes a stage back towards bacterial/grass and weeds).

Foaming can be an indicator of such an event, but this stuff is still golden; we are trying to stimulate biology to supply nutrient and even compromised fungal counts are still better than none (and we ARE putting back building blocks for more fungal growth). Nope, foamy tea is NOT cause for disposal, it's just an indicator that we might be high in saponin (which is great for fungal) or losing some fungal mass (not a disaster). Use at the point of foam DOES make a certain amount of sense IF it is a low oxygen situation, but would set-back a good tea high in saponin, so without a good F:B count, it's a crapshoot. I'd let it ride...

And if foaming gets too messy, a few DROPS of EVOO does the trick (not too much because THAT is not good for fungal side either)...

HG
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Stella!!!
Glad to see your back and healthy, and sorry to here the experiment recipe didnt favor your plants, like the other mixes.

But IMO I think seabird guano, should be used for foliage growth or vegetation growth.
Meaning if your plants are flowering / fruiting then its best to use amendments or nutrients low in N.
IMHO I find compost supplies enough N for most fruiting or flowering plants I have. So when I make tea’s for older, fruiting plants or flowering herbs I don’t amend my tea’s or top dress my soil with any amendment or fertilizer with a high N nutrient analysis.

Compost is enough (maybe a little alfalfa) but for new, younger plants, I find seabird guano or other high N amendments (bloods meal, some bone meal, fish meal, etc) work better.
Remember that tea’s can supply NPK as well as micro biology so we have to consider the NPK value of the ingredients we add as well as witch microbes we will be applying.

So IMO don’t add the seabird guano to fruiting flowering plants, try using something with more P or K, or another guano (Jamaican or Indonesian) with less N and more P or K. better not to rely on guano thought! (expensive and shipping), mix it up, lots and lots of alternatives.
Beautiful peppers by the way!! Love how ther just out in the open for people to see!
My italian yellows peppers are finally turning yellow, I have been picking them early but I love the color im getting now! My big dippers and cali wonder peppers are too doing great. I have been laying back on nitrogen and they seem to respond with more & biger peppers. Among tea’s I have been top dressing with composted duck manure 0.6-1.4-0.5 they love it!!

HG
I don’t have a microscope so I tend to ask questions to the food web and other tea forums but have you witness (guessing you have a microscope??) a more fungal dominant tea with the time of brew?? Like 12 hours and have you experimented or can give a recipe or guide for a more fungal dominant tea??
I really want to help out my orange and pink lemon tree and well… any help would be appreciated!!

Also gixxerific and GeorgiaGirl
How did the tea’s work out?? Gix did you notice any new growth?
And Georgia did the tea help with your fungus problem??

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Them peppers are looking good Stella! :D

TDB i believe the tea is working it's magic. My lettuces are going strong, even my extremely (Bug) tore up broccoli is producing heads. I have only done about one dose per week I kinda blew it for this weekend. Next time, I will be ready. I get up too early for work to either make a batch or spread a batch.

By the way I have been using the tried and true:
1-2 cups composted manure
5 TBSP of fish emulsion
5 TBSP of kelp meal
5 TBSP of molasses
With little to no foam and pretty good results.

Thanks everybody.

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soil
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I have spent some time on the business end of a microscope looking at teas, and I can tell you there are specific bacteria and fungii I can associate with manure composts that I do not see in numbers in more natural systems.
how do you compare/count different species of bacteria in teas? ive had a microscope for over a year now and everything else is pretty simple given some experience and time, but i still cant tell how to count diversity in teas which to me is the most important trait of compost teas.

stella- nice peppers, how do they taste?
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Soil wrote
stella- nice peppers, how do they taste?
They are hot peppers and too hot for my taste. I took a big bite out of one a month ago and had to make a run for the compost bin to spit it out. I've grown these Hot Cherry Peppers before, and generally they are a mild hot pepper. This batch is painfully hot.

However, the one I attempted to eat was very thick-walled and quite crunchy, spurting droplets of juice when I bit into it, really a nice pepper, other than the heat :shock:
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soil
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I took a big bite out of one a month ago and had to make a run for the compost bin to spit it out.
been there before haha, was growing jalapenos a few years ago. had 12 plants. all within reasonable spice for a jalapeno except for one which was deadly hot and i mean HOT. i remember the first time i took a bite well.
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T$, haven't had access to a microscope for a while, but it was my day in/day out, bread and butter for a while. We did not differentiate bacteria; too small unless you spend another twenty thousand on the 'scope, and for the most part, completely unecessary.

Soil, it aint about bacterial composition (except for fecal coliforms and such, which you can tell apart because, as the name implies, they are columnar). Bacteria is just the mast food source for the more important critters we are trying to raise; protozoa mostly, but nematodes are also a great benefit. Fungal diversity is impossible to really count in an early tea as well; most are still sporolated. My key to really good tea is what do I have for protozoa; amobae, flagellates, ciliates, and in what proportions. Amobae are REALLY hard to spot, so mostly I look for flagellates and ciliates and what proportions they are in (should be LOTS more flagellates than ciliates; ciliates don't dominate unless oxygen levels are low). I'm with T$; teas do NOT need nitrogen. It favors bacterial growth, which when it gets rampant can be the fastest oxygen consumption I have seen in teas.

At T$ request, here's Elaine Ingham's Fungal Tea Recipe (for 50 gal.s)
20 pounds fungal compost (woodchips or shavings, old leaf duff well worked, paper waste; skip the grass clippings and kitchen scraps. HG)

1 pint humic acids

4 ounces yucca extract

8 ounces soluble kelp

8 ounces of fish hydrolysate

Add nothing with a preservative or antibiotic in it!
I here again highly recommend Elaine's book if you are going to make this a serious part of the regimen; she has forgotten more than I will ever know and is still the cutting edge on this topic after thirty years. Lots of good work out there by a lot of folks, but they mostly still tip the hat in her direction if they aren't directly collaborating with her (and most of the good ones are).

Shamefully I am still not set up for home brewing, having had unlimited access to compost extract at the old job (which allowed for making a thousand gallons of extract in about an hour. Neat trick.) But I am drafting plans and saving pennies and will be set for next year. The used microscope is next, and then a spray rig... a boy can dream... :mrgreen:

HG
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THG i agree with most of what your saying as it is common knowledge, at the moment i look for things like protozoa, flagellates, etc. as well. to me one good reason we make ACT is to create diversity, each species of micro organism has its own job. some may be good at unlocking one mineral, and some other bacteria another. which then in turn is put into the soil food web and gets to the plant eventually. im and just curious if there is a non expensive way (visual) instead of having to buy some crazy scientific dna tester or something silly.

do you have any pictures of things that you don't want to see in ACT? its easy to know what you do want, not so much what you don't.

a side note about the yucca since it was mentioned. when i lived in southern California deserts. yucca was everywhere, i used yucca powders in my teas with great success, only thing is yucca makes teas foam over like mad.

i like this thread :D
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

The Helpful Gardener
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Yeah, the only plant I know higher in saponin is soapwort (Saponaria), so this one might well foam a bunch. Forewarned is forearmed...

Couoldn't find but [url=https://www.waterfilterreview.com/images/contaminants/h20_contaminants_200/fecal_coliform_200.jpg]one pic[/url]that showed coliforms like you see them in a scope we can afford, but plenty of them [url=https://www.great-lakes.net/beachcast/images/pix_fecal.jpg]gram stained under million dollar electron scopes[/url](he said, humming "If I Had A Million Dollars" by the Bare Naked Ladies as he typed). Note the rod shape, end to end division, and when you see these guys, they are soon a massive colony, especially under low oxygen situations (most are facultative anaerobes that survive oxygen and thrive in no oxygen. This is why anaerobic "composting" is not recommended... if these guys are dominating your culture, dump it in the compost heap (where the existing aereobic cultures and protozoa will soon sort them out but proper) and start over...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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How did the tea’s work out?? Georgia did the tea help with your fungus problem??
I didn't think it made much of a difference, because much of my front lawn still has a yellowy tint to it among the green, but then I went over and checked a spot where I had just dumped the last bit of tea (there was actually quite a bit). I dumped it on that spot because it looked pretty much dead... just one big brown patch.

When I went over to check it out a few days ago, I had trouble finding the spot, it was already blending in with the rest of the lawn so well! When I looked closely, I could see pure rich black soil and some small clumps from the clumpy dregs of the tea, as well as a bit of the old dead grass, but then lush green growth coming up. AMAZING!! I've never "healed" a patch of grass before! :lol:

I took advantage of the Great Flood of 2009 (we had over 16" of rain over the weekend) to fill up all my buckets with rain water... I was itching to brew up a new batch today but was out all day. First thing tomorrow, I will be brewing some AACT!!

BTW, this one statement just gave me a light bulb moment:
It does not surprise me so much to find alfalfa in the non-foaming category as it is such a bacterial food that it might have kept the fungal mass low.

I couldn't understand why my first batch didn't foam really at all. I was going for a fungal brew but there was almost NO foam. Well, duh, I had thrown in a couple of large handfuls of alfalfa... so that would explain it. This time I'll skip the alfalfa so that trichoderma fungus can thrive and hopefully turn the rest of my lawn green like that one patch did!
Julia in Georgia

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Julia, it is important to remember that a lot of the benefit here is the inherent soil biology as well, so while trichoderma is a good culture for curative effect on fungus, it also predates our good guys as well. Just like pesticides, we must be aware of the impacts of our interference to the natural order. In a conversation we had, Dr. Ingham was very suspicious of the increased culture of this one organism, stressing to me that soil biology is about a biodiverse system rather than specific organisms, and over reliance on one can lead to monocultural situations. Glad to here it cleared up your summer brown patch; I am not suprised, but perhaps corn additions only when specified? Note the simplicity of Dr. Inghams recipe; most of hers are very simple and not species specific. Words from the master...

HG
Scott Reil

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Julia, it is important to remember that a lot of the benefit here is the inherent soil biology as well, so while trichoderma is a good culture for curative effect on fungus, it also predates our good guys as well. Just like pesticides, we must be aware of the impacts of our interference to the natural order.
Im with HG, grasses I believe prefer bacterial dominant soils and if going to address a problem with biology you should use with caution. I see nothing wrong with culturing fungi dominant tea’s when used properly (addressing problem or for ferns/some tress ect)..
do you have any pictures of things that you don't want to see in ACT? its easy to know what you do want, not so much what you don't.
here’s a link from the SFW that may help [url=https://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/microscope_pics.html]link[/url]

and here’s a new poster manual that you may help as well

MICROBE POSTER AND MANUAL -- QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF MICROORGANISMS
by Dr. Elaine Ingham and Dr. Carole Ann Rollins.

A 17.25 by 39 inch poster is now available, showing what microorganisms look like using a microscope. The microorganisms in the 32 full color photos on the poster are those typically found in soil, compost, worm castings, and compost tea. Special photos are included showing quantities of bacteria in different photos. This will enable you to look at the poster, while looking at your sample, using the microscope, and to more easily be able to estimate numbers of bacteria you see qualitatively.

There are a series of photos showing fungal hyphae diameters. These should help you decide if you have beneficial or non-beneficial fungi in your materials. There are photos of ciliates, flagelletes, and amoebae to help you distinguish which ones and how many of which ones are in your material. There are a group of photos depicting bacterial-feeding versus fungal-feeding versus root-feeding nematodes, to help you distinguish the "good guys" from the "bad guys."

There is a 31 page manual that accompanies the poster with extremely detailed and scientific explanations of each photo on the poster, with arrows and letter labels to help clarify what you see in each photos and your microscope.

The poster and manual are a set that retails for $49.95 plus $14.95 shipping in the U.S. For international orders please email for pricing. Please contact Nature Technologies International, P.O. Box 1519, Novato, CA 94947, 415-898-5895, 707-225-5762,https://www.nature-technologies.com, naturetech@.... Checks or money orders can be mailed to the above address, or credit cards can be used with phone orders or send your info in an email, name on card, billing address, cvc code, exp. date, mailing address.
(hope its cool to add this??)
At T$ request, here's Elaine Ingham's Fungal Tea Recipe (for 50 gal.s)
Awesome HG,
Big thank you but can you help me with an alternative DIY to humic acids. I don’t want to go out and buy a bottle of just humic acids,so can earth worm compost leachate work??
And will fish meal work instead of hydrolysate fish?? Or can you or any one recommend a good reliable company witch makes and sales hydrolysate fish or humic acid?? And can you link or give more info on Elaine’s book??

Gix
Glad to hear on the results bud, glad to see the recipe is doing others rite :wink:

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T$, I am always cool with promoting Dr. Ingham; I count myself lucky to have gotten the time with her I have and feel she is the cutting edge of this science, so giving folks like that a boost is most definitely cool 8)

Yeah, the humic thing. Leachates would be a fine sub I think; not really a sub at all just differrent sourcing (even coffee with it's high carbon content would be usable). Another great fungal food is oatmeal; the baby oatmeal works best (very fine), buit there's that foaming thing again. Mostly fungal is just about a good place to grow hyphae on; any suspended solid will do, but preferably high carbon. Some folks think mining brown coal (humate) is a good way to go about moving humic acids around but it's still mining coal and putting a mineralized carbon back into the atmospheric carbon cycle; a poor idea in this day and age of global warming. I think the use of local humus for humic acids makes considerably more sense in the grand scheme of things. It's what compost is really about in the first place; keeping the fertility of the soil by keeping it's products on site. Leachate should be just fine...

HG
Scott Reil

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well i was making a batch of ACT today for some plots ready for planting. thought i would post a recipe for how i do things since im new here. also keep in mind i don't measure much, these are estimates on what i eye out.

50 gallons stream water (collected on property)
1 gallon garden compost
1 gallon vermicompost
half gallon fungal compost
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plant meal( dried yarrow, nettle, dandelion, chamomile)
1/2 cup rock powders (locally collected from 5 sources)
half an old beer

aerate like a mofo for 24 hours.

of course this is not set in stone, i change it up to increase diversity i add to my soil.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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Not sure about the beer, but that's because it's a half beer less if I happen to drop by, more than anything else...mmm...beer... :lol:

Nettle is getting more and more looks from me; it seems VERY biologically reactive; my friend Lisa had great luck with a a nettle tea she made (without aeration; said it got "stinky" but kept the late blight off her tomatoes a dream, and really boosted her soil fertility. I was SUPPOSED to get some to try out, but she used it all). Chamomile I use for MY late night tea (sipping some now) but hadn't thought of it for compost tea. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfrey]Comfrey (Symphytum)[/url] has long been a great tea plant, known from some of the first gardening books back in the Middle Ages, and I know that horsetails (Equisetum spp.) have been a part of the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_agriculture]biodynamic system[/url]for decades (very high in silicates, which gives the fungal side a nice place to grow), so you might try those as well...

Looks like a good recipe but I would still like to see more humic in there DIY sources could be coffee, powdered chocolate, compost or vermicomposter leachate. Humus is where our critters live, and only about 2-3% of an average soil (5-6% would be better), so more humic content is more habitat to populate. Kelp is ALWAYS a good add, bacterial or fungal, and a SMALL bit of fish hydrolysate can really boost bacterial and therefore protozoal (say three/four tablespoons in your 50 gal. batch) but also offers things for fungal side. Another good balanced food...

HG
Scott Reil

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i have used old stale,left over beer (if theres still some left :lol:) to feed my worms. Some one told me its good for them??? doesnt seem to bother them from my observation :P
Wish i had some nettle's, i hear good things and now HG...
chamomile is great stuff, i too drink it my self with a dab of honey :) and used it a tea recipe a while back

ive been trying to grow chamomile from seed but man im having a tuff time...
comfrey is another plant i want for my garden, been trying to collect plants for tea's and my vermicompost.
but im having trouble finding seeds locally :?

soil
your recipe looks good
have you used old beer before in tea's??
and you wouldn’t happen to have nettle or seeds available would you??
ill trade yea if you do :wink:
or any body really

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i have been using stale beer in my teas for over 2 years. been checking teas with a microscope for a year, old beer has done nothing but helped as long as you don't add too much. its usually the foamy leftovers that get left at the bottom of the bottles(some people more than others :evil: ), whatever is left is what goes in so there is no specific amount really.

yes nettles, i use all those biodynamic plants and grow some of them myself for self sustainability. the anaerobic tea does smell, but it works wonders. i don't know where you live but its very common all throughout the states and elsewhere in the world. i use chamomile, comfrey, dandelions, horsetail, lavender, and a few others as well. all are good additions to teas in the right amounts.

my garden compost and vermicompost are high enough in humic acids for me, my composts are of VERY high quality. teaming with life. kelp, well i live too far from the beach now, but it was good when i used to live on the seaside no doubt. i have tested with those materials you mentioned many times before and like to use what i have locally instead for a few reasons. I test all my teas with a microscope and i can say my free local replacements work just as good if not better in most situations for me. i appreciate the advice though :D that is also a pretty basic tea, it changes depending on what i will use the tea for and which plants the tea is going on.


top_dollar_bread - you can buy comfrey root cuttings online for cheap and from there its easy to propagate your own. make sure you get the bocking 14 variety, it doesnt go to seed and spread like normal comfrey, which is a pain in the you know what to get rid of when its in the wrong spot. chamomile grows wild here, so i am lucky. every year we get carpets of chamomile covering vast areas ( and i collect like crazy ). i am collecting nettle seed in a few weeks, ill let you know i can easily collect some for you if you want, i have tips on growing it yourself ( it makes real strong rope too)

off too the garden, lots of work to do today.

[/quote]
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top_dollar_bread
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top_dollar_bread - you can buy comfrey root cuttings online for cheap and from there its easy to propagate your own. make sure you get the bocking 14 variety, it doesnt go to seed and spread like normal comfrey, which is a pain in the you know what to get rid of when its in the wrong spot. chamomile grows wild here, so i am lucky. every year we get carpets of chamomile covering vast areas ( and i collect like crazy ). i am collecting nettle seed in a few weeks, ill let you know i can easily collect some for you if you want, i have tips on growing it yourself ( it makes real strong rope too)

off too the garden, lots of work to do today.
:D thanks for the advice on the comfrey, i did a quick search of rooted cuttings of comfrey and found the bocking 14 for 2 dollar plus shipping... :lol:
big thanks for that!!!

and if you can collect some nettle seeds for me, that would be awesome :!:
you can PM when you collect and on tips because i could use them.
can never have to much info IMO (when it comes to gardening)
again big thank you soil
also PM me,to let me know if you wanted to trade, I got a small collection of seeds

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