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applestar
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I forgot to mention -- my latest compost is heavy on blueclaw crab carcasses as DH has been back on his favorite summer diet of steamed crab dinners :>

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Stella, I question the need for the citric acid; a good tea should be pretty well pH balanced to begin with IF you are fungally/bacterially balanced. Perhaps developing fungal sides of the tea might be beneficial to you instead. I have heard good things about feather meal (while nigh in nitrogen it is also high in carbon; s'why feathers take so long to rot). While that might not be as available, I have heard good things about oatmeal as well; high mucilage content is good for both fungal and bacterial, a nice balanced food. The cheap instant stuff is more chopped and actually better... haven't tried either but they have been on the list... the real question I am asking is which comes first pH or fungal/bacterial ratios? If THAT is balanced properly, then the tea should be balanced. Is it your water to start with? Even that, unless it is way out of sorts (like 8 or higher), should be o.k.

In keeping with your thought on humans as a force of Nature, you forget one particular trait we humans bring to the mix; ration/irration. While it seems easy to rationalize the absolutely correct path for green sustainability, we must keep in mind that we are a species that has made handing small slips of paper back and forth our highest priority, and we are all too willing to damage vast swaths of Nature in the pursuit of more small pieces of paper. We also have a sense of the aesthetic that we don't see much in Nature (elephant painting is starting to sway my opinion on that) that causes us to move plant material and planetary products willy nilly about the planet, simply because they are pretty or help us make more pretty things, with little or no concern to the obvious and devasatating impacts these transigents have. We continue to feed ourselves by depleting soils that have taken hundreds of thousands of years to accumulate, to produce inferior quality foodcrops in ridiculous quantity, raising stock in conditions that not only result in inferior nutrition of the final product, but dishonor and degrade the very species we exploit. We continue to pollute our waters at an alarming rate despite the fact that we are in decreasing supply and increasing demand, sullying the very crux of life on the planet. We will trade polar bears for SUV's, jobs for forests and fields, and even other peoples of our own species to maintain the lofty heights to which we have risen in the First World (ask the Inuit or the Marshall Islanders what I mean by that). No other species commits these intraspecial crimes without being under high population pressure, yet we remain oblivious to this glaring reality and continue to breed unchecked despite growing evidence that we are beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet. So a little commerce in the name of doing the planet right is hardly criminal in the grand scheme of things. I love your posts and agree that these tools can bve valuable in the search for soil health, but come back again to my point that we CANNOT do what Mother does, we do not see the million selections over millenia that have gone into comprising a functioning soil food web. We bring human hubris (which I hope my examples have identified as horribly flawed) to the mix everytime we step away from true natural models, and the localized species that just make the best sense. While I agree there are places for tools from other lands, we need to be reasoined and reasonable about how we do that.

T$, nice post; I agree on the air thing. No such thing as too much air, and if clogging is an issue use bigger holes in the hose. While small bubbles have more surface, the best part of gas exchange in any liquid happens at the surface, and a bigger bubble has better lift, thus better circulation. Drilling PVC (a good example; not my favorite green product, but useful in this instance) can make a wonderful manifold for very little money. And get a good pump the first time; little aquarium units poop out pretty quick unless you rebuild them. Love these [url=https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/10428/product.web]bigger aquariums pumps[/url]though... good price for this volume and pressure... [url=https://store.123ponds.com/air-pumps---aeration.html]pond pumps[/url]work great too...
Scott Reil

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applestar
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I thought [url=https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=15868]this[/url] or [url=https://www.thepondoutlet.com/home/tpo/page_3572_245/sunny_air_pump_solar_oxygenator.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=ponds]this[/url] Solar pond oxigenator pump would be good for SUPPLEMENTING the aerating action during daylight hours. The issue I have with these listings is that there's no meaningful spec for the pump -- I don't need the dimensions, how STRONG is the pump?

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gixxerific
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top_dollar_bread wrote: when the tea smells, its a good sign the microbes went anaerobic,
maybe your pump isnt doing so good you may need a better one or use two pumps.
Too much ingredients will also cause the tea to go anaerobic, especially food high in N, try not to add to much compost, i recommend 1 cup for 5 gals.
I make my tea's in 5 gallon buckets so this is for 5 gallons of tea
1-2 cups compost/composted manure/EWC, alfalfa or bat guano
5 TBSP of fish emulsion
5 TBSP of kelp meal
5 TBSP of molasses
I let this mix brew with two air stones for 1-3 days and dilute it with another 5gallons of water before i use on the plants. The air stones are pumped with a cheap fish tank air pump and the tea can be used as a foliar spray if you add the dry/clumpy ingredients in a nylon sock. In the end you get 10 gallons of great organic tea for your plants to love.
Thanks Ted, The above recipe is what I made sub Karo syrup for molasses. I now have some Blasckstrap Molasses. I made a new batch last night we shall see on sun morning. I knew it went anaerobic, but wasn't sure if it would hurt my garden. I dumped it down the street, it was raining so back to nature it went to get sorted out. My compost was too wet to put it in there. I'm also thinking my pump might be too small. I'm going to get another one soon, but I'm broke, really broke. :cry: I bought a 5 inch airstone which I also think I might replace with a gang valve and three separate stones, which brings me back to the desire for a bigger pump.

Again thanks Ted and Stella whom I PM'd earlier so as to not clog up this thread.

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It doesn't hurt to use a nice branch with some sturdy whisk-like branchlets on it to stir the bucket from the bottom. I keep one next to the ACT buckets just for this purpose and give the tea a good stir whenever I'm not too lazy to untie the straw bale string and take off the burlap/spunfabric cover. :wink:

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stella1751
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Applestar wrote:
It doesn't hurt to use a nice branch with some sturdy whisk-like branchlets on it to stir the bucket from the bottom. I keep one next to the ACT buckets just for this purpose and give the tea a good stir
I use a two-foot long screwdriver I received as a birthday present. I'd always wanted one--it is a very serious-looking tool--but I never knew what I might use if for. Now I know: It is my compost tea stirrer :lol:
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Okay. The new batch is now cooking. I will feed it to the backyard squash tomorrow night. That would be three days from now, Gix :lol:

Here's the recipe I finally settled on:

1 handful composted manure
1/4 cup seabird guano
5 TBSP Humax (humic acid)
2 heaping TBSP lime juice frozen concentrate
5 TBSP molasses

The backyard squash have given me a serious thumbs up on only one recipe thus far, the one using alfalfa pellets. I think they grew at least an inch overnight after receiving that. Therefore, I'm not expecting huge results from them.

Wednesday morning, I will give the same recipe to the frontyard squash, peppers, and tomatoes. The peppers have proven the litmus test for this ACT. Truth is, they tend to respond favorably no matter what recipe I use. My Lemon Boys, however, have stalled since the near freeze we had. (I think their blossoms froze.) It will be interesting to see what the frontyard garden thinks of this new recipe!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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gixxerific
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stella1751 wrote:Okay. The new batch is now cooking. I will feed it to the backyard squash tomorrow night. That would be three days from now, Gix :lol:

Here's the recipe I finally settled on:

1 handful composted manure
1/4 cup seabird guano
5 TBSP Humax (humic acid)
2 heaping TBSP lime juice frozen concentrate
5 TBSP molasses
Laugh it up Stella. :P

My second batch came out much better. I was getting worried last night. It had a little stink but this morning is was lovely. I threw it on we shall see.

I was going to ask do you guy's have something to hold down the aerators? Mine keeps floating, not to the top but it keeps moving itself around in weird positions. In my fish tank I have my aerator under a big rock to hold it down or it will float to the top.

Thought a rock to hold it down or maybe some kind of screw in clamp than caulking the hole. Any ideas or experience with this?

Thanks

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gix
glad to hear your second batch is better
remember to dilute it before hitting the plants and a little stink isnt too bad..id just give it a nice stir and if i think its needed i add a little more molasses
i use a nice size rock to hold down my air stones, my tubing is pretty thick so the weight of the rock doesnt interfere with air flow..so rocks work for me
though i have to admit, its a little frustrating when i stir my tea, but the rock is free and works!

stella the recipe looks good,
remember when making any tea, try to aim for crop or plants requirements.
for example if the plant is young, its most likely using its energy to grow, try brewing a nitrogen rich tea, with some P and a little K ingredients.
If the plants are fruiting/flowering, aim to brew a tea with more P,K ingredients and less N.
thats what i try to do, while never forgetting the micro nutrients as well. they are usually present when using organic amendments :D
organic nutrients usually give nutrient analysis and they are worth taking a look at IMO

HG
good read, love the comments on the elephant painting :lol:
also the good advice on the air pumps, would love to get me one you listed but out of my price range.

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My super tech method is to wrap a stone in a scrap of floating cover or netted plastic bag lemons, etc. produce come in, then tie onto the 1/4" soaker tubing -- which is coiled 2 or 3 times inside the bucket. I guess I have 2 or 3 stones tied along the coil I also tie a big rusty nail (for adding extra bit of iron) on the end of the tubing where it's knotted to close the end. :()

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TDB Yeah i split the batch, thanks though. Next time I might use a little less compost. It was roughly 1 - 1\2 cups. You said 2 cups in your recipe than later said 1 cup so I went in the middle.

AStar good idea on the nail. I actually threw the scraps of some of my tom cages in my compost for that same reason. I have some garden ties I will try to use to hold a rock down if I can find a rock. Oh wait I'll just dig at a random place in my yard about a 1\2 inch and find one. :lol:

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All righty, I have FINALLY gotten brave enough to start brewing my first batch!!!

This is the recipe I've been working on for a while... this is for my lawn only, and my lawn has been suffering dollar spot or some other kind of fungus, so this recipe was specifically designed to

1) fight bad fungi with good fungi, and

2) give my lawn an infusion of nitrogen and plenty of good microbes and micro-nutrients.

With that said, here's the recipe I am now brewing:

For lawn (nitrogen + trichoderma fungi):

- two handfuls of compost (bagged but from a reputable source) plus a small handful of rich soil from the floor of the woods behind my property
- a handful of alfalfa hay for nitrogen (mmmm, makes the tea smell SO good!!)
- tablespoon or two of moldy used coffee grounds (contains trichoderma - beneficial fungi that overtake bad lawn fungi)
- handful of corn meal (to feed the trichoderma)
- tablespoon of molasses
- T or two of kelp
- handful of Black Kow composted manure (I have read that this combats bad lawn fungi so I figured a scoop in the tea couldn't hurt)
- T or two Nature's Lawn liquid dethatcher (supposedly has beneficial microbes that help decompose thatch, so I figure a squirt of it in the tea can't hurt)

I haven't seen anyone else use UCG's in their compost tea, so we'll see how it works out... maybe I should rename mine compost COFFEE!!! :D
Julia in Georgia

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Hmm, after about 20 hours of bubbling (plus occasional hand stirring), my compost tea looks and smells good, but I'm only seeing a little bit of that foamy stuff rising to the top. I guess this means it's not nearly ready? I'm getting antsy to water this into my lawn because it's a cool overcast day (it seems unwise to apply on a hot, sunny day, but maybe that's unfounded).

Any harm in going ahead and using it even if it's not "done"?

I'm probably crazy but I'm going to try to apply much of this on my 10,000 sq. ft. lawn with an old-fashioned watering can. I have a backpack sprayer, but I'm concerned that the beneficial fungi I want wouldn't make it through the spray nozzle.
Julia in Georgia

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It sounds like you've got pretty rich mix going so don't forget to dilute it before applying. With lawn, you can't carefully pour it AROUND the plant as soil drench. Hand stirring stirs down the foam too so I wouldn't worry about the amount of foam, though I gotta tell ya -- my last batch, when I opened the burlap cover, it was sopping wet from all the foam pushing up and the tea looked like a rootbeer float! :lol:

Hmm, another thought that just popped in my head -- when you're mixing a funcidally targeted mix, you could be suppressing growth of *some* fungi in your tea -- maybe that's why your tea (excuse me "coffee" :wink: ) is not foaming in wild abandon :?:

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GeorgiaGirl wrote:Hmm, after about 20 hours of bubbling (plus occasional hand stirring), my compost tea looks and smells good, but I'm only seeing a little bit of that foamy stuff rising to the top. I guess this means it's not nearly ready? I'm getting antsy to water this into my lawn because it's a cool overcast day (it seems unwise to apply on a hot, sunny day, but maybe that's unfounded).

Any harm in going ahead and using it even if it's not "done"?

I'm probably crazy but I'm going to try to apply much of this on my 10,000 sq. ft. lawn with an old-fashioned watering can. I have a backpack sprayer, but I'm concerned that the beneficial fungi I want wouldn't make it through the spray nozzle.
recipe looks good georgia!
i asked about adding coffee grounds to a compost tea group and the people at the soil food web said it could be added but they have no experience using it.
I personally have made coffee tea for plants but it wasnt brewed. I just used the [url=https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2442/3842079555_c903fa5b1d_o.jpg]empty bag of coffee rounds[/url], that star bucks had given me and [url=https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3550/3842080577_fba33723c0_o.jpg]filled it up[/url] [url=https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3504/3842871214_f735c804b8_o.jpg]with water[/url]. the coffee grounds residue left on the sides, bottom of the bag made a nice very good smelling tea that i applied to my garden. No ill effects so IMO its safe to use :D
don't worry to much on the foam. AS i think your right, tea's very and not one tea is the same, even with the same ingredients. I find that cooler weather helps with foaming and i get a lot of foam with guano. I get less foam when adding corn meal or epson salt. So weather, temp, ingredients and more then likely other factors effect on micro population in the tea. If your aerating properly and the tea doesnt smell bad, the tea is good. Foam isnt a sign of good or bad, your better off following your nose..like toucan sam

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before HG post i noticed that my tea's were giving me a slight anaerobic odor. So i began to stir my tea more often till i realized that my cheap air pump wasnt performing as well as when i got it.
(thnx HG) 2 years this pump worked well but since HG post i decided to get me a new better pump.
You get what you pay for and my pumps were 5$ so 2 years of good aeration is ok by me but i want more air!
My brother use to work at petmart so i went ther and talked to a friend of his. He pointed me to these [url=https://www.petsolutions.com/Images.aspx?ItemID=47468550]powerheads[/url] and said that they will also help aerate your water if you add a cheap air pump to them :idea:
he also just gave me the 20-25$ pump for free :D man i love nice people.
so i went home and connected the powerhead to my old air pump and WOW!!
this power head not only stirs my water for me but throws all kinds of air bubbles threw out my tea brewer..definitely worth the $ i didnt pay :lol:
so i got this power head submerged underwater with my cheap air pump helping pump air and stir my brewer nicely.
The powerhead is silent and IMO worth using, i believe now i truly am making AACT!!!
ill be putting this to the test after my water has been stirred for a day and i will see just how good this performs with tea's.
heres a link for more info, i got the 550 model that pumps 145 gallons per hour!!
ther are bigger ones for those who are interested but this works for my 5 gal brewer.
[url=https://www.petsolutions.com/Penguin-Powerheads+I47468550+C10313.aspx]penguin power head[/url]

tedln
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I remember some folks discussing the correct water to use in brewing ACT. The common theme seems to be avoid chlorine. We have a water well which provides very good, very soft water, so I am not concerned about using our well water. About every two weeks, I pull the plug on the water trough our cattle drink from and let it refill with fresh water. Cattle are not the most sanitary animals and don't mind a little vegetation hanging from their mouths when they drink. After a couple of weeks, the water gets pretty rank from the rotting vegetation and algae in the trough. I can almost imagine using the water as compost tea, but I am wondering if it might serve better as the water I brew my tea with. It certainly has a high and varied aerobic bacteria content. What do you think?

We also place the large, round hay bales inside a metal ring for the cattle to eat. As they eat the hay, they pull small amounts of hay which drop to the ground. As they eat, they are leaving manure and urine in the dropped hay around the feeding ring. As time passes, their hooves grind the manure, urine, and hay into the mud resulting in a mix which I think should work well in a compost pile and possibly as a starter for the ACT. What do you think?

Ted
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Thanks for the encouragement... this morning I diluted the compost tea with dechlorinated water and applied it to my lawn, mainly the parts that seem to be affected by dollar spot or some other type of fungus. I took a peek a few hours later to see if it looked any different :lol:... I think I need to grow some PATIENCE!! Can't wait to see if it makes a difference... I think I'll start another batch of tea, this time for my flowers... I can see how this could be addictive!! :D

T$B, interesting idea to just mix the UCGs with water and apply without brewing... I may try that too (I just picked up three more bags from Starbucks).
Julia in Georgia

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Wow. What a difference five days makes! I got ill, quite ill, seriously ill after making my last batch of ACT. Nothing to do with ACT, just stupidity in ignoring the early signs of illness. Anyhow, if anyone was waiting for results on that one, I Gixxed it. I lost all mobility and balance, couldn't even water my plants. (I think I lost two squash plants, maybe more.)

I'm still pretty sick, so I don't when or if I will be starting that recipe again. I think I'll have more fun sitting back and watching GeorgiaGirl play with hers :D
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I'm sorry to hear you are sick! :( I really hope you get better. :)

I'm getting ready to start another batch myself here in a bit, so it will be ready sat morning. I will make it in your honor.

Nuff said, Get well
Dono

p.s Did you have to turn my screen name into something that means you goofed on your tea. :lol: :P

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Manuer Tea

Eww :oops: don't drink that!
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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Ted, that sounds like a good watering for a compost pile, and it could be a START fopr aerobic brewing (brewing back from an anaerobic state favors facultative anaerobes, which I have long surmised could actually be beneficial in compacted soils). Still, the safest thing would be to water a compost heap with it and turn regularly; best of both and humus to boot...

Remember, tea is innoculant, so a little goes a long way. Drenching obviously diseased areas is great, but a gallon of good tea should innoculate 1000 sq. ft. of turf (half that in gardens where we are covering more vertically). But the beauty is there is no too much, and it's just Nature to begin with...

HG
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I was about to post these photos of my current batch (well actually last batch when the 1/4" soaker tube aerators went in to show how well the bubbles are swirling) :() :
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image5102.jpg[/img]

and the current batch containing drowning weeds (as well as punky brown apple bits, crab rich compost, and molasses) to show how the foam is pushing up the floating cover lid. I have two aerators in this one (a triple coil 2000 in the bottom and a double coil 1000 near the top) to compensate for the weeds stuffed in the bucket obstructing bubble-flow.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image5276.jpg[/img]

... and my brain finally made the 2+2=? connection :oops: to wonder if this orange bucket, prominently marked "all purpose...paint bucket" is really what I want to be using. :eek: Shouldn't I be using at least a "Food Safe"/"Food Storage" bucket?

A quick google yielded this thread at a home brew forum: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/5-gallon-buckets-lowes-ok-54937/

I think I'll be heading to a nearest bakery or bakery dept. for a 5 gal frosting bucket or two ASAP. :wink:

OK -- I was looking for that plastic bucket discussion we had earlier this year (spring?) I thought I opined quite coherently against use of plastics at the time -- well perhaps *I* didn't but HG certainly did -- (Like I said -- :oops: :oops: :oops: ) Definitely re-thinking AND REPLACING the container for brewing my AACT's before starting up a new batch :roll:

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Scott,

Thanks for your comments on my thoughts about the ACT and compost.

I have also been curious about the recommended brewing times for ACT. I simply don't know what the reproductive rate of the beneficial organisms in the tea is. Has anyone to your knowledge performed a bacterial count on ACT at the beginning of the process and 24 / 36 hours later?

Ted
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stella1751
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Gixxerific wrote:
Did you have to turn my screen name into something that means you goofed on your tea?
No, no. To gix [gix, gixed, gixing] your ACT merely means to let it go anaerobic. Remember that early on HG said the best in the field often do this deliberately, just so they can bring it back to an even higher aerobic state. I look for your screen name to become synonomous with excellence when it comes to ACT.

In the meantime, my recovery is slow. While I'm writing this, in the cool, cool of the morning, I have slick sweat pouring down my face. Therefore, I am learning by watching this time around. Doing is still beyond me.

Once I am able to trust my stomach, I will dump what I have. Right now, it frightens me. Aerate on, my garden friends!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Oh, Stella. :( When I saw you'd posted, I was SO hoping that meant you were feeling better.... Get better soon! I miss your enthusiastic posts. Sending healing thoughts. O:)

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soil
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I have also been curious about the recommended brewing times for ACT. I simply don't know what the reproductive rate of the beneficial organisms in the tea is. Has anyone to your knowledge performed a bacterial count on ACT at the beginning of the process and 24 / 36 hours later?
12-24 hours looks about best under a microscope from my experience.

edit: that is with a compost tea, this thread is titled aerated manure tea so the range could be slightly off. i don't like using manures and prefer plant based compost.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

a0c8c
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applestar wrote:... and my brain finally made the 2+2=? connection :oops: to wonder if this orange bucket, prominently marked "all purpose...paint bucket" is really what I want to be using. :eek: Shouldn't I be using at least a "Food Safe"/"Food Storage" bucket?
Did you clean the bucket real well? You'll come to find that most paint buckets are just as safe as food grade buckets. Main thing they do is make sure fuels(mostly diesel[used in manufacturing plastic]) don't leach out of the plastic, which would ruin paint just as much as food. Otherwise food grade buckets aren't all the much different. It's only been in the last few years that we've learned about things like BPA in plastic and so food safe buckets still haven't removed things like that. My dad owned a restaraunt and some of the buckets we got were the same as my brother inlaw got at his dads auto shop.

I could be wrong, but I'm sure the bucket's safe.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

tedln
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From the internet, "Food grade plastic does not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans.".

This does not mean food grade plastic can not contain dyes or recycled plastic. It only means it can not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans.

It is also required that specific plastics be used to contain specific foods. This is normally based on the acidity of the food to be stored. Some plastics have higher porosity than others. Lower porosity plastics are best for long term food storage.

Which plastic to use for ACT is something we really don't need to be concerned about. The only concern should be what the bucket was used for before it was used to make ACT. Some products commonly sold in plastic buckets could leave toxic or harmful residues in the plastic.

Ted
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Even most commercial brewers utilize a plastic tub; I haven't found it to be detrimental as long as you keep it clean of biofilm...

HG
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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
I simply enjoy gardening!

top_dollar_bread
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:34 pm
Location: Inland Empire,CA

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

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applestar
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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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stella1751
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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
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

tedln
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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
I simply enjoy gardening!

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stella1751
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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:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

The Helpful Gardener
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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
Scott Reil

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