[NAFEX] Could 24 hour compost tea help control diseases in fruit trees?
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lfl at intrex.net
Thu Oct 31 02:00:03 EST 2002
paul simon wrote:
> It looks like a complex process in making the tea. They have quite a bit
> of discussion taking place and sound like they have faith in it. One
> place they were comparing apples to citrus to pears.
These are the replies I received from Elaine Ingham at SFI, Inc., Soil Foodweb:
Elaine Ingham <Soilfoodweb at AOL.COM>
We have been working with compost tea makers preventing disease such as apple
scab, leaf curl, anthracnose, and a number of foliar feeding insects.
We have done mildew control for a couple years in vineyards, this is a
scientific study, and we have one more year to go to finish up. Then we'll
publish the results. Been working well!
I can direct you to a number of orchard folks who are having good control, if
you want. We need more replicated scientific studies in orchards in the US, and
I would dearly love to get some done. The SARE grants are good places to get
some grower grants.
There are a number of researchers at Washington State University that tried
compost tea early on orchards, but they did not make decent tea. They even had
the tea tested sometimes, but could never reach the quality control standards we
have shown are necessary. But they still bad-mouth compost tea as not working.
Sigh. And these are scientists? But there are much better machines to make
compost tea out on the market now. If I could work with you on documenting the
benefits of compost tea, I would love to talk!
And the following:
Yes, you can make a compost tea machine yourself, but I there's a good compost
tea machine for only $99 available from www.simplici-tea.com
We have just finished testing their machine and can show that, with good aerobic
compost, with adequate fungi, the tea the machine can produce is excellent.
Plenty of fungi.
And fungi are what would be needed to suppress fireblight. We have suppressed
many kinds of blight, and have seen anecdotal information that fireblight was
removed when working on several estates in New York.
Contact Paul Wagner and James Sottilo about the results they have seen with
fireblight. The e-mail address is: JAMSOT at aol.com OR soilfoodwebny at aol.com.
<> (a little editing was done here for readability):
There are machines that <are affordable>, and are effective at extracting and
growing ALL the organisms you need in tea. (Bacteria tea machines don't do an
adequate job of extracting and growing fungi, protozoa or nematodes. For
bacteria machines one can buy inoculum of bacteria from a company like EM, or
Organica, or Helena, or Agri-Energy, or... well, the list is quite long.)
There is a 5 gal machine from KIS (www.simplici-tea.com) for $99. that extracts
bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes - all the organisms you need - and the
soluble nutrients from the compost quite well. The data for the latest
improvements are not on their website yet, but the machines are producing great
tea. It takes just a pound or so of compost to make 5 gal, which is enough to
put on 1 acre (you put the 5 gal of tea into the amount of water needed to spray
out on the acre, make sure the water is chlorine-free).
Alaska Giant (www.alaskagiant.com) makes a 1 gal tea maker for $40, and a 5 gal
tea maker for $80. Again, both very good tea makers, make great teas, with good
fungi. Both good choices. They have a starter mix as well.
EPM (100 gal and 500 gal sizes) makes GREAT tea makers, and they have a 22 gal
machine coming out soon. Their website is www.composttea.com They also sell
the fungi that take out many root-feeding pests, as well as foliar insects.
Wormgold has just released a tea machine, not on their web site yet, so stay
tuned. Nice, low-profile, easy to clean, sizes 50 to 200 gal.
Earthworks makes 35 and 85 gal sizes (www.soilfirst.com). Really great fungal
and bacterial biomass.
James Sottilo makes tea makers to order. JAMSOT at aol.com
There are many tea makers on the market, for reasonable prices, that extract the
organisms just fine, and let them grow without worry of the tea becoming anaerobic.
The foods the machine manufacturers make match the needs of their machines, or
if you want some really great compost and activator, try Hendrikus Schraven's
website, hendrikus.com. They make some super foods for the organisms.
And try some of the special bacterial and fungal inocula available - just a
pinch in the tea, and grow the good guys yourself. Don't put in too much, if
they grow too fast, they use up all the air in the tea, and that's when you grow
not-so-good bacteria, like E. coli and other human pathogens.
It is not that difficult to do a good job. You need to have care, true, but
don't be scared off.
Or find a tea center near you, and buy the tea from a professional. Check the
SFI web site for the names of reputable tea centers near you.
info at soilfoodweb.com
All of the above and much more about compost tea and the compost_tea mailing
list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compost_tea/) can be found here:
lfl at intrex.net
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