Subject: [Compostteas] CT application

D madhava at
Fri Jun 7 17:48:14 EDT 2002

I have some questions about application of CT.  I've heard that good tea can be used from 1 to 5 gallons per acre and that good dilution rates from 5 to 1, to 10 to 1.  How are people applying the tea to get these types of coverage?  Is there a difference between soil applications and leaf applications?  

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Soilfoodweb at 
  To: compostteas at 
  Cc: CuretonW at 
  Sent: Friday, June 07, 2002 10:27 AM
  Subject: Subject: [Compostteas] Homemade Compost Tea Brewer

  The question was, which is better, using the air bubbles to mix and aerate and extract, or using a pump that the tea passes through? 

  You can get good tea both ways.  The original, commercially produced tea maker, the Microbe-Brewer ( used the tea pump approach where the tea was pumped through a nozzle that infused air into the water.  A vortex was formed in the tank, and that was important to extract adequately.   

  Because the basket design that the original manufacturer of the Microb-Brewer developed wasn't a good idea, most people learned not to use that in the design of their machines.  The holes on a basket are too rigid and the air bubbles produced don't get into the basket and thus, don't manage to extract the organisms from the compost.   

  Inside the basket goes anaerobic and you now can have E. coli growing if you use non-composted material.   That is probably the case of what happened in the testing that BBC reported, where they clearly did not report the oxygen data from the SAME tea machine where they apparently grew E. coli.  The sad part is that the NOSB has used that flawed information to develop a ruling on compost tea.   

  But, back to pumps.  The real problem is the design of the basket.  The EPM or Earth Tea basket is very different from the original Microb-Brewer basket. 

  Oh, and fabric bags, that's mildew waiting to happen.  Fungi don't get through a fabric bag.  And fungi are what we've killed off for the most part in the soil, so we have to get them back.   

  So, tea pumps, air pumps - design the rest of the system correctly, and it doesn't matter much.   Passing a tea through the pump does slice and dice the organisms to some extent, but as Earth Tea Company is showing, their fungi are happy, even if in small units.  Some of the best tea out there is made in their tea makers.   

  Air pumps - easier to clean, don't slice your organisms, and some great tea is being made with these units too - EarthWorks, Alaska Bounty, Sottilo.   

  So, put the whole system together and see if you get the organisms needed extracted and growing in the tea.   

  Elaine Ingham 
  Soil Foodweb Inc. 

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