Sittin' here watching my first ever batch of compost tea bubbling in
the bucket. Yeah, doesn't take much to entertain me. :-)
Have it going in the office/garage where it is warm...I am thinking
(hoping) it should smell pretty OK.
Followed recommendations from this site...
I did the recipe with rainwater (compliments of the water harvesting
tank that is full), scoop of compost, two TBSP molasses, 1 cup
cornmeal, 2 TBSP unpastuerized vinegar, a big shot of organic
Kikkoman's soy, and a huge triple handful of chopped fresh dandelions
and alfalfa. More is better, right?
Dug out an old air pump from my aquarium days and rigged it for four
bubble stones and have the brew simmering.
I'm looking now at the recipe for brewing with canned mackeral.
Giddyup, microbial herd!
Cool. The alchemy is what makes it fun......... I'm getting ready to
feed my potted tomatoes with some Spring Mix salad that's wilted in the
fridge, a couple of overripe bananas, and some expired Odwalla Superfood
juice........ Blended, not stirred...
Did you say Alchemy?
John Todd wrote the forward to Gaia's Garden.
Aging hippie Bill :))
John Todd was instrumental in fostering "The New Alchemy Institute".
Crank it up
Darkness, Darkness 3:49 Jesse Colin Young
Heh heh....Mona brought me home a t-shirt last week emblazoned with
"The Hippies Were Right"... one of me favorites now.
Oh my...thanks for the remembering. i now remember John and New
Alchemy in TMEN many moons ago.
Damn Bill, you never fail to stimulate my mind. It needs it. Thanks.
Charlie, watching the brew bucket bubble with Winamp playing - Rick
Wakeman - "Aspirant Sunrise" - 1991
On Tue, 13 May 2008 00:01:34 -0500, Charlie wrote:
That's great, Charlie! The tea should smell like fresh air, not
smelly. I made my brewer using a 10 gallon bucket and to the bottom
of it I used plastic coax cable grips, which I glued with marine glue
in a concentric circle. Then I plugged one end of 1/4 inch drip
tubing and left enough tubing to get it up to the top where I had a
"T" connector and to that I connected two fish tank air pumps. Did I
describe that well? The more air you can provide, the better quality
of the tea. You want all aerobic organisms. You will be amazed at
the results you get using this tea. You must use it within 36 hours.
If you don't, you will be growing anerobic organisms, air and all.
I was just getting on to reply to catdaddy and ask about the
"shelf-life" and lo and behold, you read my mind! Thanks.
I understand exactly what you did and I'll do that after this batch.
Thanks again. Yeah, I found the four stones wanted to float, so I
twistie-tied them to two short bamboo canes and forced them
under.....works, but your idea is perfect. I'm using a double outlet
pump designed for 60-90 gal tanks and the water is really roiling.
OK......until I get this all zenned and it becomes as easy as
cooking....how long do you brew? I read 1-3 days...or longer, after
which you should feed it some molasses again? After 24 hours, I've nice
earthy yummy smell and a really nice head, which I assume means things
are still actively working. I'm giving it a stir every so often just
for good measure.
2nd question, and I hope catdaddy is reading too and will reply, how
often, how much, etc do you guys apply? I've read varying things.
One thing I read that blows me away, plus my sons who are getting into
this like gangbusters, is the claim that five gallons of brew is the
biological/bacterial/fungal equivalent of 10 tons, or 40 cu yds of
Can you over-apply this elixir?
Younger son just planted twenty four honeysuckles on a fence he built
and is going to run a control test on them. BTW, he planted a variety
of red/pink h'suckle that is a ten foot model and not as invasive as
the japanese variety.
Thanks, I'll likely have more questions :-)
On Tue, 13 May 2008 18:28:03 -0500, Charlie wrote:
Eh, I brew for a day or two and use it immediately. I water my
containers of Brugmansia's and Datura's because containers don't get
the same organic matter it can get planted directly in soil. The
rest, I strain through several thicknesses of cheese cloth and add a
quart to a two gallon sprayer and foliar feed everything. There are
some insects (I find) which don't like the microbial activity.
Whitefly is one I can think of off the bat.
Not often enough.
Nope. You don't really have to fuss all about the alchemy either. I
just pour black strap molasses (not de-sulfured) and I just count to
five...however much that is. I put about a quart of good compost and
rainwater into the bucket. They say in one teaspoon of compost there
are more microbes than every living mammal on the earth. Tens of
I hoped that the container stuff liked it well. I do a lot of peppers,
cherry tomatoes, and lettuces in pots, as well as ornamentals. Takes a
lot of nutrition in a pot. I've done well with containers, perhaps
this will take it to another level.
Heh heh..that is my typical method....obsess on something and overdo it
and micro-whatever it to death, until I've grokked it and moved beyond
the mechanics and into the mystery.
:-) Thanks. And as long as we are at it, back atchya, in your
approach to life given your circumstance. I also appreciate your
knowledge that you share.
I understand what Samuel Beckett meant with this, though I but little
"Where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't
know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."
On Tue, 13 May 2008 21:10:55 -0500, Charlie wrote:
The reality of life is that we are all going to die when our morality
karma runs out. I think the key to it all is to use what we have
regardless what it is to benefit others. I love my life. What did
they say in Dead Poet's Society, "Suck the marrow out of life."
Every day I learn to change my mind. All we have is mind, nothing
else has a dependant nature on its own.
I've said for years, when I am too sick to go out and garden, buy me a
dolly and wheel me out laying down and I'll still garden. Frida had
them carry her bed to her gallery opening.
Enjoy every minute.
Hey Charlie..... Three days is about max for me. If you have to let it go
longer, then put in some molasses or it'll start to turn, even with the
Yummy smell is good... When the foam turns to larger, long-lasting
bubbles, then I think it's ready. When I used to put the compost in
pantyhose, the liquid would have a thin syrupy consistency. But, I changed
to just throwing it all in, stirring and using it as a drench.
Based on nothing, I'd make a batch of six 5-gallon buckets at a time, and
dilute to 50/50 to drench. It would take three batches to do all my
flowerbeds. And I'd do it again in about three weeks. I did foliar spray at
first, but gave it up to just splashing it around and making more.
Current favorite recipe --
Per each gallon dechlorinated tapwater:
1 handful homegrown castings
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp liquid kelp
all measurements approximate
Using in between feedings with mix of 1 part each Alaska
5-1-1 and 0-10-10. I doubt there's any nutrient I've missed with
this combination. Results are immediate, with deficient plants
turning almost neon-green overnight, but no evidence of N
On Wed, 14 May 2008 21:19:49 -0700 (PDT), Father Haskell
I use Alaska 5-1-1 and love it and will do as you do now. Thanks.
Going to see if I can find Liq. Kelp in town whilst I am on a plant and
feed spree today.
I'm also turning my attention to the vermiculture thing now. Been
seeing more and more reference to it.
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