When compost is set up that way, you can keep better track of moisture
levels, temperature, etc. The wind row is then able to be turned onto
the empty area next to it, each row having equal amounts of space and
it is also used to keep track of which part of the compost is ready
first, etc. There are many reasons for it's importance.
On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 12:29:48 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org
With the onset of the "chic" of organics, lately, it sure does seem
there are many out there who are making false or unproven claims. I
didn't read the data you provided, so I'm not sure if you posted
scientific date to prove Ingham a wing nut, but it is compelling.
Personally, my new style of gardening is to pull weeds, water when
desperate to help specimens to flourish, cut things back a few times a
summer, fertilize and that's about it. What survives, survives.
In the past I went through elaborate aerobic tea making and put out
five gallons a week or so. My gardens were no better then than they
are now, however, mine are not commercial and I really have no
personal data. At least nothing scientifically collected data.
I have never used pesticides on my current property outside of the two
times I used citrus oil for some major fire ant mounds. I have aphids
in early spring on catch crops of gaura. They are always loaded (and
I mean LOADED) with lady beetles in all stages of growth. It all
strikes a balance. I'm glad there are people who are true to nature.
I always give the highest authority to peer review science when the topic
of the dangers of glyphosate arises. So don't shift your "science is
worthless" values onto people who do value it. There is plenty of
peer-reviewed science on compost teas. Vendors of compost teas prefer
their own sales pitches for good reason.
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
Unfortunately the main "authority" used by the politically duped folks at
ATTRA is Elaine R. Ingham, the crackpot who was bounced around from
college to college unable to win tenure until she was asked to resign from
her final position for using University of Oregon fascilities to promote
her private business of selling compost tea. Her misrepresentations are
numerous & ATTRA has leapt in as pre-believers who didn't compare Ingham's
faked data with actual field studies. Although to be fair, ATTRA has not
collectively produced this literature, it is strictly promo literature by
one man, Steve Diver, who seems to have bamboozled the naifs at ATTRA into
actually breaking the law & putting their funding at risk. Diver is a
friend & business associate of Ingham. He's obviously approached compost
tea as a religion, & taken Ingham as his priestess -- because it is hard
work to avoid the actual data as he has done.
Diver says of Ingham's self-published promotional booklet on which he
bases his information, "I highly recommend this mannual," & throughout the
text cites & paraphrases Ingham as the primary authority -- not for
scientific data (for which there is none to support her claims) but Diver
just writes promotionally, as in this choice turn of phrase: "Dr. Elaine
Ingham, a microbial ecologist, has elevated our collective knowledge of
the soil foodweb," even incorporating Ingham's personal, invented titles
(a doctor of microbial ecology, gimme a break), which is entirely
promo-jargon. He even works in her company name, Soil Foodweb in a most
novel context. One has to give Diver credit for not promoting his own
tapes at the same time; he does sell them.
Diver might be a reliable source of OTHER agricultural information, but
for compost tea is merely a vendor promotor. He has elsewhere posted
advertisements on the web & in newsgroups for such things as Ingham's $50
slide & video set for others who want (like himself) to give presentations
& sell compost tea products. A typical example of his Ingham promotion
Nowhere does Diver ever cite the peer-reviewed evidence, for the same
reason Ingham dares not do so.
Bare in mind that the best scientific data available on the very slight
but actual values of compost teas do not find that aerated teas are in any
way superior, & in some ways inferior -- these promotions are for aerated
teas because they require expensive equipment & it's a profitable scam. A
true believer in compost teas, rather than a scoundrel out for a buck,
would be showing how the pricy equipment is a complete waste of money. So
even as believers go, Diver was ENTIRELY the wrong gent to be providing
information for ATTRA to deposit on line exclusively & illegally to
promote specific vendors of worthless products, rather than show fellow
believers how to do it better for free.
Diver's other major "authority" is BBC Laboratories which is a sciency
sounding name for yet another vendor of compost teas. All the information
ATTRA fobs off on the public is vendor-provided.
By law ATTRA is not permitted to advertise or endorse specific products,
companies, or individuals. In promoting Ingham, her business, & even
including photographs of the recommended products, the ATTRA articles on
compost tea are actually illegal. I will forward this post to ATTRA & to
relevant congressmen, as they've definitely stepped over the line
repeatedly promoting Ingham's business & products, which they wouldn't've
been permitted to do even if she weren't a known crackpot & falsifier of
But it's lucky for you you found Ingham paraphrased as it would seem
you've finally joined the ranks of the many vendors rightly embarrassed by
their former Vendor Goddess & no longer willing to cite her directly, but
only through her main remaining advocate. I'm sure it still stings that
you mistakenly posted in this ng, in failed support of Ingham & compost
teas, her paranoid replies to why actual field research keeps failing to
support her claims.
She went totally loony inventing that idiotic story about the REASON field
tests show aerated teas have no effect on pathogens is because the
researchers sneak into the fields at night and POISON THEIR PLANTS ON
PURPOSE so that the scientific evidence will be negative & against compost
tea effectiveness. I also liked her stuff about scientists having a a
secret "HIDDEN AGENDA" so nefarious & sinister she cannot make sense of
it even to herself let alone to her letter's readers. This really is like
a schizophrenic pretty convinced of things no matter how great the
disconnect from reality. But what is certain, in Ingham's world, you
can't trust the scientists -- you can trust only herself & other vendors
for the truth.
She further claimed in that posted letter that her research WOULD be
forthcoming in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. She lied. It remains
exclusively self-published promotional literature.
She not only fabricates data, she fabricates her own educational
background, taken to task by Dr. James Moore when she claimed to have done
some of her research at his side. She later said it was a completely
different James Moore, some chap who mows golf courses, but that seems to
have been another of her Invisible Playmates since no lawn-mowing "Dr."
Moore has ever come forward to substantiate her diluted claim.
It's unfortunate that greenies at ATTRA, who should know better, have
embraced Ingham's laughable & entirely vendor-oriented pretend-research
which has been rejected from every peer-reviewed agricultural journal so
that she has to publish leaving out testable data.
It's tragic that ATTRA would lend its organization name to Steve Divers
merelyh to put the stamp of approval on a crazy woman like Ingham & ignore
all actual research. And I use the word "crazy" advisedly since Ingham has
shown a tendency toward paranoid delusions & conspiracy theories when
confronted by actual research data.
Anyone who wants to believe the myths will naturally be drawn AWAY from
the peer reviewed science & to this crackpot's notorious promotional
literature. I will separately repost a bit of our old discussion of Ingham
form the last time you talked yourself into a painted corner searching
your heart out for any real science & lighting exclusively on Crazy
Ingham. Anyone who just wants to sell the products, like Divers & I would
guess yourself, will also not care that Ingham fabricates data, fabricates
her expertise, & self-publishes her non-science after failing to convince
any peer-reviewed agricultural journal to take her seriously.
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On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 12:21:03 -0700, email@example.com
Sure Ingham is a whack, but she did some good work but got caught up
in believing her own half truths. I also share your disappointment in
ATTRA publishing her latest set of bullshit concepts.
That being said, I'm well aware of numerous successes here with
compost tea. There are plenty of practitioners who are also seeing
success. I will not throw out the baby with the bath water...compost
tea works! To constantly site Chaulker-Scott's poorly done study is as
silly as quoting Queen Elaine's fabrications. If you want some of the
really damning posts on Ingham and here con look to her NZ adventure
with the Green Party.....or her pretending to not be on the board of
directors of companies whose products she tests sells and recommends.
Spending your time bantering about the nut does nothing to discredit
the good work continuing to be done. Unfortunately I'll have to wait
to laugh I remind you I told you so....compost tea does a better job
of building soils than the exclusive use of composts....compost
extract and EM (effective microorganisms) and biological soil
development works....just not in your yard....
Tomski, you've done a good job in finding a paraphrase of Elaine Ingham's
self-published promo literature for her compost tea company. You've as
always done a terrible job of providing even moderately credible data of
scientific origin. As promised, here is the:
REPOST WITH RELEVANT LINKS ON DR. INGHAM, HER FELLOW VENDORS' BEST-LOVED
"EXPERT" ON COMPOST TEA:
Vendor Ingham posing as a scientific researcher set the standard for
vendor-disseminated information. Ingham seems legitimately to have been
mentally ill with some paranoid conspiracy theories on why her data
couldn't be duplicated in any actual field study, so after several years
of being a Big Cheese in a crooked industry, she finally became such an
embarrassment she was by many simply cast to the wolves with some of her
fellow vendors asserting that her tendency to falsification is an
abberation & not the industry standard. She is not an aberration, & her
"findings" are still the only ones the industry promulgates whether or not
they attach her name to them.
The data to date supports compost teas as a tepid fertilizer & nothing
more; its ability to enhance microorganisms is equal to the ability of
regular watering to do so. Furthermore, though the vendors want you to
believe aerating the tea is best & "safer" because non-aerated tea might
be toxic, the few studies that indicate an unpredictable (so impractical)
ability to deter disease as a foliar spray applies only to non-aerated
teas. And it turns out aerated teas are MORE apt to contain harmful
pathogens, rather than less apt as vendors of pricy equipment pretend,
often on the basis of fraudulant sales-oriented "research" by the likes of
Vendors want you to believe teas need aeration so that duped marks will
pay $500 to $1,000 for special equipment to do for a high price what could
be done for free & with no such equipment. By & large the whole fad for
garden teas is hokum & what little good teas do is exceeded by any number
of better metheds, such as organic compost topcoatings & sensible
irrigation. And while the tepid fertilizer value of compost teas washes
out of the soil with the first rain or the first regular watering,
maintaining the soil with compost or leafmold topcoatings or other methods
is a longlasting method.
If you have a compost barrel that saves the drippings, it does no harm to
use that as the basis of a cost-free tea. But anyone spending money on
equipment & tea mixes with the expectation that it is anything but the
weakest possible fertilizer, they're duped marks & nothing more
1) As a tepid fertilizer, okay, even though of less value than virtually
any other method of soil restoration or improvement.
2) For disease control: it's an illusion. To quote University of
Washington horitulturist Dr. Chalker-Scott: "In the peer-reviewed
literature field-tested compost tea reported no difference in disease
control between compost tea & water."
3) Never believe anything promulgated by vendors. There is no such thing
as an honest garden tea vendor since the honest thing would be not to take
people's money for useless equipment. It is ONLY profitable because
bolstered with lies.
For assessment of the Lies of vendors vs the Realities, see:
For definitively wasteful & potentially harmful nature of teas, see:
How the fraud is perpetuated through half-truths & lies & workshops at
nurseries all on the worst level of hucksterism:
My old report on Ingham's "tradition needs no science" looniness &
paranoia, written a few months before the embarrassed industry began to
jettison her as their chief divinity:
Ingham's easily lampooned loony-tunes letter that publicly revealed her
magical anti-science thinking & her paranoid state of mind:
Any website invested in selling you stuff is not going to provide you
with the actual data of compost teas harming ground water, leaching too
quickly out of soils to be of any benefit, being in every regard inferior
to a topcoating of mulching organic compost, NOT improving the
microorganism content of soils, NOT repairing anaerobic soils, and for the
most part not even hindering pathogenic organisms (no more than would a
good soaking with pure water in any case).
Not everything labeled "organic" is a good or useful thing. Anyone who
uses good organic compost & a regular watering schedule is doing much more
for their garden than can be done with organic tea, & organic tea would
not add anything additional, so it is a wasted inevestment of time & money
& electricity (since vendors allege it has to be aerated), & even the
cheaply made expensively sold plastic brewing equipment these flimflam
artists foist on the public are manufactured at the highest level of
pollution & waste with none of it being necessary.
The pro-Chemical lobby just hates it when "ecofundies" refuse to believe
cancerous toxic chemicals are good for us & go all insane in defense of
their PetroChemical fetish. It's unfortunate that greenies get just as
fetishistic & up in arms when their favorite organic fad is found out to
be 99.9% flimflam.
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