Follow-up to compost tea confusion from "paghat"

Former Subject: [Fertilizer for slow growing plants], posted on July 12th, 2005.
The following exchange from "paghat" came to my attention.
Normally, I do not post to usenet groups. But the comments from paghat are full of outright falsehoods and misinformation.
In the first place, Tom J. re-posted a whole series of "peer-reviewed" literature citations to rec.gardens. These citations were copied from a list of science papers and research reports that I sent to the Compost_Tea group on Yahoo.
There are plenty of papers published in scientific journals, on-farm research reports, and other data in that collection.
Neither paghat or Travis bothered to survey those reports or grasp this fact.
Paghat refers to a post I made to the Permaculture listserv in Jan. 2003, but mistakenly thinks it is linked to Elaine Ingham's business. The business listed, Harmony Central, had acquired a set of these CD's and was making them available.
Since I am in involved in technology transfer in support of sustainable agriculture, I post many resources to email lists so people can be aware of valueable and hard-to-find items on appropriate technology, sustainable agricultue, organic farming, permaculture, and soil biology, among other topics.
Paghat states that I am a friend and business associate of Elaine Ingham.
A falsehood, I have never been a business associate of Ingham. In fact, to this day, I have no business associations with any vendors, labs, or companies... anywhere.
Paghat states the ATTRA publication is promo literature.
Another falsehood. I commonly provide summaries of concepts, practices, scientific research, practitioner experience, suppliers and company products, and related resources in all of my ATTRA publications. It is called technology transfer.
Keep in mind, as well, that "Notes on Compost Teas" was published in February 2002. Since then, I have published other papers and resource lists on compost teas, and delivered workshops around the country.
People in sustainable agriculture know how to get ahold of me and access these updated materials.
People are welcome to call me at work and speak to me through two-way communication. Pick up the phone.
Paghat states "One has to give Diver credit for not promoting his own tapes at the same time; he does sell them."
Another falsehood, I don't have tapes of my own work, much less sell them.
Paghat states that I work in her company name, Soil Foodweb.
Another faleshood. I have never worked for SFI.
Paghat states, "Nowhere does Diver ever cite the peer-reviewed evidence, for the same reason Ingham dares not do so."
Another falsehood. They are clearly listed in the 2002 publication, and in the aforementioned items posted on the web.
Paghat states, "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."
Another falsehood. BBC Labs does not sell compost tea, nor supplies. They are a testing lab.
Likewise, there is plenty of documentation among my publications and resource listings containing numerous scientific and practitioner literature.
Paghat states, "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."
Another falsehood. ATTRA is a program of a non-profit organization and we are practical-minded in our educational delivery. We list suppliers so farmers know "where" they can get connected to agricultural equipment and products. We do this with common sense and balance, and we avoid endorsements, per se.
Farmers love the ATTRA materials, because we cut through the chaff and tell it like it is.
Hundreds of farmers have attended my workshops and the feedback is universally appreciative for making complex and in-depth topics practical and understandable, with scientific underpinning.
Compost teas and related on-farm microbial systems that promote beneficial biology in the rhizosphere and phyllosphere have become valueable tools in sustainable agriculture.
For what it's worth, I am sending this clarification for the rec.garden archives.
Steve Diver Fayeteville, Arkansas
paghat wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Diver's ATTRA fluff is paraphrased EXCLUSIVELY from vendor literature & avoids peer review data as though science were a plague. Any claim on Mr. Divers' part to have used peer-reviewed science for his vendor promo writings is dishonest to the highest degree. His souce of information is Elain Ingham's self-published Field Guide for Actively Aerated Compost Tea, and her Compost Tea Manual. These fabricate data of the "irreprodicible" variety strictly to promote the idea that expensive but factually worthless equipment must be purchased in order to make the best safest compost teas. Diver mis-uses ATTRA to promote this unnecessary equipment. The result is more VENDOR LITERATURE. What Diver generated is NOTHING ELSE BUT vendor literature cribbing liberally from Ingham. Any claim to the contrary shows shows a high degree of dishonesty, hardly surprising given the flimflam nature of the compost tea industry he is promoting.

I have read very deeply into the peer-reviewed literature on compost tea. Anyone who does so quickly perceives that the heavy-duty promotors of pricy equipment for aerating your own compost tea are con artists plain & simple.

Divers' Permaculture listserv article was an advertisement for Ingham's CDs or tapes complete with prices & where to send ones money right away. "Making them available" for cash on the barrelhead is a vendor relationship pure & simple, & this pretense that a company selling Ingham's products at every turn is not a vendor relationship is just laughable. Diver's present claim that Sam Ettaro & Elaine Ingham have no vendor relationship is laughable. He sells her CDs & slides, he advertises ingham as "a global pioneer on soil ecology" -- Diver makes these same kinds of wild claims of Ingham's authority as outranking peer reviewed science. They are all selling something -- workshops, videos, books, or other products in a mutual support society for a horticultural flimflam & fad.
Possibly Diver -- involved more with Green politics than with science -- started down this road as a well-meaning dupe overly impressed by the scienceless claims he found in Ingham's self-published company literature. But he has by no so identified himself with the flimflam, it takes a personal investment in the lie to sustain it so wholeheartedly.

The ATTRA "publication" paraphrases Ingham's promo pamphlets. It cites no science whatsoever. It advertises specific products that in reality are completely unnecessary if anyone really wanted to play with compost teas.

Diver paraphrases exclusively Ingham & nothing of her "research" on compost tea has ever passed muster as peer-reviewed; she has claimed for years that her research is "forthcoming" in scientific journals, but it never happens. NO peer-reviewed articles are cited by Diver -- not one. Anyone who does a search for "Steve Diver" + "Ingham" through google will see that Diver is a primary promotor of Ingham's commercial Soilfoodweb & a parrot of Ingham's sales-oriented assertions. He promotes her company, her booklets, her CDs & slides & tapes, he publishes price lists, & he promotes his own promotional lectures on Ingham's non-science.

This was my only error, but the correction would be this: Diver took no information from BBC Labs; his SOLE authority was Elaine Ingham & he cites nothing & no one else. He merely lists BBC Labs as an "Alternative" lab (recommended in the same breath of Ingham). Whether it is an "Alternative" lab comparable to what Ingham does I no longer believe. It was certainly a lapse on my part to believe in this statement from Diver since nothing else he cribbed was reliable & I should not have believed him even on that small point.

Diver's vendor literature (what he calls "practioner literature" is not scientific. He cites no peer-reviewed science because it doesn't support the nonsense that Ingham promotes -- & which Diver echoes on the exclusive say-so of vendor claims.

ATTRA risks its tax exemptions with such pure uncritical unscientific ADVERTISING literature. Diver crosses FAR over the line not only relying on vendor pamphlets, CDs or tapes for the "expertise" but pomoting specific businesses, avoiding scientific data because it disagrees with the vendor literature, recommending specific products of no practical value.

Telling it like Elaine Ingham's tells it has no relationship to the actual world what is. It is a fantasy shared between vendors & rubes. If the baseless assertions made in the ATTRA materials had to provide peer-reviewed citations for each claim, nine-tenths of those claims would vanish, & the biggest lie, that hundreds of dollars worth of aeration equipment must be purchased, would be instantly deleted.

Translation: "There's a sucker born every minute." The ability to sell workshops & tapes is the backbone of how compost tea vendors circumvent honest research & go straight to the public with their sales pitches. You can sign up at your local nursery for Dr. Snakeoil's Medicine Show.

--
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
http://www.paghat.com/giftshop.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 11 Sep 2005 15:25:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) wrote:
Fortunately your misinformation and distortions are easily seen through by most readers here...anyone can go to ATTRA and read for themselves....as tens of thousands of those growing the products you eat and consume do.
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Don't be such a munchmonkey. You are an advocate of a flimflam & you are not an honest trustworthy person on this topic. Absolutely anyone can read Diver's promotional literature, yes, & will find immediately that it is an extended advertisement Elaine Ingham & her company. On a single page <http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/compost-tea-notes.html he cites, recommends, seconds, praises, or advertises Ingham fifteen times, even repeating from her falsified curriculum vitae.
He uses the name of her company Soil Foodweb, or uses her company name as though it had in itself scientific meaning, over THIRTY times on the same page, & links to her company webpages or her personal e-mail eleven times. The information throughout the two articles at ATTRA is all taken from Ingham, who is in the compost tea business for a living & has proven herself unqualified for scientific publication.
So Diver is not just promoting the company, he's advertising ingham & her company BIG time. This doesn't skirt the tax laws using a tax exempt organization to provide advertising for chums, it is OVER THE TOP promotion. Diver does this again & again all over the web, though only at ATTRA does it actually break the tax laws to do so.
Ingham never got tenture because instead of doing research she used university of oregion facilities to promote her personal company, therefore was sent packing. I've documented before her trail of falsified curriculum vitae, her false claims of doing research alone or with others with who dissavowed association with her, her claims of forthcoming scientific publication that never appear, & her paranoid persecution fantasies as to why the ACTUAL peer reviewed science disagrees with the majority of her advertising claims. Whether it is you or Diver claiming this infamous fraud is what Diver either mistakenly or lyingly calls "a pioneer researcher," it only shows the derth of actual support available to you promoters of fads, falsehoods, & flimflams, who have no choice but to rely on the Ingham booklets you & Diver quote or paraphrase with such lunatic abandon.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
http://www.paghat.com/giftshop.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 11 Sep 2005 17:53:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) wrote:

That IS correct, however because Ingham is a dishonest whack doesn't mean all of the information is invalid.
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

If you'll think back to when YOU cited Diver as the only other authority you could find agreeable to your premises, my point was & remains that he is a flack for crazy Ingham -- & Divers' claims to the contrary, when on one small webpage alone he manages to mention Ingham or her company, her website, or her email contact OVER FORTY-FIVE TIMES, there's no question but that he's writing ad copy & exactly like you has no authority beyond one heavily promoted wackjob who self-publishes phony research.
That leaves you still with zero genuine authorities to support a magical belief system. i would welcome valid information. I have read a preponderance of the peer-reviewed literature on this topic & find only that compost teas can have a residual fertilizing value vastly inferior to compost topcoatings (for the best-case scenario) or the same effect as plain water (which is the good effect vendors will cite without mentioning the same effect can be had with plain water).
So every time you posit greater than proven values, you simultaneously insist that just because Ingham is unreliable, other proofs should be considered. Yes they should -- but since you can't find anyo ther proofs you invariably circle back to the Ingham's confabulations in lieu of actual authority, or trickily citing Diver who merely paraphrases & intensely advertises Ingham.
A good flimflam artist first fools himself before he hornswoggles marks out of their money, so vendors can lie their asses off for profit & still not see the underlying criminality of their sales-driven misrepresentations. I think the day will come when you'll wack yourself on the forehead & exclaim, "Doh!" wondering how you could've promoted falsehoods or systems with little or inferior value for so many years. There are honest things you or your friends could profit by. Someone who can sell pyramid hats to heighten intelligence & dirtied oxygenated water to enhance crop productivity cure garden diseases could use that same creative ability to sell products or services that don't require a clientelle to be dupes & rubes.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
http://www.paghat.com/giftshop.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Regardless of how you or I feel about Dr Ingham or the new organic food elite (who else can afford it?) compost tea works. I've compiled almost seven years of history of successes with soil biological components and suppression of diseases and development of beneficial insect populations. These successes are a direct result of incorporating CT into a maintenance program. I have piles of in vitro test results showing the recipes I brew have high levels of partial inhibition of ALL the diseases occurring in the gardens I maintain. This inhibition testing is verified by what I see daily in the field. I too am incredibly frustrated by the whacks making the silly claims, but simply taking another flawed study, like (sp?) Chaulker-Scott's as proof of the inability of compost extracts to provide any value, is no less wacky than Ingham's antics.
Now to Diver....a cursory review of ATTRA by anyone working in or interested in sustainable ag quickly reveals the value of that organization. Does Steve go overboard on Ingham? ABSOLUTELY Does he blindly support his own intellectual organic elitism? ABSOLUTELY Does that negate the rest of the information available? NO WAY
Since when is it important to have experts supporting my position for me to have success? I only need to have those resources to convince you and until an army of researchers pounds it into your stubborn head, there is little hope for you ever even attempting to try CT or discuss it without calling me a munchmonkey or some other silly rant.
There is a lot of work being done and by many of us who have worked hard to distance ourselves from Ingham. There are reports being published regularly on the effectiveness of soil isolates in controlling various diseases, cycling nutrients, and building soil structure.
Wanna buy a brewer?

Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom J. -
Do me a favor and explain your perspective.
"What" and "where" do you see me going overboard on Ingham?
Why and where do you get the notion that I "blindly support" my own "intellectual organic elitism"?!?
What is your viewpoint on organic elitism, in the first place?
I'd like to understand what you are saying, and the basis for your comments.
Steve Diver
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom Jaszewski wrote:

If compost tea is so darn great why isn't everyone using it?
Sounds like the carburetor of the 20th century that would give you 200 miles per gallon.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 20:01:35 GMT, "Travis"
Thanks for the insightful post!
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Travis wrote:

Why doesn't everyone mow their lawn to the optimal height? Why doesn't everyone water correctly? Why doesn't everyone top-dress and mulch with compost? Why doesn't everyone do anything?
People will go out and pay outrageous prices for pre-mixed herbicides. If they can't be bothered to mix water and a chemical, is it so hard to understand why they don't take the time to brew some tea?
Even if compost tea was everything the hype-masters claim, and more, most people will still see it as too much effort.
My personal experience is that it isn't a miracle, but the results are worth the cost and effort. Your results, and your perception of the cost and effort may vary, so your decision may be different. Even if you are underwhelmed by your results, it isn't going to do any harm. And I'm willing to bet you've wasted more time and money on things that had less favorable results.
--
Warren H.

==========
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Diver wrote:

A quick perusal of the Washington State University web site turns up no recommendation to use compost tea to cure/fix/improve anything. The best I could find is the notion that more research may be needed.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.