Compost Tea Recipes and First ACT

After building my Air lift Mini Microbulator, I checked out these compost tea recipes. At the aforementioned candy store I bought some Coast of Maine Stonington Blend Growers Mix, a complex “super soil” nutrient blend with mycorrhizal fungi, kelp, fish bone and alfalfa meal, as well as worm castings, peat, coir and lobster compost. Yum! But I didn’t use it, yet. Instead I went with Mr. Tim Wilson’s recipe for a fungal brew.

For 1/2 gallon of water, the recipe is:

Fungal dominated compost 1.5 fluid oz
Black strap molasses 1 tsp
Fish hydrolysate 1 tsp
Alfalfa meal 2 tsp

So for my 5 gallons of tap water that stood around for a couple of days to dechlorinate, and some greenish rain water from the barrel, that made:

Fungal dominated compost (1/2 cups from deep down underneath my leaf mulch pile,and 1/cup from a garden bed I haven’t planted into yet) 15 fl.oz  = about 2 cups
Black strap molasses 10 tsp = 1/8 cup
Home made FAA 10 tsp
Alfalfa meal 20 tsp = 1/4 cup

I also added 1/4 cup of worm castings (also Coast of Maine). Couldn’t help myself.

I turned on the pump at 9:45 am. It’s not too loud. The splashing and gurgling is actually louder than the pump.

This is my first ever real ACT – Aerated Compost Tea. I’ve made brews with a tiny little aquarium bubbler before – those would have been pretty anaerobic brews. I can’t wait to try different recipes. How to judge them, without a microscope, though?

In the meantime, here is some further reading on humates, another great resource, and info on spray equipment that won’t shred your fungal hyphae and larger micro-organisms, and a PDF on foliar applications.

{IMPORTANT UPDATE 6/9} The pump cannot handle the difference between the intake/output ratio if you eliminate the brass adapter. It becomes MUCH louder and the short-circuit-like noises it makes indicate it’s not working properly. At first I thought it was the pump malfunctioning, but when the second one also did this, the store cleared up the mystery for me (thanks, guys!). So, the brass nipple went back in, and I went back to the hardware store for the 3/8″ ID hose…

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