importance of a healthy soil (and foliar) microbial
community to proper ecosystem functioning is well recognized.
Compost tea is a technology developed to help replenish
and restore this community on lands where it is degraded.
Plant growth is typically improved with tea applications
containing the correct mix of beneficial organisms for
the vegetation being grown (Ingham, 2005).
Tea production is a “cold brewing” process, allowing
growth of organisms extracted from the compost. Various
organic foods/organic fertilizers are added during the
brewing process to provide food & nutrient substrates
for the microbial organisms to grow. The degree to which
fungal growth, versus bacterial growth, is sustained
during the brewing process will depend on the quality
of the initial compost used and the type of food/nutrients
added. It is important that the process remain aerobic
during the brewing process and up until the tea is applied
– if the tea becomes anaerobic, beneficial organisms
(aerobic fungi, protozoa and nematodes) may be lost,
replaced by anaerobic bacteria and yeasts (Ingham, 2005).
Elaine (2005). The Compost Tea Brewing Manual,
edition. Soil Foodweb Incorporated, Corvallis, Oregon.
tea brewing before application