We are using 160901 to make compost tea. Although the temperature has fallen to ambient, it’s still a bit early. This is only seven weeks old, and it’s apparent that while all the green material and plant material has gone and isn’t recognisable for what it is, the woodchip takes longer to break down. As such it will be mainly bacterial, the fungi take longer to develop. Fungi are better at decomposing woody material. But sometimes it is not worth letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Laverstoke Park Farm is a UK site with specialised knowledge of Elaine Ingham’s methods. Sadly their farm shop has closed, we dropped by on route back from holiday last week in the hope of buying a bag of their compost (to inoculate our soil and compost heaps), but no joy, so we’ll email them in the hope of being able to buy a bag or two, or maybe even visit (it looks fantastic!)
We had invested recently in a small compost tea brewer which Laverstoke Park developed, to learn more about how it is done, before we try this on a bigger scale. We have used compost extract rather than compost tea to date as it is easier and safer.
The kit is basically a 3W aquarium pump, an air stone and bucket
The kits came with some microbes in a tube, but the tube seemed to be out of date. Sadly our first attempt with this mix failed as the pump fell from its perch (no harm done, fortunately) and this, admittedly early aborted, brew didn’t appear to contain much exciting under the microscope.
We are now going to wait until we have some promising Oak Tree compost (from heap 160901 , or heap 160910 if either look good under the microscope) or have some Laverstoke Park compost before we try using the brewer again. We’ll keep you posted!