Restoring the Soil Food Web: Consideration and Use of Compost Tea
The soil food web is made up of incredibly diverse and complex communities of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. Harvard naturalist, EO Wilson wrote, that if you scoop up a handful of soil, you could be holding 10 billion bacteria, representing 5,000 - 6,000 different species (Harvard Gazette, June 15, 2006.)
An active microbial population improves soil fertility and enhances plant growth. Recent research indicates that the plant ecosystem and soil communities are mutually dependent on each other. These soil communities are very sensitive to disturbance, which often leads to significant decreases and loss of diversity.
Compost tea presents an opportunity to replenish our soil food web. The tea is a concentrate of soluble nutrients, and beneficial, aerobic organisms from compost. It is an easy way to deliver beneficial organisms as part of your program for sustainable natural landscape management.
Karen Graham is a member of the Wild Ones Twin Cities chapter and a citizen scientist. She will speak on the science, use, and application of compost tea. Contact her at 763-551-9572 to learn more about her company.