Any experience with 'Soil Soup'?
I attended a soil seminar this past weekend (hosted by our county extension/master gardener program) and heard a very intriguing endorsement of a new method of making compost tea. According to the speaker, a self-described "former composting addict," researchers have discovered that the microbial benefits of compost tea are heightened considerably--as much as 1000x--by aerating the tea for 24 hours. Thus treated, the tea can be applied to the ground before planting or as a foliar feed on the growing plants, and you won't need to use any other compost or fertilizer--just some fall & winter mulch. This means no more making and scrounging tons of compost. (Incidentally, our speaker was not a salesperson--just a soil guy giving us general overview of recent findings in soil science).
The catch is, you can't just use a fish tank bubbler or even multiple fish tank bubblers to aerate this tea, which I guess some people are doing. Researchers have found that you need an industrial pump to aerate the liquid sufficiently and encourage all the good stuff to grow in quantity. Currently, there is at least one company producing these pumps, the Soil Soup folks. (They have a website. I don't know the address but you can just google Soil Soup and you'll get it). Their cheapest package is somewhere around $330--not outrageous, but I'm certainly not going to plunk any money down until I hear lots more positive buzz on this.
I did a quick search and didn't find any threads on this stuff over on the soil forum, perhaps because the price puts it a bit out of the reach of the casual experimenter. And it's a new thing. So, I'm wondering if any market gardeners on this forum have used this product or heard anything about its efficacy?