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Art & Science

Posted by barbararose21101 8 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 0:34

Wouldn't it be sweet if we could sieve our experiences here and harvest some facts ?

Tho I seem to swim upstream in digging for facts, I've gleaned a few, I think. I think there is something like consensus on all fronts, that vermicompost and vermicompost tea are good for plants and good for soil, and better than "synthetic" fertilizers in a long-term healthy -earth sense. The G. Profs seem to object more to the claims of disease prevention, than to the idea that VC is good for gardens. There are a variety of views on whether Tea is worth the work, and if so, what's the recipe that is worth the work and what are its best uses ? Further, what is the value of aerating ?

I challenge the sharp divide between Leachate and Tea because I think the facts depend on some variables.
What if the liquified (pureed food) I feed the worms filters through castings present ? At one extreme would be liquid from rotting stuff that worms have not processed; at the other extreme could be liquid that washed through mostly castings with little or no unprocessed stuff,

Without knowing the science of the desirable bacteria, I don't know what the value of aerating is. I can speculate that since it is fact that the bacteria that exist in nature in the top 3 ? inches of hypothetically healthy soil are aerobic, that aerating the liquids may have merit.

Today I sprayed my disease-prone roses with some undiluted, well aerated God Knows What: part stale "Tea" part leachate.
It was hot and sunny: the spray visibly coated the young leaves.. If the leaves are healthier this year than last, I'm going to give the treatment credit. (I don't use conventional treatments anymore for fear of harm to bees.)

If anyone has suggestions on how to test VC on Tomatoes, I haven't found them yet. We do wander among our threads.
I could make tea with chicken manure or cow manure but we know that the chicken stuff is high nitrogren and that wouldn't address the question. Nor does comparing Tea or VC to Miracle Gro address the question. I assume (I've never used it but my neighbors do) that Miracle Gro for tomatoes would be more productive and maybe safer food.
Do you disagree ?
How would I test Tea ? Aerated or Not ? vs What ? vs mixing the castings into the growing medium ? In what ratios ?

I think many of the tomatoes will be determinates in pots, the long-term health of the garden is less an issue.
The bed that will get the Brandywine even has charcoal in it and a little human nitrogen. No science there just Overdo the whole way.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Art & Science

DISCLAIMER: Each & every answer, explanation, claim & statement I am about to put forth/offer up/adhere to can, and will, be questioned/denied/pooh-poohed by any number of conservationists/naturalists/chemo-heads/worm & VC & commercially-for-sale vendors of all things worm.

Nothing will be all black or all white, or absolute, or written in stone because nature overlaps and covers up for itself all the time. That said, here goes:

Q??????.>>>>>>>"Wouldn't it be sweet if we could sieve our experiences here and harvest some facts ?"

A........ We see them, and read them every day. Some we discard, some are embraced.


Q??????>>>>>>"Tho I seem to swim upstream in digging for facts, I've gleaned a few, I think. I think there is something like consensus on all fronts, that vermicompost and vermicompost tea are good for plants and good for soil, and better than "synthetic" fertilizers in a long-term healthy -earth sense. The G. Profs seem to object more to the claims of disease prevention, than to the idea that VC is good for gardens. There are a variety of views on whether Tea is worth the work, and if so, what's the recipe that is worth the work and what are its best uses ? Further, what is the value of aerating ?"

A........ First, vermicompost is not vermicastings. It is incompletely finished VC. Vermicompost is a combination of compost and vermi-CASTINGS (where all the disease-prevention properties are as the result of that little magic thing the worm does to compost when it passes thru his/her digestive tract creating the biology that invades and overruns the bad biology on plants and in soils that causes them to not do well).
AVCT (aerated compost tea) is aerated to supply all that good biology that is being formed in the tea process with the amounts of oxygen necessary for the sustainability of the life being mass-produced. You are, in effect, building the large army of disease fighters to be able to overwhelm the nasty old bad biology on your plant surfaces. Being able to apply the good army of disease fighters to plant surfaces is the reason....other than being able to multiply the army during brewing.... for AVCT. The amount of effort necessary to brew tea is VASTLY over-rated unless you are without electricity.

Q??????>>>>>> "I challenge the sharp divide between Leachate and Tea because I think the facts depend on some variables.
What if the liquified (pureed food) I feed the worms filters through castings present ? At one extreme would be liquid from rotting stuff that worms have not processed; at the other extreme could be liquid that washed through mostly castings with little or no unprocessed stuff,"

A...........Leachate isn't tea because of the explanation given in the previous question. It, DOES, however have a little bit of goodness about it in that it has fertilizer properties in minute quantities in that it is, or should, all be organic.
Always remember that all AVCT, and vermicompost, and vermicastings, and anything stirred with a stick that came out of a worm-bin and is organic and not contaminated with chemos is NOT a really good source of fertilizers. But it is natures' fertilizers that are unlike chemo crap that have made us all demand unnaturally ultra-green lawns and artificially gigantic tomatoes, and other stuff that would never exist if Monsanto, and Ortho and others had not gotten into our heads and altered our awareness. Just like LSD and maryjane.

Q??????>>>>>>"Without knowing the science of the desirable bacteria, I don't know what the value of aerating is. I can speculate that since it is fact that the bacteria that exist in nature in the top 3 ? inches of hypothetically healthy soil are aerobic, that aerating the liquids may have merit."

This is also addressed in the previous answer about building the vast army of do-gooder bacteria to fight the bad boys.

Q????????????>>>>>>"Today I sprayed my disease-prone roses with some undiluted, well aerated God Knows What: part stale "Tea" part leachate.
It was hot and sunny: the spray visibly coated the young leaves.. If the leaves are healthier this year than last, I'm going to give the treatment credit. (I don't use conventional treatments anymore for fear of harm to bees.)"

A............. I don't "know what" either. If it was aerated, you would have been able to deploy a larger army than liquified vermicompost can. However, when that application is applied in "hot and sunny" conditions, all hell breaks loose within the ranks of your...up to this point... coddled and pampered army and a lot of the troops will perish in the heat. That's not to say that you won't be doing some good because a depleted deployed force against evil is better than no force.

Q??????????>>>>>>"If anyone has suggestions on how to test VC on Tomatoes, I haven't found them yet. We do wander among our threads.
I could make tea with chicken manure or cow manure but we know that the chicken stuff is high nitrogren and that wouldn't address the question. Nor does comparing Tea or VC to Miracle Gro address the question. I assume (I've never used it but my neighbors do) that Miracle Gro for tomatoes would be more productive and maybe safer food.
Do you disagree ?"

A............Yes! Miracle-Gro is chemo.

Q??????????>>>>>>How would I test Tea ? Aerated or Not ? vs What ? vs mixing the castings into the growing medium ? In what ratios ?

A........... Trial, error, tweaking, and experience are proven ways to test. When you see results, repeat. Keep reading. And aerate. At this point, I could tell you to do as I do and take advantage of about 15 years of my screwing up and getting it right and eliminating the things that work less well than the things that don't. But I won't, because we play with worms, and nature, and are incredibly prone to independent thought processes and momentary lapses of reason.

Q???????>>>>>>I think many of the tomatoes will be determinates in pots, the long-term health of the garden is less an issue.
The bed that will get the Brandywine even has charcoal in it and a little human nitrogen. No science there just Overdo the whole way.

SUMMATION....... That concludes my little pinch of fact and healthy dose of facetiousness.

Chuckiebtoo

Sorry it's hard to distinguish the questions from answers, but without having the ability to use italics, or different script, or boldness, and not wanting to yell at everyone using CAPS, ........................


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RE: Art & Science

"Sorry it's hard to distinguish the questions from answers, but without having the ability to use italics, or different script, or boldness, and not wanting to yell at everyone using CAPS,.."

Amen to everything but the "caps" comment. I truly fail to understand "yell" in writing. When caps are the only option for emphasis, I think a group of people that have the intellectual ability to raise worms successfully have the intellectual ability to understand the need for emphasis in written communications.

I agree with most of what has been written so far, but I would add that for the most part, I don't care. I spent a lot of time when I was young, "saving the world". I am no longer interested in OVERTLY "saving the world". Instead, I am interested in "saving" myself. Saving myself means creating an environment around myself that is conducive to my health. That MAY, in some small way, "save the earth", but that is something I am not concerned with.

Since I am "old", I have had many, MANY, opportunities in my life to 'challenge' my body. Having done so without catastrophic results, I realize that too much of what we qvetch about is truly nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. I would strongly encourage anyone "worried" about the world around them to read Michael Creighton's, "State of Fear". He eloquently illustrates how we, "The Masses", are kept in a constant state of fear by The Press, Politicians, and Lawyers. Each because it serves their purposes - money - to have us 'pin-balling' from one fear to another.

Growing things give me pleasure. It's tough to grow things in the sub-arctic without SERIOUS effort. I don't like to 'spit into the wind' any more. Worms can be grown in Alaska without having to spit into the wind. The products of growing worms - worms, vermicompost, and possibly some liquid product, WHATEVER it is - are "good" FOR ME. I don't need 'proof' that the product of raising worms is "better" than something else. I used to spend my life constantly comparing every aspect of my life in search of "the best" so that I could either "save the world" or "save myself". Nowadays, I don't. Instead, I try to do what "makes sense" TO and FOR me, and not worry much beyond that. Growing worms 'makes sense' regardless of whether it is "better" than some industrially-produced product or system. If I can't produce enough VC and worms to satisfy my plant-growing efforts, I WILL use Miracle-Grow. I am not afraid of it, and I don't "Hate" it (as some do), even though it is not "the best" fertilizer in the world according to some people's definition of "best".

Paul


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RE: Art & Science

“Sometimes I sits and thinks while looking at my vermicompost bin, and sometimes I just sits and look at my compost bin without thinking...” apologies to ― A.A. Milne

Boy that was a large number of questions. I am clapping at the responses.

“All the World's Problems Can Be Solved in a Garden” Geoff Lawton

When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden." Minnie Aumonier

"Worms make things better." equinoxequinox


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Art & Science & Religion

Thanks folks.
Further thought since that post, add Religion:
Faith without facts being "religion".
With some respect to all three.

I do do as CB2 says: repeat good practices;
and try others' experiences.

I want to experiment with tomatoes only because I want tasty tomatoes. They are a lot of work and more expensive than store bought . . . so they have to be good. We've had cold/cool temperatures and rain this week. I hope I can keep the starts happy until May.


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RE: Art & Science

"They are a lot of work and more expensive than store bought . . ."

In Alaska you can say AMEN! to that. Nonetheless, thousands of gardeners spit into the 'tomato wind' in Alaska. Some go to incredible ends to get some good-tasting tomatoes. If one questions the sanity - or even practicality - of that endeavor, one should be prepared for a fire-storm of rage in response."Me thinks he doth protest too much."

Hmm... I should be able to make a small fortune 'selling' the magic of vermicompost for growing tomatoes to the "dedicated" tomato slaves in Alaska.

I should offer a disclaimer: I broke my sword trying to grow tomatoes - using reasonable effort - up here. So my opinion should be considered in that context.

We have LOTS of summer light, but we simply do NOT have enough degree-days. Period. Most of the effort spent up here on tomatoes is directed to increasing the degree-days.

As one might imagine, cold weather root crops like carrots, potatoes, etc., do very well, as do most cruciferous vegetables like cabbage. I will concentrate on those. (Actually, I prefer perennial herbs and fruit-producing shrubs.) Gardening is supposed to be fun. Trying to grow tomatoes in Alaska takes ALL of the fun out of it, FOR ME.

However, exploiting the insanity of those that insist on growing tomatoes in Alaska by extolling the magical elixir of VC and "tea", could change my whole attitude toward growing tomatoes in Alaska. BWAHAHAHA!

Paul


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RE: Art & Science

My limited experience with potted tomatoes is:

They respond well to tea, both as foliar feed before fruit set and as a soil drench, as often as you wish.

I quit using castings in my potted soil mixes. I have tried 5%-20%, but casts seems to plug things up. They slow/stop the soil drainage and air movement. I do still top-dress with castings.

Castings are great in a starter mix, as tea, topdressing, and in the garden in general. But my experience is not to add to potted plant mixes.

Good luck Barbara


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RE: Art & Science

"I quit using castings in my potted soil mixes."

Interesting! The person that gave the vermicomposting seminar that I attended said that was one of her primary uses. THE primary use she had was in her starter flats, AND when she "potted out" the seedlings, she mixed two parts VC with one part "Pro Mix".

It would seem to me that top-dressing and drenching with tea would be the methods that most closely simulate what happens "naturally". Meaning: "The worms go in, the worms go out" producing the "top" dressing, and when it rains, the rainwater "makes" tea by percolating through the worm castings.

I haven't figured out how to get the "natural" process to foliar feeding. I'm workin' on it though. Maybe it's the splash from heavy rainfall. :)

Paul


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Science

BioCycle Magazine

"There is an urgent need to standardize compost and vermicompost tea production methods and application rates as far as possible to increase their effectiveness, avoid adverse effects and decrease human and environmental potential hazards. Until recently, a research at Ohio State University has addressed primarily the effects of solid vermicomposts on plant germination and growth and the suppression of plant diseases. During the last year, the researchers have extended their research into similar studies of the effects of aqueous vermicompost extracts or teas on plant growth and plant diseases. Preliminary research has demonstrated clearly that teas produced with aeration are much more stable and effective than those produced without aeration. Recent research in their laboratory has demonstrated clearly that solid vermicomposts also can suppress a range of plant diseases such as Pythium on radishes and Rhizoctonia on cucumbers in the greenhouse."

I'm thinking 1 cu ft pots half Cedar Grove Booster Blend mixed with half Cedar Grove potting soil top dressed with vermicompost, maybe a cupful.
I'll have the work of the worms from the Worm Inn to use: some for tea,
some as dressing. Compost status post brewing back to Inn with horse manure. Equal parts ?

I started with half a pound of worms a year ago.
A lot of worms came with the last batch of horse manure.
So far theyhave been segregated. I'll fill 13 of these pots.
Not sure yet what variations to compare.
Possibly:
1. BB&PS only;
2. BB & PS + 1 c VC dressing ( including worms & cocoons ?)
3. BB,PS, & foliar feed weekly with ACT;
4. BB,PS & foliar feed weekly with fish emulsion fertilizer.

Tentative tea recipe:

5 gal rainwater
2 # VC
1 T molasses
1T fish fertilizer
aerate 24 hours.


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microbe organics

The guy with the microscope has my attention.
This is a .com but he is not advertising himself here.
I'm reporting what, for me , is Discovery.

I won't use a cup of kelp meal again !

Here is a link that might be useful: Tea seen with a microscope


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RE: Art & Science

I have wondered about trying to make my teas more "perfect" but the people who do that never are satisfied.

My tea works for me great, and I am satisfied.

CarlosDanger


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RE: Art & Science

What's dangerous about Carlos ?

Is your tea recipe on the forum?
How do you use it and what does it do for you ?

I "get it" (understand) that there isn't perfection:
I'm working on a recipe that will specifically work to prevent powdery mildew and black spot on roses.

Theory so far is that the tea has to be there and covering leaves entirely before the unwanted spores arrive.
The leaves "exude" spore food ; ) and (according to Ingham) it has to be gone before the spores arrive.


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RE: Art & Science

The recipe is all over the net. It's the KISS one that's been around since forever.

Bunch of VC aerated in de-chlorinated water for 24 hours with a food source (unsulfured molasses) to support the expanding biology being produced.

Measuring the VC is not something that I worry much about but with 5 gallons of water, I put in about a cup of VC and a splash of molasses a couple of hours after the brewing process starts.

I basically use the same recipe Chuckb has mentioned.

Most important, I believe, is proper application of it.

I know this though...it changed my yard and plants and garden from awful to great over the years.

CarlosDanger

OH yeah, my tea takes care of black spot on roses, too. And as far as when to apply it: when temps are moderate, the plant surfaces are damp (like early morning dew).

And it does not need to be applied at any particular time of biological activity on the surfaces of the plants. The good stuff you are introducing to those plants and soils will thrive there and multiply.

This post was edited by CarlosDanger on Fri, Sep 19, 14 at 15:58


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RE: Art & Science

You spray the roses ? Do you also "drench" the soil ?
What kind of sprayer ? How often ?
Thanks for your contributions !


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RE: Art & Science

I spray with a hose-end sprayer with an in-line filter on it. I spray everything in the yard as high as possible in trees, the grass, gardens, potted plants.

The dregs left are mixed with more de-chlorinated water and used as soil drench.

Only a few years ago did I begin drinking an 8 ounce glass of the tea just to see what would happen. About a year later I was able to throw my eyeglasses away and my hearing improved. Haven't had a cold in about 3 years either but that might just be coincidental.

CD


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RE: Art & Science

Most of what I've read about controlling pests in the garden recommends spraying them off of the plant before trying anything drastic. From this, I suspect that spraying tea is mostly beneficial because of the spraying part, and somewhat beneficial because of the extra watering part. A frequently repeated error, when accurate notes and comprehensive measurements are not taken, may be the opinion of the gardener who 'just did something beneficial' and so observes the garden through this altered mood. The weather variations from day to day, year to year should have a stronger effect on a plant than millions of dead 'armies' on them, regardless of the goodness or badness of those 'armies'. The UV component of sunlight will kill most everything in that water in seconds. What doesn't die from being eaten by the creatures in the water or the sunlight, will likely die of drying before it can activate a dormancy mode.

Putting sugar and nitrogen in the tea may do some tricks, such as making volatile alcohols and acids that change growing conditions for pathogens, or crowding out pathogens that splashed up from rainfall if sprayed before dawn (though the tea would arguably be good on the soil to crowd them at their source). I'm not sold on throwing a bunch of semi-random objects into a frothing kettle and assuming that I'm invoking the unspoken powers of nature into some magic potion that will grant my wishes unto my plants. I'm not saying that the stuff in the water is absolutely inert, but I am saying that if it does anything, that thing can be isolated and measured but hasn't after a long wait. Heck, some places sell inert dusts for plants that do do things, but those things are specific and have been measured for efficacy and documented.

Practically nobody tests and measures the traits of their AVCT beyond the 'sniff' test to see if it's aerobic/anaerobic. This is problematic because of the sensitivity of the human nose and the way it's wired in our brains. Humans don't have sensitive noses, and we mostly use our noses to detect danger. The smell of sulfur is a smell of danger to a human, just ask your gas company/ propane dealer. The smell of sulfur is what we detect in one type of anaerobic condition, but from a human level, the only thing it's telling us is "Stagnant water! Do not drink!". This has zero bearing on the liquid's suitability for use in the garden. If you have come so far as to understand "poop is good for gardens but bad for me", then this should be of no shock.

I have an aquaponic system in my greenhouse, and it's somewhat similar to growing plants in 'tea', only I'm trying to keep an edible crop of fish alive in that same water. As far as actual measurements and observations, I found that the water from my fish tank does not automatically make good fertilizer in its aerated condition, and I have a hypothesis for why. Granted, I don't spray the fish water on leaves, but if you read this far, the rest may be of interest.

Taking nitrogen (ammonia, nitrate and nitrite) readings on my fish water, I find that when the nitrogen gets pretty high for my fish, my plants grow but don't don't produce well. In my floating raft beds (roots dangling in aerated water) the fruit is small and bland if the plants even fruit. In the same system, my flood and drain beds ( with clay ball soilless media), I get tomatoes that are good but the plant is too bushy from the nitrogen, and the fruit is not as good as a high quality soil control (clones of the same plant in my friend's garden). In either case, high temperatures in the greenhouse seem to give vastly superior fruit, and this is probably because the plants take in water as a whole and sort it out internally. If they don't transpire from the heat, they can't concentrate enough nutrient to make good fruit.

Using the aquarium test kit on my worm bin rinsate (similar to what leachate would be if the bin was regularly rained on, like in nature) I found that the rinsate is very high in nitrogen. But a study I read about using concentrated leachate as fertilizer claimed that it is too weak in NPK, and needs added NPK to be effective in farming. Adding water and air will not fix that, and - as I will explain shortly - will promote volitization of the nitrogen.

Skipping some other observations and research, what I've come to realize is that nitrogen is easy to build up in the fish water, causes lots of green growth and bad fruit, and aeration can exacerbate the imbalance of nitrogen to less volatile constituents of good fertilizer. The mechanism of nitrogen balance is organism type, and my control of these types is largely limited to aeration.

The aeration will tend to favor denitrifying bacteria, which convert the types of nitrogen toward a final product called nitrate. Lack of aeration will result in nitrifying bacteria robbing the nitrate of oxygen to form nitrite, which is bad for fish, and nitrogen gas (which is over 70% of our atmosphere and quite harmless). Nitrite is harmful to fish, causing a similar effect to carbon monoxide in humans, but the denitrifying bacteria can turn it back into nitrate when air is pumped through the water.

I suspect that the plants in the clay ball media perform better because there are both aerobic and anaerobic zones, like a worm bin, allowing non-nitrogen plant inputs to concentrate to useful levels. Since there is a greater concentration of non-nitrogen nutrients in this media, more and better fruit is the result.

The nitrification/denitrification cycle is well documented in aquarium and water (sewage) treatment topics.

Other observations of note are that rain water does not seem to have the pH buffering capacity of tap water (less carbonate hardness), and so rain water in denitrifying conditions may cause a large drop in pH, while nitrifying conditions tend to raise pH. In AVCT, this means that people who use rain water will likely end up with a lower pH in their final product than people who use tap water. The difference, I suspect, should be significant. The effects of aeration zones and their associated bacterias should also have a noted effect on whether you choose bagged or bagless brewing. My point there is that these simple variances from one gardener to the next can make a profound impact on their results, and need to be documented along with what works and doesn't work, so that others can repeat the experiments and compare their results more faithfully to the prior example.

I tend to have a lot of 'water flow obstruction' problems when I top up my aquaponics system between rains. When the rain tops up my system, the flow problems usually resolve. I attribute this to the denitrification (due to excess aeration) producing acid, which subsequently precipitates carbonates out of my water. Precipitated carbonates seem to make everything from 'fluff' that settles in slow moving tubes, to crust which hardens on heater elements and constricts pipes with hard cake. The 'fluff' in an AVCT trial can reasonably go unnoticed, but I do have a bucket with a good carbonate crust on it from when I used to aerate my rinsate.

To bring this back around to vermicomposting, I'll let you know that I have seeded all parts of my aquaponics system with worms from my bin. The worms are assumed to be EF worms, as that's what the seller told me they were, and they are thriving throughout the system.

Here is a picture of muck from my anaerobic settling tank. The red/pink color is countless worms, but they are only individually visible with a 60x lens. My assumption is that they remain small because the surface area to body mass ratio allows them to pull enough oxygen to survive in this very low oxygen environment. Hanging their tails out into the water is an identical behavior to when I put the large worms from my bin into the fish tank (before fish). I suspect that they do this to expose their skin to passing water, so they can increase their oxygen exchange rate. I also suspect this habit to be a limiting factor for why we don't find EF worms in lakes that contain fish, otherwise, the worms are thriving throughout my system, even under water and in anaerobic environments. In some ways, my system is aqua/vermi-ponic. Zoom in on the picture. There's a lot of worms there!:

Here is a sample of these worms fattening up to the point where they are visible on cantaloupe. Fruit flies and seeds for size reference.:


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RE: Art & Science

Damn, Buckstarchaser, all that supposition makes a lot of........non-sense.

Let it go a little bit.

The spraying part ain't got nothing to do with it.

Why do people just reach for some sort of reasons to deny what some of us just keep on swearing by? AVCT works. It works. Doubters will never believe until they see it point-blank.

And without having a modicum of faith in the reliability of what we relate about it, doubters will never have a chance to become non-doubters.

I hate to be skeptical, but......

CD


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RE: Art & Science

Quote: "Wouldn't it be sweet if we could sieve our experiences here and harvest some facts ? "

Quote: "Only a few years ago did I begin drinking an 8 ounce glass of the tea just to see what would happen. About a year later I was able to throw my eyeglasses away and my hearing improved. Haven't had a cold in about 3 years either but that might just be coincidental."

Quote: "And without having a modicum of faith in the reliability of what we relate about it, doubters will never have a chance to become non-doubters. "

Please don't interpret my post as a personal attack. I have no quarrel with you. This is a thread with the theme of harvesting facts by sieving personal experiences. By sieving experiences for facts, we can only end up with facts and suppositions that can be tested for factuality as the sieve removes what can not be proven, such as testimonials. If this were a thread on faith, my post would may have been structured differently, substituting testimonials and such for my wordy suppositions, test results, and research findings. As it turns out, most of the internet is composed of interest piece authors, salespeople, and others who have faithfully subscribed to them for their knowledge instead of doing research, performing experiments, and testing the results against what they've read. Having had so much of that already, a thread based on facts is a welcome respite.

Quote (Wikipedia) "A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments."

The suppositions in my post are meant to demonstrate that to gain factual knowledge of the widely accepted - but not scientifically supported - benefits of VCT, we have to standardize tests, perform those tests, and compare notes. Sadly, there is little scientifically repeated and confirmed reference works available to test our suppositions against. My colorful statement about magic potions was to point out that specific results require specific criteria, and once found, those criteria advance us all, but only if shared.

I gave an example of inert dust (specifically, a product named Surround®) being a valid product/procedure to demonstrate that it is possible to do this with a substance inside the spectrum that VCT covers. VCT is claimed to form a protective barrier against pests. Surround® is claimed and tested to form a protective barrier against specific pests. I'm not saying that I have tested either of them on foliage, but one has more tested and repeatable facts to back it up. I have dunked new plants in Underwater-AVCT to remove soil in preparation for planting and for rooting clones with some success, but that would be a testimonial.

If you have discovered a cure for vision and auditory ailments, this warrants further investigation. I, however, am not going to volunteer for that, as age has worn out the elasticity of my faith. Sometimes 'not trying everything you heard on the internet' is beneficial too.

If your plants are doing spectacularly due to your spraying, yet "the [kinetic and water application effects of the] spraying part ain't got nothing to do with it." I think it's important to list all other treatments you provide your plants, soil conditions, rainfall, etc. so we can all benefit from your complete gardening regimen. If you simply apply the tea and dregs and this gives you the effects, then I shall own a sprayer tomorrow, provided you describe your soil and climate, post pics, etc.. I already apply what I call 'rinsate' from my worm bin and water from my fish tank to the soil with some effect, but nothing that impresses me so that I would be compelled to spray or drink it. My dog drinks it though, but she drank it when it was anaerobic too. Both types showed no obvious effect besides quenching her thirst.

Again, I don't want to devolve this thread into yet another testimonials thread, on a testimonials forum, on an internet funded largely by commerce. The internet was invented for sharing knowledge among those seeking it, and it's refreshing to participate in that.


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RE: Art & Science

I have no bone to pick with you personally buckstarchaser. My impatience....after only about 15 years of fighting the good fight....is the reluctance of so many people to just give the art/science an opportunity to prove itself by results.

AVCT is one aspect of worming that enables disbursement of the qualities of VC to plant surfaces after the process of growing the beneficial bacteria exponentially.

Thing about AVCT, just like VC, is the absolute fact that it is natural and takes time. My plants, and lawn, and soils didn't get healthy overnight. It is a slow, continual process. Chemicals have made people expect overnight, instant results. That does not happen with VC and AVCT.

But when I started this long ago I had pitiful plants, and grass because my soil (clay) was incapable of sustaining non-weed life.

That's not the case now.

And I don't use microscopes to try to figure out why. That's the faith part.

As far as drinking the tea, that was an obviously poor attempt at humor to inject a little light-heartedness into a years-long hotly contested subject.

CD


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RE: Art & Science

I "Googled" hose end sprayer with inline filter to get a picture of what you describe. The images mostly have brand names & this site is rejecting them promptly (correlation not cause ?) . . .further there is some variety in the set ups. But I think I get the idea. Is it that one can attach something to the hose that filters chlorine ? I have the Dial and Spray container, but since I don't know what is in my Tea, I don't know whether or how much to dilute it, so I've used, when I did spray, either a hand held bottle or a 1.25 gal pump type. Both tax my patience, though I think/imagine I've seen some desired result.

I'm relieved to read you were kidding about drinking the tea.
I was starting to think that was some eyeball test.

I sense some ennui in the long-time wormer/posters.
Please accept my gratitude for your perseverance and patience.

No wonder the forum is seasoned with play.

Anyone want to help me design a test for brewing tea to prevent -- predictably -- black spot & powdery mildew ?

I don't know how we'd allow for climate differences. The Pacific Northwest is heaven for shrooms and fungi of all kinds.

I have dozens of rescue roses. I'll be attempting to root cuttings from each. Some varieties have no genetic resistance, others have adequate genetic resistance.

Anyway, that's what I'm up to. I won't use the rose forum because . . . it seems to be all about "showing roses" .
I have one I'd love to show. I have it in the house so it will bloom slowly and last as long as possible. ; )


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RE: Art & Science

"Is it that one can attach something to the hose that filters chlorine ?" Yes. (Carlos is one of my very 1st converts so he won't mind if I butt in on this one.)

I also use the Dial and Spray. When spraying, dial to 8 (or the maximum opening), and use the least amount of water pressure necessary to deliver the goods.

The problem you'll probably have with a rose test is the same one all natural proponents of stuff have to overcome: lack of Patience. It will take longer to see results than you'll want to spend. I would suggest treating one rose with AVCT as long as it takes. Compare the EVENTUAL results with side by side comparisons of those tended to by Monsanto.

As for the indoor rose, you can use a little hand held mist-er like this one.

chuckiebtoo

Moderation, Diversity, Patience, Photographic Ineptness


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RE: Art & Science

Powdery mildew is something that also plagues me, and I'm inclined to search for, or develop, botanical Kung-Fu defense strategies to fight it. But if it were simple task, it would also probably be well known.

The opinion of the authors at Wikipedia, and tainted by my own opinion filter, is that the plant was originally not healthy and that it has been attacked by aphids (or possibly other pests). The pests damaged the leaf and spread the disease. Once on the plant, the fungus jams its haustoria tentacles between the plant cells and expands them. At this point, the fungus is firmly attached and the plant has to fight it with its immune system, which requires it to divert energy. A plant weakened by the infection would then be more susceptible to further attack.

From this description, it seems that powdery mildew is largely controlled by prevention. Preventing conditions that support feeding by aphids may give you a leg up, as well as spraying the plants to remove foreign invaders before they gain a foothold.

Perhaps a drop of non-antibacterial soap in your final VCT before spraying?

The site goes on to specify milk diluted to a ratio of 1:10 with water. The mechanism of action may be expended on killing your 'armies' if used in the VCT, but it's worth a test to see if it works better with or without the VCT.

Soluble silicon is also a recommendation, but I am not too sure how to make or acquire that.

Following the links on the page leads me to believe that a thick wax coat on the leaves can help defend against mildew and various other attacks, but I only know 4 ways to (possibly) thicken it.

1) Spraying plant waxing product... Which I probably won't try, and may be disastrous if it clogs the pores that allow the plant to transpire water.

2) Not depriving the plant of sunlight... because this results in weakly defended, soft growth.

3) Keeping the plant as hot, with as low humidity as it can tolerate... Because this promotes concentration of nutrients that I described in my previous post, while the low humidity is harsher for surface fungis to thrive in.

4) Restrict nitrogen... Because roses are perennial, they don't need to make a new plant every year. Excess nitrogen means lots of weak growth that divides the plant's other resources over more leaves than it needs.

Of course, some of these courses of action may not be as readily available to a person living in your climate, which leads to the default (uncreative) answer of "choose a variety that is appropriate for your area".

I counter-argue that if you forcibly control and limit water to the plant and give it a much stronger dose of your choice of well-rounded low-nitrogen fertilizer (as I described an aqueous procedure for reducing nitrogen in a previous post), you may make headway on points #3 and #4. Sunlight is sunlight though, and for #2 the workaround may be limited to pruning for maximum air and sunlight penetration. Make every leaf a productive leaf, shielded by air, and receiving an undiluted share of the plants resources. For #1, I would hope that the plant can make enough wax and other defensive barriers if #2, #3 and #4 are satisfied.


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RE: Art & Science

I'm "with" you, buckstarchaser, even though I don't necessarily agree with all of your assumptions or conclusions. You do however offer a perspective I empathize with.

I believe - fairly strongly - that your aquatic worms are NOT Eisenia fetida. I am willing to be proven wrong on that assumption, but based on your description of 1) their environment, 2) behavior, and 3) images, I think they are polychaetes of the genera Glycera, AKA "blood" worms. Had you not provided a picture, I would have been "pretty sure" they were blood worms. With the picture, I am "almost certain". Please consider a bit more investigation, including some micrographs to some Glycera experts. If "they" - through you - still insist they are E. fetida, I am perfectly willing to accept it as fact.

Keep "at it", from another "long poster",
Paul


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RE: Art & Science

"Perhaps a drop of non-antibacterial soap in your final VCT before spraying?"

Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

cb2


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RE: Art & Science

Paul:
I'm glad you took a look at the pictures and gave some leads on what else these worms can be. I'm not entirely convinced that they are bloodworms, but I don't doubt that it's possible they are not E. fetida.

If it helps, under a 60x hand lens, they are transparent except for a single red blood vessel running down the body line, and there are no visible protrusions, bristles, feet, jaws, or anything that looked different than a very small EF worm.

The fish farm where I got my tillapia sells dry fish food, from powders on up to kibble, but they don't sell live food. I don't suspect that they feed their fish bloodworms with the wholesale dry stuff on hand.

My system has had significant contact with soil and vermicompost though. Could these be some form of terrestrial worms that are not the EF's I deliberately put in there? If you look at the 'coosh balls' picture, you can see 2 ( I think ) small red creatures that look like tiny centipedes with poorly developed legs. Although those things worry me, I don't think they are the same creatures.

The can that I took that first picture in went under aeration shortly after the picture was taken. I'll check in on it tomorrow to see what's going on.

cb2: What happens if you put a drop of soap in the AVCT? Up until now, I was under the impression that it was a commonly accepted wetting agent in all sorts of garden and farm applications. I will never use it near my fish, but what about garden plants?


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RE: Art & Science

I envy you your hydroponic polyculture, buskstarchaser. I would very much like to put something on that order together. I'm going to show your "worm picture" to some "wormier" folks than I and see what suggestions they might have.

Paul


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RE: Art & Science: worm ID

Would a picture of a few of those worms in another setting, on paper, or the melon zoomed out . . . help?

I don't know what I'm seeing on the closeup with the seeds & flies.

Or: a picture of einsenia fetida from another source, beside the water worm.

I looked up bloodworms: hasty take: they get shipped in salt water ? Look bigger ?


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RE: Art & Science

I searched for the worms in the can of aerated settling tank solids, but I couldn't find any. I don't know what happened to them. There are more of the bright red annelids, but nothing compared to the quantity of pink tiny worms that went into the can.

Perhaps the environmental shock of quickly boosting the gas exchange rate with the air stone did them in?

On the melon picture, the worms are small red threads on the right hand side.

I do have a picture I snapped the day I inoculated the melon. I had to use the flash on my phonecam, which messed up the general color balance. Under a whiter light, they have a pronounced red blood vessel, and are generally smooth like compost worms. Their transparency of their bodies reveals the detritus in their gut, like a composting worm. Clicking on the picture should show it with a dark background, which may help the eye catch the colors better.:

In this picture are 2 of the worms on my finger. The ridges of my fingerprint give some scale. The front part of the larger worm is turned back as it tries to escape the light. The smaller worm probably can't fight the surface tension of the water on my hand.


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the mystery

Those don't look like Google images of bloodworms. But isn't the mystery complicated by the disappearance ?

and are there two tanks in the discussion, one an anaerobic settling tank (which is what made it News ?) and now the Tuesday post is an aerated settling tank ?


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RE: Art & Science

buckstarchaser: Looking at your photo I immediately thought tubifex worms. Because they are. Great photo skills.

chuckiebtoo: Looking at your photo I immediately thought thanks for showing us your special tool. Because it is. Great photo skills.

buckstarchaser: "Perhaps a drop of non-antibacterial soap in your final VCT before spraying?" Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: Art & Science

I want BSC (Buckstarchaser) to get credit for combining what he has learned so far. Note: he specified not anti bacterial soap.

Ingham would say , and I think CB2 supports this, coat the leaves with the worm-made benefactors to prevent the airborne fungi from settling on.

Someone, I haven't found which thread, recommended treating one rose. I have to say (write) DUH ! Why didn't I think of that ? I'll do something the easy way for once. I'll treat a pet rose that is very vulnerable to mildew, suffering and budding now, to the latest batch of tea which has just reached the 36 hour mark. Its foam is soapy-- little white bubbles, not the clear hard boil of some batches. But then the horse manure tea which has been aerating all summer has the same foam with no molasses.

This batch is Pete's recipe: quart of screened VC that has been drying out for a couple months, 1/2 cup of grandma's, ( 4+ gal in 5 gal bucket 2 small airstones)
and , after the cocoons and the floating shavings were lifted out
(cup & sieve) adding 2 cups of biochar.

When It has been filtered, I'll have thoroughly soaked and semi charged charcoal.

Without a microscope I can't tell what's in either brew.

And this will be a tough test because the mildew is already there.

And I'm thinking if I want to keep aerating it, it seems like EQ2's wee beasties should get summore sugar.


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RE: Art & Science

"Note: he specified not anti bacterial soap." Thanks, noted. Change that to no.

"I want BSC (Buckstarchaser) to get credit for combining what he has learned so far." Yup, some interesting stuff going on there. When worms live in a fish tank they are usually in the gravel.

I have heard in the past that boiling the water, with air bubbles is rough on the beasties. Very active yes, rip them apart no. I have heard in the past, on this site I believe that molasses encourages the e. coli. A quick Google search shows some sites no longer promote it. I do not have an opinion. I would probably do some each way. Just wanted posters to know about the various opinions on it.


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RE: Art & Science

IMHO, 36 hours of brewing is way too long.....about 2 days too.

I'm working on new posts about AVCT.

cb2


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RE: Art & Science

Waiting with baited breath.


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