Brewing Compost Tea from Worm Castings

Many feel squeamish on the idea of vermicomposting, but my counterpart, Seymour, is not one of those people. Seymour  is interested in learning anything and everything about agriculture, so of course he wanted to play with worms and help the school farm reap the benefits of vermicomposting. IMG_5627

Compost tea is called liquid gold---a concentrate of beneficial microbes to water onto your plants as an organic fertilizer. Now, there are a million and one recipes for creating the perfect compost tea, but  I am giving a simple recipe which only involves molasses, compost, and water. Molasses feeds both fungi and bacteria, and it is a by-product of the sugarcane industry in Jamaica, so it is easy to find and not pricey. The air pumps are essential to making a good brew of compost tea because the microbes we are trying to encourage require oxygen to survive.

My basic recipe uses:

  • about 2-3 lb vermicompost (just take an old stocking or some other small to medium meshy bag and fill it up and tie it closed)
  • air pump w/ aeration tubes (I use two aquarium pumps to maximize the level of aeriation)
  • 3 tablespoons or two of molasses
  • dechlorinated water (my water is from a spring so I don't have to worry about this)
  • 5 gallon bucket

First I fill up a bucket of water from my spring. If you have treated tapwater, look up how to dechlorinate your water before you continue.

Next, I add in the molasses into the bucket of water and give it a good stir.

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Add the bag of compost into the water, and now set up the air pumps!

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I let my compost tea go for 24 hours, though others may let it go for more or less. After the tea is done brewing, it is best to get it on the plants as soon as possible. After you use up your tea, take the time to sanitize all of the equipment so when you want to make more compost tea you are ready to go!

Have you ever used compost tea?