Summary Permanent Publications says, "Permaculture orchardist Eric Fisher provides an in depth history of organic agriculture and the rise in chemical inputs. He then goes on to explore the importance of nutrients, their cycles and the structure of soil. This enables the reader to truly understand their soil and own ecosystem, so they can manage it properly. Once we understand how soil and nutrients work, it is easier to diagnose problems and find a natural remedy."
About the Author Permanent Publications says "Eric Fisher Msc Bsc (Hons) was born in North Yorkshire, has a degree in Environmental Science from Plymouth University and a masters in Technology from Cranfield University. He owns a small permaculture orchard."
From the video transcript:
“So, today we are going to use compost that we made. We keep a big mountain a compost all year round, so we always have access to it. Okay, so the parts that you need is you need a five gallon bucket this is filled about four gallons of water. Usually the water at your house is chlorinated and the chlorine will kill your microbes. So, what you want to do is to bubble your water for about two hours to get the chlorine to evaporate [it] out... We are going to get our compost ready. It takes four cups of compost for four or five gallons of water.”
How to Make Compost and Worm Tea + Soil Food Web Recipe
From the video transcript:
“Hey, my fellow all-natural growers! Today's episode is gonna be all about making compost and worm teas- aerated teas specifically. I'm going to be talking all about the soil biology, the different ingredients that I use and other people use and the effects that has on the tea and has on your plants. We're gonna take a deep dive into how these teas work and how to make them, and I hope that I'm able to give you guys a good understanding of what's going on inside of these teas and why they're so beneficial. Using these teas is a way to dramatically increase a health of your plants, the nutrition content, the root structure, basically everything involved in the plant’s process[es].”
Elaine Ingham Soil Food Web Compost and Compost Tea
From the video description:
“Elaine Ingham composting method, Living Soil Lab, Sustainable Living Department, Maharishi University of Management.”
It does great job of accomplishing its mission to "bridge the gap" from "conventional agri-chemical style solution based practices... to the possibilities offered by compost teas." I think that Compost Teas is a great introductory manual, for the organic and beyond organic grower, to the creation and use of compost teas. This book gives a rock-solid foundation in environmental science, soil biology, and plant life in the beginning chapters, which creates the basis for the rest of the chapters. I believe Compost Teas provides organic and better recipes of compost teas that can be used as natural and cheaper alternative to industrial fertilizers and pesticides. This book is an exceptionally useful start for the beginning gardener or farmer that is trying to become more aligned with nature.
I found the organization of the contents of the book was logical and well done. It starts off with an overview of the history and science behind the organic and beyond organic movements, and it provides a guide on what to expect in the following chapters. There is a strong distinction on what is strictly supported by research papers and what is supported by anecdotal evidence, good observation, or beliefs. This makes it easier for the reader to decide how much of the information in a given chapter or section they wish to trust and apply for themselves. The next few chapters go into explaining the known nutrients that plants need to survive, the environmental cycles of the major nutrients, soil life, and the life interactions above-ground. There are plenty tables, charts, diagrams, and pictures throughout the book that help to more clearly convey the information being presented and make the book useful, later on, as a reference manual.The later chapters go into the practical do-it-yourself stuff of making compost teas to replace fertilizers and pesticides. It then goes on to explain how to make compost, aerated compost tea, and finally alternative practices with compost teas. I found the chapter on alternative practices to be rather interesting, even though I may be a little skeptical about them. I prefer the more ecology-based approaches in permaculture and agroecology. And lastly, there are two wonderful appendices- a glossary that defines a lot of terms that may be unfamiliar to the newly organic grower and another on Steiner's preparations.
I think the references section in the back makes it pretty clear just how much research and literature has been dug through to make sure that the information presented in the book is supported by modern scientific knowledge. Although I understand the frustration that the author seems to have with the reductionist attitudes and thinking of modern science, and the hassling encountered by the publisher, I find this level of dedication and cooperation to work with what knowledge is available and more easily accepted by the general public to be a great stepping stone towards getting the reader to think for themselves and make informed decisions based on their own observations.
I found that the no-nonsense technical writing style used in Compost Teas was effective in convincing a novice conventional gardener or farmer to move onto organic or better practices. Even though this style of writing did not, at least for me, make this book pleasurable to read, I think that it does hone into people at Level 0 or Level 1 of The Wheaton Eco Scale how much more can be done to grow better and healthier food.
Overall, Compost Teas is a good introductory book to organic growing and compost teas.