the living solution is an ongoing research project managed by the back2earth team. The goal: to determine and prove the effectiveness of compost tea through many timed trials and different types of compost.

 

In the preliminary stage of our research towards finding the best compost tea, we set out to determine the brewing time that would accelerate the germination process. This would, in turn, allow us to use that specific brewing time to move on to the second stage of the experiment, which is to test numerous dilutions of the compost tea and which dilution would benefit the plant the most. In the first part of the experiment, we set up four buckets in which three tubes connected back to an air pump. Each bucket brewed 1.5 cups of compost in 4 gallons of water, yet they varied in time. One bucket brewed the compost for 24 hours, another 12 hours, 4 hours, and 1 hour. Furthermore, each bucket was started in order to finish at the same time, so they could be applied at the same time. Each compost tea held a standard dilution of 50% water and 50% compost tea. We also kept a bucket of dechlorinated water as a control group to compare the growths. We had three saucers for each sub-group, each with 8 bean seeds on a bed of neutral cotton discs.

 

 

Two days after the first application, the first group to germinate was the 4-hour brewed group. Later in the same day, the 12-hour group had several germinated seeds as well. The control group took much longer as we predicted, and only one seed out of 24 has germinated after the first week. In addition, the next day, one of the seeds sprayed with 4-hour compost tea that had previously germinated had boomed suddenly into a long stem. We will be conducting more trials to ensure that our results are accurate. Much of the existing research claims 24 hour brew time to be the most effective yet our data clashes with those findings. Thus, we will test the times again to reveal the best brewing time for compost tea. Stay tuned for the results of the second trial!

 

Emma and Mila, setting up the trays containing the beans

An aerial view of the test bench