Brewing a solution
CITRUS farmers have heard how they can increase soil nutrition and protect crops through biological practices at the Better Soils Workshop at Gayndah.
The Burnett Mary Regional Group and Growcom workshop lastweek demonstrated how alternative farming methods of composting and specially brewed tea is getting farmers away from chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
Organiser Robert Doyle said farmers were reliant on big companies for pesticides and fertilisers and “the cost of those keeps going up and up”.
He said farmers using their own compost and tea were creating their own destiny. And that is giving growers independence.
The tea is made from a mother pile of compost.
A sample is placed in a teabag, which then goes into a tank of water.
The water is washed through the teabag and increases the microbes in the tank.
Mr Doyle said brewing took about 17 hours, afterwhich “the microbes multiply 100 fold or even 1000 fold”.
Tea is then sprayed on the leaves of crops to protect the plant from disease.
“Using compost on the ground and tea on the foliage is making a stronger plant that won’t be as susceptible to dis- ease and to pests,” he said.
Typically 1000 litres of tea mixed with 8000 litres of water will cover four hectares of crops, depending on crop age and other variables.
Mr Doyle said the tea was “another way of farming, getting away from pesticides and salty fertilisers”.
The next workshop will be held at Gympie on Wednesday, December 5.
■ For more information, visit growcom.com.au.
BUILDING BETTER SOILS: (From left) Ann Ayntun, Mike Harrison, Jesse Dolding, Robert Doyle, Richie Walters, Russell Baker, Anita Bryant and Mark Trott standing next to Mr Walters’ tea brewer.