Brew­ing a so­lu­tion

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE - ❏ Bran­don Livesay

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.

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

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.

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