Worm tea may have had its origin in a series of eight agricultural lectures given in 1924 by the spiritual scientist, Rudolf Steiner. These teachings are available in his book “Agricultural Course: The Birth of the Biodynamic Method.” To my way of thinking, Steiner thoroughly understood the link between the spiritual and physical realms. He was undoubtedly a genius. Others will tell you he was a crackpot. I rest my case on the fact that many farmers have demonstrated the effectiveness of Steiner’s methods.
My method of making worm tea is quite simple compared to the biodynamic method of making Preparation 500 from cow manure. Considering the small amount of composted manure used in the mixture as compared to the large volume of water used, the Steiner Preparation should probably be thought of as homeopathic. An excellent introduction to Preparation 500 can be seen in words and pictures here. There are 9 Preparations in Steiner’s collection. Here is a description of all 9 of them.
You can use the method shown in my video for making manure tea as well as for making compost tea.
Worm castings, composted vegetable matter, composted manure, all teem with microorganisms that are of great benefit to plants.
In my worm tea, I believe the microorganisms are fed by the molasses, and possibly by the lemon juice. The fish emulsion is an excellent fertilizer in its own right. It may feed the plants independently, or it may feed the microorganisms, or both.
As everyone knows, oxygen is essential to life, which accounts for bubbling air through the water. Aerobic bacteria are the ones we want in a compost heap and we don’t want the anaerobic ones. That’s why we turn the compost to expose more of the ingredients to oxygen. The result of anaerobic bacteria’s work stinks. Literally.
I look forward to working more with worm castings and have a project or two in mind for the future. Stay tuned!