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Re: Regulation of compost teas (was: NOSB loses its head)
Dale Wilson wrote:
Jeff and Lawrence,
Under the new USDA guidelines for compost practices, fully in effect
by Oct 21, 2002, compost teas are no longer allowed or recognized as
organic for foodstuffs production.
What a travesty of justice and perversion of
Until the public recognizes the need to preserve the best farmland
in the regions local to where they live and work in order to ensure that
>>>farmers have prime soil in which they can grow fresh, nutritious,
healthy and clean food...
Am I missing something here? Isn't this about technical aspects of
making compost tea?
I was trying to illustrate the situation many small farmers seeking to sell locally
have been facing, increasingly over the years as farmland gets replaced by crackerbox
housing developments and impersonal shopping malls. The NOP compost regulations are
one of many reasons small growers will not seek organic certification and thus be deprived
of their fair share of the marketplace, one they have earned over many decades.
It looks like a vertically integrated effort to drive them out of business,
with the help of the NOP, and remove all traces of what was once a thriving American industry
from the countryside.
Look at the corrrosive effects drugs have had on rural life and rural economies -
Consider the degenerate culture that has followed this intrusion into the lives of people
who were and in some cases still are the backbone of this country. Wall St., corporate management
and dividends are not the whole picture. Look at all the costs involved.
Mexican workers on corporate farms instead of families running their own operations
with outside help from neighboring farms.
Here is the core of what I read from the Task Force recommendations
that Jeff posted:
"Recommendation: Compost teas if used in contact with crops less than
120 days before harvest must be made from high quality compost
described above and not prepared with addition of supplemental
nutrients such as sugars, molasses or other readily available
(soluble) carbon sources."
Based on what the research found, the recommendation doesn't sound
unreasonable. I don't think they were *prohibiting* "compost teas",
but trying to make their use safer. Don't you think it is possible
(given the variability of compost) that an inexperienced operator could
brew up highly pathogenic stuff by making what amounts to a nutrient
broth and inoculating it with low quality compost?
Interesting you would intimate that some certified organic farmers might perform
their duties in such a sloppy and irresponsible way and that those farms might
even think of allowing "an inexperienced operator" to have access to such critical
My original point stands, if there's no ecoli (the bad strain) in the compost
then there will be none in the enriched tea, no matter what nutrients are added
to it during the brewing.
Don't you think any farmer going to the trouble to get organic certification would be
acutely aware of the potential for generating harmful pathogens in compost and compost tea
to be used on their crops to be sold to their customers? The safety of their products
would be the one thing they would be the most concerned with. I think that by the time
they see it as economically feasable to seek organic certification that their skill
levels and business acumen would have developed to a high state.