University of Vermont

Q(U)VM

(Compost) Tea Time Talk Oct. 15

Talk will address nutrient management for sustainable agriculture in tropical climates

Compost Tea

Compost “tea” extracts have long been used by farmers to deliver nutrients that support crop growth, but little research has assessed the potential for this technology to increase farm viability by reducing reliance on conventional chemical inputs.

Guest speaker Ted Radovich is changing that with his research on compost tea, especially regarding tea quality and which methods are best suited for which types of crops. Radovich will discuss his research at his upcoming talk “Tea Time in the Tropics: Compost tea production, plant health, & farmer viability.” The talk will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. in Aiken 102 at UVM.

Radovich’s research uses ecological principles to directly address two of the biggest challenges our food and agriculture system face right now: climate change and energy. Compost tea is not widely used as a pest management practice, but his research shows the importance of understanding the interaction between compost type, crop and environmental factors as they relate to plant yield, quality and pest damage.

Shoshanah Inwood, assistant professor in Community Development and Applied Economics, explains her motivation for organizing the talk: “Compost tea can be a cost effective and ecological tool farmers can use to both increase the quality of their crops and also save money on purchased fertilizer. Ted’s research and outreach approach address both larger agroecology questions and real farmer needs.”

Although Radovich’s research has focused on his regional tropical context of Hawaii, this talk will be of interest to Vermonters as Act 148 mandates the diversion of organic materials from the waste stream in the coming years.

Radovich is an associate specialist at the University of Hawaii Sustainable and Organic Farming Systems Laboratory. He is the author of Tea Time in the Tropics, a handbook for compost tea production and use.

Attend the talk

Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 4 p.m.
Aiken 102, UVM Campus