Mother Earth Blended Organic Super Tea Grow - Technical Description
A) What is Mother Earth Super Tea?
Mother Earth Super Tea is a Grow or Bloom fertilizer and biostimulant made from natural materials. Mother Earth Super Tea can be used as a stand-alone fertilizer for vegetative and blooming cycles, or as a supplement that offers a potent combination of naturally derived biostimulants.
Made from some of the most potent natural sources of fertilizer found on Earth, Mother Earth Super Tea offers the modern gardener a concentrated source of primary and secondary mineral nutrients, micronutrients, metabolic precursors, vitamins and growth promoters.
Advanced Nutrients formulated Mother Earth Super Tea to include numerous biostimulants for plant growth, all derived from plant extracts. As we describe below, these include, tricontonol, betaines, auxins and cytokinins.
B) The Benefits of Using Mother Earth Tea:
Mother Earth Super Tea will enhance the aroma, and bouquet of your fruits and flowers by providing them with a full spectrum of naturally made fertilizers and biostimulants.
Gardeners that use Mother Earth Super Tea will see growth rates of their vegetative and blooming plants become enhanced by the naturally sourced nutrients and biostimulants contained therein.
When planning to formulate Mother Earth Tea, Advanced Nutrients scientists decided to imitate the lessons offered in nature regarding nutrient cycling and nutrient concentrating throughout the biosphere.
The living biosphere of Earth has for eons been recycling raw nutrients and accumulating “living” nutrients in the vast ecologies of the planet. Each rung of life in a food chain, each organism from the original producer species such as photosynthetic algae to the top predator in an ecosystem, represents a “concentration” of nutrients.
Advanced Nutrients has created Mother Earth Tea from a select number of these natural concentrations of nutrients. Through the use of high quality agronomic emulsions, and solid ground “meals”, Advanced Nutrients has extracted and concentrated some of the richest bio-materials found on Earth.
C) The Ingredients of Mother Earth Tea:
Mother Earth Tea is an extract of the Earth’s living biosphere. Advanced Nutrients recognized that nature has supplied us with an abundance of sources of nutrients for combining into a natural nutrient regimen for gardeners.
We have used some of the most abundant and prolific organisms on Earth to create Mother Earth Tea in both Grow and Bloom formulations. For example we utilize extracts of earthworm castings, leonardite, alfalfa meal, sea weed meal, plus two blends of guano. We also use fish emulsions, which provide all essential minerals for plant growth.
These concentrations of nutrients derived from ‘current’ life on Earth are complemented with generous amounts of leonardite extract; Leonardite is an ancient material that is the fossilized liquid extract of prehistoric ecosystems.
The leonardite we use in Mother Earth Super Tea is millions of years old; this yields humic acid, a highly refined and rarefied material with phenomenal biological activity when applied to plants.
Mother Earth Super Tea also exploits the biostimulating effects of the by-product from the industry called “vermiculture” or worm-composting. In making the base-tea for Mother Earth Tea, Advanced Nutrients utilizes the highest quality worm castings available from which we extract all soluble biostimulants and bio-chelated nutrients.
Humates made today by worms are added to the Leonardite in Mother Earth Tea. We combine ancient humates made millions of years ago with freshly bio-synthesized humates and a myriad of other natural materials to make Mother Earth Tea Grow and Bloom.
To make this extraction we first start by making a “base-tea” from the natural materials. After blending these extracts into “grow” and bloom” formulations, combining them with low-oil fish emulsions, we create a complete macro and secondary nutrient program for your garden called Mother Earth Super Tea.
The manufacture of the base-tea in Mother Earth Super Tea is also able to extract the nutrient value from two types of guano; we have blended both seabird and bat guano in this base-tea.
This combination of guano sources gives your garden the additional nutrient inputs that result from the specific diets and digestive abilities of birds and bats. We balance the phosphorus content of the Bloom and Grow formulations of Mother Earth Super Tea by varying the types of guano we use.
Due to their insectivorous diets, bat guano also contains chitin and also possesses a higher proportion of nitrogen. Seabird guano avails higher phosphate levels compared to nitrogen, and includes a diverse input of biologically available nutrients owing to their marine diets. We will explore the value of each of these ingredients below, explaining further how Advanced Nutrients has composed Mother Earth Tea.
D) How the Ingredients in Mother Earth Super Tea Work to Nourish Plant Growth:
Advanced Nutrients has chosen the Earth’s most potent soil amendments, used agronomically all over the world to blend a Grow and Bloom version of Mother Earth herself.
In Mother Earth Super Tea we have used natural materials made in the “modern-day”, in recent times by life on Earth such as special plant extracts, and worm castings. We have selected specific types of guano which are often “aged” materials that accumulate for decades and centuries before being used as fertilizers. And we have utilized ancient Leonardite extracts to make solubilized humic acids.
In the sections below we will explain in more detail how these diverse, natural ingredients offered to us by mother Earth lead to faster, healthier, and more abundant plant growth. We will start with alfalfa meal from which we extract tricontanol.
Alfalfa Yields Tricontonol, A Key Biostimulant in Mother Earth Super Tea:
Advanced Nutrients has used alfalfa meal as a main constituent of Mother Earth Super Tea. For every batch of Mother Earth Super Tea we manufacture, we start off with a very potent organic base-tea made from a large complement of alfalfa meal.
This tea-making-process is many days long and extracts the essences of the alfalfa meal as much as possible, bringing into solution every cellular component that can be suspended and solubilized.
The pressed and dried leaves of alfalfa that we use yield many water soluble organic compounds but most importantly it is a source of Tricontanol. This is a very potent hormonal stimulant that is recognized by farmers and scientists as a special ingredient that is concentrated in rapid growing, leguminous alfalfa plants.
The final formulation of Mother Earth Super Tea actually smells like a cup of tea, since we use ingredients that also deliver tannins and that are rich in organic-acids that become extracted during the manufacturing.
Before we explore the biochemistry of tricontanol, we should note that the historical significance of this forage crop. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a fast growing leguminous plant that is prized as a nutritious forage crop. Alfalfa hay has been cultivated for thousands of years feeding cattle and sheep since the Bronze Age, and providing sustenance for horses of many armies.
Since it is a legume, alfalfa symbiotically hosts rhizobium species of bacteria in its roots. Because of this microorganism’s ability to fix elemental nitrogen (N2) from the atmosphere reducing it to ammonia (NH3), alfalfa can grow vigorously and pack in large amounts of nitrogen.
Because of this symbiosis alfalfa with thrive even where the soils are low in this macro nutrient. This symbiosis and the abundant growth of alfalfa will often restore depleted soils with nutrients for other crops to be grown.
An interesting fact about alfalfa is that it possesses a gigantic genome; geneticists call alfalfa a “tetraploid” plant since it has four sets of chromosomes instead of the usual 2. Alfalfa is recognized for its effects on mammals; alfalfa will act as a “galactagogue” which is a substance that promotes the formation of milk. This plant has been exploited for its nutritional value for millennia by promoting lactation in domestic cattle.
The wide cultivation of alfalfa that started in the seventeenth century became an important advance in European agriculture. Alfalfa’s symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and its use as animal feed, greatly improved agricultural efficiency. When grown on soils where it is well-adapted, alfalfa is the highest yielding forage plant.
In recent times however scientists have analyzed alfalfa for a better understanding of its properties. Horticulturalists have recognized the growth stimulating effects that result from utilizing alfalfa meal in their nutrient regimens. From alfalfa meal one can obtain all the minerals required for plant growth, along with potent bio-organic stimulators.
Scientists have discovered that alfalfa meal contains a potent growth promoting lipid called tricontanol; this is a long 30-carbon molecule that has an “-OH” (alcohol) molecule attached to one end. This lipid alcohol is able to promote growth by interacting with the lipids and proteins in cell membranes, especially the green photosynthetic membranes of cholroplasts.
For examples of how tricontanol is shown to work, we can explore the scientific literature; in the journal called Plant Growth Regulation, vol.21 (1997) scientists describe how Tricontanol works at a molecular level in plant cell membranes. In the article called “Photosynthesis response to triacontanol correlates with increased dynamics of mesophyll protoplast and chloroplast membranes” the authors describe how the growth promoting effects of tricontanol have been recognized:
“There is strong evidence that exogenous application of various long-chain aliphatic alcohol preparations and especially triacontanol (TRIA) results in remarkable stimulation of the growth and/or yield of a number of plant species. Photosynthesis has been implicated as an important response to TRIA [7, 12] and the increased growth and dry weight were attributed to better performance of photosynthesis and accumulation of photosynthates.”
The description of tricontanol as a “long chain aliphatic alcohol” means it is an organic (i.e. carbon-based) molecule, that is both water soluble and lipid (i.e. fat) soluble. This is a key to it’s action in plants; being lipid-soluble means tricontanol will mix into the lipid layers that make up the “membranes” of plant cells.
Tricontanol is also water soluble, and so we can extract it with hot water from alfalfa meal. Once uptaken by plants, this long-chain, carbon-based molecule will then “seek out” the lipid membranes of plant cells to insert itself into, altering the properties of the membranes. Once inside cell membranes tricontanol promotes the activity of many enzymes that are also inserted into cell membranes. The scientists continue to describe the actions of tricontanol:
“… Houtz et al.  have suggested that the increased CO2 assimilation plays an essential role in (the tricontanol or TRIA) response. In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated an increased rate of CO2 fixation in a variety of plant species as a result of nanomolar tricontanol (TRIA) application. A rapid TRIA-induced increase of the specific activity of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/ oxygenase (RUBISCO) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCASE) has been suggested as a major mechanism involved in this response .”
So the reports in the literature describe how scientists have measured the potency of tricontanol at levels so minute it would seem impossible to prevent growth stimulation when even a tiny bit ended up contaminating the garden. Imagine handling a material that is effective at “nano-molar” amounts, which are at concentrations of 1x10-9 mol per litre ! If you touched any plant tissue with mere traces of tricontanol on your hands, it would be affected!
And the means by which tricontanol acts in plants has been closely studied, as mentioned above. This lipid alcohol promotes two principal enzymes that conduct the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere, namely RUBISCO and PEPCase. The enzyme called RUBISCO is the single most abundant protein on earth and is directly responsible for the fixation of CO2 gas into the “reduced” of CH2O state inside plant cells. The scientists continue to describe the actions of tricontanol (TRIA):
“Furthermore, TRIA has been reported to affect several other enzyme systems especially membrane bound Ca2+/Mg2+-dependent ATPase [15, 16]. (Furthermore)… NADH-oxidase, a major component of the redox system of plasma membranes, suggested to be rate limiting to growth , has been recently shown to be stimulated by a direct action of TRIA …. The increased activity of the key respiratory enzyme malate dehydrogenase (MDH) was also reported as a result of TRIA application .”
Again the plant growth promoting actions of tricontanol appear to be associated with enhancing enzyme activity, specifically those enzymes that are embedded in lipid membranes inside cells.
These happen to be some of the most important enzymes that transduce energy inside cells; “ATPases” make ATP, the molecule that stores the energy captured from sunlight by chlorophyll. The ATP synthesized inside cells is like a stored charge of energy; like a “battery” of energy to be used in other biosyntheses during growth. Mother Earth Super Tea will stimulate every cellular membrane in this way, every time you apply it.
In the particular experiment cited above (reported in the journal Plant Growth Regulation, vol.21) scientists were comparing another lipid alcohol to tricontanol, one called octacosanol (OCTA). OCTA did not have the same molecular shape and length as tricontanol and proved to have inhibitory effects in their photosynthetic studies. Their goals were directed at making more precise experiments to measure the action of tricontanol (TRIA) both “in vitro” and in intact pea plants, they mention;
“Increased CO2 assimilation and enhanced photosynthesis have been proposed as major contributions in the overall physiological response of plants to TRIA. Although increased photosynthesis in TRIA treated plants has been well documented, it has been suggested that it is probably due to an increase in one of the substrates required for photosynthesis rather than on initial effect on the CO2 fixation. However, despite these studies, there is still a lack of consistency regarding the time course and the extent of photosynthesis stimulation, which may be due to differences in the experimental protocols, plant species and samples used. The present study re-examines this by measuring the photosynthetic response to TRIA in in vitro and in vivo experiments.”
Tricontanol was being tested by these scientists both in the intact pea plant, and using chloroplast and isolated plant cells grown “in-vitro” or in the lab inside experimental flasks.
But tricontanol not only promotes the activity of photosynthetic enzymes like RUBISCO and the energy storing enzymes called ATPases, it also enhances the respiratory enzymes like MDH that consume energy to power all growth. The scientists describe these further effects, characterizing tricontanol as a type of phytohormone:
“TRIA has been generally considered to be a secondary plant growth substance and/or an endogenous plant growth regulator. It was suggested by Ries and Houtz that the hormonal effect(s) of TRIA might be due to TRIA-induced alterations at the membrane level. TRIA mediated activation of a number of membrane bound enzymes supports this assumption ...”
The tricontanol from alfalfa meal that is used to make Mother Earth Super Tea is therefore able to speed up the metabolic rates performed by certain membrane bound enzymes since it is a lipid itself. This activity is due to its particular shape as a lipid alcohol too. The structurally different lipid-alcohol called OCTA had the opposite effect, usually inhibiting metabolic rates. The scientists continue to describe tricontanol’s effects in plants:
“More recently Ries and Wert  and Ries  have suggested that TRIA treatment causes rapid elicitation of a specific second messenger 9-_- L (+) adenosine, which could provide extremely rapid physiological responses . The cell membranes and/or hormone receptors linked to specific intracellular structures are considered to be the first targets of the hormonal or plant growth regulator action in plants, followed by a signal transduction pathway which can trigger a cascade of metabolic events .”
This means that tricontanol can assist in transmitting chemical messages across membranes; it does so since it will mix into these lipid bi-layers readily, and has exactly the right conformation and size to function this way.
A cell membrane usually represents a barrier to other (non-lipid) chemicals, so tricontanol seems to promote the communication of chemical signals through membranes. Metabolism runs faster and responds quicker when tricontanol is present in just nano and micro-molar amounts!
These scientists set out to measure the effects of tricontanol on photosynthesis, and their results were astonishing! This is what they reported:
“The data … demonstrated that in vitro TRIA-treatment of isolated pea mesophyll protoplasts caused a substantial increase (166%) in the net CO2 fixation rate after 60 min of TRIA application as compared to the control. An increasing rate of photosynthesis was observed even after 30 min treatment although the difference between control and TRIA-treated protoplasts was not statistically significant. A similar trend … in the photosynthesis response was observed in experiments with leaf pieces subjected to the same (10-6 M) TRIA concentration. However, the effects were less pronounced than in isolated protoplasts, the increase of photosynthetic CO2 fixation being 117% after 60 min of TRIA application.”
Within 30 minutes of treating pea plant cells growing in test tubes with a micro molar amount of tricontanol, effects were noticed, and “in-vitro” within one hour photosynthesis ramped up 166%!
In intact pea plants the impact of tricontanol was that photosynthesis more than doubled, increasing to 117% over the control plants! Those are clear demonstrations of how potent tricontanol is at promoting photosynthesis in intact plants !
Advanced Nutrients included an abundant amount of alfalfa meal extract in Mother Earth Super Tea specifically to deliver the benefits of tricontanol every time you use it. The scientists cited above compare their results to previous studies:
“Although difficult to compare with previous studies, since similar measurements have not been made before, these data are in good agreement with earlier reported rapid physiological effects of TRIA. Whereas the time course was similar in both systems, the extent of this increase was lower (117%) in TRIA treated leaf pieces. Most probably this might be due to slower rate of penetration of TRIA through various membrane barriers in the leaf pieces to its putative site of action than in isolated protoplasts. Not surprisingly, in vivo stimulation of the net CO2 uptake in barley plants exposed to 10-6 M TRIA was of similar magnitude (119%).”
In this study tricontanol treated cells were tested for their “membrane fluidity”. The ability of tricontanol to increase cell membrane fluidity is due to it being a long lipid molecule that will embed or intercalate into the cell membrane, spanning its length.
Tricontanol is considered “extremely lipophilic” and would therefore be attracted to “bury itself” into cell membranes. And this study showed this to be the case for tricontanol, but not for the structurally different lipid alcohol called OCTA. The scientists continue to describe tricontanol’s (TRIA’s) site of action:
“Ries and Houtz  originally suggested that the growth stimulating or hormonal effects of TRIA might be due to certain alterations at the membrane level. The fast response to TRIA and the fact that net photosynthesis was stimulated to a greater extent in isolated protoplast preparations support the suggestion that the putative initial site of TRIA action could be localised at the level of plasma membranes. Assuming this, and bearing in mind that: 1) TRIA is extremely lipophilic and 2) its application activates various membrane bound enzyme systems, it appeared reasonable to examine the effect(s) of exogenous TRIA on the physical properties of barley protoplast and chloroplast membranes.”
Tricontanol is a lipid-soluble molecule with a specific length and conformation enabling it to squeeze into plant cell membranes, changing their fluidity. The results of the experiment we have been describing published in the journal Plant Growth Regulation (vol.21) confirm this:
“… this study clearly indicates that the molecular dynamics and/or fluidity of both protoplast and chloroplast membranes is markedly enhanced as a result of exogenous application of TRIA. In addition, it is important to note that the concentration range of TRIA effective in stimulation of photosynthesis corresponded well to the TRIA concentrations affecting membrane dynamic properties, thus indicating a good correlation between the two phenomena.”
And the molecular properties of tricontanol, with its long 30 carbon length are what confer this ability to promote membrane fluidity. Tricontanol slips into the cellular membranes’ empty spaces, making them more fluid, more transparent to light (less light scattering) and more permeable to minerals and nutrients. The scientists explain:
“…it is reasonable to suggest that the fluidity increase is mainly due to the introduction of long chain molecules of TRIA by inducing a formation of unoccupied or free volumes in the membranes. These results are consistent with the earlier data indicating that long-chain alkanols decrease the main phase transition temperature of lipid vesicle membranes at the low concentration range . … Furthermore, since the 30-carbon chain of TRIA would be considered as a membrane spanning molecule, the fluidizing or disordering effect of TRIA could be also described in terms of an unexpectedly large diffusion coefficient, as reported for molecules which span both layers of membranes . Several studies provide strong evidence for direct coupling between permeability characteristics and the degree of order and fluidity within various artificial and biological membranes . Thus, the increased permeability of TRIA-treated membranes might be expected.”
It is fascinating that tricontanol is required at micro and nano molar amounts; there is just a tiny bit of “empty space” in the lipid bi-layer of cell membranes that a mere 1x10-6 molar tricontanol can slip in there and massively promote membrane fluidity and function. When the structurally different lipid alcohol OCTA was used the effects were not the same. In concluding their report, the scientists studying the effects of tricontanol on pea plants mention:
“To summarise, it appears evident from the experimental data presented here that the TRIA-induced alterations of the dynamic properties of both protoplast and chloroplast membranes and quite possibly their permeability characteristics correlate with the observed enhancement of photosynthesis under the same concentration range, and should be considered as an essential part of the integral physiological response to exogenous application of TRIA. This is in full agreement with the general view of plant growth regulator action in plants considering the cell membranes as initial site in the signal transduction pathway , and the earlier suggestion of Ries and Houtz  that hormonal effect(s) of TRIA could be due to TRIA-induced alteration at the membrane level.”
Tricontanol is a long enough molecule that is spans the entire double-layered cell membrane, and thereby can dramatically influence the sensitivity of the cell membrane to environmental changes. Tricontanol makes membrane-bound enzymes work better, and when intercalated into cell membranes it enhances intracellular signalling.
The Value of Seaweed extract in Mother Earth Super Tea:
Advanced Nutrients has not overlooked the other natural resources that mother Earth provides; in formulating Mother Earth Super Tea we have included the value that seaweed extract can bring to a plant nutrient program.
When harvested and processed with modern techniques, kelp such as Ascophylum nodosum that grow abundantly in harsh marine climates, offer amazing growth enhancements to gardens.
Advanced Nutrients has blended a number of seaweed extracts into the base-tea of Mother Earth Super Tea. These offer strong phytohormonal inputs to promote all growth and stress resistance via compounds scientists have discovered called “betaines”.
North Atlantic nations such as Ireland have utilized the abundance of this sea-plant in agricultural practices for centuries and so it is at the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway that we will find that the use of liquid seaweed extracts on food crops has been studied extensively. For example, from the online journal “The Seaweed Site” we find this summary;
“A wide range of beneficial effects have been reported from the use of liquid seaweed extracts, including increased crop yields, resistance of plants to frost, increased uptake of inorganic constituents from the soil, more resistance to stress conditions, and reductions in storage losses of fruit.”
The process Advanced Nutrients uses to manufacture the base-tea in Mother Earth Super Tea extracts the growth promoting substances in this amazing natural resource. This creates a concentrate of this material. The scientists describing the value of seaweed extract continue to elaborate on its benefits;
“Liquid seaweed extracts are used at very high dilution rates which results in only very small quantities of material being applied to a given area. The active substances in the seaweed extracts must therefore be capable of having an effect at a low concentration. … The presence of plant hormones (substances naturally found in small quantities in plant tissues and involved in, amongst other things, the regulation of growth) has been suggested as being responsible for, at least some of the observed effects; it has been demonstrated that commercially-available seaweed extracts have high levels of cytokinin-like activity.”
Scientific research into identifying the plant-growth-promoting constituents of seaweed extract has carried on since the 1950’s. Initially purified cytokinins were used side by side with seaweed extracts to compare effects, but now scientists have identified a number of plant growth promoting compounds in Ascophyllum nodosum. The scientists at NUI continue to describe this research:
“Close correlations between results achieved in field trials with the use of a synthetic cytokinin, kinetin, and seaweed extracts of equivalent cytokinin activities were found both on the yield of potatoes and in the crude protein of grasses. Similar results were obtained with the reduction in the rate of "degreening" of limes after post-harvest immersion of the fruit in seaweed extracts and kinetin solutions of equivalent cytokinin activity. Further circumstantial evidence supporting the possible involvement of cytokinins in seaweed extracts was the recent detection of cytokinin-like activity in a commercial seaweed concentrate prepared from Ecklonia maxima (Laminariales).”
Scientists have analyzed kelp extracts and found that potassium and micronutrients are abundantly present in this natural resource. And in addition to cytokinins, they also report that auxins, and gibberellins can be found in seaweed extract:
"…seaweed … can be a good biological source of potassium and trace elements. The colloids found in sea plants can improve soil filth. Kelp and other sea plants also contain relatively concentrated amounts of plant auxins, growth regulators and stimulants, such as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), gibberellic acid and cytokinins. These can help promote rooting in transplants and cuttings, and also help to delay decay in mature crops. Kelp is a large underwater plant that accumulates a number of nutrients...”
Advanced Nutrients has combined a large amount of Ascophyllm nodosum extract into the base tea of Mother Earth Super Tea; this will increase metabolic rates and cellular syntheses in all cells that grow on Mother Earth Super Tea program. This acceleration of cellular growth will immediately seize upon the rich broth of natural ingredients we have made into Mother Earth Super Tea Grow and Bloom.
The cytokinins are not the only materials in seaweed extract that promote growth, there are myriads of algae-derived cellular components; some are lipids being pieces of cell membranes, and others are proteinacious, or nucleotides and amino acids. All of these are extracted into solution when making Mother Earth Super Tea’s base.
The reports from the National University of Ireland about seaweed extracts continue to describe the additional complexities about the myriad of ingredients in seaweed extract that are plant growth promoting. Cytokinins are part of the phytohormonal input, but there are also “betaines” or quaternary ammonium compounds that have potent plant growth promoting effects.
“Betaines” are a class of compound that enhance cell membrane function and adaptability to stress. These are potent plant-derived growth promoting substances that confer a huge boost in all aspects of vigour. After treating your gardens with seaweed extract, conditions that may have caused some stress or that reduced photosynthesis become part of the range to which the plant can adapt, and continue to grow.
Mother Earth Super Tea is made with seaweed extract to confer these enhanced growth characteristics to all of your plants, immediately upon being foliarly applied. The betaines are additional phyto-active molecules that promote cell membrane stability when stresses occur. The NUI report on seaweed extracts continues to describe betaines:
“Betaines have been recorded for most of the species of marine algae used in the manufacture of seaweed extracts. Ascophyllum nodosum yields c-aminobutyric acid betaine, d-aminovaleric acid betaine and laminine whilst Laminaria species have a range of betaines including glycine betaine. Commercial seaweed extracts have been examined for their betaine content and the compounds detected were those reported for the algal species used in the manufacture of the extracts…”
Mother Earth Super Tea Grow and Bloom have seaweed extracts that are processed through the manufacture of the organic base-tea. This potent tea is steeped and stirred for many days after an initial “hot” extraction is performed. Every organic molecule that can be suspended and solubilized from the initial tea-base, including betaines, is then chelated and suspended into a final solution rich in humates. This forms a potent, natural nutrient program for all gardens.
The importance of betaines as a stimulant for growth and vigour has been noted by scientists, and they report on these compounds in the journal Plant Physiology, vol.120 (1999). In an article called “Betaines and Related Osmoprotectants - Targets for Metabolic Engineering of Stress Resistance” scientists describe these “osmoprotectant” molecules:
“Osmoprotectants (also termed compatible solutes) occur in all organisms from archaebacteria to higher plants and animals. They are highly soluble compounds that carry no net charge at physiological pH and are nontoxic at high concentrations. Osmoprotectants serve to raise osmotic pressure in the cytoplasm and can also stabilize proteins and membranes when salt levels or temperatures are unfavourable. Osmoprotectants therefore play important roles in the adaptation of cells to various adverse environmental conditions (Yancey, 1994). Chemically, there are three types: betaines and allied compounds, polyols and sugars (e.g. mannitol and trehalose), and amino acids such as Proline.”
“Osmoprotectants” are essential to the Kelp plant that must withstand cold marine waters and dessication on rocky shores. But since they are plant derived compounds, applying them to other plant species confers the same properties. The scientists continue to characterize betaines found in seaweed extracts:
“Betaines are amino acid derivatives in which the nitrogen atom is fully methylated, i.e. they are quaternary ammonium compounds. …the three best-known betaines from plants are glycine betaine, Proline betaine (stachydrine), and b-Alanine betaine, as well as choline-O-sulfate and DMSP (Rhodes and Hanson, 1993). … (These) compounds in differ in their taxonomic distribution … For instance, Glycine betaine is widespread among both flowering plants and algae, whereas DMSP is rare in higher plants but common in algae. Certain crop plants such as rice, soybeans, and potatoes lack significant amounts of betaines or any other osmoprotectant. This deficiency is the rationale for recent interest in using metabolic engineering technology to install the synthesis of osmoprotectants in such crops in order to improve their tolerance to drought, salinity, and other stresses. The levels of betaines and other osmoprotectants typically rise during exposure to stresses such as salinity, water deficit, and low temperature because the biosynthetic enzymes are stress induced. Osmoprotectants are largely confined to the cytoplasm (including organelles) and are almost absent from the vacuole, which generally occupies about 90% of the cell volume. For example, the halophyte Atriplex gmelini was found to have 320 mm Glycine betaine in the cytoplasm, but only 0.24 mm in the vacuole (Matoh et al., 1987). Isolated chloroplasts of various species have also been shown to contain high concentrations of Glycine betaine or DMSP, particularly when isolated from salt-stressed plants…”
So this is a sign of their function in plant cells, betaines are over 100 times more concentrated in the watery cytoplasm, and almost absent from the main storage organelle called the vacuole. Betaines are metabolites that are required in high amounts where living processes are ongoing all the time. In the cytoplasm they have complex roles in promoting membrane activity, membrane resilience upon exposure to various stresses.
The scientists reviewing betaines continue:
“The protective properties of betaines were first recognized in experiments in which they were supplied to bacteria whose growth was inhibited by high salt concentrations (Le Rudulier et al., 1984). Typical data for Gly betaine and DMSP are shown in Figure 2: In media containing 0.6 m NaCl, the bacteria grow very slowly unless supplied with one of these compounds, which they take up from the medium and accumulate to intracellular levels of .1 m. The physicochemical basis for this striking osmoprotective effect is not fully understood, but there is good evidence that it lies partly in the exclusion of osmoprotectant molecules from the water layer in contact with protein surfaces (Timasheff, 1992). This creates a situation in which native (i.e. folded) protein structures are thermodynamically favoured because they present the least possible surface area to the water. Most other solutes such as NaCl or MgSO4 interact directly with protein surfaces and favour unfolding, which leads to denaturation. Osmoprotectants also have Cryoprotectant and heat-protectant properties, and exclusion from protein surfaces is probably part of the protective mechanism in these cases as well (Carpenter and Crowe, 1988; Winzor et al., 1992).”
Betaines are so heavily concentrated inside cells, in the cytoplasm of plant cells where they ‘coat’ the protein surfaces embedded in cell membranes to protect them from the effects of water. Water will hydrolyse and disrupt protein shape when osmotic changes occur and water molecules pour into cells.
Your gardens can always benefit from foliar feedings with Mother Earth Super Tea’s fulvic acid based blend of seaweed extracts and natural ingredients. Sea weed extract and fish emulsion are however further complemented by krill meal that also forms an essential part of Mother Earth Super Tea’s tea-base.
“Global Worming”, Vermiculture Makes a “Modern” Source of Humates:
Mother Earth Super Tea has a strong complement of worm castings used in the process of manufacturing the base-tea. This base-tea is an extraction process that brings into solution all the nutrients that reside in the materials we “steep” and brew.
One of the main ingredients in this base-tea is worm castings; this is the digested waste that remains after earthworms have eaten the organic wastes from compost piles. This material has passed through the body of the earthworm which enriches it with a form of humates that is unlike humic acid from leonardite; the unique class of humates in worm castings are made specifically by the digestive processes in the earth worm.
The modern industry of vermiculture, or worm farming has been developed to a point where it is relied on by many agri-industries to generate precious worm castings. All farm manure can be speedily processed into worm castings and this end-product can be immediately re-used or sold to amend farmer’s fields. All bio-solids generated by all domesticated animals and humans can be best disposed of and detoxified in this fashion; vermicomposting is another name for this process.
Vermicomposting is what is going on in everyone’s backyard compost pile. But farmers and municipalities employ the lowly earthworm in hoards, containing them in large industrial sized vermicomposters to do amazing amounts of work at transforming biological waste into nutritious food for plants.
We can find a good description of vermiculture techniques in the “Manual of On-Farm Vermicomposting and Vermiculture” by Glenn Munroe at the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada. In his introduction he defines these two terms:
“Vermiculture is the culture of earthworms. The goal is to continually increase the number of worms in order to obtain a sustainable harvest. The worms are either used to expand a vermicomposting operation or sold to customers who use them for the same or other purposes (see “On-Farm Vermiculture” later in this manual).
Vermicomposting is the process by which worms are used to convert organic materials (usually wastes) into a humus-like material known as vermicompost. The goal is to process the material as quickly and efficiently as possible.
These two processes are similar but different. If your goal is to produce vermicompost, you will want to have your maximum worm population density all of the time. If your goal is to produce worms, you will want to keep the population density low enough that reproductive rates are optimized…”
Avid worn farmers or “vermiculturists” speak of promoting “Global Worming” .! This pun is intended to address the importance of earthworm species worldwide. This is a brilliant pun since worms actually help sequester carbon, and measurably increase the soil’s carbon: nitrogen ratio ! Glenn Munroe at the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada continues to describe earthworm farming:
“There are an estimated 1800 species of earthworm worldwide (Edwards & Lofty, 1972). This manual will focus on just one. Eisenia fetida (Savigny) is commonly known as (partial list only): the “compost worm”, “manure worm”, “redworm”, and “red wiggler”. This extremely tough and adaptable worm is indigenous to most parts of the world and can be found on most Canadian farms wherever piles of manure have been left to age for more than a few months.
Commercially raised worms are usually of the epigeic type. E. fetida is certainly not the only epigeic worm, but it is the one most often used for composting purposes in Northern climates. It can handle a wide temperature range (between 0 and 35 deg.C) and can actually survive for some time almost completely encased in frozen organic material (as long as it can continue to take in nourishment). Its cocoons (eggs) have been shown to remain viable after having been frozen for several weeks. In addition, it can take a lot of handling and rough treatment. Perhaps most importantly, like most if not all litter-dwelling worms, the compost worm has the capacity for very rapid reproduction. This is an evolutionary necessity for a creature whose natural environment is extremely changeable and hazardous and whose natural supplies of food are of the “boom or bust” variety. All of these characteristics make E. fetida the natural choice for those who wish to do their vermicomposting outdoors, year-round, in climates with harsh winter conditions.”
Advanced Nutrients uses worm castings produced by vermicompost companies that utilize controlled conditions to produce high quality castings. They have to manage the process like a farm-business planning to support constant manufacturing of castings while they conduct “vermiculture” as well. Growing billions of baby worms is essential to continually process the farm biosolid waste materials that feed these marvellous creatures.
There and pronounced advantages that worm castings or “vermicompost” offer to farmers and gardeners, as our author continues to explain:
“Why should an organic farmer be interested in vermiculture and/or vermicomposting? The answers are several and may not apply to all organic producers. In summary, they are as follows:
• Vermicompost is superior to most composts as an inocculant in the production of compost teas; • Worms have a number of other possible uses on farms, including value as high-quality animal feed; • Vermicomposting and vermiculture offer potential to organic farmers as sources of supplemental income.
Global “worming” is absolutely a “Green” industry. It promotes all ecosystems when the earth and soils are restored by earth worms. Because vermicomposting can utilize all local waste materials and bio-solids it will generate immediate benefits when applied on any scale.
Mother Earth Super Tea uses worm castings, extracting their benefits into a soluble state and concentrating them into a form you can use in your garden. Hydroponic gardens are the ones that are most significantly lacking in sources of these kinds of soil-based nutrients.
Our global worming expert Glenn Munroe describes the world-wide use of vermicomposting:
“Because of the benefits described above, farmers around the world have started to grow worms and produce vermicompost in rapidly increasing numbers. Warmer climes have tended to predominate so far, with India and Cuba being the leaders to date. Vermicomposting centres are numerous in Cuba and vermicompost has been the largest single input used to replace the commercial fertilizer that became difficult or even impossible to import after the collapse of the Soviet Union (Cracas, 2000). In 2003, an estimated one million tonnes of vermicompost were produced on the island (Koont, 2004). In India, an estimated 200,000 farmers practice vermicomposting and one network of 10,000 farmers produces 50,000 metric tonnes of vermicompost every month. In the past decade, farmers in Australia and the West Coast of the U.S. have started to use vermicompost in greater quantities, fuelling the development of vermicomposting industries in those regions. At the same time, scientists at several Universities in the U.S., Canada, India, Australia, and South Africa have started to document the benefits associated with the use of vermicompost, providing facts and figures to support the observations of those who have used the material.”
Worm castings are a key ingredient in Mother Earth Super Tea, and the formulation we use concentrates the soluble nutrients from this material. Because of our methods that make a base-tea from high quality worm castings, all hydroponic gardens can be nourished with Mother Earth super Tea.
Vermiculture and The Scientific Analysis of Worm Castings:
Advanced Nutrients has researched the most recent findings in the field of vermiculture, and after analyzing the criteria scientists have developed, we have sourced the highest quality vermicompost products available. We use these worm castings as a key ingredient in making the base-tea for Mother Earth Super Tea.
For an example of scientific studies in vermiculture we can turn to the journal called Biology and Fertility of Soils, vol.6 (1988) where an article is published called “Chemical changes during vermicomposting (Eisenia fetida) of sheep manure mixed with cotton industrial wastes”. In this study, scientists describe the kinds of research that investigators have conducted about the process of vermicomposting towards various industrial applications:
“Various studies have been focused on the use of earthworms in the stabilization of organic residues such as sewage sludge, animal wastes, crop residues and industrial refuse… Under favourable conditions, wastes are converted into a homogeneous mass (castings) which may form a good soil conditioner with high nutritional value for plants. The vermicomposting process is a result of the combined action of the earthworms and of microflora living in earthworm intestines and in the growth medium (Grapelli et al. 1983).”
Earthworm castings are the enriched end product of a life processes that all gardeners can appreciate; it happens at macro’ and microscopic scales. Earthworms eat bacteria in the soil, often selecting their diet or choosing which types of “rotting” vegetation to graze through. The combined action of macro-level foraging and micro-organisms in the earthworm’s gut is life seething to produce more nutritive value for itself.
Vermicomposting is described further by the scientists that conducted studies involving a detailed chemical analysis of how the worms work on soils:
“Earthworms accelerate composting by bioturbation and aeration, giving a final product less rich in nitrogen and organic matter but enhanced with available nutrients to plants. However, there are only a few literature references concerning the changes in chemical, biochemical and microbiological parameters during vermicomposting. The purpose of this study was to determine the variations in chemical composition of sheep manure alone and in combination with industrial cotton wastes during 12 weeks of vermicomposting. These substrates are of major importance in the Barcelona area due to the highly developed textile and ovine livestock industries, which produce large quantities of cotton wastes and sheep manure.”
This kind of scientific research has shown that the effects of earthworms digesting these kinds of biological wastes creates unique compositions of organic molecules combined with mineral elements found nowhere else on earth.
The specialized microbial flora of the earthworm gut is a main reason earthworm castings are so biologically potent and effective at stimulating plant growth. The scientists continue to explain their methods, so imagine conducting such experiments with worms;
“Field experiments were carried out on a farm producing commercially available earthworm compost, located in Calders (Barcelona, Spain) and following the commune production method. Windrows (6 m long, 0.6 m wide and 0.4 m high) of sheep manure alone and mixed with flock cotton residues at a ratio of 3 : 1 were used. The experiments were carried out in the presence and absence of the earthworm Eisenia fetida, and continued for 12 weeks (earthworms obtained from Prisma Agropecuaria S.A., Manresa, Spain). The initial number of earthworms in the windrows was about 3000/m 2, including eggs, larvae and adults. Samples were collected in sterilized closed glass bottles of 1-1itre capacity each 2 weeks and then air-dried and homogenized.”
These scientists set up controlled vermicompost piles adjacent to non-worm composts and analyzed the chemical composition of the heap, as it changed every 2 weeks for three months. They measured the % of reduced nitrogen created predominantly by amino acids and organic molecules with the “amine” or NH2 group in their structure. Other basic soil science parameters were also measured, for example;
“Moisture content was determined by drying at 105 °C, the ash content by heating at 550°C, total N by the Kjeldahl method in a Kjeltec Auto 1030 Analyzer and oxidizable C by oxidation with dichromate according to the method of Schollenberger (1931) revised by Hesse (1971). The pH was measured by a Crison pH-meter digital 501 using suspensions of the material in water, in the ratio 1 : 5 (w: v). Conductivity was determined by a Crison conductimeter 522 and cation exchange capacity (CEC) by the method of Bower et al. (1952). Humic substances were extracted according to Kononova (1966). Available P was analysed by the colorimetric method with molybdenum in sulphuric acid (Peech et al. 1947) and K + and Na + were determined with a Corning-EEL flame photometer.”
Imagine sampling and then back at the lab, taking all these measurements from a seething vermicomposting pile of sheep manure ! These scientists also tested what adding plant matter would do to the vermicomposting process.
But one of the most important set of measurements these scientists made was how many microbes inhabited the castings coming from the earthworm’s gut. They tried to correlate microbial counts with all the changes that earthworms make on soil. This was measured in “colony Forming Units” or CFU.
The contents of the worm’s gut were ten to one hundred times less “populated” by microbes than the surrounding manure and manure-cotton-waste compost piles were. The CFU of the manure outside was 1.0 x 108 or x109 CFU/gram of soil. These intestinal bacteria are the “magical metabolic engines” that transform the surrounding medium into new nutrients.
In these studies it also turned out that earth worms are “picky eaters” and like to graze on the bacteria that make soft rots of plant matter. Microbial action is what actually solubilizes mineral nutrients again, making them available to plants.
The “special ability” of these intestinal-microbes is to also render these minerals chelated in humate-bound forms. The scientists describe this further:
“The increase in mineral nutrients (P, Na, and K) of the castings indicates that earthworms accelerated the mineralization of organic matter. Changes in the microbial population (CFU) were observed during the vermicomposting, with a marked decrease after 8 weeks. These results are in agreement with those reported by Grapelli et al (1983), who suggested that earthworms selectively favour the microorganisms that are responsible for the transformation of organic substances (i.e. plant decaying matter) in soils.”
The scientists analyzed their worm castings and vermicomposting process for a number of plant growth promoting substances, both organic and mineral. They point out that worms are able to synthesize their own version of “humic substances” and measure its levels.
Worm castings contained upto 19% humic substances compared to the manure that contained 12-14%; these additional humates are biosynthesized by microbes inside the worms.
Humates are biologically beneficial class of molecules which are found to be always present after soil is digested by earthworms. As we read on the overall results of this controlled verimcompost experiment are impressive. The scientists conclude with:
“Both types of vermicompost, compared with the materials from which they were derived, showed a lower pH, greater CEC, lower concentrations of soluble salts, organic matter and N and higher concentrations of total humic acids and mineral nutrients.”
This amazing transformation is accomplished in 8 - 12 weeks; earthworms are fertilizer factories, and they biosynthesize new humates with their intestinal microbes. This incorporates the “organic matter” containing “oxidizable carbon” that bacteria build into themselves and additional humic acid molecules. The bacterial growth acidifies and reduces pH of the manure (9.1) into castings with a neutral pH of 7.2.. The scientists continue:
“The lower pH and oxidizable C (i.e. carbohydrates of sugars in the castings) and the greater CEC may be related to the high level of total humic acids. During the vermicomposting process the mineralization rate appeared to be accelerated, as may be deduced from the increase in ash concentration. The vermicomposts were enriched in P, K and Na. Total N decreased but the decrease was partly balanced by a conversion into nitrate N...”
Mother Earth Super Tea contains the richness of worm castings, extracting minerals and humates into a concentrated base-tea. This worm casting extract is a super-juice made by mother Earth’s Eisenia fetida, her living biological-factories. To biosynthesize humates without earthworms it would take millions of years and crushing geological pressures, but these amazing creatures double humic acid content in 12 weeks !
These freshly-made, earth worm biosynthesized humates are not identical to the types found in products like Advanced Nutrients’ Grandma Enggy’s H2 Humic acid. They are similar in size (105 atoms or more), but earthworm castings have humates that are shaped differently and have varying amounts of acidic COOH groups.
Ancient humates from leonardite require a rigorous extraction effort, involving pressurized filtration and industrial equipment, whereas a rich vermiculture of Eisenia fetida can do it in a few months !. The vermiculture scientists finally say:
“The final values of the parameters measured indicate that the products obtained have a high fertilizing value. A comparison of their chemical properties shows that manure alone exhibited better fertilizing quality than castings obtained from manure mixed with cotton residues. This indicates that the characteristics of vermicompost depend on those of the original material.”
Mother Earth Tea contains the liquid extract of the highest quality worm castings used agronomically. They complement the leonardite, guano and alfalfa meal and seaweed meals also used in our special formulation for Mother Earth Super Tea.
Seabird and Bat Guanos are Key Ingredients in Mother Earth Super Tea:
Advanced Nutrients has included a very high quality agronomic seabird guano in the formulation of Mother Earth Super Tea. We add a specific amount of bat guano as well to balance the nitrogen and phosphorus ratios between the Grow and Bloom versions of Mother Earth Super Tea. The use of both bat and seabird guanos occurs in the making of the base-tea; this filtered extract constitutes a major portion of Mother Earth Super Tea.
In addition to mineral nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, magnesium, sulphur and calcium, the extracts of guanos from seabirds and insectivorous bats will yield chitin. Chitin is a potent elicitor of plant immunity, and it rapidly stimulates beneficial fungi in the soil (such as some Trichoderma) to grow and secrete more chitinase enzymes. This will further protect plant roots from pathogenic fungi.
Scientists have studied the effects of seabird guano on the ecologies of many environments where seabirds are dominant predators. One report of interest is called “Nutrient Fluxes from water to land: seabirds affect plant nutrient status on Gulf of California islands”, since it examines the way plant growth is promoted on these desert islands by seabirds. This report was published in the journal called Oecologia, viol 118 (1999) states the following about the effects of seabird guano:
“Seabirds use >50 desert islands in the Gulf of California to nest or roost... These islands receive large quantities of guano, which substantially increase soil concentrations of N and P. Enriched soils then provide nutrients to the local flora, thus altering the nutrient concentrations, pools, and biomass of live plants and detritus. Such enrichment likewise occurs on islands in other archipelagos: guano increases N and P in soils …and enhances plant growth and primary productivity...”
Seabirds are near the top of the food chain in these environments, and their rich and varied diets create a very complex mineral and organic mixture in their guano. One of the primary food choices for these birds is molluscs like squid:
“Because seabird diets consist primarily of fish and squid, they excrete nutrient-rich guano, high in N and P. For example, guano deposited on islands in the Gulf of California averages approximately 9% N and 11% P2O5, depending on which seabirds are present . Our observations suggested that guano greatly enhances plant growth on Gulf islands, but only during wet years…. In 1992 and 1993 (wet years), islands where seabirds nest or roost supported 1.1- to 1.7-fold more plant (annuals and perennials) cover and 9.6- to 12.0-fold more plant (annuals) biomass than other islands (Polis et al. 1997b).”
They report that plants growing on seabird-inhabited islands had significantly higher nutrient status. First they consider the cactus Opuntia:
“Tissue nutrient concentrations of plants … were positively correlated with guano cover and soil nutrients. Slow-growing, long-lived Opuntia had 2.4-fold higher N concentrations and 2.1- fold higher P concentrations on bird versus no bird islands (Table 2). Moreover, a positive relationship existed between guano cover and both N and P in Opuntia ..”
The scientists also examined faster growing plants such as the grass called Atriplex, and found higher levels of nutrients as well when seabirds existed on the islands:
“Short-lived Atriplex barclayana had 2.4-fold higher N concentrations and 1.8-fold higher P concentrations on bird versus nonbird islands. Nutrient concentrations in Atriplex were likewise related to guano cover. Significantly positive linear relationships existed between soil N and P and Atriplex N and P, respectively.”
The scientists studying seabird islands also found that the enhanced nutrition offered by the seabird guano had predictable outcomes on the plant biomass. Enormously higher amounts of plant life grew where guano had provided nutrients, which they describe:
“Biomass of annual plants in 1995, a wet year, was 11.8-fold greater on bird islands than on nonbird islands. Further, a strong, positive, linear relationship existed between plant biomass and guano cover. When biomass and nutrient concentrations were combined to calculate nutrient pools, bird islands had 36.1-fold more mass / area±1 of N and 45.3-fold more mass / area±1 of P in annual plants than nonbird islands… Nutrient pools were also highly correlated with guano cover on these islands”
These are dramatic comparisons ! One can measure plant-biomass increases of 11 to 36 times when native plant growth is nourished with guano, compared to when no guano is present !
Advanced Nutrients has sourced various guano types of both bat and seabird origin; these are combined in specific ratios to make the base-tea in Mother Earth Super Tea. Insectivorous bats have unique guano high in phosphorus and chitin, whereas seabirds generate guano with higher nitrogen levels.
In making Mother Earth Super Tea, we extract all the mineral nutrients and the complex organic molecules, such as chitin, that are available in guano. These are rendered soluble along with the alfalfa meal, worm castings, seaweed extract, leonardite extract and filtered fish emulsion; Mother Earth’s most potent materials for plant nutrition.
How to Use Mother Earth Super Tea:
Use Mother Earth Super Tea Grow or Bloom according to the growth stage you are in.
As a stand alone fertilizer Mother Earth Super Tea can be mixed at a rate of 7.5 – 15.0 ml per litre.
When using Mother Earth Super Tea to supplement a base nutrient program, mix 2.0 – 5.0 ml of Mother Earth Super Tea Grow or Bloom in every litre of water you apply to roots.
This concentrated formulation can be used as a foliar feed when mixed at a rate of 1.0 – 2.0 ml per litre if water.
Outstanding Features of Mother Earth Super Tea:
Mother Earth Super Tea can be used as a stand-alone nutrient formulation, or as an additive to an existing base-nutrient formulation.
Macro and micro nutrients are derived from natural sources; various types of guano and fish emulsions are the main materials we process to derive a complete mineral nutrient profile.
Mother Earth Super Tea also contains a suite of naturally derived biostimulants; tricontanol, auxins, cytokinins, and betaines.
Both reduced carbon (carbohydrates) and reduced nitrogen, as amino acids, are supplied by Mother Earth Super Tea; these will feed both plants and beneficial microbes in the root zone.
Mother Earth Super Tea has chitin; this carbohydrate enables plants to acquire “systemic resistance” by acting as an elicitor of the plant’s immune system. Also this carbohydrate will stimulate certain beneficial, mycorrhizal fungi like Trichoderma that can then further protect roots from pathogenic fungi.
Mother Earth Super Tea is made in both “Grow” and “Bloom” formulations; by using the appropriate one, growers can augment their base-nutrient program in synchrony with the growth stage of their garden.