I got the idea of making compost tea from the Grow House as well as the book Gardening When it Counts. It is also my first experiment with solar energy. The solar panel pictured above hooks up to a tiny little air pump. This system is supposed to be used in backyard ponds. I bought it years ago, for around $120, when I was thinking about making a little pond in the back yard, which I finally decided against because of my irrational paranoia over West Nile Virus.
In some old socks I stuffed store-bought compost. I let the compost soak in the water bucket, and the solar pump keeps the water gently moving. I believe this is going to let me water less and help me deal more effectively with the heavy clay soil of Phoenix.
Update: The pump is dead. Oh sad day. I think I probably should have put a sock around it or something, because my guess is the crap floating around in the water junked it up. My other guess of what happened is the cats pulled the pump out of the bucket because they are like that, and then the pump blew a gasket when it was spraying air without the resistance of water. I went to Fry’s to see if they had another pump I could use, not luck. So I guess I got to buy one from siliconsolar.com, where I originally got the whole system.
Update to Update: I wrote the good people at siliconsolar.com to get there opinion of why the pump might have died. They were very quick with response, which I like. They said the pump being out of water would kill it, which now is what I think happened. I think the feral cats took the pump out of the water. The siliconsolar folks also sent me a link to some trouble shooting videos, which I also like.