Sweet tea might be a favorite among Southerners, but among gardeners, it's compost tea. An all-natural alternative to commercial fertilizers, compost tea is safer for the environment and yields healthier, more productive plants. And that's exactly why Michael Marshall plans to brew his own. Marshall is a senior biology major at UAH. He's also the manager of the university's community garden, founded in 2011 to provide UAH students with a space to practice sustainable gardening techniques and to gain an understanding of plant and soil biology. So when it was discovered last semester that the garden's soil was lacking in necessary nutrients, it fell to him to come up with a solution. For help, Marshall turned to Dr. Leland Cseke, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the garden's faculty advisor. And together they came up with the Sustainable Natural Fertilizer Initiative, a solar power and rainwater fueled composting system that would allow students to brew their own compost tea for use as fertilizer.