Starting a thread to discuss using EM cultures in the soil & garden. This one accompanies the Bokashi thread. Bokashi "composting" is a process that uses EM innoculated bran/fiber to ferment food/garden waste before it is placed in the ground.
The liquid EM mother cultures can be used in many other ways. Let's discuss how we use the liquid cultures here.
EM is an acronym for Effective Microorganisms. Effective Microorganisms was discovered and named by Dr. Teruo Higa, a professor of horticulture at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. The cultures are, by definition, a blend of at least three microbes from at least three genus. It must include at least one type of lactic acid bacteria, one type of yeast, and one type of photosynthetic bacteria to be called "EM".
In the 1960's agronomists and waste management professionals around the world were researching microbes for various uses. Soil scientists were looking at using single strains of microbes, with single inoculations, for disease and pest control. In waste treatments (solids wastes and wastewater), photosynthetic bacteria were and are regularly used to break down various toxins. These bacteria are often used in bioremediation projects such as brownfield cleanup.
Dr. Higa combined the different microbes and also looked at repeated applications. Over time he noticed that repeated applications encouraged the growth of beneficial microbes (desireable ones that exert antioxidant effects) and deterred/out-competed pathogenic (oxidizing/putrefying) bacteria.
The original formula for EM1 today contains the following microbes:
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and
I guess you can say the EM is a probiotic for your plants and soils.
Eric, thank you for providing the background and explanation of EM1
FYI all, there are a number of competing companies that make products with the microbial innoculants for use in the soil and garden. I have also seen the acronym EM used by two separate companies, but with differing translations (Efficient Microbes vs Effective Microbes). EMEric is affiliated with the company that makes EM1 in addition to being a gardener. We need to be sure that we don't put him on the spot and ask him any questions along the lines of which company's products are better or to compare different companys etc. It would put him in violation of the DG acceptable use policy banning vendors from promoting their products on the forums and we would lose a great source of knowledge on this fascinating topic. :-)
Eric, you mentioned bioremediation. Would regular use of microbial innoculants in the garden help deactivate/detoxify pollutants in the soil. I'm thinking dioxins and heavy metals here, but I'm sure there are others. A recent trend in the SF Bay Area is to tear down old industrial complexes and build housing. Although new topsoil is usually brought in, one still wonders about what may be in the ground. Some of the standard sprays used on the fruit orchards in the "old days" included arsenic. The San Jose Mercury News recently ran an article about the high levels of arsenic found when testing soils in parks and school yards. Would an EM drench or spray be able to neutralize something like that?
To give you an idea of how many microbial products there are on the market, there are over 1,000 for septic tanks alone. There are many for soils, ponds, human consumption, and animal consumption! It can get confusing fast.
The most commonly used microbes for breaking down toxins are photosynthetic bacteria. The Department of Defense ran studies back in the early 1980's to break down RDX, an explosive that contains perchlorate. Perchlorates are used in fuels and also in dry cleaning and mechanical shops since it is a strong surfactant. In dry cleaning, you may hear of a place uses 'perc'. This is perchlorate. Perchlorates have contaminated all the water in the state of California and can now be found in EVERY bottle of milk on the shelf...in varying amounts.
The latest edition of books from Dr. Higa, Our Future Reborn, came out in English in April 2007. One third of the book discusses the use of EM1 to break down dioxin at incinerators and in soils. Dioxin, by the way, is a carcinogenic compound that is produced every time bleach is used and when garbage is incinerated. In 2003 a peer-reviewed paper was published in a prominent environmental journal on the use of EM1 for remediation (break down) of dioxin in soils.
So, there are lots and lots of methods and lots of possibilities.
Quoting: Dioxin, by the way, is a carcinogenic compound that is produced every time bleach is used
Eric, you've got this environmentally-naive person thinking. . . does this mean that when I use bleach in my laundry to "whiten my whites" I am creating/introducing dioxin in my septic tank, which then might leach into my soil? To say nothing of how it would kill any good microbes in my tank?
I have been off line for the day...
You can learn more about dioxin by doing some google searches. I am not chemist either. I had to look into it when writing a speech for Dr. Higa this past spring. I have seen several research papers on the use of EM1 for breaking dioxin down and basically created my own crash course on it.
As for using bleach in laundry, if you are mainly using it to get clothes white and you have a septic tank, you may want to look into user hydrogen peroxide. Bleach kills ALL bacteria..good and bad. It is a disinfectant and has its place. The only thing that keeps your septic tank functioning properly is the bacteria that is in it. You should seriously limit putting things down the drain that will kill bacteria. In this vain, you should also avoid antibacterial soaps.
Back to gardening...with microbes...
I would say the most important step in growing is to prepare and care for the soil first. As with cooking, if you buy low quality ingredients, you are not going to make a 5 star meal. You need to focus on building the soil. This means you need what will sustain life in the soil. A healthy soil will help you grow a health plant.
Always include microbes in the preparation. They add vitamins, enzymes, breakdown organic matter, fix nutrients, synthesize polysaccharides, help retain moisture, and support the growth of life in the soil.
Many of us garden with municipal water supplies. That means some type of disinfectant is usually in the water supply. In my area we are dealing with a particularly nasty type of water chemical called chloramine which the SFPUD started using in 2004. One of the first things we noticed when the cloramine was introduced was the death of all the frogs and toads in the garden. We're trying to get this stuff banned. ( http://www.chloramine.org/ ) Until then we have a filter on our garden hose.
Installing the Garden Gro filter has helped a lot, but I worry that we are losing some of our soil microbes every time we water since chloramine can't be boiled or evaporated out of the water like regular chlorine.
I use city water as well. EM1 has been tested for resistance to chlorine. The standard amount is about 0.1 ppm (parts per million) as set by the EPA. EM1 can tolerate up to 3ppm for up to 10 minutes. It is some pretty strong stuff. It has not been tested...yet...on chloramines. I am just recently hearing about this stuff being used. In Tucson, the type of chlorine most commonly used is sodium hypochlorite...most of know it as HTH or "shock" for pools.
When I got my wastewater treatment license, the subject of chlorine and its toxicity was brought up. One person in my class brought up the byproduct of chlorine use in wastewater (which has a lot of ammonia in it) being chloramines. Our instructor told us that chloramines are carcinogens. I found it strange to hear that a utility would actually use this compound as a method of disinfection.
Water is a science in itself. There are volumes of books written on water. My belief is that we shouldn't put synthetic chemicals in any water. Good luck on getting its use stopped. The Bay Area has had many successful movements stopping the use of things like this before.
My understanding is that SFPUD is using chloramine because it's the cheapest allowable disinfectant. Until we can get it banned, I'm putting filters whereever I can and spraying EM solutions on every possible surface.
Take the probiotic approach for sure. Anyone taking an antibiotic should take probiotics at the same time. The first thing that is going to grow is the microbe that is there.
Ozone would do wonders too and it does not leave any negative residuals. Because it is usually generated by lights, the issue of electricity costs comes up. But, only ozone can kill viruses too.
Thanks wgnkiwi. I'm aware of SFPUD's position on chloramine from the many discussions we've had with them. For every argument/study that they offer in favour of its use, there are many more against it.
The end result is still the same - our quality of life deteriorated when they started using it. My skin would burn from the tap water. I spend a lot of money on shower filters. The filters have helped, but the water still makes my skin dry and itchy, which it didn't do before chloramine was reintroduced. Our tap water frequently smells like a bottle of chlorine.
The city has come out and tested it. Everything is within "allowable" limits but is still causing problems. Our prior tap water was not killing the fish & frogs and negatively affecting our health.
Oh, I can give you many arguments and scientific backup against the flouridation of municipal water supplies. We already have some lively discussion threads in the DG forums on that one. We filter it out of our drinking & cooking water.
Thank you for the suggestion of the EMX ceramics. Will these also remove chloramine?
Quoting:You should seriously limit putting things down the drain that will kill bacteria. In this vain, you should also avoid antibacterial soaps.
Thanks, Eric. I very much appreciate your taking the time to advise us. I plan on eliminating my use of chlorine bleach as much I can--and continuing to use my Bokashi Juice in my drains (hope this is the right thing to do?)
G_M---you've introduced an interesting topic. I just put kitchen scraps and compost ingredients directly into the garden, on top of or under a shovelful of soil. But the EM culture is better, apparently.
I'm appalled by all the municipal water supplies adding chlorine and flouride to the drinking water. Around here they spray Roundup in ditches everywhere--why not just dump it into the aquifers? It has negative effects on human reproduction. Just one more drop in the chemical soup we swim in.
On a positive note, "my" local WalMart is selling organic seeds and a few heirloom tomato seeds. They're also stopping the sale of cypress mulch from trees in environmentally-sensitive wetlands-. Maybe we'll see Bokashi juice on their shelves before long. I'd also like to see them sell dishwasher liquid without phosphates that end up in sewer systems.
maypop, I'm happy that there has been so much interest in EM/Bokashi/Microbial innoculants on DG. This is a fascinating subject with some wonderful uses to heal our ailing planet.
I'm especially happy that we can discuss this in the newbie friendly environment of DG. There are a number of yahoogroups dedicated to the topic where the grouplist owner, while seemingly experienced and knowledgable, is arrogant and quite hostile to newbies. I don't feel comfortable sending anyone to those groups to ask questions. The DG environment will give us a friendly place to learn from each other's experiences.
Ooh! Thanks for that link. I've only watched part of the first video so far. It is very educational and inspiring. I'm going to have lots of questions. Maybe we can clean up SF Bay one day with microbial innoculants. Actually, I think I'll send that video to our city council. There are few park "duck ponds" that could use some help. A friend of mine cleared the gooey algae growth from her ranch pond using EM.
I can see it now, teams of Microbial Mauraders (kind of like Guerilla Gardeners) pouring activated EM in polluted lakes, ponds, sloughs etc to clean them up while the town sleeps...the van drives up, the teams jump out, casks of precious beneficial microbes are emptied in the targets and a quick getaway!
First of all, I am jealous of all you guys who can watch educational videos. I can't even get a satellite connection in my area to replace my dialup, the world's slowest. Not enough installers, so they say. I hope that the new maxi-wireless will come to my neck of the woods before the year 2525.
Would EM be safe in a koi pond, like a lot of us have? Please say yes, it's safe to swim in, bathe a baby in, etc. Safe to drink if you leave a batch in the fridge and your brother-in-law takes a swig?
The Gulf of Mexico needs to go through detox, too. Who knows how much stuff comes down the big river where we get shrimp, fish, and oil and gas.
Very exciting to hear about a likely fix to our polluted groundwater. Thanks, G_M and EMEric.
Kind of disappointing to hear that there are cliquey chatters who won't give a newbie a break.
The City of San Francisco has been using EM1 since early 2003 on the Harding Golf Course (which was on the PGA tour recently). The casting ponds in Golden Gate Park were treated with EM1 back in 2004 to clear them up for some submarine races.
Maypop: Yes, EM1 is used extensively in aquaculture. Roughly 80% of shrimp farmers in Thailand use EM1 regularly to produce the shrimp. Yes, it is safe to swim in, bathe in. You do not need to refrigerate it. There is a version of it specifically for human consumption called PRO EM1. That came out in 2004.
There is some research on EM1 being used to clean up oil spills, refinery wastes, etc. There is even some on the use after Chernobyl to accelerate the breakdown of radiation (in decreases the half life of the radioactive material).
I went to a field day event at an LSU research station last year to hear several grad students talk about the success they've have with phytoremediation of contaminated soil and water. Black willow and bald cypress (I think) have in very short time completely erased toxic chemicals from polluted places. Live oaks, too, maybe?? They don't know how it's done. Now if Dow and Dupont and Monsanto put up major bucks to fund research . . . ?
And then I read that EM1 may be able dispose of radioactive waste. Wow. Science is moving fast. When will they finally start making flying cars and self-cleaning houses?
I think my biggest concern is this stuff sounds too good to be true! Are we going to start trusting it to clean up our messes and develop EM resistant strains in the process? What will the long term effects be if this is used on a global basis?
LOL I sound like an alarmist but so many things have been scientifically declared wonderful over the years and then we discover that we have made things worse instead of better or what was good for us yesterday is killing us now.
Good point Zany. If the microbes in the EM were genetically modified, or man-made in some other capacity, I wouldn't go near them. My understanding is that that these particular microbes are naturally occuring ones that are found all over the world to begin with. Our modern lifestyles ("better living through chemistry" & urban density etc) have greatly decreased the natural population of these probiotic organisms.
When you make compost tea and spray that on the garden, you are using a similar approach. It's the same with stinging nettle or comfrey tea/elixirs (biodynamic preparation) and other herbal formulas for use in the garden.. We ferment the herbs in water, then strain, dilute and spray or drench.
I'm sure Eric will have a more reasonable explanation.
Pcat--glad to hear the robot vac works. I'm also tempted to buy the steam mop that uses no chemicals (not that I mop all that often--conserving water resources, you know).
ZanyM brings up a good point--EM's "good" bacteria fight "bad" bacteria, but can it also detoxify high levels of harmful chemicals that find their way into our soils and food--arsenic, boron, nitrites & nitrates?
G_M--I also dislike the "better living through chemistry" ad. I stay away from chemicals other people buy by the barrel---chlorine (swimming pools), aluminum (deoderants and cookware=which releases poisons when you cook onions & other things).
I can't count how many times I have been asked the question about EM possibly causing problems in the environment. The answer quite simply is, "No". The microbes in EM1 are beneficial microbes, their by-products are antioxidant compounds. These are not new microbes. They have been on the planet since the planet was formed and have been here all along. The microbes in EM1 have never been found to cause sickness in adult humans or animals. They are all on the GRAS list (and FDA list of approved ingredients for foods) and they are designated BioSafety Level I, a National Institute of Health designation showing no precautions are needed when handling them.
Synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms are a greater threat to us and the environment when abused. Synthetic chemicals exert mutant pressure on opportunistic organisms (pathogens). Pathogenci bacteria are mostly anaerobic (without air) and they produce or secrete substances that are harmful to humans and animals.
The best case in point is MRSA, antibiotic resistant staph. This mutant was created through years of use of disinfectants in hospitals. Chemical companies keep coming out with stronger and stronger disinfectants to kill these type of bacteria. Chemicals have to get stronger and stronger, yet something as simple as a natural enemy, a probiotic culture, can prevent it from replicating its DNA by changing the surrounding area by adding antioxidants, establishing itself and encouraging the growth of other beneficial microbes.
Probiotics do not KILL. The action of killing results in mutations that form resistance. Probiotics work by creating an environment that is more conducive to the growth of beneficials, which are also helpful to us. Pathogens will mutate to resist certain chemicals they are exposed to. It is a survival instinct. We actually mutate ourselves as we become exposed to something like the chicken pox virus, we devolop and immunity to it.
If you get more into this, there is tons of research available on the net going back to the 1800's, after the development of the compound microscope. You would also have to know the microbes in the EM1 and look each one of them up. You could basically make a full time job out of reading all the research that has been done on each one of the species in the product.
would it be an example by looking at how things used to be versus how they are done now in growing veggies.
Back in time you used natural ways to fertilize the garden before chemicals came into being so there was a natural chain...seed...to plant and grow getting real sunshine then picked when ready and sold at markets or shared through friends letting them mature naturally and now a days you buy veggies from the store and they were produced in a greenhouse under certain conditions to get them to grow so they do not get natural sun light and they are picked early to send to the stores with chemicals in them to help they last longer so they do not have all the beneficial nutrients they once had.
Or maybe put it like this ...
When you were a kid you went outside and played in the yard getting dirty and water free soap was not around so you got some of those natural nutrients in your system which enabled you to fight off getting sick ...maybe you ate mud pies (laughs) and now a days more kids are getting sick because they don't go outside and play as much so they get sick easier.
so what we are doing by using the EM1 is per say playing in the dirt with the natural stuff to put back what has been taken from the ground or putting back into the ground so the cycle of life as it should be can continue?????
Just thinking of ways to explain it instead of using some of the "big words" that not everyone knows the meanings of.
I am in line with Mibus2 when 'm out there eating raspberries, et, without washing. Have 'we' missed out on too many of those low-level exposures to the probiotics, and to low doses of molds ,etc, that would make us less sensitive?
I am not questioning the safety of EM use directly but as a too much of a good thing possibility.
When we contaminate water or soil, we throw the natural balance of organisms way out of whack. When we apply products such as EM, even though it is natural and cleans things up again, are we in danger of swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction and thus causing another imbalance in nature. When we create this imbalance, are we causing those natural elements to mutate, both the "good" and the "bad" ?
I like the idea that we can clean up our mess. So of course I like the idea of EM. But do we know when to stop? Do we know when we have restored the balance and to let nature alone before we go too far? I believe every thing in nature has a purpose, even "bad" microbes. We just do not always understand that purpose so we rush ahead on the basis of our limited understandings and later discover we made things worse.
That is a fair assumption without sticking too much jargon in there.
Funny you should talk about kids getting sick. I recently read an article talking about how the cleaners and disinfectant abuse in our psycho-clean society is actually leading to autism, asthma, and various digestive disorders. We need microbes or we would die. Microbes, many of the same that are in EM1, are part of our immune system.
When antibiotics are used, ALL the microbes in our bodies are attacked. There are some microbes that we are born with that are killed off when we use these drugs. The only way we are going to replace them is to take a probiotic. Now, if you have a sterile environment, what is going to grow there first? Whatever is there, right? You obviously want the good bacteria, not the bad ones to be there.
Why is MRSA hospital-borne when they use disinfectants? Because there are new sick people coming in all the time. MRSA and passed through the air and from skin to skin contact. Staph can grow if the conditions are right and if it doesn't have to "fight" against another organism to get ahead...and a suppressed immune system will not be able to fend the pathogens off. Read the Center for Disease Control's website about MRSA. They recommend using soap, not antibacterial soap, just soap. Simply washing your hands will prevent so much spreading of pathogenic organisms. Clean does not have to mean sterile.
I imagine people who garden avidly tend to have a stronger immune system because of their exposure to so many "bugs". Also, home grown veggies tend to have more nutrition than commercially available ones...even the organic ones. This is because of depleted nutrients. Passionate gardeners tend to add lost of compost, minerals (rock dusts), and other nutrients to ensure their plants look great. After all, who wants to grow plants with yellow leaves, powdery mildew, and black spots all over them???
I may have misread, or read too much into the question...
Yes, too much of a good thing is bad and in some places completely unnecessary. A perfect example is in the body. If you take in too many antioxidants, you actually start to produce more free radicals, therefore reversing the entire benefits.
If we are talking about a bioremediation project, the residual materials are sampled and tested for and applications cease when project goals are reached.
In agriculture/gardening, the most amount of EM1 is used at the beginning. This is usually to get things back in balance. Since beneficials die off easily, things like acid rain and/or chlorinated water kill off many of them. We highly suggest people use as much as 40 gallons AEM1 per acre in their first year. This is an average amount. However, people that have been growing organically and use lots of organic matter, could see results with as little as 5 gallons per acre. As real soil builds, the amounts can go as low as 1 gallon per acre per year for shrubs and things that don't suck too many nutrients out of the soil. Veggies and fruits, which are heavy feeders, will tend to use more and applications are mixed between foliar sprays and composting.
Water is another place we find out if we used too much and we find out pretty fast. The general application is 1 part AEM1 to 10,000 parts water (1 gallon for every 10,000 gallons). In a pond, not one where you are intensively raising fish, the applications are done only once a month. As the muck on the pond is digested, you decrease the frequency of applications down to two-three times per year, or as needed.
So we don't go too crazy with the applications as it could be bad in some situations. For the past 27+ years (and over 100 countries) there has not been one case that has caused any major issues. Usually people don't use enough at first or they don't keep their containers clean, or they keep the product open and it spoils.
EMEric, are you suggesting that the chemical companies are always working to make tougher and meaner synthetic disinfectants because they are patentable and therefore more profitable? Several natural health writers claim that pharmaceutical companies do the same thing. And that our legal system and medical establishment favor synthetic medicines over natural cures.
But most people don't trust nature and continue to buy anti-bacterial soap, despite what the CDC says. So who's going to educate them about the benefits of ordinary soap and probiotics? Oprah? Maybe. Nature certainly doesn't have any way to advertise her products.
Yes, I know that EM is patented as a "recipe" of naturally-occuring microorganisms. That's a fair way of rewarding the inventor. But I doubt that there's any research comparing EM-type solutions to synthetic chemicals--like disinfectants that result in resistant strains of Staph and other diseases. Or like simple household cleaners that work effectively without making you gasp for breath.
There is actually quite a bit of testing that has been done on using EM1 to suppress the growth of various pathogens. However, EM1 can not be called a disinfectant because by definition a disinfectant has to kill 99.99% of bacteria within a certain time frame, say under 1 hour. This type of "pressure" to kill in such an intense way causes mutation pressure over time. The way EM1 works is through natural defense mechanisms and various environmental stressors or "encouragers". This is called competitive exclusion. Disinfectants have been on the market for decades. Until recently, people have not looked at the compounded effects and reactions. The microbes in EM1 have been around for billions of years and have not caused mutation on the planet that we know of.
I know antibiotics and antibacterial things have their place, but they should not be used all the time. Having triclosan (an active ingredient in agent orange) in most household soaps, toothpaste, and mouthwash does not make me think this is a wise use of a powerful technology. Industry and government do show preference for things that are patentable and not naturally-occurring. I too have a patent on an organic cleaner.
We have to remember that before World War II everyone farmed organically. The stockpiles of chemical agents (nerve gases and defoliants) were not brought to the mainstream markets until after the war. Anhydrous ammonia was used to increase compaction in the soil in order to quickly build landing strips. I also happens to be a great fertilizer because it is loaded with nitrogen. However, it causes soils to lose their ability to hold water and leads to erosion. Is it any wonder we have so many billion tons of topsoil eroding across the country?
I think I covered everything. This is getting to be a pretty involved discussion topic!
Actually, DDT was invented in 1874, so its use preceded WWII, but I will agree that most of the chemicals used in health and agriculture showed up after WWII.
Many people believe polio to be the result of chemical poisoning of the central nervous system (CNS) from the use of DDT and organochlorines. The polio myelitis virus was completely absent in many of the cases, but exposure to DDT was always present.
More info on that topic here:
The other problem with triclosan use in all the antibacterial products now on the market is that the formaldehyde component of triclosan mixes with the chlorine in tap water to release choroform gas. There were a number of cases locally were people passed out while doing dishes as a result of inhaling these fumes.
Thank you for your response to my concerns. We need to do everything we can to restore health to our soils and clean up our waterways. This solution , appears to be the safest way to do that that I have heard about to date. I still wonder though how these products will be viewed 10 to 100 years down the road as we learn more and other scientific discoveries are made.
It would certainly be easier if there was just *one* thing that we could all do to restore the earth, but that is wishful thinking. The damage was caused in a variety of ways, so we will need to repair it in a variety of ways.
EM is only one tool in our toolkit (albeit a powerful one). For me, the guiding principle is "are we working WITH nature or against her?" in our daily lives. Using EM and Bokashi has helped me reduce the amount of garbage we create and reduce the amount of other substances used in drains, cleaning and for garden problems. My plants and pets seem to be doing well with it. My worms are happy, fat and *creative*.
If the SFPUD gets rid of or cuts back on the chloramine in our water, maybe I won't need so much innoculant in the garden. Until then, I'm "fermenting" as much of my world as I can.
I tried to make it on the simpler side with the way the topic was going.
I'm not big into scientific terms but know enough to understand what was being said but I thought making it simple would help break it down a bit more to understand the concept so to speak.
I am amazed how this topic has grown and expanded so much ...aren't ya glad you came to DG *smile*
Boy, oh boy, have we opened a can of worms! or are we seeing more of the proverbial iceburg?
I've always wondered where polio came from--it just seemed to pop up out of nowhere--and it put my best friend in braces and casts for years. I've even heard some defense of DDT lately, that while it harms birds and wildlife, it is perfectly safe for humans. A little poison won't kill you, they say. But what about a lifetime of absorbing a little chlorine here and there, pesticides in our food, and all the other toxins that embed themselves in our very tissue? What is the accumulated effect? Autism, cancer, food allergies?
When I was a kid in the good ol' days, we used to spray DDT all over our house. I still remember the smell. At least our food was real. Not too much processed, refined, fast food or beef injected with hormones. I'm so glad I blundered into this forum. Thanks to all for letting us hear about another alternative.
I just had a meeting with someone from Gardening How To Magazine. We met at a coffee shop here in town and I started rattling on about this forum and the topics discussed here and all the projects with EM1 in the past. There are over 340,000 members in Dave's and over 675,000 subscribers to Gardening How To! Gardening How To is only available to subscribers and is the largest gardening magazine in the US. I am not sure how many people in DG are subscriber to them, but that is a lot of people! I am sure this isn't the only gardening forum on the net either. Wow!
So, it appears all of us in this forum are going or have gone organic. What do most of you grow? Food or flowers? What kinds of fertilizers do you use? Do you grow indoor plants (I can't for the life of me).
Does any use or have a compost toilet? You know bokashi can be used in those...
Since I moved into town I have only enough room for a small flower garden but I still don't want to use chemicals especially with a stream just a few feet beyond my fence!
I don't have a composting toilet but several friends use them in their mountain cabins and spread the compost around their wind break trees. I know they use something like EM in them but I don't know if it is the EM brand or somethig else. I'll have to ask when they come up again.
I will have to scan in some of the photos of my gardens when I lived back East. They were beautiful. I used to work nights, so I had all day to garden. I started with 3 hydrangea and kept splitting and doing cuttings. 4 years later, I had over 27 that I made a hedge out of, each was about 5 feet high with a base of about 2 feet in diameter. I miss those, the black eyed susans, the lilacs, and the cone flowers...not to mention the hostas and day lilies. I have about 35 varieties of day lilies. I used to line every bed with them to define the bed. My property there was about 1/2 acre, mostly back year.
In Tucson, I only have 0.17 acre (standard lot size...). The oleander kills everything on one side. The sun cooks everything on the other. I built a 30x12 section of shade cloth canopy and now have my vegetable garden there. I can say that this is a great place to grow melons and citrus!
The stuff they are using could likely be supplied by the manufacturer. I have heard that many of those companies supply inoculated sawdust.
We're currently in a urban condo (hopefully this will be the last year for this) and gardening in two community gardens. DH had to sell his farm to pay off FIL's medical bills a while ago. We're watching land prices and hoping to move back to a rural area again in another year or so. Most of the community gardens in this area are organic or in process of changing to organic (lower liability for the city).
We grow vegetables, herbs and flowers in our plots. I'm also caretaker of the common area medicinal herb garden. I've gardened in hot, humid, buggy South Florida, foggy San Franciso & BC, 6500 feet in the Sierras, high desert plateaus and central CA coast.
We used a microbial innoculant in the holding tank when I used to sail. My mom uses an innoculant in her AirStream. My aunt in Europe brews biodymanic herbal elixirs and sprays those on her crops, so in a way, that is probably somewhat of a microbial innoculant.
I saw the "greening" video at my sister's house. G_M, aren't those the Aussies who created the permaculture system? I have Mollison's Designer's Manual. It's HUGE, in size and in concept. Every time I read a page I want to go outside and incorporate some of his ideas. EMEric, you may have similar conditions to what Mollison and his permaculture designers had=constant sun, depleted, droughty soil. Have you tried any of their pioneering methods?
Is this topic only in the Soil & Composting forum? Not in Sustainable Alternatives?
There is a Permaculture thread in the Sustainable Alternatives forum.
Perhaps there should be an EM/microbial innoculant usage thread in that forum as well.
This is a HUGE topic that covers many areas.
I have a very small yard, the front is all xeroscaped with desert plants (cactus, ironwood, mesquite). The sides and back are about 10x40 and the back is 15x60. One side was lined with oleander and had been paved with cinder blocks. The back has established bermuda grass in 3/4 of it. I have planted a pyrocanthus and an apricot in the lawn. There is one deciduous tree I don't know the name of and a queen palm.
On the garden side, I have planted a pink grapefruit, a dwarf peach, a navel orange, a pommegranate, and a fig. My evaporative cooler drains into this side, which I used for watering in the summer months. My plan is that someday the trees will provide shade and organic materials for the vegetables grown below. For now, the majority of this area is covered with the shade cloth to protect the plants below.
Because of the small lot size and the established plantings (the house was built in 1989. I moved in late 2003), I am not able to practice things like "growing every day food close to the home and orchard foods farther out" We are also not allowed to have animals like chickens in the home owners' association. There is not need to build gabions, etc.
I have not done anything like setting up a formal rainwater harvesting system. Our house does not have a gutter system on it. However, during rain storms, we do collect as much water as possible with a line of 5-gallon buckets, when full, I transfer to a 55-gallon drum to use for either activating EM1 and/or for water plants on the property. I am not sure if the home owners' association will allow me to put up gutters.
This topic is only in the composting forum. Perhaps some mention to people in that forum to go over here is in order...
Quoting:So, it appears all of us in this forum are going or have gone organic. What do most of you grow? Food or flowers? What kinds of fertilizers do you use? Do you grow indoor plants (I can't for the life of me).
Does any use or have a compost toilet? You know bokashi can be used in those...
What exciting threads (even or especially the compost toilet) --thanks to garden_mermaid, for initiating this one AND the bokashi thread. So interesting. . . I do think that the green-movement is really starting to roll, and that more and more gardeners are going to sign up (like me) because of the momentum.
I started out gardening in 2006, not that long ago, and the arguments for organic-gardening were impossible to ignore. I garden on 1/2 acre of fairly level ground--not developed as a garden till we moved in--and it's totally sandy, hence my interest in composting. Last summer I grew tomatoes, cukes, peppers, eggplants, flowers, and perennials that do well here on the Cape (hydrangeas, rhododendrons, daylilies, etc.) which I'm adding to as time goes on. I've got four rain barrels set up. I use fish fertilizer and compost tea. Also Soil Soup, which I spray on the foliage.
I look forwad to using Em1.
this is going to be my first full year in Texas and using the bokashi so I am going to TRY and see how a veggie garden goes for me. Back in Illinois I grew a typical veggie garden I guess you would cal lit. Green beans, radishes, peas, spinach, cukes, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes..have done okra, sweet corn, squash, melons, lima beans are what comes to my memory right now plus I had apples, pears, grapes, raspberries and Flowers in several places.
I hope to try alot of the list above and alot more flowers.
and I told my folks who are down in Mission Texas( they spend the month of January there then go back ti Illinois) to bring me back a grapefruit tree and anything else they might find citrus wise for me to plant here ..LOL
garden_mermaid…back in the 70’s I worked at a wastewater treatment facility that had a toxic reaction occur which shut down all methane production in the seven anaerobic digesters in a mater of thee days. It took nearly a month to determine the cause. The chemical culprit was phenolic sterate at $35 an ounce. The concentration it took to knock out millions of gallons of digesting sludge was prohibitive so we had to figure out the source. Conclusion… the phenol came from paint. A local paint manufacturer had sold a large airplane manufacture a bad batch of paint, and when returned it was dumped into the sewer. Large globs of silver gray paint had been coming up on the bar screen rakes and a good deal of it ended in the anaerobic digesters after combining synergistically with stearic acid in common hose-hold detergents. Peholic sterate normally soluble had become a solid, and when placed in the primary digesters was instantly toxic to the methane formers. Even with as little as ten percent transfers, the secondary digesters also ceased methane production.
For weeks I had been deluged with enzyme and microbe salespeople offering products to solve the problem. Nothing we tried worked including reseeding from digesters at our secondary treatment facility several miles away. The final solution was a test digester which I chose, where I stopped circulation and allowed the solids to settle before removing about six feet of settled solids off the bottom. Then gradually the feed of raw sludge was increased to this digester. In about a month there was ‘seed’ for the other digesters. When all digesters were back on line the gas production exceeded anything we had ever seen before, and upsets were a thing of the past.
Conclusion is…bacteria occur naturally in our environment and in many cases adding other substances may be of little benefit.
However, a few years back I had lunch with a retired Bacteriology professor, and she told me a story about saving a well know oil refinery millions by turning their cooling towers into bacteria culturing vats for a remediation project. This was a most fascinating lady, and her philosophy was that anything, including radio-active waste could be broken down using the right bacteria cultures and nutrients. She was also instrumental in explaining why the Jaun Valdez cleanup project was not successful to other companies which later experienced similar problems…the solution…they forgot to add nitrogen to their cleanup bacteria culture!
So in final conclusion … as long as you know what your doing EM cultures can be of benefit, but you should way the cost against the benefits. And once you have established a working culture, ALWAYS save some for the next batch.
mraider, to date most of the microbial innoculants have been of tremedous value and produced noticeable results for us. Although I agree that bacteria exist naturally in the environment, the ones still present in a given location can be grossly out of balance due to human intereference.
In 2006 I was in Alaska and was handed a proposal for the Valdez cleanup...surprised it was still going on 17 years after the accident. I met with some people the Alaskan NOAA office and spoke with them about the cleanup and what had gone on. What I had learned was that some yeast products were tried (which are known to start the breakdown of petroleum). The biggest factor that would hurt bioremediation of this project is the temperature of the water.
The project objectives are to turn the collection system in to a treatment system and the treatment plant into a polishing plant. Equipment, retention time in the sewer lines, and capacity at the plant greatly affect the ability to make this happen. The benefits of direct inoculation far out-weight the cost of replacing equipment such as pumps or the environmental impact of a ruptured sewer main cause from excessively high levels of sulfuric acid in the collection system.
I just sent an email to EMRO USA, the place that makes EM1 for North America...and who I used to work for. I have not run into this question before.
I really can't wait for the database of research reports to come back online. The target date is March 1st. It will be linked to the EM Research Organization (EMRO) new English website. EMRO is the owner of the technology. They are based in Okinawa, Japan.
Could you please put a link to where this is discussed? Serotonin is a neurotransmitter,
involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. It is manufactured in human brain.
So, why would seratonin in soils?
I want to spray some EM-1 in my garden. Should I wait until the ground warms up? Can I spray it on bare ground?
I think my soil is dead! I never see any worms. It has been tended with chemicals for years. Nothing grows well. I have a real struggle just to get plants to live!
I am starting this year to "go organic" . I have a compost pile I started last year that I think will be ready by spring. I have been going to Starbucks and getting bags of coffee ground and spreading them around in my garden, and then putting chopped up leaves from last fall over the top.
I also want to make compost tea and manure tea, but don't know if any of this is beneficial in cold weather.
I am so excited about the prospects of having healthy living plants that it is hard for me to wait another two months. But, I don't want to waste my resources if the time is not right.
Any advice would be appreciated. Am I in the right thread for this topic? There are so many!
Eric, I too have a question, just got the bokashi bucket and goodies. In reading the directions I see one needs to chop up the wastes. If we ran this stuff thru a food processor or blender would that be too fine or does it matter? I happen to have a "spare" cheap blender, that is earmarked for doing things for spraying the garden, ie, garlic water for repelling various critters and pests. Since I garden organically this was the easier way to do that. Found the blender at a yard sale for $3.00. Couldn't beat the price...LOL
I live in the subtropics so I'll let Eric handled Pat's question about EM. You can spread the coffee grounds and leaves any time. You could put them into a lasagna-type bed. You are lucky to get coffee grounds - they are a great amendment. Most everybody here uses instant coffee.
Doc, I missed the part about chopping up the wastes. I've just been using stuff as is including some really big fish remains. I buried the fish remains after a month or six week with bokashi and they were pretty well broken up. It would probably break down a lot faster if chopped up.
Thanks, katie. I had a feeling that was what the chopping was all about. Since it's essentially going to "pickle" that would make sense. Much faster break down. That's good to know, though, there are some things I ain't touching...LOL The Bokashi is going to have to make do. LOL
I am not sure how cold it is where you are...it will likely be warming up soon. Freezing of EM1 kills off about 10-20% of the microbes, not all of them. The inoculant also adds enzymes, amino acids, trace minerals, and vitamins. So, it is not a waste to apply when it is still cold. However, I would wait until you don't have to worry about using the hose. You could start building up a compost pile now to get read for the warmer weather and bed prep.
I used to order manure in March when I lived in Massachusetts and start spraying it right away. Besides EM1, my favorite tool was always my rear-tine roto tiller...a 5Hp brute that I used to dig in everything, much like doing sheet composting.
If the land has been treated extensively with synthetic chemicals, you will want to go with heavy applications of AEM1. I would shoot for 20+ gallons per acre in the first year. You can make 22 gallons of AEM1 with one gallon of EM1. Get a gallon now and start the applications on a weekly basis. You will probably want to get another gallon sometime in August. Do foliar sprays in the early evening...about once a week. Get most of it in the soil in the beginning and into compost that you'll mulch with. I would say 15 gallons of AEM1 now through the end of May.
Eric, I'm confused. I see AEM Plus on the site, but does not appear it's available for sale. So how does that work? What's the difference between the 2. Or can you add something to the EM to make it AEM? Please clarify this for me, thanks.
The Shad will be running in the Rappahanock soon. That will get me all the fish I can handle. LOL
AEM means activaed EM. You get the EM and mix it with molasses and water and let it ferment to get AEM. I think. Eric will correct me if I'm wrong. By acitating - or extending - your EM you can make 22 gallons from of AEM from one gallon of EM. The AEM doesn't keep as well but it does the same job.
You will love the bokashi when you compost fish scraps.
Ok, that helped. Until I actually do this, it's real easy for me to get confused. Molasses is on my list from the feed store. Just found out we CAN have bunnies and chickens. So DH and I have to talk a bit more about housing and hutches and where to put them. That would be great. Big :)
As for chopping the items that go in the Bokashi bucket - mine are all kitchen scraps to begin with. Sometimes I chop the discarded stems into 2-3 inch pieces, sometimes I'm in a hurry and don't. It all seems to work out. Scraps from the dinner plate are already in pieces. The contents of my buckets go into the worm bin after the two week fermetnation time. So far the bigger pieces haven't been a problem.
Pat - go out and take some photos of your current soil conditions! This will give you something to compare to after a year of "soil rehab". It will be interesting to see if your soil is noticeably warmer next winter, after a year of organic amendments and EM applications. Keep us posted!
I've found that chopping or not chopping makes no difference in mine either and the longer it sits the more it breaks down.
I've mixed up 3 batches so far of the EM and have started using it to water the roses and such outside to give them an extra boost along wtih hoping to get the veggie garden planted soon and spray things with it.
I updated my journal the other day with pictures of the place since we have cleared things out from all the overgrown weeds and brush so I can take pictures as the year goes along to see the difference in using the EM1 and composting.
Reports from around the world have been made about areas treated with lots of organic matter and EM1 having snow melt earlier than on other places not treated. (did that make sense?). The microbial activity keeps the soil temperature up as much as 2 degrees C. This usually happens when 20 or more gallons per acre are applied yearly and lots of organic matter is incorporated into the soil. The organic matter can be crop/plant residue and/or manure. The organic matter supplies food for the microbes to survive. This is another reason why compost piles, even as far up as Nova Scotia, will not freeze. We have people around the great lakes that can keep their compost piles warm and steaming in the winter. However, something as small as a bokashi bucket will freeze solid. There just isn't enough mass.
Quoting:The microbial activity keeps the soil temperature up as much as 2 degrees C.
By raising the soils temperature beyond natures it almost sounds like we are playing with fire and upsetting the natural balance. If the practice becomes widespread around the world would we be adding to the global warming problem?
Nope. The reason many soils freeze hard is because they lack microbial activity and organic matter. Because of this, the depleted soils freeze solid. You are not going to melt to polar ice cap with the activity of the beneficial microbes or create global warming by re-establishing populations of microbes that have been killed by pollution and synthetic chemicals.
The presence and activity of beneficial bacteria are desirable. The lack of them is what we call disease, putrefied, and/or sick.
I'm waiting for payday so I can finally go get a good sprayer and start spraying everything instead of using a watering can..things are starting to bud out and already have a few cool weather veggies out.
I can be patient but I want to see the results of my labor even if it is just my first year here and in doing all of this.
A good hose end sprayer will run about $15 at Lowe's or The Home Depot.
A pump sprayer will be about $15-$25. A backpack can run as much as $200...overkill if you ask me. I like my pump sprayer that I paid $10 for about 4 years ago.
well we have a pump one but DH used it last year Sept when we moved in and I got poison ivy to spray it all to get rid of the PI
so I don't think I want to use it fro spraying the plants.
so when he gets his SS check I'll talk him into getting me a new one to use LOL
I interested in one of the backpack that''s battery operated. These old joints could use a break from a pumper I think. I've seen a few for about $30. I want to go down and have a better look. I think the big box stores probably have em.
I have a Stihl backpack sprayer I really like. The pump mechanism is a lever that sticks straight out from my waist at the bottom of the sprayer. I find it easy to pump with these 67 year old muscles (if they can still be called muscles!). I'm not sure what model mine is, and its too cold to trek out to the barn to see... but it looks like this one: http://www.stihlusa.com/blowers/SG20.html
I just got back from a trip to San Diego. I got some bare root raspberries and blackberries when I was there (from Nourse). I got sick and had to wait over two weeks to come home after I got them. I put them in a bucket with water and a little EM!. They all seem to be fine. I've now planted most of them. Used a few drops of EM1 on some potted plants and some of the really shot up. I'm making my first big batch of extended EM (found some cheap molasses at Big Lots). I'm also making some weed liquid.
Going to Santa Rosalia tomorrow to pick up from the veteranrian a dog who ate most of a light bulb. While there I'll go to the lumberyard I deal with and see if I can get sawdust to make another batch of bokashi.
Ok, I have what seems to me a rediculous question, but here goes. If I use only EM on my roses, daylilies, hibiscus, brugmansia, bouganvilla, lilies of all sorts, will they bloom with no other fertilizer?
Maybe, maybe not. It really depends on what your soil is made out of. If you have a lot of organic matter in the soil and regularly add compost or manure and occasional minerals, the plants may do just fine without anything else. The microbes in the EM solution makes the nutrients in the soil more available to the plants. If there are no nutrients there to begin with, you may still need to add something eventually.
I have been adding compost twice a year for about 7 years. But I didn't add any last fall or this spring. I have been sick and now I'm trying to catch up at work. What if I made compost tea instead of adding compost. It seems so much easier and faster. I think I'm getting too old to spend so much time down on my hands and knees.:)
Thanks Eric. I read somewhere that the trend was to call Bokashi "fermented food waste" rather than compost as the material is not yet broken down into compost, but rather a preceding step. My worms love it just the same.
Quoting:Yes, bokashi is not compost. I'm hoping we can get the subject clearer for everyone.
Thanks, Eric, for the information--I have read your April 10 blog entry and understand now that Bokashi works best "underground" (covered by a layer of topsoil), while compost goes on top of the garden soil. Here's my question: I have been tipping my completed Bokashi into my compost bins, covering it with greens and browns, and letting it turn into what looks a whole lot like compost. I plan to spread it on my garden eventually. Is this a mis-use of the Bokashi material?
Thanks for all your help.
Yes, that is another way you can use the fermented food waste. It will act as a compost additive and accelerate the breakdown of materials in the compost pile because it adds lots of nutrients and live microbes.
Thank you so much, Eric, for clarifying this for me. I am amazed at how much fermented food waste I've been generating now that I use ALL my scraps. And as garden mermaid says, the earthworms love turning it into compost!
If we want to see the power of recycling, EM Technology™ really makes it possible! It is amazing how much stuff you can divert from the garbage can. When I lived on the Cape, I used to collect all the leaves from the yard and my neighbors' and grind them up to make bokashi. This would make a great mulch and was really cheap!
Some of us have to snatch leaves at the midnight hour since a number of municipalities have now made it illegal to take bagged yard waste from the curb. You'd think they would appreciate the fact that some folks are willing to do the composting for them.
I am going to be at the Tempe, Arizona Whole Foods Market on Sunday April 20 from 12-3pm for their Earth Day Celebration. I will be there to do demos and answer customer questions on PRO EM•1® Daily Probiotic Cleanse, Dr. Don's™ Antioxidant Oral Hygiene Products, and, of course, EM•1® Microbial Inoculant.
They will have face painting and seed planting. I have been doing this for three years now. It is always fun to get in the sun! Can anyone from DG come? It would be great to meet you!
SPRAYER CLOGGING UP? A solution is a simple stop at a major contractor's rental center. The answer is to take your two gallon sprayer wand with you. Ask them to rebuild the wand to include a 30% nozzle as used in the concrete treatment application business. I may be off on the percent but they will understand your request if you use concrete curing application nozzle terminology. The nozzle will then pass 30% solids.
Several things will happen if you are spraying living biology. One the spray pressure will be less because of a larger opening. This will save the lives of your biological players. They do not fare well being squeezed to death in spray situations...literally. As important your plant leaves will not be bio and mineral blasted while the living biology will better survive the trip from can to leaf surfaces. In fact you will place more biology faster because the flow is softer and under less pressure. The additional run off goes to the soil and this is good too.
This is very good to do if you are spraying the higher forms of life above bacteria and fungi like amoba up to nematodes. In any event you need not strain as carefully and you will hardly ever clog up when exercising just a little common sense.
If you are a small one sprayer can operation you may want to start with a new hose and buy everything up to the nozzle. That way you can change the set up easily. Understand that your service person at the rental center will have to perform some magic because no two sprayer companies make the nozzle threads and sprayer parts the same. I and several of my friends have done this at several different rental centers in different areas.
Sorry this goodness is going to cost some bucks. Anything good always does. This is the least expensive way I know to achieve this set up. Do not even think of buying the heavy duty all stainless commercial stainless tank and wand.
How far is Flint from Austin? I am leaving on Monday, the 2nd of June... in the morning.
Saturday is booked with the Wellness show. My partner Dwayne, the EMA President, is likely coming as well. I'll be getting up on stage to talk about EM Technology™ and the benefits to health and green living.
Sunday has been planned for some one-on-one with a new distributor in the Austin area. However, if it's not too far, setting up something for later afternoon is not out of the question. We'd need a place and to send some notice. I'm always up for a lecture/workshop!
EM gets good marks from me. I give even higher marks to Eric who really seems to be on the cutting edge with the increasing use of this and similar products and techniques.
It is not a new entry at all. I seems to me that this or similar products are what they claim to be. Nothing presently has the eye of well experienced and some well known organic speakers and writers as this movement.
All of the techniques that introduce or in some other way increases the beneficials that in turn take charge in your soil biology to balance the good guys in charge to the point that any bad guys you may have are dominated. We have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can not succesfully poison the problem players without also knocking down the good biological players. All poison does is kill enough of the players that you think you have done good. Not true! Using poison knocks them all down about equal. When and if that soil recovers all that is left builds back up to give you perhaps even greater problems and you are tempted to add even more poison. This simpley makes soil worse with each cycle of poison. We are all better building up the organic content and building the balances of healthy soil. EM and similar techniqies will build the healthy soil. The plants will do the rest.
I happen to have gone through this building process for fifty years. My present method is the use of aerobic compost tea with earth worm castings being a part of the brew as an added factor and as found in all good quality compost. To get where I am I purchased a bag of proven tea quality compost to insure that I had all of the good players of EM plus the higher forms of life from amoeba to nematodes.
EM was not even heard of when I started. Today I would surely use a product like EM to innoculate my soil and my compost with known good players or I would start with proven tea quality compost from which I would insure excellent good players were being expanded by the aerobic process.
To support Eric for all of the fine coaching he has given I will say beyond a shadow of a doubt that good EM would be great for any user. If you or I would add an overdose the contents would simply die in place. They are still good even after living.That is the natural process. They stay alive in relationship to the total good soil building practices you have working in your patch.
To achieve the greatness this technique and EM products profess we must increase our basic soil building using manures, added trace minerals, compost and lots of the elements of compost in the fall. This is totally improved by a cover crop and mulches as you are growing. It amazes me to hear of some folks tweaking and building without even a soil test. All serious builders test for PH and organic content as a minimun testing. For a few bucks more you can test your trace minerals and make adjustments based on known facts. This should be done every year for awhile. Later when you understand what is going on in your patch you may resort to occasional testing just to check up on yourself and your practices. The basics never change quickly if you once arrive at an excellent ballance. This applies to all soil types. They all improve as you get a handle on good organic management.
My program was to apply aerobic tea once a week for one year. Once a month the second year and three times a year the third year. My PH is now 6.8 - 7.2. The organic material in the soil is an average of fifteen percent. I could root and grow broom handles in the soil I now have to work with. Well...almost. :)
There is but one garden plant commonly grown that would not like the PH as high as I maintain mine. I use to offer a free coffee for the identy of that common plant. Can't do that anymore. To many of you know because we are all learning more and more as we get into the organic trends. I'll let one of you identify that one or two plants.
Thanks again to Eric. We hope you will hang around for all of the good reasons including making a few bucks. ]:o)
Broom handles. That is funny.
15% organic matter is amazing!
In reference to compost tea:
After the aerobic cycle, add some EM1 Microbial Inoculant at a rate of 50:1 (tea to EM1). This is what we have several golf courses doing. It give you the best of both worlds.
Here's a picture of me with Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at last year's Raw Spirit Festival in Sedona, Arizona.
BINGO...FOR SALLY. :) You can however raise them by row or side dressing organic ferts for acid loving plants. They will get scab in a netrual growing medium or soil.
Pat...except for maybe one or two missing genes I may have looked like Clark Gabel. ]:o) My other problem was I waded barefoot in the cow barn one time to many.
I just cant imagine what a shot of EM and a pair of boots from day one might have done for me. This does not account for being broad sided more than once watching mother put a squirt of raw milk right in the cat's face.
I stumbled upon this thread while looking for a trumpet sprayer to apply aerated compost tea.Very interesting, didn't know about EM1. I went to a lecture last week on how to make it and was told pressure sprayers more than 50 psi will kill the organisms. Anyone know where to get a trumpet sprayer.
No wonder I couldn't find it when I searched. It's called TROMBOME, not trumpet. Any how, most of them have pressure up to 150 psi, so I don't know if it's a good idea. I do like the idea though.Thanks for your help.
Bananna I use the sprayer like you use for spraying with miracle grow hooked to the garden hose since
Dh has used the big sprayer we have for brush killer to try and get rid of poison ivy since I don't get along with it LOL
This has been a long but fascinating discussion. I'm just getting started with the idea of Bokashi for food waste. I look forward to learning & practising more in this school of thought, so maybe I'll work with MN & not against her. I have ordered the basic kit for Bokashi set up & I'll make a container as I get going with the first. I have a small amount of the bran coming with the kit. What will be my next logical step as far as needed product. AEM1, make my own bran, EM1??? Although an awesome thread and great material being presented, I get confused when I go to order what I need, the products all seem to sound the same. I can be overwhelmed easily & have dropped out before I see results. Help me not to sabotage myself this time. This looks really important.
If you write to the people at www.emamerica.com they can recommend specific products. I started with a gallon of EM1 and used part of it to make bokashi with sawdust (no bran available here). It came out fine and worked well and that has encouraged me to use the liquid on my plants and to make weed extract. The bokashi is very easy to make and it works so well on what would otherwise be smelly garbage that I think it's a good way to start.
One really great thing about this is that you really mess it up too badly. If it doesn't come out "right" (for example, if it had a bad smell) you just bury it a little deeper!!
And nobody here will tell you you're doing it "wrong." We're all learning as we go.
Eric is the best to answer but I started out with just the bokashi and used my own bucket and got the EM 1 and extended ans activated it out with the directions that are on the site.
You can put pretty much everything from the kitchen including leftovers in the bucket I choose not to put meat in though as the dogs like to find the spot I put it in outside and try to dig it up. ...we cover it with fencing till we are ready to plant or I add it to the compost pile.
Anyway start with the bokashi...put a lil in the bottom of the bucket then as you add the food layer more on top of the food...I usually do it once a day depending on how much food we put in ...so it would be a starting layer of bokashi, food , bokashi and so on till the bucket is full...then you let it sit to ferment everything (about 2 wks) dig your hole and empty the bucket into it, wait 2 wks then you can plant and start again.
If you are getting EM1 then you can extend it to make it go further and I use mine to spray my yard and plants with along with on the compost pile.
When we moved her last July no one had done anything to the property for over 12 years other then mow the yard.
Oh Glory...I wish I had found this thread when I started reading about EM1/Bokashi on some other threads... I had so many basic questions!!! So after an aborted failure making Bokashi with peatmoss, I finally found some Bokashi for sale for an arm and a leg (16$ per pound), got it made to see if I liked the proceedures and I started processing my kitchen waste. I got so excited about it, I investigated more and more, my husband (the skeptical Chemical Engineer) is 100% excited about it and we just did a work shop here to teach my Master Gardener class about it...they are all now making their Bokashi... It is coffee season now, so we have 'a lot' of coffee pulp...that's going into a 50gal. rubbish bucket with the bottom cut out...and it is buried in a pile of greenwaste from the garden and sawdust from a small saw mill. Next spring...!!!! I cannot imagine anyone not getting totally turned on by it...an organic farmer friend of mine was there and he is getting into it!!!
My next thrill will be spraying my labrador, Thelma, after she has rolled in a dead frog!!!! No smell.
Eric...thanks for being there...answering the questions and broadening our minds!!!!
I have been reading that CSI site and kinda sorta following their proceedures for planting new seedlings... Talked to the EM distributor here and he said it is just kinda sorta like using EM ... anyway...I mix up the Fish Fertilizer, the Molassas and throw in some EM or just the Bokashi Juice and those puppies grow!!!!
I just saw your post about a trumpet sprayer. I don't know what they are ...but...
I have a trombone sprayer that I located on Ace Hardware's web site. I checked with my local Ace store and had them order it for me. It cost about $50 but I like it because it sprays higher and farther than my pressure tank type sprayer. Since you just put the liquid into any plastic bucket it's easy to clean when you're through by filling the bucket with clean water and spraying it out until the sprayer is clean too.