Aloha thumbs and friends. I am back to give one of my biggest secrets away, it is my own homemade root inoculate or EM™/BAM(beneficial active microorganism) made with rice water, milk and sugar. There are many shelf bought version for ridiculous pricing, for those with the little know how to make ones own. House & Garden makes Root Accelerator,Hygrozyme, Sensizyme, Advanced Nutrients Voodoo Juice are some of the high priced products that my own home culture works as well as or even in some cases has even worked better. I know many growers that would not even think of culturing their own or even would have the know how to, but I offer you my knowledge for your own frugal organic gardening purposes. Not to mention how I have talked about recycling and composting with worms, now I will introduce you to the Japanese form of Bokashi Composting or fermenting and how to make your own home made cheap alternative Bokashi Buckets and Bokashi mix.
Effective Microorganisms, aka EM Technology, is a trademarked term now commonly used to describe a proprietary blend of 3 or more types of predominantly anaerobic organisms that was originally marketed as EM-1™ Microbial Inoculate but is now marketed by a plethora of companies under various names, each with their own proprietary blend. “EM™ Technology” uses a laboratory cultured mixture of microorganisms consisting mainly of lactic acid bacteria, purple bacteria, and yeast which co-exist for the benefit of whichever environment they are introduced, as has been claimed by the various em-like culture purveyors. It is reported to include:
- Lactic acid bacteria: Lactobacillus plantarum; L. casei; Streptococcus Lactis.
- Photosynthetic bacteria: Rhodopseudomonas palustris; Rhodobacter sphaeroides.
- Yeast: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Candida utilis (no longer used) (usually known as Torula, Pichia Jadinii).
- Actinomycetes (no longer used in the formulas): Streptomyces albus; S. griseus.
- Fermenting fungi (no longer used in the formulas): Aspergillus oryzae; Mucor hiemalis.
The concept of ‘Friendly Microorganisms’ was developed by Japanese horticulturist Teruo Higa, from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa Prefecture|Okinawa, Japan. He reported in the 1970s that a combination of approximately 80 different microorganisms is capable of positively influencing decomposing organic matter such that it reverts into a ‘life promoting’ process. Higa invokes a ‘dominance principle’ to explain the effects of his ‘Effective Microorganisms’. He claims that three groups of microorganisms exist: ‘positive microorganisms’ (regeneration), ‘negative microorganisms’ (decomposition, degeneration), ‘opportunist microorganisms’. In every medium (soil, water, air, the human intestine), the ratio of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ microorganisms is critical, since the opportunist microorganisms follow the trend to regeneration or degeneration. Therefore, Higa believes that it is possible to positively influence the given media by supplementing with positive microorganisms.
EM™ Technology is supposed to maintain sustainable practices such as farming and sustainable living, and also claims to support human health and hygiene, animal husbandry, compost and waste management, disaster clean-up (The Southeast Tsunami of 2004, the Kobe Earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina remediation projects), and generally used to promote functions in natural communities.
EM™ has been employed in many agricultural applications, but is also used in the production of several health products in South Africa and the USA. (fuel additive products are no longer available).
A High School in Malaysia, Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Dato’ Onn Butterworth, Penang, are using EM to treat Greywater, minimise odour from Septic Tank & remove sludge from drains.
This is a recipe I learned from a friend along time ago.
EM/BAM: this a trade secret!(lactobacillus culture)
1/4 cup rice
1quart Mason Jar
1 cup water
1 fine mesh strainer
80 oz milk depends on how much one is making
1 gallon container or jar
1 tsp. black-strap molasses
1. Place rice and cup of water in mason jar and shake vigorously until water is cloudy white, strain off rice kernels and discard into tour compost bin or cook for dinner. I have heard of the Japanese adding a dash of nato to help ferment but not needed.
2. place cap on loosely and store in a cabinet or cool dark place for 5-7 days.
3. Sift off top layer and strain liquid (serum)
4. measure your rice liquid and now add a ratio of 1 part fermented rice to 10 parts milk, I would culture in a 1 gallon jar. let sit for 5-7 days.
5. sift off curd settlement and add to your soil or feed your animals it is good for their digestion, then there should be a light yellow serum left this is your unactivated serum.
6. Add 1 tsp molasses to feed and keep your bacteria alive and refrigerate. should have a shelf life of 6-12 months.
7. to activate microorganism activities and to room temperature non-chlorinated water at a ratio of 1 part Serum to 20 parts water.
8. feed to plants either straight into soil or follicular feeding.
Bokashi is a method of intensive composting. It can use an aerobic or anaerobic inoculation to produce the compost. Once a starter culture is made, it can be used to extend the culture indefinitely, like yogurt culture. Since the popular introduction of effective microorganisms (EM), Bokashi is commonly ma
de with only molasses, water, EM, and wheat bran.
In home composting applications, kitchen waste is placed into a container which can be sealed with an air tight lid. These scraps are then inoculated with a Bokashi EM mix. This usually takes the form of a carrier, such
as rice hulls, wheat bran or saw dust, that has been inoculated with composting micro-organisms. The EM are natural lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and phototrophic bacteria that act as a microbe community within the kitchen scraps, fermenting and accelerating breakdown of the organic matter. The user would place alternating layers of food scraps and Bokashi mix until the container is full.
Bokashi is moderately easy and cheap to make and there are many online video walkthroughs, you tube being a great place for a beginner to get some help, but here is a easy simple way to make Bokashi. Mostly made from wheat husks or wheat bran but I have heard of people using any thing from oats, barley, wood chips and even unsalted peanut husks.
Bokashi Grain 10 & 50 lb mix)
10 lbs wheat bran
4 tbsp EM serum
4 tbsp Molasses
10-12 cups non -chlorinated water
50 lb wheat bran
3/4 cup EM serum
3/4 cup Molasses
3-4 gallons Non-chlorinated water
air tight containers such as buckets with lids or storage totes will work too.
Something to mix in or on.
1. Add molasses to water and mix well.
2. Add Em serum
3. put wheat bran in mixing container or on something to mix on if one is making large amounts.
4. add liquid slowly and mix vigourously till all liquid is added
and all bran material is dampened. Bokashi mix should be equally damp and slightly sticks to itself.
5. For my ferment I do 5 gallon buckets and trash bags. Once my mix is ready I line a 5 gallon bucket with 2 trash bags and start scooping my Bokashi mix in side in layer, compacting and squeezing all the air out of my bran mix.(Keynote: Air will create the wrong bacterial culture and if you see black , green or gray mold throw your mix away, white is OK that is yeast.) Tie off bags and place air tight lid on bucket.
6. Store for 14 days in cool dark area for fermenting.
7. open fermented mix(smell should be like apple cider sweet)and Sundry on concrete or on a tarp in the sun, time may vary depending on your location and time of year for drying.
8. Place in container for your Bokashi composting needs, flush down toilet to clear septic tanks, feed to live stock to better digestion.
Well this is a couple cheap easy trade secrets that should benefit your organic medical gardens Thumbs. Be green and frugal it is best we do thing for ourselves. If you feel the need to do more research look into organic farming with probiotics for plants.