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Stalled out indigenous micro-organisms, advice?

 
pioneer
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I'm trying to gather an IMO colony (Indigenous MicroOrganisms). The box of rice had been buried out in a likely spot for about 5 days now, and there is still no action... any advice?

I followed Chris Trump's instructions on how to prepare the rice. However (!), I didn't have a wicker basket of a suitable size, so I perforated a small cardboard box, top and bottom, and set it in a nice bed of spruce duff in an area with a lot of mycelium action.


It has been dipping down to about 2*c at night, but is still about 16*c during the days... is it just too cold already? I figured the local biome is pretty evolved to thrive in the Yukon's climate.
I really want to inoculate my new chicken coop before the winter freeze sets in! Any help out there?
 
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Another alternative is to simply bring shovelfuls of that soil and add it to your compost pile or garden soil. There's really no need to do the rice thing, though it may be fun. I attended a multi day seminar given by Cho several years ago. When I questioned him afterward about the rice collector, he agreed that fertile soil could be collected and transferred to my gardens as long as I didn't let it dry out or bake in the sun.
 
Chris Sturgeon
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Thanks for the reply, Su Ba. Because I'll be using this inoculant in the floor of my chicken coop, I will be incorporating a lot of forest duff as a top layer... hopefully it will have good effect!
The Yukon is boreal forest... a biome typified by very poor soil. All the nutrients are in the vegetation, ironically much like the poor soil of a tropical jungle. There is no top soil, there are no worms. We had a large volcanic event about 5000 years ago that left a 4 inch layer of ash over much of the lower lakes Yukon area... in the last 5 millennium there has been approximately 1.5 inches of (poor) soil built on top of that ash layer.
I want to work with the natural systems here, but I don't have time to do everything the slow way! The IMO seems like a great way to concentrate and deploy the microbes that are doing good work here... Do you think there is anyway to help this process along?
 
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i'm looking at this as a fermenter- a brewer, a pickler, etc. When you have these questions making pickles, vinegar, beer, etc, the answer is almost always "more time can't hurt". But whatever native organisms you have are in the soil, so it seems like adding the soil (or "soil-like substance") to your coop already would be a good way to get a jump on it while you leave the box a bit more. (if it's just getting colder real fast, extra time might not help too much)
 
Chris Sturgeon
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Thanks, Tereza. Yes, I' will be incorporating what 'forest scrapings' I can find to the mix. And it's my own fault for leaving this too late in the season. Winter is coming!
 
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According to Master Cho's original instructions you can use an alternative method by mixing leaf mold with the rice directly. See https://rooftopecology.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/korean-natural-farming-indigenous-microorganisms-imo/ under the heading "Collecting from leaf mould"
 
Chris Sturgeon
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I'm going to go out right now and see what's happening. I'll take a picture.

One problem I may be having is that because I'm in the Boreal, we don't really have 'leaf mould'. The dominant species is Black Spruce, so it's more a duff comprised of spruce needles and spruce cones (chewed up by ravenous squirrels). We still seem to get good mushroom, lichen and moss growth, despite the acidic nature of the duff.
 
Chris Sturgeon
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Went out for a beautiful Autumn walk and checked in on the IMO. Yes, I know it's still August, but it's full on Fall in the Yukon! Results are below:
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Rice, untouched by IMO, for 6 days now.
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So I mixed some duff right in and put it back to wait some more.
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Autumn beauty.
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Mushrooms.
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Mushrooms!
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MUSHROOMS!
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Typical under-tree duff.
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Now we wait. again.
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Ran into these guys on the way home. Hi fellows!
 
Chris Sturgeon
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OK.
So we've had a change in weather, it's still hitting around freezing at night, but getting highs around 20*c during the day. T-shirt weather in September!

I was able to coax a bit of microbial life into the rice bed and I've mixed it with it's own weight of brown sugar.

Next step... inoculate the chicken bedding!  I will make a new post about building the 'no clean out' chicken coop.
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mixing up a batch of IMO2 for the chicken coop!
 
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