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Best starter for EM?  RSS feed

 
Fred Neecha
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I'm really getting into this EM thing. I find it so much more effective than my compost tea. How do you make yours? I've started using a bit of cooked rice and mixed it with some sugar and water and left it in a warm spot. Is this right? What else can be used as starter?

I also had a vat when it was warmer that I would regularly urinate into. Shouldn't the bacteria like the ammonia? I had a small aquarium pump to give it some air but it didn't do much...

Let me know what you think! Thank you for your input.
 
Walter McQuie
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Location: Northern New Mexico
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Ammonia oxidizing bacteria play an important role in the soil food web nutrient cycle, transforming ammonia to more plant friendly forms of nitrogen. They are also used in waste water treatment plants. So it seems possible there are numerous varieties of such bacteria. If so, I'd want the appropriate ones in my soil and feed them there, not taking the chance that feeding the ones that like a vat ends up advantaging them over my soil living friends. There's more thinking than knowing in that conclusion. Hope it helps.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Hey Conner, what is EM ?
 
Burra Maluca
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Hey Conner, what is EM ?


Effective Microorganisms
 
Su Ba
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Here's a link to a publication referred toon Hawaii for gathering indigenous mcro organisms.

http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/BIO-9.pdf

That is how I initially gathered EMs, but now I skip that step if my goal is to inoculate a compost pile. Now I simply collect a few shovelfuls of soil from the target area and mix them into the compost pile that I am aiming to inoculate. But if you are planning to use the IMOs for other purposes,then gathering and growing them in wheat bran may be worth the effort.
 
Fred Neecha
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Lol! Miles! I'm so sorry. These guys are so helpful. Thanks ya'll. Su Ba, the idea of just throwing a shovel of dirt from the woods in a pile has revolutionized my thinking... go figure... lol. Permaculture is so often so beautifully simple.

What's this about not harvesting indigenous microbes in wet weather because there'll be too much fungus in the soil? I thought we love fungus all the time. Do you have any ideas? In my ignorance, it makes me want to go get a scoop from the woods of some of that wet, rotting tree bark with all that mycelium and throw that in there.

Amazing how I could have gone all this time without so much as throwing in a scoop of "local soil" into my compost bin

Is wheat brain better than cooked rice in your experience?
 
Su Ba
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Conner, the cooked rice is a good medium for EM collecting. Having been cooked, it is sterile, allowing the micro organisms to colonize the rice without competition.

The wheat bran is used to replicate the EMs you collected. Basically your creating a mini compost situation. You mix the EM inoculated rice in wheat bran. Lightly moisten the bran, mixing well. Cover it to prevent it from drying out. Keep it warm but not in the sun. Within a week or so, the EMs grow through the wheat bran pile. Now you've got scads of EMs.

 
John Polk
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Here is some info on using lacto (milk) bacteria to grow your own:
Hawaii Healing Tree

 
Fred Neecha
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What I did today is add shovel's of topsoil from the woods with some compost and other soils on site. I poured some of that rice-based/urine mixture over it with some bark from the woods that have mycelium on the underside. Then I covered it with a cardboard box face down. We shall see.

Thoughts? :O Going for the experiment....

Edit: To my microbe tea, I've also added that top layer of liquid that forms in your tub of yogurt from the store. Is this wise or foolish? Lol.
 
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