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Experience with Effective Micro-organisms (Higa) ?

 
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Does anyone have experience with EMs? I chanced upon them through a thread on permies which has, however, been deleted due to misquoting. Anyways, the concept of EM makes sense to me, and the companies selling them make huge claims for their benefits. However, they come at a price, so I'm wondering if using them will pay off or not.
 
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When the conditions are right then EM treatments will work wonders. The caveat is that the conditions have to be RIGHT. One portion; pH, soil temp, water content, nutrient supply, being off can create a non-function situation.
This is why the scientific community seems to have a problem with Effective Micro organisms, it is the lack of easy repeatability.

There are aerobic microbes and there are anaerobic microbes, each needing a different setup to thrive.

May I suggest this paper for reference: em it is by Dr. Higa and Dr. Parr  

Do they work? Yes but conditions must be optimal or near optimal

On my farm, I do not use any of the commercially available EM products and I have excellent results. I do however have great quantities of mycorrhizal fungi, naturally occurring em, and a strong population of both earthworms and red wiggler worms.
In my personal opinion, if you take the time to build really healthy soil, you will find that effective micro organisms abound naturally.
If you don't have or can't build great soil, then I think the addition of activated E.M. products can be of benefit by reducing the time needed for healthy soil building.

 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:When the conditions are right then EM treatments will work wonders. The caveat is that the conditions have to be RIGHT. One portion; pH, soil temp, water content, nutrient supply, being off can create a non-function situation.



It's a catch 22 imo. If your soil is healthy and ripe with life EM will naturally develop on its own. If you're having to treat with EMs it's a question of whether or not your soil will ultimately have the capacity to support it.
 
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I have heard people say that they have been helpful, but I haven't seen their results, so I am not sure. I do know that there are many recipes for homemade EM, which possibly has advantages because it is using native bateria and microbes to replenish your soil. Alternatively, bringing in a foreign microbe solution may add new or variant species to your garden, which could be good as well. I would think a good combination would be finding a highly active soil site near to your property and scooping up soil from there as inoculant if you were to make your own.

Here are some different recipes:
http://www.hawaiihealingtree.org/how-to-make-your-own-em-1-inoculant-and-bokashi/
http://permaculturenews.org/2012/02/04/how-to-prepare-a-beneficial-microorganism-mixture/

I have also seen people make bokashi by combing molasses and spraying down a pile of leaves maybe a meter in diameter and half that high. The pile was made on the forest floor in the shade, and after a few days a white mold/fungus was seen growing throughout the pile. (This was two years ago and I can't find my notes, so the details are sketchy
 
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