I have come across some articles that describe methods which seem to have originated in Costa Rica in which soil is collected from forests, then mixed with molasses, rice husks and rock dust (some variants omit rock, others use other carbon sources; soil is a a 1:2 proportion to carbon source, i.e. rice husks) and then compacted in sealed containers for 30 days (i.e. in anaerobic conditions) with the aim of multiplying the "good microorganisms for the soil" originally contained in the forest soil.
I cannot get my head around this. Some "methods" "activate" this "forest microorganisms" (called "MM" for "Microorganismos de monte" or in english "FM" for "forest microorganisms") after the process described above by placing them in bioreactors (like making ACT from it) --which would kill most anaerobic microbes present. Variations of this method mix these anaerobically cultured microorganisms with aerobic cultures in the bioreactor.
Another method of application suggests mixing the MM/FM with bokashi or compost, either at the time application to the fields or on the last stages of fermentation/composting (when temperatures have dropped).
The first method of placing the MM/FM in a highly aerated medium would reduce the risk of introduction of pathogens in the soil, but it would defeat the purpose of culturing the forest soil's microorganisms anaerobically. The only population that could be incremented would be that of facultative anaerobic bacteria/organisms.
The second way of application would be, in my opinion a risky way of introducing pathogens to the soil.
These practices are described briefly (p. 83) in Sacred Soil: Biochar and the Regeneration of the Earth (R. Tindall).
I would appreciate if anyone could comment if there is any reasonable benefit from this practice.
All beneficial microbes are aerobic (air breathers) so taking these organisms and putting them in an environment that has no air will kill them off.
Anaerobic organisms are not the ones we want in our soils, they tend to be things like botulin and other organisms we call pathogens.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, and much of it can create problems for the unsuspecting gardener or orchard beginner.
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posted 5 months ago
thank you for your reply! Although it seemed pretty evident to me that this did not make much sense I wanted to see if I was missing something! By the way, I have really appreciated reading your posts here on the permies/soil forum.
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