Jump to content
BANGKOK
Sign in to follow this  
Smithson

Effective Micro-organisms

Recommended Posts

Rice bran will be available in feed stores somwhere near you for sure. It is a prime ingredient for on farm feed mixers. There are several grades available, for bokashi get the cheapest you can.

Bone meal is harder, I haven't tried in Sisaket city yet but cannot get it here. If you can get bones then you can make your own, by burning or broiling them and then fermenting in vinegar.

Another way to up the pH value is to add biochar. Carbonised rice hulls will lift the pH. as will adding lime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks IA,

I didn't realise that rice husk biochar was alkaline, useful to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this is the same organic liquid fertilizer as the OP mentioned (back in 2008! Jeeze! It really is quiet around here, eh?!). But it's something I tried out last week, and so far seems to be working! Sounds a bit similar.

I ground up fish bones, prawn shells and any fish heads I had in my freezer (I usually keep them to make stock) in my blender then put them in a small barrel. With some blended fruit (sugar) and some sawdust and a little bit of water. I plan to leave it in there for two weeks...

So far, I have been giving it a little agitaion every day (burping the barrel) and surprisingly, the smell is sweet and not nasty at all.

I'm guessing the addition of sugar or 'Gut Numtarn' as the OP noted, helps keep the bad bacteria at bay, while feeding the good stuff. The container is sealed and the organic fertilizer is created. Voila!

OP asked: ''Does anyone have a clue what I'm talking about? I know it's really vague, but things are never clear in LOS. It looked very interesting.''

I'm guessing, they might have been making fish emulsion???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sunday,

there is more about compost teas etc at

http://www.thaivisa....s-and-humanure/

So far, I have been giving it a little agitaion every day (burping the barrel) and surprisingly, the smell is sweet and not nasty at all.

I'm guessing the addition of sugar or 'Gut Numtarn' as the OP noted, helps keep the bad bacteria at bay, while feeding the good stuff. The container is sealed and the organic fertilizer is created. Voila!

By burping, I guess that you mean releasing the gases as opposed to stirring to introduce oxygen.

Apparently 'Guk Numtarn' (molasses) feeds the beneficial yeasts and fungii, not sure if there is any reason to doubt that it will also feed the nasties as well. Maybe by adding EM into the mix, you would be giving the good organisms a head start and they can out compete the bad ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this is the same organic liquid fertilizer as the OP mentioned (back in 2008! Jeeze! It really is quiet around here, eh?!). But it's something I tried out last week, and so far seems to be working! Sounds a bit similar.

I ground up fish bones, prawn shells and any fish heads I had in my freezer (I usually keep them to make stock) in my blender then put them in a small barrel. With some blended fruit (sugar) and some sawdust and a little bit of water. I plan to leave it in there for two weeks...

So far, I have been giving it a little agitaion every day (burping the barrel) and surprisingly, the smell is sweet and not nasty at all.

I'm guessing the addition of sugar or 'Gut Numtarn' as the OP noted, helps keep the bad bacteria at bay, while feeding the good stuff. The container is sealed and the organic fertilizer is created. Voila!

OP asked: ''Does anyone have a clue what I'm talking about? I know it's really vague, but things are never clear in LOS. It looked very interesting.''

I'm guessing, they might have been making fish emulsion???

I am very interested in what sort of fertiliser you are attempting to make. I havent heard of this fermentation combination before. I have had of bones and shells being fermented anaerobically in vinegar to make foliar sprays for fruit trees etc...

But bones sugar and sawdust, you got my attention

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first attempt at a bokashi fermentation I basically just used weeds and a few handfuls of aged cow manure. Included some kitchen scraps and just out of interest a couple of whole fish that had been in the refridgerator too long. When I told the missus that I was going to put them in, she left them out for a few hours before I got round to doing it.

I put it all in a bucket mixed with EM, molasses and water. Weighted it down and sealed it as best I could. It really didn't seem to do much after about a week and I left it a bit longer. Not white mould or anything after 10 days.

It didn't seem to have much of a vinegary smell, but it didn't smell bad either. I tipped it out and found that the fish were now mush and crawling with small maggots.

So not exactly success or a failure. I've buried it anyway and will see what happens after a few weeks.

I think that the problem was possibly because of too much already wet material, maybe a stronger solution of EM may have done better.

Maybe it will be better to make a tea that they call Fermented plant extract if using weeds in future.

I managed to buy some rice bran, 6Bt/Kilo and made a heap with rice husks, fresh cow manure and the bran. I soaked the bran and husks in a bucket of EM/molasses solution before mixing with the manure. Covered this with an old tarp and put some weight on top.

I was amazed at how hot it was after 3 days. It was only about a foot (30Cm) high and even the outside was hot. I remixed it to lower the temperature and covered it again. That was 2 days ago and will check it later.

I've made some extended EM by adding 500ml each of EM and molasses to 10 litres of water. After 6 days, it smells perfect and has the white mould on top. Will have to put that to work soon as you are supposed to use it within 7 days of completion.

I mixed up 2 small batches of bokashi bran 2 days ago and will check up on them tomorrow.

I made 2 batches, because I used the last of the EM that I bought initially. That was the proper EM at 90 Bt.

The second bottle of EM that I bought is called EM Quality and only 60 Baht and I used this with the 2nd batch of bokashi bran. Will be interesting to see how the 2 compare.

I mentioned my concerns that using a lot of bokashi may turn the soil acidic. From what I have read, it appears that the acidity is due to amino acids and these are consumed by other organisms and so after a while, acidity levels return to normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked my bokashi heap today and it is still hot to the touch on the outside. Burrowing my hand inside, temperature seems pretty constant throughout. The rice husks have a much darker colour now. Most important, there is a white mould on the surface.

With it being hot, I'm not sure if I should leave this to carry on working or not. I had intended to use this first batch as mulch to see if it will not only suppress, but kill off growing weeds.

Oh well, it's all trial and error and I do quite enjoy experimenting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked my bokashi heap today and it is still hot to the touch on the outside. Burrowing my hand inside, temperature seems pretty constant throughout. The rice husks have a much darker colour now. Most important, there is a white mould on the surface.

With it being hot, I'm not sure if I should leave this to carry on working or not. I had intended to use this first batch as mulch to see if it will not only suppress, but kill off growing weeds.

Oh well, it's all trial and error and I do quite enjoy experimenting.

The EM manual states the maximum temp should be 45C and the heap should be turned if it gets too hot. I tend to think it can get hotter but should turned. and the moisture level watched.

If it gets hot than it will tend to dry out, at below 30% moisture the microbes you have bred with become inactive and the pile will cool down.

My composting process is pretty much the same principle. If a starter box full does get too hot it dries pretty quickly. When I break it open it is full of white fungus (yeast), obviously still very much alive. I dont really care if the bacteria has died off a bit because a spray with EMA will get that back quickly enough and the pile usually reheats.

If you want to get the pH up a bit, then add some carbonised rice hulls or some lime or even both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried some of the aerobic bokashi on a small area and it did seem to work to a degree in suppressing weed growth, but inconclusive really. I don't think that this initial batch was an ideal mix. As I only used rice husks with a small amount of rice bran and cow manure, it dried out very quickly, lack of rain at the time didn't help! When dry it was easily dislodged from the ridges by wind. Finally got some rain at the end of June and cassava growth does seem marginally better where the bokashi was applied.

I have been doing some weeding and have been using the weeds as mulch, sprinkling in some of the bokashi as i go. I figured that the green weeds would have high nitrogen content and so the bokashi, being mainly rice husk, high carbon to balance. This seems to be doing a better job of suppressing weed growth, but you would expect that with mulch anyway.

Approx 6 weeks after making the initial pile of bokashi, I'm now using the last of it. I am absolutely amazed at the amount of worms. I have never seen so many in such a small area. I always find worms at the base of my conventional compost heaps, but nothing like this amount. This is very encouraging as worms are so important in soil conditioning.

I have also tried using diluted EMA as a soil drench. This has not been easy as there is no water on the land. I've been mixing it at home and then transported it in a hand cart, 100 litres at a time. At least it keeps me fit. I could take the water on the back of the pick up, but it is a long way round by road and I don't know if any benefits would be lost with diesel costs.

Obviously, I have only managed a relatively small area, but the difference in cassava growth is incredible. Of course, this can be attributed to the fact that this area received water while the remainder was parched during June. I really should have watered a couple of rows without the EM to be able to compare.

My approach experimenting with EM has been haphazard rather than scientific, but overall, I am very encouraged that its use is worthwhile. The only downside is that where I have watered with EM, not only has the cassava growth improved, but it has been accompanied by an explosion of weed growth. But the positive from this is that it makes for more mulching materails as long as you can keep on top of them before they set seed. Hopefully the seed bank in the soil will be used up and so less of a problem in future.

Edited by loong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add, EMA is activated EM. This is where you increase the volume of the original EM by adding molasses and water to turn 1 litre EM into 20 litres EMA. Also called extended EM.

Depending on where one reads information, EMA should be used within 7 or 30 days.

I made far more than I was able to use and so some of it went down my toilet and I also tried adding some to the water when cleaning. It seems strange when cleaning, cos the water appears dirty before you start! There do seem to be a lot fewer flies in the house than usual.

Our toilet empties into those concrete rings set in the ground and we had this pumped out the other day. It was definitely less smelly than usual and I only counted 5 cockroaches. Usually when the lid is lifted, hundreds, if not thousands will scurry out!

I chucked a couple of litres of EMA into the empty tank and will add more periodically. It will be interesting to see if this really does keep the smell and cockroach population down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I havent looked at this topic for several weeks. Loong you have been busy with your EM use. Have you tried introducing local indigenious microbes as well? If you place some cooked rice under a box on the ground under some well established trees that have natural mulch and leave it there for a week. When you turn it over you will have a white fungi

This is a new starter culture which you can then multiple. EM is a good general purpose product but it can be bettered by combinations of organisms often those that occur naturally in your area.

My probiotic is working much better than any result I ever achieved with commercially brewed EM. I have a second brew which is used exclusively to treat septic tanks at the sty.

I have tried making aerobic bokashi without much luck. The best results I have had is actually fermenting my finished thermophyllic compost with rice bran and probiotic added. That is done anaerobically. What that does is breakdown the organic matter in the compost into plant available nutrients which then means it is acting more like a fertiliser. Take that one step further and add lime etc.. and it becomes organic fertiliser.

Exciting stuff for me.

Edited by IsaanAussie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi IA,

Have you tried introducing local indigenious microbes as well? If you place some cooked rice under a box on the ground under some well established trees that have natural mulch and leave it there for a week. When you turn it over you will have a white fungi

I haven't tried this yet, but did read up about it some time back. I think that it was pioneered by a Phillipino scientist/farmer, Gil something or other I think. If I remember correctly, he calls it BIM, Beneficial Indigenous Micro-organisms?

I think that it woks well under bamboo plants and funnily enough, that's where I made my fist batch of bokashi. So maybe some indigenous microbes made their way into the pile.

It's very easy to have doubts when making bokashi, you can easily think that it hasn't worked when it has. I'm not sure how aerobic my aerobic bokashi is as I packed it down and put a weighted tarp on top, so air would not have had easy entry. The main thing that gives me doubt is when I look at it and it appears almost exactly the same a when I started it. It doesn't decompose, as you know, until the soil microbes get to work on it.

It will be interesting to see how the bokashi treated mulch breaks down. I have rows with weed mulch side by side, treated with bokashi and untreated. The only difference that I can see at the moment i that the untreated mulch is light coloured where the green has gone off as the mulch dried. The treated mulch is almost black!

I'm hoping to get to the Land Development Office in Khon Kaen in the next couple of days. I want to see if they can point me at a local source for Vetiver grass. I want to replace the grass and weeds at the edges of the land with non seeding vetiver grass. It will also help with soil erosion and the deep roots will farm out of reach nutrients. Hopefully I will be able to grow enough eventually to cut seed free mulch in the future.

The cassava has only been in the ground for 2 and half months and already weed control has cost in the region of 1000 Bt/rai. Obviously anything that I can do to help reduce the weed infestation will be worthwhile.

I keep saying that I will get it sprayed with herbicide, but I just can't bring myself to do it, it is so against my organic grain.

At the moment, I have to use NPK fertiliser, it would be really nice to be able to go totally organic, but not really possible for now. I have a lot more to learn about making my own organic fertiliser as well as being able to source the large quantity of ingredients.

I'm hoping that bokashi will help to shorten the learning curve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...