There are many sites talking about Bokashi, about EM, about how marvelous it all is.
Which it is. (Of course.)
But this one’s a bit different. There are some real experts on board and they’ve been working with Bokashi for many years. With a lot of heart in what they’re doing.
Here’s a paper by a Dan Woodward talking about soil and sustainability. Effective Microorganisms as Regenerative Systems in Earth Healing.
It’ll take you a little while to read and digest so it’s probably worth going and getting yourself a cup of coffee before you dive in. But it’ll be one of the more interesting coffee breaks you’ve had for a while!
No, it’s the Bokashi going luxury, not us. Unfortunately.
This is an article I pulled out of a recent magazine from Thai Airways. They’re promoting this (admittedly gorgeous) resort in Krabi but the interesting thing is that Bokashi and EM are featured in the article as part of the resorts greener than green profile.
While maintaining its green environment, the staff has been trained in eco-friendly measures. Reduction of chemical usage is a top priority. To this end, the in-house fertilizer from organic waste is fermented to produce “Effective Microorganisms (EM)” used as a substitute for chemical fertilizer to nourish the garden.
Not that I think for a minute that all the flying miles spent on traveling to an eco-resort is in any way justified. But you have to admit it’s a cool thing to see EM featured in this way and becoming mainstream. The more of this we see the better!
So many New Zealanders have lost their home and their hope to the recent earthquake in Christchurch. One small light in the dark is the work our colleagues in New Zealand are doing with EM. They have loaded up trucks with liquid EM (Effective Microorganisms) and are spraying it on contaminated areas to help fight the inevitable spread of odour and germs. Basically it’s a case of getting good bacteria to outnumber the bad bacteria before they get a hold.
It’s not till you see it happening you realize how much follows in the wake of an earthquake. Cleanup is not just about buildings, it’s also about preventing the spread of disease.
Good luck guys! Well done!
As they say on the YouTube clip…
A devastating earthquake in Christchurch on Feb 22nd 2011 has left the City with extensive liquefaction and raw sewage covering large urban areas.
EM is being used to spray over this smelly contamination to help control the bad odours and to help control the pathogens (bad bugs) that are present.
EM has a history of being used in many disaster recovery situations.
Naturefarm in conjunction with Interclean and CityCare are pleased to be making a difference by using EM to help this clean-up process.
Picked up this one from the Phillipines, advocates of organic farming are promoting the idea of using effective microorganisms (EM) technology to battle the deadly black sigatoka pest that has affected banana plantations in Mindanao. Apparently farmers are already seeing good results with EM and Bokashi in terms of general farming productivity in the area, good to hear!
When it comes to the banana pest it seems the alternative is fungicide. Which is hardly a pleasant option. Costa Rica has had the same problem and are having success with EM — lets hope it turns out to be a hit in the Phillipines too. No discussion which is the more organic way to go!
Pelle is a Swede living in Czechoslovakia. Home for the time being is the farm where he lives with his wife and her family — ducks, geese, hens, fish, sheep and a dam or two. The sheep and hens are happily eating Bokashi these days — that’s right, kitchen scraps that have been fermented in the kitchen in the normal way then instead of being dug down into the soil are served up for supper to the animals.
OK, so maybe it sounds a bit odd. But the animals obviously love it and even though it’s unusual in Europe (so far) this is exactly what’s happennng in many countries around the world. A fantastic use of resources and good old-fashioned common sense.
Bokashi is not at all well-established in Czechoslovakia, in fact Pelle learnt what he needed to know here in Sweden from Kai Vogt Westling at Greenfoot and started up a number of experiments on the family farm once he got there. In addition to feeding the animals with Bokashi he’s also spraying EM (Effective Microorganisms) on their food and the ducks, geese and fish all get some Bokashi bran in their food (it’s a good probiotic). He’s also using EM to treat an overgrown dam and improve the water quality of the stream that runs through to the animals.
Anyhow. The pictures above show how Pelle fixed his buckets. Innovative and practical. Above all cheap. Standard restaurant bucket (try your local pizzeria), holes drilled in the base, sitting on a kitchen bowl that just happened to have the right diameter. The weight of the bucket gives it an airtight fit in the bowl, a normal tray would not be tight fitting enough.
So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to fix a Bokashi bucket here it is! The Czechoslovakian farm maybe you’ll have to live without, but the idea would work anywhere. Good luck! And thanks Pelle.
A truly excellent blog by Holly Jean Buck from October 2008 — well worth reading if you’re in the least interested in Bokashi, in EM, in the ecological future of our planet. Read it here on “The Walrus”, which bills itself as Canada’s best magazine.
Holly Jean Buck writes that she first tried bacteria juice during an afternoon tea break at Konohana Family, an organic community in Japan near the base of Mt. Fuji. A self-supporting cooperative, they base everything they do on Effective Microorganisms (EM), the fermentation concept developed at a university in Okinawa during the 1970s by agriculture professor Teruo Higa.
As she was shown around the chicken coops, the goat barn, the veggie patch (they have 13 hectares of land), and ate a sumptuous lunch on the farm, Holly became increasingly convinced. This must surely be the way to go, but why haven’t we heard about it before?
Good question. Maybe the right answer is that we also need to embrace things that are working well — extremely well, in fact — for people that are working in closer harmony with nature than we are ourselves. Where nature thrives there’s surely something to learn from the process?
PS Read more about the Konohana ecocommunity here. I have to say I got quite fascinated — I spent some months living in Japan when I was younger and love a lot about the country, the people, the culture but found the commercial rat-race a bit much to be honest. To spend time working on an ecofarm like this would be a dream — all the best of Japan without the stuff that makes it impossible!