Thursday, April 10, 2008
If you garden, you know that manures are great for plants and soils. You also know that you can't apply fresh manure to soils where plants are growing because you'll burn the plants. Why? The high amounts of nitrogen. A couple other problems come from using fresh manure. Fresh manure has high levels of ammonia (NH3) that can leach into soils or gas off causing odor. The problem with the leaching is high levels of nitrates in the groundwater can cause blue baby syndrome...it is a toxin. A more mundane problem with fresh manures is the amount of weed seeds..mostly a problem in cow manure and horse manure. If you've ever made the mistake of applying horse manure to soil without fully composting it, you know that you just planted a new lawn! So, for safety and to save yourself of the headaches of excess weeding, you need to compost manures...or so you think.
The addition of EM•1® Microbial Inoculant to conventional composting methods is beneficial as it helps increase aerobic microbial populations, controls, odors, and produces a complete product faster.
Enter EM•1® Bokashi
All organic matter/wastes has lots of nutrients and sugars to feed microbes. Animal manures contain NPK, minerals, cellulose, and lots of microbes. The conventional way to make manures usable is to compost them. You often use ratios of Nitrogen to Carbon at 1:20 1:30 and so on. Moisture content is high because you will be turning and creating heat (mostly coming from the nitrogen and the microbial activity). EPA standards for composting require high temperatures to control pathogens, attraction to pests, and for breaking down toxins.
Fermentation of these manures is pretty easy, more economical, and faster than turning. With EM Technology™, we refer to this process as "bokashi" making. The finished product is called EM•1® Bokashi. Instead of referring this to compost, we often find ourselves explaining this is a fertilizer-making method where one is able to preserve nutrients in the organic wastes, prevent burning of plants, and save lots of money. The fermentation process produces various enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids. There also is not much heat produced during fermentation. This means that the weed seeds are not killed. Actually, the exposure to the EM•1® causes the seeds to germinate more quickly, so if the wastes are spread on the surface, there will be a tremendous amount of weed seeds germinating. This, when managed properly, is a great thing because you have produced a "free" green manure that can be turned in in about 2-3 weeks.
The conclusion is that each process has its benefits. EM•1® Bokashi methods are great for faster production, but are best to be incorporated in the soil or covered by top soils and compost is great to add lots of organic matter and to use a mulch.
Please visit EM America for more information.
Posted by Eric Lancaster at 10:49 AM