About twenty years ago a group of five of us here in New Zealand
brought effective microorganisms (EM) into the country from Thailand.
what is EM? Twenty five years ago, backed by the Buddhist
faith in Japan, a Professor Higa isolated eighty of the most effective
microorganisms out of the thousands in the soil, largely as an
egalitarian effort to help developing countries grow more food without
poisonous fertilizers and sprays, also to break down large and small
wastes faster and more efficiently.
Recently, while in Thailand,
I was lucky enough to join a conference on EM at Sara Buri at the main
research farm three hours north of Bangkok. There was a wonderful group
of people attending from ten different Asian nations plus Australia,
New Zealand, Britain, USA, the Thai staff and Japanese managers.
A great mix of people and I made many friends.
Sara Buri is a
four hundred acre research property for EM, growing many products
totally sustainably, both to prove the poin, and to support the many
workers and volunteers. They grow cattle, goats, pigs, hens,
fish, frogs and a vast variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables. No
artificial fertilizers, sprays or antibiotics are used at all, with
virtually no disease. We participated in all aspects of the EM
process such as multiplying the product, introducing it to the land,
spraying it on pigs, fowls, mushrooms etc.
This is on a large
scale, but we also learnt the small household system which I have
working in my house here in New Zealand. This involves a custom made,
airtight, two bucket system which sits in the same place as the old
scrap bucket under the sink bench. Food scraps are put in and once a
day a handful of ‘bocashi’, EM impregnated sawdust, is sprinkled on
top. This is an anaerobic process so the scraps are compacted and kept
airtight. Once full a benevolent mould forms with no offensive
smell, flies or putrefying aspects. In a way it is akin to the
silage process. One of the members, Tim Chamberlain, sprays EM
through his irrigators onto crops on his large scale organic cropping
farm at Leeston. Also, other members, The Mallards spray it onto
the vegetables on their large organic market garden in Marshlands Rd.
member, scientist Mike Daly, now manages the products as a business
from Christchurch, and we buy the EM/bocashi from him.
years the Christchurch City Council used EM on their large organic
waste business to help break down said waste. In Asia some of the
biggest dumps in the world are doing the same.