Saturday, April 18, 2009

EM Bokashi Workshop in Tucson

I, EMEric, will be conducting a workshop in Tucson on May 30th at 2440 N Coyote Dr, Ste 124, Tucson, AZ 85745 .

The workshop will include an introduction to EM Technology and introduce you to what bokashi is, how to make it, and how to use it. Learn a great alternative to traditional composting. Whether you own a home, or live in an apartment and do container gardening, we are all looking for ways to increase the amount we can recycle. Bokashi food waste recycling is an easy method that allows you to recycle even dairy and meat without the risk of attracting animals. Learn how.

There will be a charge of $20 per person, with a maximum of 20 people for the workshop. Please register with me in advance ( you come the day of the event, you won't be turned away.

You need to bring yourself, we'll provide everything else. We'll have some refreshments there as well.

You get to take home:
  • 2 pounds of ready-to-use bokashi
  • 5 or more pounds Bokashi (to ferment)
  • two 5-gallon buckets to ferment in

EM Seminars Coming (Dr Higa's Coming to Town Part II)

We've got dates, times, addresses, and lecture topics for Louisiana and Florida. Everyone is welcome. All ages.

On May 11th at 6pm, we will be holding an introductory seminar on Effective Microorganisms™ with a focus on building highly productive soils for agriculture. We invite all farmers and growers, conventional and organic. There will be no charge either of these events.

The May 13th event is going to be more scientific in nature and focus on commercial agriculture. It is being brought in conjunction with the Southwest Florida Research & Education Center.

The event in Louisiana will be held at:
Baker Municipal Auditorium (link to map).
3325 Groom Rd.
Baker, Louisiana 70714

Bill Worthey (Farm Manger at San Xavier Co-operative Farm. Tucson, Arizona): Reduction of input costs through the use of Nature Farming and Effective Microorganisms™. Bill will show examples of the farming techniques used at the San Xavier Co-operative Farm in Tucson, Arizona.

Jeremy Murdock (Vice President, EM America): will be discussing the effects of EM-1® on soil fertility and compost quality.

Dr Shuichi Okumoto: Building disease suppressive soils and colonizing leaf surfaces with Effective Microorganisms

Event in Florida: May 13th at 6pm.
Southwest Florida Research & Education Center (Link to map)
2686 SR 29 N.
Immokalee, FL 34142
(239) 658-3400

Dr. Okumoto will be one of several speakers at this evening's event. His discussion topic will be "Building disease suppressive soils and colonizing leaf surfaces with Effective Microorganisms™."

*Dr. Shuichi Okumoto, Senior Vice President of EMRO USA will stand in for Dr. Higa.  Dr. Okumoto holds a doctorate of Science and Engineering, MS in Tropical Agriculture focused on Integrated Pest Management and BS in Agriculture focused on phytopathology.  Dr. Okumoto has been Senior Vice President of EMRO USA in Tucson, Arizona since April 2005.  He has studied, worked and promoted EM Technology® in Costa Rica and other Central and South American countries prior to coming to the USA for many years.  He also researched sustainable agricultural systems using beneficial microorganisms at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica for over 4 years, and was a professor of Organic Agriculture at the University of Costa Rica and EARTH University for 9 years.  He has bee involved with EM Technology® since 1997 and has an extensive knowledge in plant disease management and organic agriculture.

Upgraded Website--info for the techie in you.

On April 17th, we made our upgraded website live. EM America has been working on this for quite a while. This is just part of our Search Engine Optimization plan.

The new system has lots of integrated components that should make searching the site easier for our visitors. Some add-ons we purchased with our old system that only worked for a short time are now standard in the new system....and they actually work.

Our next step is to get the webstore and the website fully integrated. They use different servers, which has been a programming issue. However, the new Joomla 1.5 allows our web guys to write new lines of code that can integrate the two. This will make the shopping experience better for our visitors as well. The blog is now showing correctly and will be a regular feature in the website. And, the look is more attractive as the site scrolls through pictures when the pages are refreshed.

Hats off to our web guys: Matt and Scott. They help us out with the technical side of things. We just write the content.

Let us know what you think.

Monday, April 13, 2009

EM Grown Chilis.

El Pinto Restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico is well-known for its food and friendly atmosphere. They are also known for their salsas, which are available at Wal-Mart and now at select Whole Foods Market locations with their new Certified Organic Line of salsa and enchilada sauce.

About 4 hours south of Albuquerque, the "Salsa Twins", John and Jim, have contracted with some farmers to grow Certified Organic chili peppers with EM•1 Microbial Inoculant. Last year was a rough year for many growers in the valley. High winds and hail damaged most neighboring farmer's crops. The fields grown with EM1 kept producing and the Salsa Twins didn't have to replant their fields.

In all, they got about 20,000lbs per acre. The average for a conventional farm is about 25-30,000lbs per acre. According to Jim, the reason their numbers were low was because they stopped picking the peppers once they started turning red. They had more than they needed for the year's salsa production and let the red ones go to other markets.

Here's Jim Thomas with his "babies". He is one proud father! Below, we have a video of the growers applying Activated EM1 on the leaves of their plants last summer (2008).

Puttin' on the grapes

On Wednesday, April 8th, Billy Worthey and I made a trek to Lourdsburg, New Mexico. There is a sizable grape grower out there. He has about 200 acres of grapes for wine. A multi-generational Frenchman, Emanuel loves his grapes. In the arid soils of the Southwest, he has found many problems over the years and is always looking for ways to deal with them.

Soils in this region tend to be very high in minerals and low in organic matter. therefore, they tend to compact easily. Where Emanuel's farm is he has pretty sandy soil that doesn't hold moisture for very long...remember there is very low organic matter... In the past couple years, he's been growing here for 10 years, his yields have dropped from 10 tons per acre to 4. The biggest contributor to this problem is root knot nematodes, aka, Texas Root Rot. The nematodes like to eat organic material in the soil. When there is such a low amount of food, the plants themselves become the food. The nematodes eat down the root hairs, preventing the plants from being able to get their needed nutrients. Signs of this can be seen on the trunks of the vines as the bark begins to crack and peel away, making the plant susceptible to other pests.

Some methods Emanuel has tried include a range of synthetic chemicals, applied topically and systemically through foliar feeding, and subsurface irrigation. He really feels like he is not seeing any improvements and is looking for anything that can help save his farm. His crop consultant has suggested the use of beneficial microbes to help build the soil, increase the water retention and organic matter, and hopefully to out-compete the root knot nematodes. Without getting into too much technical detail, the logic behind this is to focus in building soil. Since about 90% of diseases and pests come from the soil, this is a logical place to start and to focus the most amount of energy.

We are really looking forward to getting EM1 in as part of this project and hope to supply some better pictures as the season goes on.