Monday, November 09, 2009

Bokashi for the soil

We completed a workshop today at Sleeping Frog Farms.  It was a small turnout and we may be gone a bit too in depth over a few areas....which is why we've broken the workshops into pieces....

Today's workshop was on sunken beds:  powered by EM Bokashi.  In the arid Southwest, it is better to make beds sunken in the ground to preserve moisture.  In areas where there is more rain, raised beds help with drainage.  I'm putting together a video for this ...almost done...but I've had a few difficulties with the video camera again and plan to call the technical service department to get some help...

We dug out the beds on Saturday and had some help with the local Cub Scouts (Thanks to Pack 261!).    As part of the workshop, we make up about 1 ton of bokashi using sheep manure, some soil from around the farm, and waste material from Aribco's insect production (  We used about 2 gallons of Activated EM•1® for this project.  We also applied about 20 lbs of wheat bran bokashi to the soil.  CJ Sleeping Frog Farms likes to use Bokashi in his beds for a few reasons, mostly because it adds lots of microbes and is a stable source of carbon.

There hasn't been much information available about how much bokashi to use for beds.  Luckily, we had Clay from Hawaii's Island Herbs with us.  Clay has been making bokashi on the big island for several years and has been testing various application rates over that time.  Between CJ and Clay, they both admitted they like to use quite a bit of bokashi.  Their suggested rates are a 5-gallon bucket per 100 square feet.  I thought people making bokashi would appreciate the information.

If you are in the Tucson area and haven't made it out to one of our workshops, I hope you do some time in the future.  Look for postings on the Events page in the "Effective Microorganisms" group page on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

Can we assume that the correct use of an em1 bokashi will help inhibit the uptake of heavy metals into plants ?

TeraGanix said...

I wasn't addressing this type of application here. There is quite a bit of supporting information about several of the species of microbes in EM1 that can do that, however, the microbial populations in EM Bokashi are much lower than they are in EM1. I would also say, "the jury is still out" about which metals and how much reduction can be obtained.

What you can expect with regular applications of both EM Bokashi and EM1 is reduction in salts, increase in aggregate formation, and reduction of several contaminants such as fuels (oil, gasoline, etc.) and dioxin. (There's peer-reviewed research on these items).

Thanks for your question.