Friday, September 30, 2011

Reducing Radiation With Effective Microorganisms®

In the years since 1982, when EM Technology® was introduced to the world, a few occasions have come that lend to unusual applications of this technology.  These include the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia, the earthquake in Kobe, Hurricane Katrina, and the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident in 1986.  The last one may raise some questions as to how or what a microbial product could do.  However, those of you who have been following EM Technology® for a long time and have read Dr. Higa's books know that EM Technology® has been used in nuclear accidents in the past.

We received lots of emails and phone calls about what can be done and how to do something, most were concerned patrons wondering if people in Japan were OK and wanting to know how EM Technology was being used over there.  We are starting to get some information now, most of it coming through people on Facebook as some of us have family over there.  Here is the latest information we have.

Earlier this year (2011), a large earthquake hit Northern Japan. The earthquake caused a tsunami as well as a nuclear power plant to melt down in the prefacture of Fukushima. The cesium from the reactor spread out on about a 100 mile radius, with toxic levels within a closer range (maybe 20 miles). Cesium showed up in many farm products including fruits and vegetables and milk, causing the government to ban the distribution of these items. A group studying organic farms produced this video:

Japan is the home of Effective Microorganisms®.  EM•1® was studied after the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident of 1986 by Institute of Radiobiology of National Academic Sciences of Belarus. EM•1® Microbial Inoculant was used in phytoremediation projects and demonstrated an increase of radioactive absorption in plants grown in treated areas. However, the EM•1® demonstrated an increase in chlorophyll, proteins and enzymes that protected the plant from the radioactive substances and thus kept these substances from injuring the plants.  The suggested conclusion was that the microbes were able to accelerate the half-life of the radioactive substances in the area.

We all are anxious to see the land recovered and keep watch as more and more videos cover the various projects over there.  In our country we can help protect ourselves by applying lots of EM•1® and EM® Bokashi on all of our yards and farms.  We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Going Green on Your Golf Turf

Public officials are becoming increasingly aware that green space within urban vicinities preserve air quality and enhance the community’s overall quality of life. Most people would agree that having a beautiful city park or lush golf green can add to the attractiveness of an area. One of the main reasons golf courses attract visitors is the overall natural beauty of the course; unfortunately, this appealing turf is often created and maintained using harmful chemicals. Shifts in public opinion have recently increased demand for environmentally-friendly turf management, with a particular emphasis on cutting down the use of pesticides and fungicides and reducing ground water pollution.

The City of San Francisco has been using the organic soil amendment EM-1 to achieve an organic, chemical-free, conditioned soil without compromising the beautiful turf that golf aficionados enjoy. Like San Francisco, many public greenways are looking to use more environmentally-friendly organic soil amendments, such as EM-1, to ensure top soil quality without adding harmful chemicals to the ground.

Even recently, at the 2011 PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club, the importance of environmentally-sound soil conditioning became an issue. Kevin Mangum, Director of Golf Courses and Grounds at the championship host site in Georgia, found a new grass to use for the tournament. In a video on the importance of turf management and the new grass, Mangum discussed that the only foreseeable challenge to the success of his new grass would be if it couldn’t maintain moisture. Fortunately, micronutrient fertilizers like EM-1, employ a beneficial micro-ecology strategized to improve water retention. Water retention is a huge obstacle when maintaining turf and thus, utilizing an organic soil conditioner like EM-1 is essential. Beyond augmenting water retention, EM-1 improves soil structure as well as drainage. All of these qualities work to sustain top golf course turf quality and greenness even despite skyrocketing heat and/or drought. The biggest perk of all comes through the completely organic make-up of EM-1, which will allow for top turf management without tossing more harmful pesticides and fungicides into the environment.

So, whether you’re a pro golfer, course director or just a golf fan, make sure to inquire with your favorite courses as to their use of organic soil treatments on the turf. Let them know that choosing an organic soil conditioner will help prep and treat the soil as chemicals would without the negative environmental side effects. Many courses and cities are joining in the effort to green out the golf course and with EM-1, it’s simple and reliable.

A little more about EM-1: The organic soil amendment product EM-1 emerged in agricultural practices almost three decades ago and has proven to be a top choice for eco-friendly agriculture management. From farming soil, vineyard soil to golf course soil, EM-1 represents a proven way to amend soil healthily. Additionally the EM-1 micronutrient fertilizer has expanded across the soils of six continents with six diverse climates, which proves the functionality and flexibility of the micronutrient fertilizer amendment.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

How to Start an Organic Garden

For a quick how-to on best practices in building and maintaining an organic garden, follow the following six steps.

  • Step 1: Begin with the End (in mind)

    For any long-term idea, backwards planning helps turn that idea into reality. Reverse planning is especially crucial before planting an organic garden, as gardens take time and patience to grow. Putting time in on the front end will result in a luscious, successful garden and remove taking steps backwards later on in the gardening process. Ask yourself, what sort of aesthetic do you want to achieve? Will the plants be decorative or edible? Will you select plants to attract certain desirable creatures such as hummingbirds and butterflies? Can you purchase the plants locally/easily? Do you want to start with organic seeds and sprouts? What plants cooperate with your environment and local weather patterns? Does growing organic matter to you? If it does, look for plants potted with organic soil amendments and conditioners, rather than chemical fertilizers. Also, think about your garden layout. Do you want the garden to be laid out in rows? Organized in squares? Organized by seasonality of the plant? Or, how about some type of pattern? Will the garden be only one-season or will it go through multiple blooms? Learn what plants bloom at different times throughout the growing season in your region. What about winter interest? Lay out a rough blueprint of how you want your garden to look. This will allow you to consider (or talk to a local expert at a organic nursery) which plants fit nicely and which don’t.

  • Step 2: Choose the garden location

    It is important to carefully consider where your garden will be located. Concerns to keep in mind when selecting your garden location are: the amount of sunlight that will reach the area and the ability for water drainage. An added perk to site location for your organic garden is finding a spot within eyesight of your house, for you to enjoy your hard work.

  • Step 3: Get your hands dirty

    You’ve thought about the space for your organic garden, you’ve decided on which plants you want to grow... now it’s time to get in and dig. Rope off the area allotted for your garden and start digging. Turning and prepping the soil is vital to your garden's success. This step is the most time-consuming and physically demanding, so after getting your hands dirty, the rest is a breeze.

  • Step 4: Nourish your soil

    It’s no tricky math equation: healthy soil = healthy growth. Take the time here to really nourish your soil and choose organic, nature-friendly substances that will organically aid your gardens growth. Amend the soil with lots of organic matter to provide soil structure and nutrients. Compost is a trendy and natural way to add nutrients to your soil, but we recommend using EM•1® Bokashi to help neutralize the odors accompanied with composting and to help break down the compost to a more useable level. Another natural way to help promote soil building is by using a microbial inoculent like EM-1, which will enhance the soil quality and help retain moisture. Choosing to incorporate organic soil builders will help green-out your green thumb.

  • Step 5: Planting

    When planting, make sure the root ball is moist and saturated with water. Additionally, it’s a good tip to use a garden pick to break away the root ball encasing so the roots can grow out freely and uninhibitedly. Place the plant in a hole as deep as the root ball, but twice as wide. Fill the hole back up with the soil, pat it back in place and water and some EM•1® (about 1/2 gallon of Activated EM•1® for a 10-gallon tree). You can also add in some nutrients at this time to start the tree off well. (If you live in a desert area, a little trick is to put a 1/2" diameter pvc pipe about three feet down in the ground to water down where the roots go.)

    Once your garden is planted in entirety, cover it with at least 3 inches of organic mulch. This helps suppress weeds and maintain moisture.

  • Step 6: Labeling (optional)
    It’s recommended to label each individual plant so you can quickly recall its name and treat it accordingly.