Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Got Genki Balls?

Last week Hawaii Island Master Gardeners attended a presentation at Kea’au on EM-1, Dr. Teruo Higa’s Original Effective Organisms, a patented product.

I know what you’re thinking. We have all the fun.

Tim Lloyd, Hawaii Island distributor of EM-1 Microbial Inoculant, showed how to mix wheat bran and EM-1 activated with molasses to make Bokashi. This mix is added to kitchen scraps in a 5 gallon bucket, for example, to make an intensive, odorless composting system that is completely food-grade safe. Seems like a very convenient way to compost for apartment dwellers, too.

That’s just one way to use EM-1. Close your eyes and make a wish.

Now read this partial list of what it does:

  • Intensifies composting
  • Can be used with worm composting
  • Can be used with chemical fertilizer – reduces amount needed
  • Prepares garden beds with no-till/weed prevention method
  • Improves health of plants
  • Clears ponds and water features
  • Neutralizes odors from animal waste
  • Eliminates cat litter box odor!
  • Spray on your dog to improve health, deodorize (yes, even Labs)
  • Improves the efficiency of your septic tank – pour down the drain

What’s in EM-1? Active cultures of microorganisms: Lactobacillus sp. (the kind in yogurt) Bacillus sp., and actinomycetes, (which aid in winemaking) plus a tiny bit of molasses. One activates the EM-1 by adding molasses or sugar and dilutes according to recommended ratios.

EM-1 is food-grade safe; you can drink it, though it won’t make you give up Starbucks. You don’t need to wear protective equipment while spraying EM-1.

Okay, all this sounds too good to be true. However, this formulation has been around for 30 years and proponents say there’s plenty of documented scientific evidence that it works. So, I’ll be trying it out over the next 6 months and letting you know my experiences. If you try it out yourself, let me know your results, too.

Oh yes, and Genki Balls. That’s Bokashi mixed with clay and formed into balls. These are being used to remediate sludge and slime in lakes in Japan -- just toss 'em in, and they disintegrate and get to work. One ball can clear a 6-foot radius. Now, that’s really genki.

EM-1 is available on the Big Island from Tim Lloyd at tlloyd@easthawaii.net, (808) 937-9874. Here a link on some more info from EM Hawaii, with contact info for other islands.


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog...


Janice said...

Hey, Damon, yours is pretty cool too! Mahalo...