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Steve Diver's EM Resource List

Supplemental Resources on Effective Microorganisms
(EM) and Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO)

By Steve Diver, NCAT Agriculture Specialist
ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
©NCAT 2004-2006

These are the key resources on EM (Effective Microorganisms) and
IMO (Indigenous Microorganisms) —  the microbial preparation systems
from Japan and Korea —  that I use as a supplement to my presentations
and workshops on these topics.

In addition to my working paper "Nature Farming & Effective Microorganisms,"
I draw your attention to the following resources, with a special focus on North

Note:  To gain quick access to the Web sites listed below, simply
"cut and paste" a Web link from this e-document and drop it into
your Web browser's address bar, then "click" to open.

Part 1:	Resources on EM (Effective Microorganisms)

1.0	Resources from Steve Diver, ATTRA


"Nature Farming & Effective Microorganisms" is the 16-page working paper
from Steve Diver, available on request via e-mail.  It provides a historical
context for the use of EM in Kyusei Nature Farming.  It clarifies the origins
and philosophy of Nature Farming developed by Mokichi Okada in Japan in
the 1930s.  It provides an introduction to the Effective Microorganisms system
developed by Dr. Teruo Higa at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan,
in the 1980s.  It summarizes the uses and benefits of EM, and it profiles Nature
Farming practices at NaturFarm in Lompoc, California.  In addition, it contains
an extensive resource listing on EM, including the distributor in Hawaii for
the famous "Life in the Soil" video produced by the Mokichi Okada Association
and Sakura Motion Picture Company in Japan.


This post to the Permaculture E-mail Discusison List contains a summary of
resource postings by Steve Diver on EM, IMO, compost teas, fermented
plant extracts, vermiwash, and related on-farm beneficial microbe preprations.

[permaculture] BD, CT, EM, IM, FPE = special cultures in organic farming
by Steve Diver
21 April 2003


This post to the EM-Ag E-mail Discussion List contains a summary of
papers and manuals on EM bokashi for handling of food wastes.  The
papers are catalogued in the EM Online Database at EM Technology Network.

Subject:  EM Bokashi for Food Wastes
From:  Steve Diver
Date:  Mon Nov 29, 2004

2.0	Resources from EM Technology Network


EM Technology Network

EM Technology Network is the primary non-profit organization providing education
on EM in North America.  The EM Online Forum is a source for participatory discussion
and technical information exchange.  Especially see the EM Online Database containing
more thatn 700 research reports and conference papers. These include papers from the
International Conferences on Kyusei Nature Farming, EM symposiums, field trials, and
unpublished manuscripts.  Eric Lancaster is a key contact for technical assistance.


EM Leaflets from the EM Technology Network Library

EM Leaflet No. 1:  Activated EM-1  Leaflet
EM Leaflet No. 2:  Composting with EM-1 Leaflet
EM Leaflet No. 3:  Food Waste Recycling with EM (Bokashi)
EM Leaflet No. 4:  Dairy Odor Control with EM
EM Leaflet No. 5:  Poultry Odor Control with EM
EM Leaflet No. 6:  Hog Odor Control with EM
EM Leaflet No. 7:  EM Bokashi Balls
EM Leaflet No. 8:  Cleaning Swimming Pools with EM 	
EM Bokashi Recipe


EM Online Forum at EMTN

EM Technology E-mail Discussion List at Topica


Selected Items from the EM Online Database

Indexes for Treatment Common to Crops Described in Schedules for (A), (B), and (B-2)

Experiences with Effective Microorganisms in Disease and Pest Control in Farms
and Gardens in India [e.g., EM-FPE] [Margarita Correa, Auroville, India]

The Impact of Effective Microorganisms (EM) in Various Farming Systems
[e.g., EM, Biodynamics, EM-FPE, EM5] [Margarita Correa, Auroville, India]

EM Fermented Plant Extract and EM5 for Controlling Pickleworm (Diaphania
nitidalis) in Organic Cucumber [e.g., EM Bokashi, EM-FPE, EM-5]

The Role of Effective Microorganisms in Releasing Nutrients from Organic Matter

Effective Microorganisms (EM) Evaluated for Poultry Production and Research

EM Swine Production Manual

New Zealand EM Application Manual

EM Technology: Ecological Concepts and Practices in Nature Farming
NFRC Publication No.3, Nature Farming Research Centre,
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-Pakistan (1993; 69-page PDF)

Photoactivation in Botany
Teruo Higa

Effective Microorganisms (EM) Evaluated for Poultry Production and Research
Matthew Wood

Effect of Effective Microorganisms (EM) and Green Manures on Soil
Productivity in Brazil

3.0	Resources from EMRO USA



EMRO USA is the manufacturer of "official" Effective Microorganisms in the USA,
such as EM-1 inoculant for agricultural use.  See the EMRO USA Online Store for
a description of products.  Eric Lancaster is a key contact for technical assistance.


EM America

EM America has recently (January 2005) partnered with EMRO USA and is
handling all sales and technical support for EM products manufactured by


How to make Activated EM-1

Making Anaerobic EM-1 Bokashi

EM-1 Bokashi Balls

4.0	Resources from Sustainable Community Development


Sustainable Community Development

SCD World is the online source of EM products available through Sustainable
Community Development, LLC.  SCD now carries "Efficient Microbes (EM)," a
new formulation.  SCD World carries farm and garden products as well as
human health products. Matthew Wood is a key contact for technical assistance.


EM Product Information and Usage:  Activated EM (AEM) and Dilution Tables

How to Make Bokashi



EMtrading.com is the former store front for EM products available through
Sustainable Community Development, LLC.  It remains on-line as a source
of research reports and educational leaflets on EM technology.  Enter
"Kyusei" in the search engine to see a complete Table of Contents for
papers published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on
Kyusei Nature Farming, Volumes 1st through 7th.

5.0	Yahoo!Groups on EM with a North American Focus


EM-Ag: Agricultural EM

The EM-Ag e-mail discussion kist on Yahoo!Groups has become the
most prominent e-forum regarding farm and garden uses of EM.



The EM-Health list addresses EM for human health as a fermented elixir
with probiotic and anti-oxidant properties.  See the "Files" Section on
EM-Health for a collection of miscellaneous papers and reports.



The EM-Farm-Ind list addresses Farms, Industry and Waste topics
relating to EM, established by Vinny Pinto in December 2005.

6.0	Vinny Pinto's Resource Collection

Vinny Pinto is a prominent researcher and information collector on EM.  He
is the moderator of several Yahoo!Groups e-mail lists on EM where is also
a major contributor.

Vinny Pinto's collection of e-mail lists and Web pages on topics relating to EM,
fermentative microorganisms, and anti-oxidant brews are extensive and definitely
worth exploring.

The four Web sites that follow are managed by Vinny Pinto and contain
significant technical resources of special interest.


Introduction to EM

	This is Vinny Pinto's primary collection point on EM, with links to various
	sub-pages and topics.  It is practical and informative.  Highly recommended!!

Antiox Brews: Fermented Antioxidant Nutritional Supplemental Brews

Negative Hydrogen Ion Site

The Relative Hydrogen Score, aka the rH Score also: Care of pH and ORP Electrodes


In the Summer of 2004 Vinny Pinto released two publications for intermediate and
advanced users of EM that I have seen and highly recommend.

Fermentation with Syntropic Antioxidative Microbes: An Advanced
	Guide to Brewing EM Fermented Secondary Products
	[205 page book, distributed exclusively by Sustainable Community
	Development.  This manual goes into great detail on preparation of Super
	Activated EM, or SAEM.]	

EM Advanced Topics E-Newsletter
	[Up-to-date topics and resources]


In the Fall of 2005 Vinny Pinto published a second book that deals with agricultural
applications of EM.

EM Beneficial Microbial Applications:  Agriculture, Volume I -- Introduction
	A Handbook
	[57 page book, distributed exclusively by Sustainable Community

For details on the content of Vinny Pinto's publications, go to:

7.0	Selected EM Web Documents and Organizations

Beneficial and Effective Microorganisms for a Sustainable Agriculture and Environment
Teruo Higa and James F. Parr.

EM Application Manual for APNAM Countries
Asia-Pacific Natural Agricultural Network

Nature Farming with EM Technology: A New Dimension in Organic Agriculture
PowerPoint slide show by John Phillips, archived in The Wayback Machine

Handbook for Thinking about the Environment:  Big Power of Tiny Creatures

Prospects of EM Technology in Agriculture

Microbial Organisms Relevant to EM: Function and Metabolism

Theories and Mechanisms of Antioxidant Action of EM-X

Asian Pacific Natural Agriculture Network

Kyusei Nature Farming and the Technology of Effective Microorganisms:
      Guideline for Practical Use
Nature Farming and Microbial Applications
APNAN Newsletter
Kyusei Nature Farming, International Proceedings

EM Research Organization (EMRO)

An Earth Saving Revolution by Teruo Higa, Volumes I and 2

EM Bibliography on Poultry Livestock
Tahir Hussain

The Use of EM in the Poultry Industry
Matthew T. Wood and David Abuchar

Poultry Production and Research Using EM Technologies

Part 2:	Resources on IMO (Indigenous Microorganisms)

8.0	Resource Listings on IMO from Steve Diver, ATTRA


This post to SANET (Sustainable Agriculture Network E-Mail Discusison List),
contains resource pointers to the key Web-based IMO resources that exist in
English, with special reference to the book by Han Kyu Cho.

[SANET] Indigenous Microorganisms + Korean Natural Farming Association
Sun, 19 Jan 2003
Steve Diver

Korean Natural Farming: Indigenous Microorganisms and Vital Power of Crop/Livestock
by Han Kyu Cho and Atsushi Koyama
Korean Natural Farming Association, 1997.  172 p.


This post to the Permaculture E-mail Discusison List contains a summary of
resource postings by Steve Diver on EM, IMO, compost teas, fermented
plant extracts, vermiwash, and related on-farm beneficial microbe preprations.

[permaculture] BD, CT, EM, IM, FPE = special cultures in organic farming
by Steve Diver
21 April 2003

9.0	Gil Carandang

Gil Carandang is an organic farmer from the Phillipines who teaches workshops
and seminars on IMO.  Gil and I co-taught the first IMO workshop at EcoFarm in
January 2003.  Gil taught a follow-up EcoFarm workshop on IM in 2004.  He is
probably the most knowledgeable teacher on IMO methods outside of Korea.

Herbana Farms, about 30 miles south of Manila in the Philippines, is a tropical
diversified organic farm on 10 acres specializing in the production of culinary and
medicinal herbs, salad greens, Asian and specialty vegetables, cut flowers,
natural free-range chickens and tilapia aquaculture.  A six month apprenticeship
is offered each growing season.


Gil developed a booklet explaining the IMO microbial cultures to accompany
his workshops, which he sells as an e-file.

Indigenous Microorganisms: Grow Your Own:  Beneficial Indigenous
Microoganisms and Bionutrients in Natural Farming


Herbana Farms
gil_carandang@yahoo.com, herbanafarms@yahoo.com


Using the Ordinary to Cultivate the Mysterious Power of Beneficial
Indigenous Microorganisms


Making Compost in Three Weeks Using IMO (Malaysia)
Food and Fertilizer Technology Center, Taiwan


Janong Natural Farming Institute


Thai Natural Farming

Part 3:	Comparative Names for IMO and EM Cultures

Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO)

IMO No. 1 	Indigenous Forest Microbes
IMO No. 1	
IMO No. 3
FPJ		Fermented Plant Juices 	
FFJ		Fermented Fruit Juices  	
FAA		Fish Amino Acid
BRV		Brown Rice Vinegar
OHN		Oriental Herbal Nutrients
LAS		Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum
WCA		Water-soluble Calcium
WCP		Water-soluble Calcium Phosphate
IA		Insect Attractant
SW		Sea Water

Effective Microorganisms (EM)

EM-1		EM inoculant
AEM		Activated EM
EM-FPE 	Fermented Plant Extract
EM 3-in-1	EM Insecticide
EM-FF 		Fermented Fish
EM-FCM 	Fermented Chicken Manure
EM-5		Foliar Feed and Pest Suppressant (Stochu)	
EM Bokashi	EM Fermented Organic Matter
EM-X		EM Beverage
EM Ceramics	EM and EM-X embedded in ceramics

Part 4:	Selected EM Recipes


How to Make and Use "Activated EM"

EM-1 microbial inoculant is purchased in a bottle.  However, EM it is
commonly "activated" by culturing in a container with molasses and water
while maintaining a warm, fermentative anaerobic environment.  Usually 7-14
days are required for this activation process.  The pH should drop below 3.7
or 3.5.  Paper pH test strips are commonly used to monitor pH.  This activated
EM solution is called AEM.

AEM is mixed with water and applied to soils, crops, and livestock
habitats in diluted quantities.  For example, 1 part AEM to 100 parts water.

Application rates for AEM in agriculture range from 1:50, 1:100, 1:250, 1:500,
1:1000, and 1:10,000 for different purposes and uses.  Foliar applications are
used at 1:100 and 1:500.  Soil applications are used at 1:500 and 1:1000.

Applications of AEM to waterways and for use as a probiotic in livestock
drinking water are used in diluted amounts of 1:1000 to 1:10,000.

Please note:  These application rates are generalized.  Please consult
the EM literature documented in this resource list, or your EM provider,
for instructions and application rates in agriculture.

Basic 1:1:20 AEM Recipe

3/4 cup EM-1
3/4 cup Blackstrap Molasses
1 gallon of water
Plastic water jug
Optional:  Teaspoon amounts of EM ceramic powder, sea salt, rock dust

Use good quality water.  Tap water with chlorine should be allowed to
de-gas by sitting in an open container for 24-48 hours.

Warm the water to 110-115 F, add molasses and stir.  Add EM-1 inoculant.
Pour solution into a plastic jug and fill with water.  Shake well and cap the jug.
Keep in an insulated box with a light bulb placed above to keep the solution
warm, ideally 90-105 F, for 7-14 days.  Loosen the cap every few days to
allow fermentation gas to escape.  When no more gas escapes, a sweet
smell is present, and the pH has dropped to 3.7 or below, the AEM is ready.

Please note:  This is a simplifed recipe for AEM.  For advanced recipes
and detailed technical instructions on brewing high quality AEM, see
Vinny Pinto's book in Section 6.2.


How to Make EM-FPE

EM-1 and molasses are used to facilitate the extraction of soluble
nutrients and bioactive substances from leafy plant material.  This recipe
is known as EM-Fermented Plant Extract.  EM-FPE is commonly used
to enhance pest control and function as a liquid biofertilizer.

Native plants, garden herbs, and tree leaves are selected for aromatic
and medicinal properties.  The plant material is chopped, immersed in
a container with EM and molasses, and allowed to ferment for 7-14 days.

Advanced EM-FPE recipes may include fish hydrosylate, rock dust,
and kelp.

Recipe from Margarita Correa, Auroville, India

For the production of approximately 20 liters of EM-FPE, the following
ingredients were used:

15 liters of water
3 kg of neem leaves (and flowers)
250 g of each plant material indicated as per Table 2
450 ml of EM stock solution
450 g of sugar cane jaggery (or use molasses)

Afterwards it was filtered and stored away for use, for at
least 90 days.

Plants used in EM-FPE recipes at Auroville, India.

1.   Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
2.   Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
3.   Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)
4.   Papaya (Carica papaya)
5.   Custard Apple (Annona squamosa)
6.   Vitex (Vitex negundo)
7.   Neem (Azadirachta indica)
8.   Calotropis (Calotropis gigantean)
9.   Onion (Allium cepa)
10. Garlic (Allium sativum)
11.  Aloe (Aloe barbedensis)
12.  Tulasi (Ocimum sp.)
13.  Pongam (Pongamia pinnata)
14.  Euphorbia (Euphorbia tirucalli)


The Impact of Effective Microorganisms (EM) in Various Farming Systems
Margarita Correa, Auroville, India


How to Make EM-5

1 part EM-1
1 part molasses
1 part distilled liquor (Vodka, Tequila, or Whiskey)
1 part Non-filtered apple cider vinegar
6 parts water (105-120 degrees F)
Optional:  Add chopped high antioxidant herbs: garlic, ginger, chili pepper

Mix all materials and anaerobically ferment in an expandable container until
the pH is below 4.0. Gas build-up will periodically need to be released. Store
out of direct sunlight and use within 30 days.

Applications of EM-5

1. Dilute with water at a rate of 1 part EM-5 to 500 to 1,000 parts water and
    foliar apply as a spray to crop plants.
2. Foliar applications are most effective when applied in early morning.
3. Maintenance applications are done on alternate weeks or once per month.
4. If problems already exist, apply daily or every other day until problem disappears.
5. For best results, alternate with regular Activated EM-1 applications.
6. If chemicals/pesticides/fungal inhibitors are used, wait one week after application
    before applying EM-1 products.


How to Make EM-5
EMRO USA Email Newsletter
August 4, 2004 | Vol. 2, Issue 3



EM and IMO can be employed as on-farm technologies to extract soluble
nutrients and bioactive substances from organic amendments and to culture
beneficial microorganisms.  EM and IMO are used to enhance fertility and
pest control, to facilitate the bio-remediation and handling of organic wastes,
to control flies and odors, and to promote a healthy ecosystem.

Steve Diver, NCAT Agriculture Specialist
National Center for Appropriate Technology
©NCAT 2004-2006

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service