EM was developped by Dr. Teruo Higa in Japan. It is a mixture from aerobic and anaerobic microorganism. It contains Photosynthetic bakteria, Lactic acid bakteria and yeasts.
A quote from the EM handbook:
EM is not a fertiliser. But it promotes microorgnisms in ANY environment. And this is the strength of EM! Any environment can be your compost heap, your vege beet, your paddock, your intestines or an animals intestines, your water tank, your running shoes, your bathroom and toilet - the list is endless. It creates an environment where beneficial microorganisms can multiply better and are happy to do their work! It supports fermenting processes and rotting processes.A. Photosynthetic Bacteria
The photosynthetic or phototropic bacteria are a group of independent, self supporting microbes. These bacteria
synthesize useful substances from secretions of roots, organic matter and/or harmful gases (eg. hydrogen
sulphide), by using sunlight and the heat of soil as sources of energy. Useful substances developed by these
microbes include amino acids, nucleic acids, bioactive substances and sugars, all of which promote plant growth
and development. The metabolites developed by these microorganisms are absorbed directly into plants and act as
substrates for increasing beneficial populations.
B. Lactic acid bacteria
Lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid from sugars and other carbohydrates, developed by photosynthetic
bacteria and yeast. Therefore, some foods and drinks such as yogurt and pickles have been made with lactic acid
bacteria for decades. However, lactic acid is a strong sterilizing compound, and suppresses harmful
microorganisms and enhances decomposition of organic matter. Moreover, lactic acid bacteria promote the
decomposition of material such as lignin and cellulose and ferments these materials, thereby removing
undesirable effects of undecomposed organic matter.
Yeasts synthesize antimicrobial and other useful substances required for plant growth from amino acids and
sugars secreted by photosynthetic bacteria, organic matter and plant roots. The bioactive substances such as
hormones and enzymes produced by yeasts promote active cell and root division. These secretions are also useful
substrates for effective microbes such as lactic acid bacteria and actinomycetes.
We use EM
- in the garden with No Dig Gardening
on the compost heap
feed it to the Goats and Sheep and Chicken
in the hen house (no smell!!!)
on the dog (no smell!!!)
in the toilet (no smell!!!)
in the bathroom
Ok, if you want to get information about EM, I suggest your first point of contact online should be the web page of the EM Technology Network. Under EM Library you will find tons of information.
The EM Forum is helpful, but sometimes a bit strange i.e. "How can EM help with my stress at work" etc. People there tend to use EM for everything! Think "Enhance your libido, cure cancer and make your wife/husband look better" etc.
I would then suggest, see where and who is producing EM in your country. Contact them and ask them for information etc. In New Zealand it is naturefarm and the best place to buy EM in NZ is the emshop.co.nz.
This brings me to cost: I can only speak for New Zeland. I pay NZ$23 for one liter. This one liter is EM-1. I should explain this. EM-1 is your base solution. This will have to be made into Extended EM, sometimes called EM-X or EM-A. I use a bottle and an airlock from my homebrewing. I use 50ml EM + 50 ml Molasses and 1 liter water. This has to ferment for 4 - 7 days. Check the links above for exact information or ask. This solution will be diluted depending on how and where you use it. Between 1 : 10 and 1: 1000. So one part EM-A and 10 parts water. 1 liter of EM-1 gives you 20 times one liter - 20 liters extended EM. 20 liters extended EM gives you around 2000 liter applicable solution if you mix 100ml EM with 10 liters of water. That's 2000 liters of applicable solution from 1 liter EM-1 for NZ$23! I call this a good value for money.
Ok, let me know if you want to know more about EM. I am happy to help and answer questions as long as I kow an answer!