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What is EM?
EM stands for Effective Micro-organisms and is a mixture of naturally occurring micro-organisms and is used to increase the natural resistance of soil, plant, water, humans & animals.
What does EM consist of?
EM contains several types of effective micro-organisms. Each of these Effective Micro-organisms has special tasks. The micro-organisms also promote each other’s activities. These micro-organisms are collected in the wild; they are not modified and manipulated and are grown naturally. EM contains among others: lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, actinomycetes, photosynthetic bacteria and fungi. So EM is pure nature!
How does EM work?
The special thing about EM is the combination of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Aerobic means “living with oxygen” and anaerobic means “living without oxygen”. In this scientific world, it was always assumed that these two groups could not possibly live side by side because the conditions under which they live are opposite to each other. Both groups also occur naturally together in the soil. The aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms have in common that they can convert substances into antioxidants. These have a beneficial effect on the health of soil, plants, people and animals. Micro-organisms work according to the dominance principle, and thus restore the microbial balance.
What is the principle of dominance?
In the world of microorganisms, there are different groups. There is a small group of dominant ‘effective’ microorganisms, a small group of dominant ‘harmful’ microorganisms and a large group of so-called followers. In nature, the group of followers work together with one of the above-mentioned dominant groups. In practice, this means that they belong to the most suitable dominant group. There is a constant power struggle between the effective and the harmful organisms. The “billions of followers” simply wait to see which of the two groups gets the upper hand. Then they adapt and follow or imitate the victor. When the ‘good guys’, the effective micro-organisms, gain the upper hand, they exert their constructive and disease-suppressing influence on all kinds of areas (e.g. air, soil, plants, water, people, animals,…). Proper use of EM in the household, the environment, agriculture and horticulture can promote the increase of effective microorganisms everywhere.
How does EM continue to work?
EM is a living substance and does not work in the same way as an antibiotic or a chemical agent. EM increases the population of beneficial microorganisms. EM does not kill. It is not an antibiotic, but a mixture of life-stimulating microorganisms, known in various food preparations such as beer, wine, sauerkraut,… EM works gradually. Depending on the application, you may expect an effect between a few hours (e.g. odour nuisance) to sometimes several years (e.g.; soil fertility). The effect of EM is partly based on a combination of fermentative microorganisms. The metabolic products that are produced by fermentation are widely known as antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes. Super healthy!
What is Bokashi?
Bokashi is the Japanese word for ‘well fermented organic material’. The organic residues are fermented airtight for an optimal fermentation process that results in useful metabolic products of micro-organisms. Thanks to Bokashi, you can turn your own organic residues into an optimal soil improver.
Bokashi is traditionally used in Japan to increase microbial diversity in the soil and to provide plants with bio-active nutrients, such as natural antibiotics and growth hormones, vitamins and amino acids. This gives plants more essential energy and greater resistance to harmful bacteria and fungi. The neutral microorganisms that in a pathogenic soil first chose the hitherto predominantly harmful microorganisms, will now join the effective microorganisms of EM. A pathogenic soil thus becomes a disease-resistant soil.
How do I make Bokashi with the Bokashi kitchen bucket?
You can make Bokashi yourself from small kitchen and plant residues. Start by placing some Bokashi-Starter on the grid in the Bokashi kitchen bucket. Always put your remains in small pieces in the Bokashi kitchen bucket and press well. After each layer of residue (approx. 5 cm), add a small amount of Bokashi-Starter. After the kitchen bucket is full, let it ferment for 2 weeks. Drain the bokashi juice daily, this can be diluted 1/100 with the water or simply poured into the drain for cleaning. After 2 weeks the bokashi is ready and can be incorporated into the soil.
How do I know if the Bokashi was successful?
After 2 weeks the contents of the Bokashi bucket can be processed in the garden. When opened, you should smell a sweet, sour smell. Like sauerkraut for example. If the Bokashi smells unpleasant, then the fermentation process was not entirely to your liking.
There is mould on my Bokashi, is that normal?
A light form of what looks like a fungus may indeed occur in the Bokashi bucket. That in itself certainly doesn’t have to be a bad sign, on the contrary. These are yeasts that belong to it. However, if the formation of mould is accompanied by an unpleasant odour, it is better to dispose of the contents of the Bokashi bucket and start again.
No bokashi juice is released….
The amount of juice that is released depends on the type of residue you put in the bucket. A lot of juicy fruit residue, for example, gives more moisture. It is possible that juice is only released after a week and a half. After a few weeks, the process stabilizes and no moisture can be drained at all.
The Bokashi is ready, what can I do with it now?
The fermented remains can best be incorporated into the soil. Put the remains in a well or a trench in the soil, and cover with a small amount of soil. In this way, the fermentation process continues, which is very beneficial for the soil. Process 1 kg of bokashi per 1 m2 per year.
Can I process Bokashi on the compost heap?
Bokashi also works well as a compost accelerator. In layers, you can mix it through the compost heap. A large number of Effective Micro-organisms in the Bokashi, benefit the processing of the total compost heap.
Can I also store Bokashi?
In freezing weather it is not possible to work into the soil, which is why you can store the fermented remains in thick plastic bags that are airtight. It can also be stored under a tarpaulin. Alternate the layers of Bokashi with a layer of soil if necessary, and in this way create your own, very nutritious ‘potting soil’ by spring.
Why do I need to add Bokashi starter to the remains in the Bokashi bucket?
By adding Bokashi starter to the organic material, you immediately divide Effective Micro-organisms between the remains. Bokashi starter contains fermented bran and is, therefore, a booster to ensure that the food remains also ferment. The Effective Micro-organisms present in the Bokashi produce all kinds of important bio-active substances, such as enzymes, natural antibiotics and growth hormones, vitamins and antioxidants. They also increase microbial diversity and activity.
How long can I store Actiferm?
Both an unopened or opened packaging (Bag-in-Box) can be stored for 1 year. Actiferm is packed in a vacuum pulling bag so that no oxygen can reach it. Store Actiferm at a constant temperature between 15-20 degrees. Large temperature changes can have a negative effect on Actiferm. It is quite acidic with a pH of 3.6. If you would give this directly to the plant, it could cause burning of the leaf. By diluting it with water the pH rises and there is no problem.
Can I still use Actiferm after 1 year?
If Actiferm is stored well and smells fresh and sour, it can still be used. If it smells musty or different, the quality is no longer sufficient and it is best to dispose of it.
Why should I dilute Actiferm with water?
Actiferm is quite acidic with a pH of 3.6. If you would give this directly to the plant, it could cause burning of the leaf. By diluting it with water the pH rises and there is no problem.