EM・1™ – Effective Micro-organisms

EM・1™ is the original Effective Microorganisms solution that was formulated by Dr. Teruo Higa in Japan. It comes in a concentrated and stable liquid form and contains a range of beneficial microorganisms, including lactic acid bacteria, yeast and phototrophic bacteria. It is due to the balanced co-existence of these microorganisms, that EM・1™ is then able to stimulate native microorganisms in a range of local environmental conditions in both soil and aquatic systems.

EM・1™ has applications in many different industry sectors, including agriculture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, environmental purification and health care. At home it can be used in the garden, aquaponic or hydroponic systems, fishtanks and ponds, or to neutralise odours and for general cleaning. It is a powerful fermentation and composting inoculant and can be used in your septic system, composting toilet or to make your own bokashi mix! (Scroll down for more info…)

Our concentrated EM・1™ product is manufactured in Australia by an EMRO certified laboratory. We distribute EM・1™ under licence.

  • 1L Bottle – $25.00 inc. GST
  • 15L Bottle – $240.00 inc. GST
  • 1000L IBC – Please contact us.
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EM・1™ Effective Micro-organisms can be used straight out of the bottle, at the dilution rates for the purpose intended, but it is MUCH more economical to extend it (activate it) using organic molasses and purified water. This will give you over 30L of activated EM from one 1L bottle. In order to maintain the correct balance of micro-organisms, the concentrate can only be activated once, and the activated EM is best used within 48 hours for optimal results. Further activation, or longer storage times, can result in a non-beneficial imbalance, or even worse, non-beneficial micro-organisms moving in!

Horticulture

Dilute 10ml per litre of water (1:100) and use as a direct foliar or soil spray

Composting, grease traps, septic systems or odour control

Dilute 100ml per litre of water (1:10) and spray onto composting, fermenting or odorous substrate or pour into septic system via drain or toilet.

Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Fishtanks or Ponds

Calculate the volume of your system and introduce EM・1™ at a dilution rate of 1:10,000. For large systems, it is more economical to activate EM・1™ first.

More information on EM・1™ and it’s broader uses can also be found on the EMRO Japan website.

 

Activating EM・1™

Given the large dilution rates required for using either EM・1™ or activated EM, it is often only necessary to activate a litre or two at a time. To make 1 Litre of activated EM, you need to dissolve 30ml of organic molasses in no more than 900ml of mildly warm water. In the tropics, room temperature water is usually warm enough to dissolve the molasses efficiently. Once dissolved, mix in 30ml of EM・1™, then top your container up to the 1L mark with more water and cover it. The fermentation process needs to take place out of direct sunlight and will release a small amount of gas, so ensure your fermentation container is plastic and has a loosely fitted lid, or you can manually release the gas each day if you want. Alternatively you can use a dedicated fermentation vessel with an airlock fitted. The fermentation process takes between 5-7 days, but usually closer to 5 days in the warmth of the tropics, and it will smell pleasantly sweet/sour when ready.

You can now dilute your activated EM (or concentrated EM・1™ if the activation process sounds too hard!) at the dilution rates for the purpose intended. A little really goes a long way!

 

Making EM Bokashi Mix

This recipe is for 15L of dry wheat or rice bran from the supermarket, but can be adapted to a lot of different dry substrates. You just need to adjust for water, depending on the absorption rate of what you are using. Contact us for more detailed advice if you need it!

Dissolve 30ml of organic molasses in about a litre of purified, mildly warm water. In the tropics, room temperature water is usually warm enough to dissolve the molasses efficiently. Once dissolved, mix in 30ml of EM・1™, then top your container up to the 3L mark with more water. In a large tub for mixing, add in the 15L of bran and then slowly add your liquid, mixing as you go. It is important to have a an even distribution of moisture throughout the bran. The end result should be a consistency where the bran will hold together when you squeeze it, but break apart easily if touched. Transfer the mix into a garbage bag, squeezing it down to remove the air pockets as you go. It is anaerobic fermentation so you don’t want any air through the mix. Tie the bag off, while pushing the last bit of air out, then store it in a dark place for a full 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the bran should have a pleasant sweet/sour smell indicating fermentation was successful. The mix then needs to be thoroughly dried, which is easily done in a day or two in a warm, dry place. Once fully dry, it needs to be stored in an airtight container, and is ready for use!

Composting your food waste with bokashi:

Each time food waste is added to a bokashi bucket, it is mashed to remove as many air pockets as possible, and then a layer of the fermentation mix is sprinkled over the top. It is best to collect your food waste in a separate caddy for a day or two, to minimise the amount of times you need to open the bucket, therefore optimising the anaerobic environment. This method is continued until the bucket is full and an overall minimum blend of 10% fermentation mix per volume has been achieved.  It is then left sealed for a further 2 weeks for the full fermentation process to be completed. The liquid should be drained off every few days to help keep the ferment dry and can be used immediately at the same dilution rates as EM・1™. Bokashi fermentation is also called “pre-composting” as the end product, is slightly acidic and still requires further aerobic microbial activity to balance the pH. This can be done by burying it in the ground, away from existing growth, or by incorporating it into your composting process.

Other uses for bokashi mix:

Animal enclosures – Sprinkle handfuls of bokashi mix on the floor of the enclosure to suppress odours and break down manure.

Compost piles/tumblers – Throw a handful in to accelerate decomposition and manage odours.

Soil – Spread liberally over soil before adding a layer of compost or mulch, or lightly rake in.