<RV> Subject: Re: Micro-Farming combined reply
<RV> From: Roberto Verzola <email@example.com>
<RV> Date: April 1, 2000 10:09:47 PM EST
<RV> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Add to Address Book
<LP> >I'm still curious about the 2 acres--I'd like to experiment--will
<LP> >check out the links you provided.
<RV> So am I. Most Philippine farmers (who comprise the biggest portion of
<RV> our population) have no more than one hectare (about 2 acres) of land.
<RV> By the way, EM (a microbial preparation that is supposed to hasten
<RV> composting) is also marketed here, and used by several recycling
<RV> centers and organic farms I know.
<RV> Roberto Verzola
This is a second reply for the other subject brought up in your posted
message quoted above: RE: "EM"
"EM" is Effective Microbials produced by the MOA Nature Farming
Association of Japan. MOA is similar to Biodynamics in many respects
(at least according to their official website information I draw that
conclusion). Like the Bio-Dynamic preps, a little is supposed to go a
long way. Both also are concerned that there be ethical treatment of
farm animals integrated into a whole-food-chain web on the farm. To
that I give my hearty approval.
There is more than one lady with a microscope, and although the one
most referred to on Sanet is Elaine Ingrams of Soil Foodweb Labs, Inc.,
the other one, Lynn Margulis, co-developer of the "Gaia Hypothesis"
with James Lovelock, is shining more light in the darkness, in my
opinion. Among the ideas that Margulis has demonstrated through
scanning electron microscopy is the exchange of gene packets
between members of different "species" or types of microbial life. It
seems that microbes "spread the news" by sharing around most
promiscuously packages of genetic technology. This is voluntary
self-mutation as opposed to GE or GMO enslavement recombinations.
With this exchange in mind it could be the basis of a testable hypothesis
on the value of insignificant amounts of microlife dispersed across huge
amounts of acreage.
Unfortunately the human knowledgebase of the microscopic kingdom
is so inadequate that it is currently beyond human ability to even design
such a test, let alone carry it out with proper baselines and controls. It
would require training, equipping with full labs, and guaranteeing financial
security, to entice the several thousand new microbiologists needed to
obtain the basic knowledge needed to carry out the experiment, and
quite probably 2 or 3 decades of preparatory fundamental research first.
Edward O. Wilson's book "The Diversity of Life" describes the vast ocean
of darkness that too few Margulis's are shining their light upon. With as
many as 4,000 to 5,000 different species in a single gram (about a dry
teaspoonful) of soil, the vast majority have never even been seen by any
human being let alone scientifically cataloged and analyzed in any way.
Most cannot even be stained for viewing by any techniques yet known to
science, nor can they be cultured by any petri-dish regimens known.
The only way we even can know this quite invisible host is present and
real is by detecting their DNA through elaborate procedures akin to the
stuff that put people to sleep in the O.J. Simpson trial.
It is impossible to know what releasing possibly invasive foreign organisms
are doing to the ecology in the microcosm. Kyusei Nature Farming, the
other off-shoot of Mokichi Okada from MOA, spurns the use of EM as an
The mushroom processing generates their own benefical microbial symbiots,
and if you have any trouble growing your mushrooms get a bucket of spent
mushroom compost from someone who is thriving cultivating them. Use
this innoculent to get a culture going in your own beds. Soon the team of
antibiotic mushroom cultures and their symbionts will be dominent and keep
back intruders effectively. Develop your own local microbe communities.
And forget about compost piles and their innoculents. That stuff is
so 1999! Mushrooms and worms will devour everything you want to compost
so much faster and improve it beyond compost's wildest dreams. Put your
organics right where you want to grow it and process it in place with your
worm tractors and you will never have to till the land, ever. Let the rich
guys buy their compost pile turner and spreader machines, and just
snicker at them behind their backs every time oil prices go up. Every pound
of feed your rabbits eat comes out the next day as a pound of very fertile
soil amendment, which your earthworms will improve even higher in fertility
within a couple of weeks..
In closing, here are some quotes from authoritative websites. (The different
figures probably reflect the differences in diets, whether urines were mixed
with the manures, or how long samples aged before testings.)
Some rabbit and worm poop facts:
Rabbit Manure As A Fertilizer
As the cost of fertilizer products increases, so does the value of rabbit
manure. Demand determines the price you may receive for manure. Home
gardening has increased; more people are working with ornamentals in their
yards than ever before; and organic farming is on the increase.
Fifteen does, two bucks, and their litters will produce approximately one
ton of manure a year. Rabbit manure is drier than poultry manure. Rabbit
manure analysis varies but is approximately 1.3% N, 0.9% P, 1.0% K. Use the
same precautions as with other manure when using it around plants or in
seed beds. It can burn plants.
[note: use fixed-width font, i.e. "courier" to get table to line up in
Rabbit Manure - God's Gift to the Gardener
Commonly Used Manures for Gardens
Animal /year/1000 lb % Nitrogen % Phosphoric % Potash
live weight Acid
Rabbit 4.2 2.4 1.4 0.6
Sheep & Goat 6.0 1.44 0.5 1.21
Swine 16.0 0.49 0.34 0.47
Chicken 4.5 1.0 0.8 0.39
Dairy Cow 12.0 0.57 0.23 0.62
Beef Steer 8.5 0.73 0.48 0.55
Horse 8.0 0.70 0.25 0.77
Caution: All barnyard manure should be
properly (vermi)composted before using on gardens
Taken from the Domestic Rabbit magazine from the early 1990's rabbit
manure has the following percentages of dry material.
Comparing Vermicomposts And Composts
When comparing nutrient and chemical analyses for a number
of composts and vermicomposts we have found that there may
be some tendency for vermicomposts to have slightly lower pH
values, and slightly higher nutrient concentrations, particularly of
nitrogen, than composts. It is also quite common for vermicomposts
to have very low concentrations of ammonium-nitrogen
and very high concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen, whereas the
opposite is often true for many composts. Overall, however, there
is a great deal of overlap between the nutrient contents of the two
types of materials, and it is not always possible to tell one
from the other based on such analyses. In fact, it is often very
difficult to predict the relative growth responses of plants grown
with different materials based solely on these types of test results.
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