As we practice organic or natural farming and we aim to recycle as much as our organic wastes to a useful product, I began to experiment with making my own beneficial effective microorganism concentrates for use at the farm. Knowing the source of the material will further help me ensure
preventing introduction of toxic chemicals to our farm hence we tend to use farm ":wastes".
Selecting the ingredients is also important to me as I wanted to produce something that has the plus effect - more nutrients to the plants and trees - as well as pest deterrent properties. I also wanted to have as much beneficial enzymes in the mixture. The whole aim is to produce healthy plants with healthy soil. The beauty of using this is I do not have to worry when I am happily spraying my plants with the diluted solution that I will be covered with toxic chemicals. My 2 year old son also has fun spraying the plants and I do not have to worry about how he will be affected to exposure to this solution.
At the base is sugar. As we grow black sugar cane (tebu hitam) which is one of the sources for the production of molasses with its high sugar content, we use this to serve as the food to the microorganisms. To have the pest deterrent properties, we use citronella (serai wangi) leaves. Another good item for this is the onion peels and the outer layer that we tend to peel off the onion when we cook.
Next comes the additional nutrient components that I want to provide to the plants such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Here there are lots of choices such as calamansi (lima kasturi), key lime (lima nipis), banana peel, papaya peel, and even ginger torch (bunga kantan) stalks. I will chop all these up. You can also use vegetable wastes from your food preparation. By adding the citrus elements, your solution will have a nice citrus aroma so you can get aroma therapy whilst you are spraying your plants.
Chlorine is harmful to the microorganisms so it is important to use water that is free of chlorine to this mix. We are blessed with having a clean, natural water source so that is what we use.
Now, the favourite question: how much of each. The ratio I use is 2 parts black sugar cane, 2 parts organic material (the leaves, peel and such) and 10 parts of water. Basically, for our production, I use 2 kg of black sugar cane, 2 kg of the other organic material and 10 litters of water.
I allow it to ferment for at least 3 months, the longer the better, and once a week, I will stir the mixture allowing for the waste gases to escape and increasing oxygenation. It is during this fermentation process that the microorganisms will multiply. When it is done, I will strain the liquid and store it in recycled plastic bottles. I use it at a dilution rate of approximately 2 tablespoons of concentrate to 1 litter of water and spray it all over the plant and soil. The use of these solutions are not limited to the plants but can also be used in your household to clean counter tops and surfaces. And now you have our story. Try it and you may fall in love with it too :)