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"EM" De-Mystified - April 2, Shepherdstown, West Virginia

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  • Allan Balliett
    For over 20 years, EM has been a puzzle palace to me. Judging from the way the compost tea community relates to it (in contrast to the Asian praise for it),
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 19, 2005
      For over 20 years, EM has been a 'puzzle palace' to me. Judging from
      the way the compost tea community relates to it (in contrast to the
      Asian praise for it), it appears that a lot of people do not know
      what to expect from applications of EM or how to make those
      applications efficiently and economically. Taking Ghandi's unction to
      heart, I decided to do something about the poor way that practical
      information about EM has been conveyed in the US -- I imposed on the
      generosity of 3 men who are, as far as I know, the top teachers in
      the US on how to use EM on the farm, in the garden and in waste and
      water remediation. In addition, Mr Pinto is an international
      consultant on the formulation of EM "elixirs" for human nutrition. If
      you've been as intrigued and repulsed by EM as I have, you'll want to
      kick out the jams and make it to this inexpensive not-for-profit
      workshop on April 2. For more information, please see below. (Don't
      hesitate to contact me directly with your questions or special needs.
      -Allan Balliett)

      WHAT:"EM in Agriculture" Workshop
      WHEN: 8AM to 5PM, April 2, 2005
      WHERE: Shepherdstown, WV (Outside of Frederick MD, 100 miles from DC)
      COST: $35.00 (Does NOT include lunch.)
      SEMINAR WEB SITE: www.gardeningforthefuture.com
      MORE INFORMATION: Contact Allan Balliett at 304.876.3382 or

      A full day workshop featuring Matthew Wood, Steve Diver and Vinny
      Pinto on how to use inexpensive farm-made microbial ferments to boost
      soil fertility and control disease in farm and garden crops, how to
      increase the available nutrition in livestock feeds, and how to
      control common livestock odors (There will be post-seminar
      presentation by Mr. Pinto on the use of beneficial microbes for human
      nutrition). This is a workshop for farmers, ranchers, gardeners, ag
      professionals, resource specialists, conservationists, soil
      scientists, nutrient management specialists, students, educators,
      livestock managers and anyone interested in the health and
      nutritional benefits of microbial diversity. This workshop focuses on
      the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural
      productivity and environmental health.

      This workshop provides practical information on incorporating
      effective microorganisms (EM) into farm, garden and household
      management practices. EM is easier to use than compost teas and gives
      cheaper and more predictable results.

      Although there is strong acceptance by both farmers and univeristies
      for the use of microbial brews in sustainable agriculture, the work
      of Dr Higa (developer of EM) of Ryukus University, has largely been
      overlooked. Ironically, Higa's approach to microbial inoculation has
      many more years of field research behind it and much more published
      research than its US counterparts. More over, EM is much more
      versatile than aerorated compost tea, not only improving plant and
      soil health, but also has been proven to be a valuable addition to
      livestock feed, to odor management and to human nutrition.

      This is a full day seminar, featuring three highly qualified
      teachers: Matthew Wood, who earned his degree in "EM Technologies" in
      Japan while working with Dr. Huga; Steve Diver, a NCAT agriculture
      specialist who has done extensive field work on farms around the
      world that use microbial technology; and Vinny Pinto, a beneficial
      bacteria application scientist and consultant who specializes in EM
      enhancement of animal feeds and in incorporating the many benefits of
      EM into human nutrition. The seminar will focus on how to use
      inexpensive farm-made microbial ferments to boost soil fertility and
      control disease in farm and garden crops and to increase the
      available nutrition in livestock feeds and to control common
      livestock odors (with a postscript on the use of beneficial microbes
      for human nutrition). This is a workshop for farmers, ranchers,
      horticulturists, gardeners, ag professionals, resource specialists,
      conservationists, soil scientists, nutrient management specialists,
      students, educators, livestock managers and anyone interested in the
      health and nutritional benefits of microbial diversity. This workshop
      focuses on the living component of soil and how it contributes to
      agricultural productivity.

      WHAT IS EM?
      EM (effective microorgnaisms), is a special culture of beneficial
      microorganisms which are used as an inoculant to promote healthy
      soils, treat livestock odors, and compost food wastes. When used
      properly, EM applications create beneficial soil effects such as
      improved soil aggregation, nitrogen fixation, mineralization, humus
      formation, disease suppression, and decomposition. EM is also used
      to enhance the nutrition and digestibility of livestock feeds and to
      control odors and insects problems in livestock enterprises. The best
      site on the web for information on what EM is and how to use it is
      Vinny Pinto's "EM INFO" site. (www.eminfo.info/)

      WHY USE EM?
      21st century organic farmers have become aware of the necessity for a
      successful organic farm to have a diverse and healthy soil food-web.
      In the U.S., one is likely to hear that the only approach to
      bolstering the soil food-web is through applications of aerobically
      brewed compost tea. Many farmers have found that producing a viable
      batch of aerobic compost tea can be both expensive (lab tests,
      equipment outlay) and time consuming. For decades the Japanese have
      been using anaerobic microbial brews to gain the same results claimed
      for aerobic teas. EM is the most reliable and effective of the Asian
      microbial brews. Using EM requires virtually no specialized equipment
      and requires no lab tests. Ironically, EM is an anaerobic inoculant
      which brews itself in a closed container and yet provides such a
      significant boost to soil biology that it not only brings "rare'
      beneficial microbes to farm soils, it also creates a soil environment
      that allows indigenous bacteria, fungus and beneficial nematodes to

      In the world of microbial agriculture, EM is far from a new idea. EM
      has been used in Japan for more than 20 years. As a point of fact,
      ATTRA's Steve Diver says that there are more research papers and
      reports on EM than on any other microbial inoculation system in
      organic agriculture.

      Steve Diver, who has recently presented at both the ECOFARM and Upper
      Midwest Organic Conferences on building soil and plant health through
      beneficial microbial inoculation, will give two presentations:

      "Humus Farming and Soil Biology" is an introductory lecture that will
      examine the underlying principles and practices of organic matter
      management and soil biology, the importance of a complex soil food
      web, microbial mechanisms, humified compost, mycorrhizae, and
      plant-microbial systems that enhance fertility and disease control in
      the rhizosphere and phyllosphere.

      "Nature Farming & EM" will introduce nature farming systems that use
      local biomass sources for culturing on-farm beneficial microbe
      preparations to enhance fertility and pest control. It will
      introduce EM (effective microorganisms), fermentative anaerobics,
      microbial pathways for organic matter decomposition, properties of
      EM, basic EM preparation, and practical uses of EM in agriculture.
      An EM resource list will be provided as a workshop handout. It
      provides quick access to key educational and research literature on
      EM, databases, information leaflets, web resources, and EM recipes.

      Matthew Wood, CEO of Sustainable Community Development, a leader in
      the introduction of EM to North America, will give an in-depth
      presentation on the use of EM to control livestock odors on the farm.
      He will also discuss using EM to remediate contaminated water, as
      well as other applications for EM on the farm and in human health.

      Vinny Pinto, an expert on agricultural applications for EM, will
      speak on the following topics:

      How to use EM for composting
      Using EM for ag soil improvements
      How to make high quality AEM
      How to use EM when working with cattle, poultry and swine
      Value of EM products in human and livestock nutrition

      A hands-on bokashi-making workshop may also be offered. EM microbial
      culture and related products will be offered for sale by a
      representative from SCD.

      The goal of this conference is to give the new user a background on
      the theory and science of microbial inoculation in general and a
      working knowledge of how to economically use EM effectively in a
      farming enterprise. Furthermore, once in the field, attendees of this
      workshop can rely on support from Mr. Pinto through his "EM-AG"
      internet discussion group. The organizer wants to stress that this
      most definitely is NOT a vendor workshop and that every effort will
      be made to make the presentations non-sectarian and based in science.

      Seating for the seminar is limited, so please register early.
      Register by sending a check made out to "GFTF" to Gardening for the
      Future, POB 3047, Shepherstown, WV 25443. Registration by charge
      card is available through PayPal. Use "igg@..." as the id to
      "send cash." Include email and phone contact information with all
      registration payments. Directions to the event are are at
      www.gardeningforthefuture.com. For up-to-date information about this
      seminar, watch www.gardeningforthefuture.com or contact Allan
      Balliett at 304.876-3382 or EMworkshop@...


      Bio for Vinny Pinto go back to top of page

      Vinny Pinto is a consulting scientist who performs research on use of
      beneficial syntropic (anti-entropic) fermentative microbes, including
      EM and related microbial consortia, in a variety of fields ranging
      from soils for crop agriculture to livestock to odor management and
      pathogen reduction in industrial and waste treatment settings. He
      also operates a small zero-odor egg-producing operation using EM
      microbial technology. Vinny is a degreed scientist with a Master's
      degree in the health-related sciences and in research methods in the
      health sciences. He has a strong background in devising and guiding
      scientific research studies. He has been working with and
      researching uses of EM for over two years, particularly in the realms
      of livestock and human uses, and health-related applications using EM
      fermented antioxidant beverages as a nutritional supplement for
      humans and animals; he performs consulting for clients in a number of
      foreign countries as well as in the USA. One of his recent large
      agricultural livestock consulting projects involved implementation of
      EM for odor control and animal health in a large "factory" poultry
      farm containing about 50,000 chickens in a 6,000 sq. ft. barn, where
      the poultry density was roughly 10 lbs per square foot. He has
      presented lectures and seminars on the usage of such beneficial
      syntropic microbes in many venues, including the international EM
      Sustainable Community Festival held in Kansas City, MO in November
      2004 which attracted attendees from around the world. Vinny operates
      two popular informational websites on EM and its uses (
      www.eminfo.info and www.antioxbrew.com ) and he operates five e-mail
      list groups on various applications of EM and similar beneficial
      antioxidative microbes. Vinny is the author of an encyclopedic 200+
      page book entitled "Fermentation with Syntropic Antioxidative
      Microbes: An Advanced Guide to Brewing EM Fermented Secondary
      Products", and is currently working on an introductory book offering
      an overview on the use EM across many fields and a second book which
      will offering basic guidelines for using EM and related beneficial
      microbial cultures in agriculture. Vinny is also the publisher of the
      fee-based "Advanced EM Newsletter", a newsletter devoted to advanced
      uses for EM across various sectors.

      Bio for Steve Diver

      Steve Diver is an agriculture specialist with the National Center for
      Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Steve provides technical support
      on agronomic and horticultural topics through NCAT's flagship
      sustainable agriculture program known as ATTRA -- National
      Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. He earned BS and an
      MS degrees in horticulture from Oklahoma State University, and
      worked as Extension Horticulturist in Eastern Oklahoma for
      four years. He managed an organic blueberry farm in the Missouri
      Ozarks prior to joining NCAT. He has surveyed EM technology and
      provided technical support for agricultural applications of EM since
      1995. Steve has delivered workshops and keynote lectures on humus
      soil biology, compost, compost teas, EM (Effective Microorganisms),
      IMO (Indigenous Microorganisms), fermented plant extracts, biodynamic
      preparations, and related on-farm microbial preparations at organic farming
      conferences, scientific symposiums, and Extension Service training.
      He lives on a 12 acre farm outside of Fayetteville, AR, and raises a
      acre garden of mixed vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

      Bio for Matthew Wood

      Matthew Wood, BS, MS, is a founder and managing co-partner of
      Sustainable Community Development (SCD), a company founded over five
      years ago to bring EM to the Americas. He has been involved
      full-time for over 8 years in the EM world. Matthew studied at the
      graduate level in Japan with Dr. Higa in a Japanese-language program,
      and earned his Master's degree with Dr. Higa at University of Ryukus
      in Okinawa in the field of EM-related technologies. At this time, he
      remains the only American to have completed the graduate program in
      EM. Matthew has been involved in working with EM and bringing it to
      various fields of application, primarily in the Americas, and
      particularly for agriculture and waste and odor management, for over
      eight years. Matthew has authored numerous articles and technical
      papers on studies, research projects and applications related to uses
      of EM. Matthew continues to serve as a managing partner for
      Technical and Development on behalf of SCD.


      Special thanks is given to Vinny Pinto and Steve Diver and to Matthew
      WOOD AND Sustainable Community Development (www.scdworld.org ) for
      the sacrifices they have made to make this event possible.

      This seminar was organized by Allan Balliett and Gardening for the
      Future's educational project, the Fresh and Local CSA of
      Shepherdstown WV (serving the DC metro-area) www.freshandlocalcsa.com

      This seminar is co-sponsored by Jeff Otto and East Coast Organics,
      where "Our mission is to offer garden centers, nurseries and
      professional growers premium quality, field-tested organic supplies
      that promote responsible land management. By blending the modern
      theories of sustainable agriculture with ancient agricultural
      traditions, East Coast Organics has created an essential line of
      organic garden supplies that will improve the lives of your plants
      and the life of our planet." www.eastcoastorganics.com

      This seminar is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association for
      Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit organization which promotes
      profitable farming which produces healthy food for all people while
      respecting the natural environment." www.PASAfarming.org

      This seminar is co-sponsored by the Maryland Organic Food and Farming
      Association (MOFFA). MOFFA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational
      organization whose mission is to bring together growers, consumers,
      and retailers in Maryland to advance education about and growth of
      ecological organic farming. www.marylandorganic.org

      This seminar is co-sponsored and supported by Horticultural Extension
      of Loudoun, Co, Virginia

      This seminar is co-sponsored and supported by the Agriculture
      Development Office, JDCA (Jefferson County, West Virginia)
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