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Old 06-29-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)

Hi All,
I thought that while I was waiting for the lacto bacilli process to complete, I would start an IMO experiment. After checking out Bryan McGrath's awesome series on gathering IMO & making/using it, I would start a couple of experiments. Soooooo after taking notes on his process Korean Natural Farming - IMO Part 1 - YouTube I got started with the worm bin & some bamboo leaves/topsoil.

The plan (according to Bryan):


IMO (Indigenous Micro Organisms)

Making IMO 1 - Collecting the microbes (takes 3 to 5 days)
1.Any kind of rice
1 C water
1.5 C rice
Cook it, should be slightly dry.
2.Place rice in a plastic container (I'm using aluminum foil) so itís about 1/3 full.
a.Put bamboo leaf litter on the rice
b.Put the container in the worm bin
3.Let the rice set & collect the microbes

Making IMO 2 Ė Propogate the microbes (3 to 5 days)
1.White, yellow, green & red mold are OK, black is not. If black, toss it & try again.
2.Mix the bacteria laden rice with 1 part brown sugar (or a bunch of molasses) & 1 part rice by weight.
3,Mix until it is gooey & stays in a ball.
4.Cover & let the microbes grow in a container.

Storing IMO
1.The IMO is useable now & can be stored for a year or so by putting it in a container that has airholes. Store it in dark place.
2.You can also store it in a liquid form by mixing 1 part IMO to 3 parts water (no chlorine of course) Store it in a cool dark area after straining. Note: Citric acid at 1 tsp per gallon will kill chloramine if itís used with or instead of chlorine.

Making IMO 3 Ė Add the microbes to a growing medium (3 to 5 days)
1.Take and add 2 vienna sausage sized chunks of IMO 2 & 2 TBS molasses to 2 gallons of water.
2.10 or 12 pounds of wheat meal run (dropped wheat mill products swept from the floor) or bran with a cup of flower are mixed in with the water/IMO. I plan on using coffee for this step.
3.When mixing, take a squeeze a handful; no water should come out & it should hold itís shape until itís poked with your finger.
4.Allow the material to set for 3 to 5 days (or a couple of weeks) to propagate the micros

IMO 4 Ė Completion & usage
1. The IMO is ready for the final stage when the heat is gone, as the mass heats up when the microbes are growing. The material clumps & is colored from the molds/fungus
2.Combine in a 1 to 1 ratio by volume of soil & sprinkle it lightly on the garden. The microbes will flow down & grow in the soil.


Best Regards To All,
Jon
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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So you're in Stage 2? With everything looking great?
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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Hi biigblueyes,

In day 2.5 of Stage 1 - Bacteria collection.

Things are looking pretty good for the worm collecting, I haven't disturbed the bamboo since it's leaves/soil on the rice. But it should be good as well (fingers crossed).

I'm debating (usually means that I'm trying to suppress my enthusiasm) about going the full 5 days. I'm thinking that going 5 days means more bacteria.......but I'm also thinking who cares, since it's going to be given sugar to grow on in the next stage. I guess the timing depends on my impatience!

Here's some shots of the bacteria collection to date in the worm bin. There is a dark area to the left lower side, I believe that's where condensate from the lid dropped on it and has darkened the mycelium. If it turns out to be a grey or black bacteria colony, I'll throw that portion out & use the rest of it.
I was reading that what we are doing here is giving the good bacteria a chance to grow & to overpower the bad stuff (which is usually anaerobic)

Best Regards To All,
Jon
Attached Thumbnails
IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-worm-bacteria-001.jpg   IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-worm-bacteria-002.jpg  
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:40 AM   #4
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It surprises me that you're using foil - a reactional metal. What's the purpose of the foil?
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Hi All,
Just a quick update on what the IMO collection is up to. Looking like this one is going to be a failure. I didn't like the look of the lower right side of the rice mass, so I moved it to physically isolate it.

Since I don't know what I'm doing, I thought this would add to the experiment some. From what I've read, the bacteria that gets there the "firstest with the mostest" wins & crowds out the other bacteria & dominates it's area. There are distinct areas that are dominated by a bacteria of one color, with some "blotches" of other bacteria in it.

I'm assuming the "fuzz" is a fungus & it appears to be living on top of the mass.

I haven't checked the bamboo leaf/soil sample yet, I'm going to give it the full 5 days before removing the leaves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biigblueyes View Post
It surprises me that you're using foil - a reactional metal. What's the purpose of the foil?
Excellent timing biigblueyes, I was just checking out the IMO.

I'm not sure what a reactional metal is.....the foil is being used to keep the rice in a pile, since the worm bedding is shredded paper/cardboard & I don't want it to fall apart in the bin.

If this doesn't work, I'm going to go to a plastic tub (ahhhhhh, plastic doesn't react, I bet that's what you meant) or a wicker basket. I'm leaning towards a wicker basket since it would allow air circulation 360 degrees

Let the good times roll!

Best Regards To All,
Jon

Woohoooooooooo UPS just arrived with a box of mycellium Yay It's tree shredding day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=rcwarship;135516]I'm not sure what a reactional metal is

If this doesn't work, I'm going to go to a plastic tub (ahhhhhh, plastic doesn't react, I bet that's what you meant [QUOTE]

Bingo! Some projects come with instructions to use glass, plastic or a non-reacting metal (stainless steel).
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:55 PM   #7
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Default Stage 1 done - partial success

Hi All,

Well, it's been a pretty cool weekend, mycelium planting, IMO cultivating, tree shredding.....it's a good life & that's for sure.

The worm bin is a failure, there are 2 large areas of black bacteria & the possibility of smaller ones in the mix. It sure is pretty though, lots of colors. The next try is going to be drier rice in a wicker basket (doused with hot water before adding the rice), and a lcover on it to keep the condensate out of it. Thanks for the heads up on the reactive metal aspect biigblueyes, I appreciate it.

I think the difference between the worm bin & the bamboo is that the worm bin is so darn moist. I'll have to really make sure that the rice is dry before putting it in the bin.

I decided on the wicker instead of plastic due to the moist worm farm environment, we'll see how it goes.


The bamboo IMO looks like it's good, it's getting moved on to stage 2 now.

The first 2 pictures are of the worm bin (with the black bacteria off to the side) & the underside of the rice.
The second 2 are the successful bamboo culture & it's underside.

Best Regards To All,
Jon
Attached Thumbnails
IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-worm-mycillium-fail.jpg   IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-worm-mycillium-underside.jpg   IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-bamboo-mycillium-.jpg   IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-bamboo-mycillium-underside.jpg  
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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Default Worm Bin Sample 2 Started, Stage 3 For Bamboo Sample

The fun & games continue here at "We Be Bacteria"......

The failed worm bin sample is being tried again with a wicker basket instead of the aluminum foil container that was used first time:
  • 1 Cup of rice was cooked until there was no sound of boiling water in the pan. I had a lot of rice sticking to the bottom/sides, so I took that as a sign of success.
  • A wicker basket had boiling water poured over it to sterilize it as best as could be done. In hindsight, I don't know why I didn't dunk it in a pan of boiling water.....
  • An aluminum foil "dunce cap" was put on top of the wicker basket to keep condensate from dripping into the rice.
  • The basket was set on a piece of plastic in the worm bin.
Results to follow in a few days.

The stage 2 brown sugar/bamboo bacteria sample was left to sit for 4 days & was diluted with water on a 3 to 1 basis for storage & eventual use.
The stage 2 sample has a very pleasant sweet & earthy smell to it. Do you suppose that's how it is supposed to be?
Note: It still needs to be strained, and has pieces of leaves/stems in it.

Picture 1 Stage 2 bamboo sample
Picture 2 Stage 2 bamboo sample after being diluted, it still needs to be strained. My apologies for the glare from the camera on these pictures, a photographer I am not.
Picture 3 Wicker basket with rice, before dunce cap.

I hope everyone had an awesome 4th of July, Happy Birthday To US.

Best Regards To All,
Jon
Attached Thumbnails
IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-stage-2-.jpg   IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-stage-2-water-3-1-ratio-.jpg   IMO Experiment (Indigenous micro-organisms)-worm-bin-sample-2.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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rcwarship> Can I ask why you're cooking the rice? I've got another question for you.... what about using 1 of your wife's glass pie dishes instead of tinfoil or plastic that probably isn't HDPE 2? Have you seen this thread, Indoor Bokashi (Beerkashi) Composting for the Urban Gardener? There might be something in there you could experiment with. Oh oh oh... what about grabbing a handful of dirt from a pristine area somewhere around your home and tossing it in your mix after it's done doing what you want it to do?
--
biig> did you ever start using that bokashi set up I made for you with the spigot? Once that gets cookin' I can add chicken and fish bones to it and even big hunks of trimmed fat from corned beef and there's no odor. I hate to admit this but.... Zoe got in the chicken run and killed a 2 mos old chick and instead of me tossing it out to my vulture friends... I decided to toss it in the bokashi bin and there was like nothing left of a 2 lb whole chick other than feathers the next time I went rooting around in the bin looking for it. I bet even the feathers will be gone if I let it sit long enough. Last winter we tossed mice in it that had been zapped by the rat zapper... we have to deal with the mice otherwise they build nests in the engines of our cars and destroy our electical systems... they were consumed in no time flat.... I can honestly say I never expected the same thing to happen to a 2 mos old chick though. Maybe I should try a 5 pounder next time? We could literally scrape our plates off into that unit and no one walking in and out of our garage would be any the wiser...
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:56 AM   #10
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Subbing to this thread to keep up with our most recent Bokashi-IMO-experimenting enthusiast. Welcome, Jon!
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