The use of microorganisms to promote soil fertility has many forms, EM is probably the best example, a Japanese technique now widely available in Thailand and probably many other places
The Thai Agricultural extension offices give away various types of microbial mixes that are used for making fermented juices for fertilizing, pest control etc.
At MaeJo University in Chiang Mai, Dr. Arnat Tancho has introduced another technique based on a Korean system, that emphasises the use of microorganisms collected from the immediate vicinity of one’s own land, a nearby forest for example. I have had the information around for a while but never found the right moment to do my own experiments.
Today, following to the arrival of two new volunteers we finally got on with the job. Grace is a chemist from the Philippines and she went through the instructions and was in charge of the job, Aaron is a friend of mine who lives in town who will be spending a few weeks with us.
We take some freshly cooked rice and we place it in a piece of bamboo trunk split in half, the rice is covered in paper and a metal mesh is added to protect it from animals. The rice should then be colonised by whatever bacteria are around in a few days and the resulting bacteria can then be collected and processed further in order to keep them alive and to allow them to multiply, the uses of these bacteria are many and we will follow with more info as we go along with the different preparations.
So off went went to the edge of the site and to a nearby forested area, while Aaron was collecting some fruit from a tree we came across, Suphan dug a small hole, placed the bamboo container, covered it with leaves and a bit of plastic to protect it from the rain, we repeated this three times in different spots. We then went back and ate the fruit. Now we have to wait for a few days and then go and collect the containers and see what happened. Stay tuned.