Collecting Indigenous Microorganisms the Korean way. Update

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A quick update on the IMO collection work, since lately a few people have randomly been looking at the original post from last year. Just want to show how we followed up after the bacteria were collected and give further information about the whole procedure.

Interesting to see how different the colonised rice trays looked after just a few days, there were marked colour variations, I assume as a result of different predominant bacteria. The rice was mixed with molasses and then left in the container for a week, after which it was diluted in water and bottled for later use.

The details of the procedure were recorded by Grace, the resident volunteer at the time, who happened to be a chemist by trade.


  1. Clay Jar (approx. 10-12 in.
  2. Freshly cooked rice
  3. Bamboo cut lengthwiise
  4. Paper and a piece of string or a rubber band
  5. Wire mesh (to protect from rats and other animals)
  6. Plastic sheet (to protect the culture from rain)


  1. Freshly cooked rice was placed inside bamboos cut lengthwise.
  2. The bamboo was covered with paper, sealed with a string on each end
  3. Wire mesh was secured around the bamboo
  4. Three bamboo cultures were prepared. Each bamboo was burried 2-3 inches deep in the soil where lots of dry/decomposing leaves are found (underbamboos, under a tree, in the forest).
  5. The bamboos were covered with dried leaves and plastic sheets were placed on top to protect from rain.
  6. The bamboos were left for 3 days.
  7. The bamboos were collected and white molds in predominance were observed on the surface, this is the IMO 1. If white mold is sparse, burry it back in its place and wait for another 2 days.
  8. IMO2 was prepared by mixing 1 part IMO1 to 1 part molasses in a clay jar.
  9. Stir the mixture throughly. Sugar slows down microbial activity and food for the microorganisms.
  10. The jar was covered with paper and sealed with a string or rubber band. Leave atleast 2/3 of air space in the jar.
  11. The mixture was left to ferment for 7 days in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight
  12. After 7 days, the mixture was diluted with water (1 part IMO2 : 3 parts water) and stirred well. The liquid was drained.


  1. Cover the clay jar with paper, sealed with a string or rubber band
  2. The IMO2 prepared can be stored for 1 year in a cool and dry place


  1. Mix IMO2 and water at a ratio of 1:500, use with a watering can or with a sprayer.

A more professional post, with lots of good information on this and other similar procedures can be found here. Following an online conversation with the author of the post, when extracting liquid calcium, I have tried using kombucha instead of vinegar, as a homemade and cheaper alternative, with good results.

Author: marco

growing food and making do with less

One thought on “Collecting Indigenous Microorganisms the Korean way. Update

  1. Pingback: Deluxe Chop ‘n’ Drop Mulch with a IMO Sauce | maemutgarden

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