BIM

Beneficial Indigenous Microorganisms(BIM) is a fermented microbial solution that can be used for many applications around the farm. It is loaded with microbes, and is a cornerstone of Gil’s Natural Farming method. It’s an incredible tool with a myriad of applications, some of which are discussed below.


How to Make:

The idea here is to collect microbes from natural healthy ecosystems. Different areas have different types of microbes in the soil – for example an old growth forest will have microbes that grasslands don’t and vice versa. To get the greatest diversity of microbes, you want to collect them from as many different habitats as you can. For starters, at least get from forest, grassland, and the boundary area between them. 

TIP:  Plant-specific microbes! If you are growing vegetables, find areas where natural veggies are thriving. If planting ornamentals, look for areas where wild ornamental type plants are. Also, target nitrogen-fixer plants since they have rhizobium bacterial strains present – legumes, as well as some other plant genuses such as Alder or Bayberry fall into this category.

Here’s how to collect microbes and make BIM:

  1. Cook a carbohydrate source to use as the attractant. Rice, barley, wheat, oats, etc should work no problem, most often rice is used here in Asia.
  2. Get a wooden box or perforated plastic box and fill bottom with rice. The rice should not be too deep, around 1 inch usually, otherwise it will take too long for all the rice to become infected. Don’t pack the rice, leave it loose to allow airflow. The whole idea is to create more space for the microbes to infect – the surface area of the rice.
  3. Mark side of box with date and intended location.
  4. Cover box with something that’s breathable – nylons stretched over, or newspaper, just something to keep big critters out – secure with string around top of box.
  5. Dig a little depression in the desired location, a place with undisturbed soil where a healthy population of native microbes is likely to flourish.
  6. TIP:  In forest, look for areas where leaves build up and mold. In grassland, look for areas where grass is most thriving.

  7. Place the box in the depression and loosely cover with the dirt and leaves around it.
  8. After 5-10 days (depending on temperature), the first colony of microbes you will notice are white molds. Then different colors like yellow, green, black, etc if you leave it much longer. Generally we harvest when it is in the white mold stage. Disregard rice if black molds have formed on it, this is generally a sign of non-beneficial microbes. In nature when there is plenty of food the beneficial microbes dominate. When there is less food, the opportunistic, non-beneficial microbes tend to dominate.
  9. At this time, remove container from habitat and transfer rice to a plastic container/jar, and mix with sugar
    • Mix 1:1 with sugar. E.g. 1kg cooked rice with 1kg sugar/molasses(molasses is great and cheap)
  10. Mash up the mixture with gloved fingers until it’s mashed but don’t overmix or you’ll destroy all the mycelia
  11. Cover this mixture for 3-7 days.
  12. When it is quite liquid, add 3 parts water.
  13. TIP: 1kg=1L, so if you start with 1kg cooked rice, you’ll add 1kg sugar and then 6L water to that

  14. Leave this diluted mixture for 7 days. Cover the top with something air permeable just so animals don’t get to it – cheese cloth, nylons, newspaper, etc
  15. You should end up with a mud-like juice. Strain the liquid out of the mixture into a glass jar but don’t seal the top – let it breathe until bubbles in the bottom stop forming.
  16. After you stop seeing bubbles forming in the jar, seal it up
  17. Now you have your microbial inoculant for that ecosystem
  18. Repeat the above steps for each area you are collecting microbes from. The more ecosystems you collect from, the better!

To make the final BIM product, combine all your microbial extracts. To increase efficacy, combine this concoction 1:1 with lacto serum. Lacto is the workhorse and is good to have in combination with other microbes. Now you have created your BIM inoculant!

How to Use:
This is a powerful tool in the natural farming arsenal, with a myriad of applications! It’s a microbial inoculant, so it can be used wherever you are trying to increase/establish populations of microbes – the most basic level of a healthy ecosystem!

Add 1-2tsp per gallon of water. 

Plants
Apply as a foliar spray or soil drench. Greatly enhances growth and health of plants by establishing a healthy population of microbes in the soil and on leaf surfaces. Check out the benefits:

  • Transports food to roots
  • Builds a healthy ecosystem from the ground up. This is an invaluable job and the greatest benefit of this serum.
  • Aids disease resistance – fights pathogens, occupies spaces that could otherwise go to harmful bacteria/molds.
  • Aid composting – massively enhances compost – there will be a whole separate post on this concept
  • Aid organic fertilizer. Add to your nutrient solution, microbes break down organic nutrients into bio-available forms that plants can utilize directly. Another key feature

Animals
This can be used the same way as lacto, but it is a more diversified solution.

  • Boost growth by enhancing digestion
  • Inoculate farmyard (spray ground) where animals occupy to maintain healthy microbial system.
  • Aids disease resistance. Fight the bad bacteria!

In aquaculture
Add 1L BIM per 700m3 of water containing fish(pond, lake, aquaculture tank, etc). Lacto works in this application also, though not quite as well as BIM(less diversity).

Example: You have a pond that averages 20m wide by 30m long by 2m deep. So, 20 x 30 x 2 = 1200m3. In this case you would add roughly 2L of BIM or Lacto (you can dilute the 2L in a larger amount of non-chlorine water if you want more even application). No need for exact measurements, more or less won’t affect it (to a point obv)

Benefits are built by the microbes:

  • Microbes digest fish wastes, cleaning up water and improving water quality.
  • Allows fish to grow larger due to digestive efficiency
  • Allows higher population of fish in the same amount of water! Literally, increases the carrying capacity of your body of water! This is awesome for aquaculture setups

  • ray

    I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day.

    • Patrick

      Good question Ray. We actually don’t have a weekly email yet but we will soon. Most likely on May 1st when we get the Flog started. Thanks!

  • Big Ray

    I want to ensure that my vegetable garden has a healthy Mycorrhizal Fungi population. I think that Mycorrhizal fungi live on roots only. Do you know if this BIM method will capture mycorrhizae and, will it continue to survive in the solution we make with the rice afterwards?

    I’m sure the lacto we make would help feed the mycorrhizae and maybe the mix we capture using the BIM method would help feed it also. But, it would be good to know if we were actually capturing mycorrhizae in the rice!

    • Patrick

      Big Ray,

      Good question! I think for sure mycorrhizae would be attracted to the rice. They live on roots because of the exudates roots produce – carbohydrates like sugars and starches. You are providing a rich source of starch carbohydrates in the form of rice(or barley or wheat or whatever you choose to use, its flexible), so I think it would work fine. Not sure the diversity you would get though – maybe just ectomycorrhiza since endomycorrhiza live partly within the roots they infect. That said you might get all forms of mycorrhiza poking their noses in a box of nutrients that rich! I know when we harvest them they are completely overtaken with molds of many kinds.

  • Simon

    I made this, it smells wonderful – however I am wondering what kind of bacteria/fungi it would contain. Since fermentation is an anaerobic process my guess is there will be anaerobic bacteria in there, which are mostly pathogens. Since the smell is good I guess it is not the case. Would someone care to elaborate on this?

    • Patrick

      Hi Simon,

      That is great you made BIM! From what locations did you collect specimens? Plant-specific or just collected from general habitats?

      To address your questions, actually most anaerobes are not pathogens, just like most aerobic bacteria. However if you don’t maintain the proper conditions you can end up with pathogenic bacteria. This occurs often when environmental conditions deteriorate, for example food becoming scarce. That’s why we use so much sugar in the recipe. It keeps conditions favorable and in high concentrations acts as a preservative through osmotic pressure.

      The inoculant should be loaded with fungal spores from the rice. Not hyphae since those would have been broken/eaten during the bacterial phase, but dormant spores that persist and become activated when conditions are once again favorable.

      • Simon

        Thank you, that answers my questions perfectly well.

        I collected soil from an old oak forest and used cooked macaroni as a carbohydrate source. It had white mold on it after about five days, at that point I added cane syrup and a tiny bit of water. The leaves I collected at the same time I added to the vermicompost, the worms loved it!

  • Nance

    I have questions also about making the BIM, having read your response to Simon:
    Would it be more beneficial if the solution was aerated, like with an aquarium pump?
    Is the lacto serum like kefir whey?

    Thank you.

    • Patrick

      Well, this is a different method than using aeration. The first phase is aerobic – attracting molds and bacteria to the food source, complex carbohydrates. The second phase is anaerobic, adding sugar to promote bacteria. There will be obligate anaerobes in the bottom, and aerobic bacteria at the surface. It would be very difficult to raise the O2 ppm of the solution due to how thick it is. Also, we will be sealing this up eventually so we want to promote anaerobes. Like the fungi, the aerobes from the first stage will persist in their ‘cyst’ state. If you were to aerate the mixture, you would promote aerobes that would consume the food with nothing to show for it once you seal it up(they die).

      If you want to promote aerobic bacteria, I think one of the best ways is AACT(actively aerated compost tea) which you have probably heard about already. There are some neat tricks to make a truly awesome compost tea but that will be a whole new post.

      I’m not sure how similar lacto serum is to kefir as I haven’t used kefir personally. With lacto we are making a concentrated batch of lacto bacillus bacteria, with some other beneficial types from the rice wash. Kefir I’m sure is dominated by lacto, but the bacteria/yeasts responsible for the matrix(kefir grains) are different. Kefir looks really interesting and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty with that!

  • ahyroc

    Let’s say I have one large crop. If I compost that after harvest could I bury a larger box in it with rice to cater to the microbes I need?

    • Patrick

      Good question, thanks for joining us.. Well, you can collect beneficial microbes from any habitat, and we encourage getting samples from many different habitats to get the best diversity of microbes. Although if you bury the rice in the compost pile you will get composting microbes. If you have a large crop and want to get crop-specific specimens for it, I’d put the box with rice in and amongst the crop while it is still growing. For example, you have a big field of corn and want to get corn-specific microbes. Walk to the middle of the corn field with your box of rice, and dig down a little at the base of some corn stalks – nest the box in there so it’s exposed to the microbes living in and around the base of the corn stalks. Hopefully I interpreted your question correctly, let me know if any questions with that.

  • Thank you so much for this wealth of information, I intend to go forth and multiply all the lovely invisibles that live beneath the earth and start the healing as soon as possible. May we all make this Eden. With deep respect and much love Emma

  • Lucas

    Hi , i prepare a plastic box with rice ,after 10 days the rice turns green , is ok to use it to make the BIM ?

    greetings

    • Patrick

      Hi Lucas thanks for joining us! As a general guideline we avoid using green or black molds as they are more commonly pathogenic.

      Normally the rice will become infected with white molds first. Possibly some yellow orange and green but mostly white. Then if you leave it open to air, it will get green and black molds. We try to harvest before it gets to this point.

      Chances are you don’t need to leave it that long, is it warm where you are now? That will speed up the process.

      I’m sorry, I’d try again to be on the safe side. Try checking it after 5 days and harvest if you see a lot of activity.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Lucas

    thank you for this info ,this a very valuable resource ,
    i have a doubt : in the point 10 , when we have to cover the mixture between the rice and the sugar from 3 to 7 days ,we should use a hermetic recipent to let the mixture going liquid ? o we should use a recipent that let the mixture breathes ?
    thank you
    Lucas

    • Patrick

      Hi Lucas,

      No need to liquefy or aerate the mixture. Liquefaction will take place as the microbes work on the sugar. And the liquefaction takes place through fermentation so no need to aerate.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Leo

    Hi Guys,

    Great job on the website! I really learned a lot from your site. I recently started pig farming using the deep litter rice hull bedding to avoid the bad smell that might annoy my neighbors. I am currently making my first batch of BIM so I can use it on my deep liter pig pen. I cut the bamboo in half and placed the rice inside it, then I cover it with manila paper and secured it with steel wires. When I opened the bamboo after 8 days there is a combination of green and black molds, but mostly green. Can I still use this or do I have to start over? I am also in the process of making my first Lacto serum. Thanks Guys. I hope you can feature the natural pig farming on your FLOG.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Leo, great to hear about the pig farm. I hope we will be able to feature pig farming on the flog soon, and it will be a featured area of the site eventually also.

      I would toss that batch of rice. Next time try checking after just a couple days, sounds like 8 days is too long. Also try different locations.. Good luck, let us know how it goes!

      Patrick

  • Mak Tam

    Thank you so much for the info. I am just wondering if I could add FPJ into the BIM and store it as a concoction. How much FPJ would be right for the above ‘recipe’.

    Regards,
    Mak Tam

    • Patrick

      You should be able to do that, they should be stable once fermented.. I would mix 1:10. 1 part BIM to 10 parts FPJ. The BIM is quite strong you don’t need much to get those microbes in there.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • hanson

    hello! what is the shelf life of BIM?

    thank you 🙂

    • Patrick

      After opening, use within 1 year is best. Sealed and unused it will keep much longer.

  • Dan

    Since a lot of the areas I would need to visit are quite far away, could I just collect a few buckets of soil from each area and complete the process at home?

    Thanks.

    • Patrick

      I wouldn’t recommend it, sorry Dan. Lot’s of soil biota depend on an established network that is based on the environment. I think populations would suffer once removed from the habitat. However, if this is a limitation you face then so be it. The BIM created might not be quite as diverse, but you will still get some microbes from those habitats. Do what you can right? I’d like to see how this works for you.

      Patrick

  • Bill F

    Hey Patrick, I followed the directions, used the rice from the rice wash(making LactoBac). Everything smelled great until I added the 3 parts water. Now it smells strongly of wine, or something like red wine vinegar. After three days there is a bubbly,foamy layer that has risen to the top about a 1/2 in. thick.

    Is this normal? I don’t remember my last batch smelling like this.

    • Patrick

      Hi Bill great to hear from you again. That is fine, the wine smell is great, that’s how it should smell due to the fermentation. Depending how much sugar you added the smell can change a bit. The bubbles and foam is a great sign also.

  • Travis Schulert

    Hello, Patrick.
    Thank you for going through the trouble of sharing this information with all of us.

    I want to start making BIM and EM as quickly as possible, my problem though is its winter and there are no active microbes around outdoors. I am sure I could get the LAB from anywhere in my house (also have a tower worm bin), but the diversified collection of microbes from different habitats seem to pose a problem. Would the microbes in winter still be in the first layers of dirt and leaves that are just under the snow? So that I could collect organic matter from each habitat I visit and bring that material back to the house? I was thinking of adding whatever I collect to the top tray of the worm bin and setting my box of rice in there, would that be a good way to go about it? Could I mix the different habitats together before rice is colonized and still achieve the same effect as mixing the different BIM habitats together after colonization?

    • Patrick

      Hi Travis,

      That’s tough, I think it’s pretty hard to make a decent BIM during winter months because of that inactivity. I’m not sure how resilient the spores and cysts are to freezing temperatures but I think you’re on the right track. I would try as you mentioned, collect from a range of habitats(the more the better), bring back and put in the worm bin, then add your rice box and try to collect them all at once. For sure this won’t be as effective as doing it in spring/summer outdoors, but you should still get a decent range of organisms. Try collecting from places where the freeze doesn’t get to. Like under rotting logs, a few inches into the leaf litter at the base of a large tree, etc. This kinda depends how cold it gets there, those places are usually fine in the Pacific Northwest where I’m from, because it doesn’t get too cold there. Anyway try it and see how it goes, it should still work that way, just not quite as well as during the warm months.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Anton

    In mixing the Lacto Serum to make the final BIM, are you referring to the diluted (20:1) or the pure one? Thanks.

    • Patrick

      Hi Anton, thanks for joining us.. That would be the pure serum, to mix with the pure BIM mixture.

  • Ranell

    Hi! I am a hobbyist and experimenting on urban gardening on my little balcony in Makati City, growing different vegetables(corn, pechay, mustard, beans, chinese broccoli, calamansi, peppers, eggplants), herbs and ornamentals. Having been in the city, I don’t have good access to those ideal microbes habitat. Can I collect microbe from my container garden? The plants are feed organically using composted chicken manure(from farm), seaweed extract(bought in garden store), home made fish emulsion and vermicompost(bought in garden store). Thanks.

    • Patrick

      Yeah, you can get some microbes from your planters, especially given you are using the chicken manure and vermicompost. But it won’t be as good as BIM collected from real natural habitats. Hey you might consider buying from Gil! Hey is in the Salcedo Market every Saturday, he sells BIM there. Can’t beat getting it from the source.

      Hey! Where do you get the seaweed extract here? I haven’t found any yet. I found vermicastings in market market but still no seaweed extract. Would love to get some for the garden.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • Ranell

        thanks, I’ll just drop by at the Salcedo market. I got the seaweed concentrate (Vegegrow by Amebocyte Cell Co.,Inc ) from Garden 2000, while they were still at Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City. They transferred now to #57 Mother Ignacia St. Quezon city but still under construction. I thought I saw one from True Value in Glorietta 1 (3rd flr), check their garden aisle.

        • Patrick

          Thanks Ranell..

  • Aljaz

    Hello.
    Thank you for all recipes.
    One question… i just harvested beautifully infected wheat with white mold.
    One source is leaf mold, another vermicompost.
    I mixed them in seperate clay jars with molasses.
    At step 10 it says: cover this mixture…
    Should this be air thight cover?
    Is it ok if it’s not?
    Thanks!

    • Patrick

      Sounds awesome! that’s fine if it’s not airtight, the covering is just to keep critters out at this stage. Later when you bottle it you will make it anaerobic.

  • Aljaž

    Thank you for your answer.
    Both BIM’s came out very nice, nice bubbling, smell.
    I have further question.
    I would like to add to BIM my version of LB serum.
    Which would you choose if you had no option to make the rice one:
    – cabagge rejuvelac
    – rejuvelac
    – sauerkraut water
    All of them contains high numbers of lactobacilli.
    Sauerkraut water also contains salt, so i’m a bit sceptical to use it in combination with BIM.
    What do you thing, will salt kill BIM microbes?
    What do you think about cabbage rejuvelac and common rejuvelac?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Patrick

      Hey Aljaz,

      Well the salt is used as a preservative which limits growth of most bacteria except the salt-tolerant lacto. I would avoid using the salty water – I don’t think it would make the BIM go ‘bad’ but I think it would limit the variety of microbes you get from it. Also, best to limit those ions (salt) if you can in fertilizers. So maybe use one of the other two, the cabbage rejuvelac perhaps.

      Or you can keep the LB and BIM separate until you apply, but I agree it’s nice to mix them beforehand then you just have one microbe inoculant solution.

      Let me know if any questions..
      Patrick

  • Adam

    Hi, is there a standard way to populate your BIM mixture so grow it. I’d like to make 10 or even 20 litres of it. is it simply a matter of providing more of a feed source like molasses and water? Thanks in advance. Great website. I’ve been reading some amazing articles on the powerful disease resistance that BIM can have for plants and the soil.

  • Aljaž

    Patrick, thank you for your time on answering questions!
    Just to know i’m on rihgt path to microbial freedom… 🙂
    Latest activity on our land is spraying peaches against fungal diseases, they wake up now so beneficials will keep them in check, i hope.
    BIM will work great for this.
    I just mixed 1 part vermicompost BIM, 1 part leafmold BIM and 1 part LB serum.
    Will let this sit on room temperature (i store in cold room otherwise) till tomorow.
    Tomorow i dilute this further with 1-2tbs per gallon of water and apply on peaches.
    Question.
    We were talking about his in LB serum recipe – avtivation of BIM.
    If i didn’t have enough BIM (different sources of BIM+LB serum) but had some molasses on hand, i could activate it and make it stronger so i could dilute more.
    What porportions should i use?
    Maybe first 1:20 activated BIM:water AND then 1:100?

    • Patrick

      Hi Aljaz,

      Great questions, I’m working on those now myself actually! I haven’t had much experience with long-term activated BIM. The normal procedure would be to add BIM to water with a bit of sugar, like couple Tbsp/gal. Leave that to sit for a day or two, then use it like normal. But if you add more sugar, and leave it for longer, you’re multiplying the microbes and changing the conditions of the water (alcohols, acidity, etc). My rule of thumb here would be ‘the more sugar, the longer the time, the more you dilute’. If you add a lot of sugar and leave it for a month or something, dilute more than if you added less sugar and shorter time frame. After that it’s just playing with the numbers, testing your batches for pH, etc.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Justin

    Hello, I’m can’t wait to start making some of these different serums for my garden and aquaponics setup. I’ve been using AACT for a number of years now but I’ve just recently heard of this.

    I have a beginner’s question: Once I make a serum be it BIM or the straight lacto-serum how long can they be stored and in what conditions are they best stored?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Patrick

      Hi Justin, that’s great you discovered our site, it is pretty fun stuff. Once stabilized with sugar, you can store them for a long time, 1+yr.. Ideally once you start opening them to use, you would store in the fridge but you don’t have to. Just better chance of not killing your serum, if you keep in fridge after opening.

  • Nisha Thomas

    Hi Patrick, I just stumbled upon your site and boy!! I am so amazed at the wonderful info that it holds. I live in Dubai and I love gardening. But I live in a very old villa and there are a few 15 yr old trees in the compound. The soil as such seems quite poor and the weather here is not helpful either. Our scorching summer is just around the corner and its goodbye to the vegetables and herbs that I tried to grow. Going and collecting BIM will be rather difficult for various reasons. But mycorrhizae is available to buy. Do you think if I place the perforated container in a bucket of mycorrhizae is possible? Might sound stupid, that’s partly cos I do not know much about this subject. All I know is I would really love to improve my soil in the garden. Gardening is a very expensive hobby in this part of the world and I really want to grow healthy and lush veggies as well as ornamental plants. Please advise.

    Best Regards,
    Nisha

    • Patrick

      Hey Nisha, thanks for stopping by glad you like the site! Regarding the mycorrhizae, no need to process them anymore, just add to water and water your soils where you have plants. Only inoculate plants as the myco needs roots to grow, they won’t be very effective without roots to latch on to. You should compost! Read my articles on composting and email me if you have questions..

  • Adam

    Hi Patrick,
    Is it possible to grow the amount of BIM you have by adding more food for the Bacteria (say Molasses) added to water? What im getting at is im trying to build up enough BIM to do a pretty large area and would need 10-15Lts of BIM. If i had 2-4Lt to start with could i “culture” these or grow them out in a 15-20Lt bucket with added sugar and water? Would the population of BIM grow accordingly?
    Regards
    Adam

    • Patrick

      Yep you can do that – add more water and sugar and let it sit sealed for a few weeks. However the dormant and cyst forms won’t multiply so your overall culture will be a little less diverse.

  • Leonie Stubbs

    G’day Patrick,
    When you mix the bim and lacto together is it the stabilised lacto (mixed 50:50 with molasses). I only have a small jar of pure lacto in the fridge to make my bokashi mix as I mixed all the rest to ensure it was stable out of the fridge.

    With regard to my bokashi mix it’s getting a white mold on it because it didn’t dry out completely. How do I dry out the bokashi mix to store?

    Thanks so much for your fantastic ideas – so much fun.

    Regards, Leonie

    • Patrick

      Hi Leonie,

      You could use either one for the BIM really, although better to use the pure lacto since the BIM already has sugar in it.

      White mold on the bokashi is great, no problem there. However to dry it completely, I’d spread it thin somewhere shady where it can dry out quickly.

      Hope this helps! Cheers – Patrick

  • Dan

    Hi, in one of your previous posts you mentioned that Gil sells his BIM at a market, and, as I cannot see myself being able to get out and make my own any time soon. I was wondering if it would be possible to procure a bottle from overseas?

    Many thanks for all your help. Your recipes have worked wonders for my garden.

    • Patrick

      Hey Dan!

      Great question. I will try and send a shipment back to the states although it might be pretty tricky. You can buy a similar product there in the states – EM1. But if I manage to get a BIM supply set up I will let you know and you can purchase from us directly – it’s great stuff. 🙂

      • Dan

        That would be great. I should of mentioned in my post, but I’m actually from England and sadly our ancient forests are scarce and in decline still, because of laws being bypassed due to mining, and having no transport make things even more difficult. I have heard of EM1 so might have a look further into the stuff, but I would rather buy from you if at all possible.

        • Patrick

          ah England ok. Well when it’s available in the states we could probably ship there. Yeah, the EM-1 would be your best alternative for now. Would love to have operations up to sell you our BIM but that is a little ways out yet.

  • rodney galarneau

    hi Patrick Ime very appreciative of all your hard work, thank you! my BIM from last July has soured can it be saved by adding molasses? thank you in advance. rodney

    • Patrick

      Hey Rodney, well it should be sour, but if it smells really putrid it might not be good anymore.. You can try and save it by adding a decent amount of molasses. Might just make a new batch of BIM though.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Rob

    thanks for the awesome resources, Gil. Made your Garlic-Ginger FPE a few months ago and it has worked wonders for my plants. I recently made a trip up to the mountains to find some Indigenous Microorganisms using this method. Thanks for the help I spread your word wherever I go!

    • Patrick

      Thanks Rob! Keep on reading, and keep spreading the word.. 🙂

      Patrick

  • Eula

    Thank you for your great God given Talent helping people to have a sustainable future! God bless the creator of this Website!!! 🙂

    • Patrick

      Thanks Eula!! 🙂

  • Erich

    Hello – Thank you for this website. I am curious how the microbes reach the carbohydrate. I plan to use small plastic boxes with holes covered with a louver. http://www.mflouver.com/round_plastic_louvers.html

    Are the microbes airborne or do they somehow crawl into the box?

    I am also thinking of adding additional cover to the box if rain is expected.

    Thank you.

    • Patrick

      They are in the air and in the soil where the box is, they find their way in don’t worry. your cover should work fine, as well as the rain cover..

      • Erich

        I tried 3 boxes in 3 areas, and they all turned rainbow colors. So, I bought some EM1 from Teraganix. I ill try again to make it, to minimize external inputs.

        Thanks for all your work!

  • Superb article Gil – thank you.

    I like the diversification idea HEAPS — Lacto has been on our list for our farm here this year seeing we are now fully operational as a farm. Now I will have to do some location trips to collect other bacteria — thanks you for this.

    David

  • jb

    Are pink moulds bad? Seem to get them a lot

    • Patrick

      Hi jb,

      I think you’re ok with pink molds, though i wouldn’t ingest them if you can avoid it. Green and black are known to be harmful in most(though not all) cases.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Terry

    Love this site, today I got in trouble for using commas oven to ferment my brim. Started looking around for a solution,found one hehe. I just happened to have an old pizza delivery box that had been sitting in the garage for 2 years. (My son left it). Anyway I had an old lamp with 2 sockets, that I disassembled and mounted in the Boehner an bought a couple light bulbs and wala I now have a temp controlled environment. My question is what is the optimal temp.

    • Terry

      Hope you can figure that out after spell correct jacked every thing,time to change settings!!! I’m PO.

    • Terry

      Commas = momma
      Brim = BIM
      Boehner= box

      Sorry guys

    • Patrick

      Haha great comment spell checked and all. The ideal temperature is around 25-30 C for general microbial growth. Some lacto species like it warmer like around 35 C but you don’t need to heat it that high.

  • Anna Maria

    I’ve been researching this matter all day and I’ve finally found instructions I understand! Thank you.

    • Patrick

      Hey Anna, great to hear! If I may ask, what were you researching? And how were you researching, with Google? I’m curious because I want to make the site easier to find for those looking for this type of info.

      Thanks!
      Patrick

  • Anna Maria

    Hi Patrick,
    I was searching through Google and youtube, using the terms bokashi and Korean natural farming (or agriculture) can’t remember. I’ve since discovered that the word bokashi is sometimes spelled bocashi, but I haven’t tried that search yet.
    Thank you for the response!

  • Ajay

    Hi Patrick,
    I have been trying to make BIM, i tried atleast eighty times outta which i succeeded twice. I used plastic and wooden boxes in different habitat but in vein. The temperature here in Pakistan varies from 35-40 degrees so the mold is usually ready in 2-3 days and is dominated by black mold. help would be appreciated. thank you in advance.

    • Patrick

      Hey Ajay,

      Wow, those are kinda extreme conditions, 35-40… Maybe check the boxes earlier? The first mold to appear should be white – afterwards you should see green and black molds take over. But the first colonies should be white. Hard to say what the problem could be. Make sure to use clean containers to start with, and fresh cooked rice. Leave in a shady spot under a tree, partly cover the box with soil to ensure microbes have access to the box…not sure what your problem could be without seeing your setup..

      Patrick

  • jeff

    hey after adding water to the mix and letting it sit, it grew a solid layer of very light green mold with some white mold spots on it. is this bad? i know green isnt good, but it almost doesnt look bad…any ideas?

    • Patrick

      Hey Jeff,

      I’d urge caution. You don’t want it to be harmful mold and then but using this as a foliar spray and inhale it. But use your judgement and if you think it’d still be ok as a soil drench, go for it. I’d probably avoid using it for foliar altogether though, and be careful when using it.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • jeff

    wowowo….why are you so skeptical about me spraying it? what can happen? also, it smells sweet so my guess would be good microbes. after i strained it , the mold is now gone and all thats left is a sweet bubbling mud juice. i used a BIM/LACTO/BLOOM/FULVIC foliar last night and the two nights before then, i have seen great progress since then. everything is praying nicely and plants feel healthier. thick vibrant leaves and flowers. pepper plants have loads of peppers, if you want some pics, i have trinidad scorpion and carolina reapers with 300 + peppers per plant..thanks guys, my flowers also thank you for the love lol

    • Patrick

      Haha I just go by the ‘better-safe-than-sorry’ motto when advising online. I don’t want to get anyone into trouble. Mold isn’t good to inhale, so I just wanted to be cautious. If it were me I’d use it as a foliar spray if it looks and smells good but that’s my risk tolerance..

      YEAH I WANT PICS!! 🙂

      I’d love to get pics of your plants for the site. You know we’re staring up Forums, I think you signed up to be in expert forums no? Well if not you should. And post your pics there, maybe not the flowers lol but the pepper plants with all those peppers sound fantastic! Would be great to show others your stuff and how the recipes can help!

      Cheers,
      Patrick

      • jeff

        how do i get into the expert forums? id love to upload pics. just lemme know where.

        • Patrick

          Hey Jeff,

          For sure, I thought you were already in the experts group. In any case I’m leaving it open to all for now, join up!

          forums.theunconventionalfarmer.com

          Can’t wait to get you on there.

          Patrick

  • Ben

    Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for the recipe! Recently come across what are referred to as mountain microorganisms recipes which i believe are more or less similar (here is the link: http://bit.ly/1CGfk7q). A quick one though, i am thinking these microorganisms approaches could lessen the need for conventional compost application on a piece of land. Wouldn’t applying the BIM and much reduced portions (about 10-30%) of the compost achieve similar or better results? The microorganisms would need to be fed but guess they can take good care of themselves as they presumably do naturally. Hopefully not completely off my rocker.

    Regards,

    Ben

    • Patrick

      Hey Ben, yep that’s the idea – less dependence on chemical and store-bought fertilizers. Thanks for the article, that’s great, I’m passing it along as well.

      Cheers,
      Patrick

  • Jean-Jean

    Hi. Very interesting site with a lot of good advices…
    I’m in the process of making this recipe and I saw (elsewhere) some other people who stop after step 10, drain the liquid and use it directly. Also, they say: mix 1-2 tbs with 1 liter of water, which makes it far more concentrated than what you recommend.
    So, did the other steps you provide add some beneficial reactions or is it just to dilute a bit the solution ?
    Can you burn the roots or cause some baneful damage if it’s too concentrated ?

    I have to say I’ll follow your recipe anyway, but I’d like to know about the different concentrations you tried, and the possible consequences.

    Also, how long can you keep it in a bottle ? Should I add some mollasses from time to time or keep it in the fridge ?

    Thanx again for the site.

    • Patrick

      Hi jean-jean thanks for reading, and engaging us with questions. Gil formulated the concentrations based on his learning under Japanese and Korean natural farming experts. There have been studies showing over-saturation with microbes can actually slow plant growth, though I think that is in extreme cases. Also, if you add to much it can lower the pH too much and harm plants that way. But more than anything there is just no need to add more – the rates we suggest already introduce billions of microbes to the environment – adding more doesn’t yield more results – not a direct relationship more like a bell curve..

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