Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Before I left, I decided to "bait" some microorganisms again out of the air and soil. I was feeling pretty encouraged that the avocado tree near my room, previously sickly and wilted all the time, is now doing fabulous, with healthy shiny leaves. (However, now that the trees are super established, distance is something of an issue, as they are planted a bit densely.)
What you do with microorganisms is this. Choose a good tree, take a tupperware or a lunchbox, and put a handful of rice, or a piece of bread, in. I use coconut shells, because we have obscene amounts of them from our coconut milk consumption. I secure them with a rubber band. Just make sure (if you do this) that the cover hangs over the bottom, as you don't want rain getting in.
You bury this at the foot of your chosen tree. Well, not really bury, but cover with debris. I need to secure mine well, because otherwise the chickens will eat all the rice. I suspect they did this to the other one I left by the mango tree.
After three to five days, take the rice. It should have colorful mold, not black mold. This means there is good life in it. This one had orange and green and yellow and pink. Very beautiful. Evon thought I was playing with a dead chick when I was poking this around. That is because it gets a nice fuzz going on.
You take this and put it in a glass container.
Pour molasses or mascobado sugar on it. Raw sugar is very good for this. Some people try white sugar, but I don't believe it would be as effective. You can buy panocha at the market and crush it, mix it with some water, and pour it in. I have a bottle of molasses that is expired as of last week-- I bought it to make cookies a few years ago. It tasted fine, and I don't mind if it started fermenting or something.
Pour it over the colorful rice or bread, enough to cover. They say the ratio of colorful rice to sugar should be 1:1, but I am not so strict about it.
After a week or so it should start smelling sweetish sour, kind of like your health fermented drinks. It is sure fascinating to see the change it goes throuh, as well as how well plants respond to it! When you get this mixture, take a tablespoon to one liter of water. I like to leave the water to rest for a couple of hours before applying it to the plants, just to get the little ones swimming and properly dispersed.
There ya go, it's really simple, and it is a happy procedure.
Posted by Bea