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  1. All forum posts from the old Transition Falmouth website have been transfered as comments to this new website. Posts from the general Transition Falmouth forum are here.

  2. Effective Micro-organisms – Exciting News – Meeting?

    I have just posted this on Transition Truo and Rob suggested that i post it here too:

    I have spoken to Lindsay and Charmian in TT about this and they suggested that
    I post the following information about Effective Micro-organisms and a
    meeting which we have planned … The article was forwarded to me by
    Fran Box of EM Ltd from Honiton

    As you will see, there are so many applications for EM that it is of interest to many of the TT Forums. It would be good to network it to any friends who are into OG Gardening, Farming and of course to everyone you know wanting to make a powerful contribution to lowering waste and helping to clear up the environment. Sorry it is a long article, but it is so important and widely used in Japan, Thailand and MANY other countries all over the world. It is over 20 years ‘old’ so not a flash-in-the-pan technology.

    I have been using it since July and if anyone wants to pop over and see what we are doing with household foodwaste/composting etc, give me a call 01872 870801 … we are near Perranwell Station.

    We only have a small window before Christmas, so if anyone is interested
    could they give feedback asap.

    You can contact me on 01872 870801 for more details or email ‘offline’

    Here’s the Email from Fran to Charmian Larke:

    Dear Charmian

    It will be a great opportunity to speak at a Transition meeting in
    Cornwall as EM can play a role in aiding communities to reach goals in
    sustainability and regeneration.

    EM stands for Effective Micro-organisms which is a collective name for a
    microbial liquid which has many uses and of which we are continually
    researching and developing new products.

    Our company was started in 2005 and represents EMRO which is the parent
    organisation in Japan which has developed the product and continues to
    endeavour to promote the use of non-chemical solutions to pollution and
    an improved wellbeing.

    We are active in several markets , including agriculture, waste water
    treatment, recycling, composting and health promotion. I suggest that a
    talk on the uses in the home and garden will be most appropriate and
    attach our brochure for you to see.

    Peter is keen to have the talk this year rather than next and I look
    forward to any suggestions of possible dates .

    I have pasted an article below by Caroline Robertson which gives an
    overall report on many facets of EM across the globe.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you

    Fran Box

    EM Effective Micro-organisms Ltd

    Unit 5 & 6, Don Hatch Business Park,

    Combe Raleigh, Honiton, EX14 4TQ

    Tel: 01404 549000

    The EM Eco-Revolution
    by Caroline Robertson

    Imagine a chemical-free world with pristine air, food and water.
    This utopian ideal seemed impossible until a Japanese scientist
    discovered the earth-saving solution of Effective Microorganisms (EM).
    With endless applications in agricultural, industrial and domestic
    areas, EM is being hailed as one of history’s greatest environmental

    Miracle Microorganisms

    In 1980 when horticulture professor Dr. Teruo Higa threw away a series
    of common microorganisms he was stunned to see several days later that
    the grass there had grown greener and denser. For over a decade Dr. Higa
    had been exploring the regenerative power of microorganisms for use in
    agriculture. Deeply concerned about the earth’s environmental crisis,
    Dr. Higa searched for a solution to revitalize soil and increase crop
    yields thereby combating world hunger. His honed beneficial brew called
    EM included 80 safe microorganisms containing common food fermenters
    such as yeast, fermenting fungi, actinomycetes, photosynthetic and
    lactic acid bacteria.

    But to everyone’s surprise, EM not only regenerated soil and boosted
    crops in record time; it emerged as an amazing water purifier,
    chemical-free cleaner, quick composter, deodoriser, preservative, health
    boosting antioxidant and probiotic. The brown liquid blend free from
    genetically modified material is now used to nurture healthy
    homoeostasis within one’s inner and outer environment.

    EM excitement escalated in Japan with schools, farms, government bodies
    and households adopting it as an affordable and effective alternative to
    chemicals. Dr. Higa patented the process and set up the EM Research
    Organisation (EMRO) as a non-profit organization to research and promote
    EM technology throughout the world with profits going to developing
    countries. Today EM is employed in over 120 countries as a low cost,
    sustainable agricultural aid, water and sewerage purifier, deodoriser,
    cleanser and health tonic.

    I first encountered EM whilst visiting Thailand’s Tao Garden Health
    Retreat and Spa in 2005. Struck by the flavoursome food, fertile gardens
    and fresh smell in the villas, the manager Walter Kellenberger
    attributed it all to EM. “Since using EM for cleaning and gardening
    our organic crops are healthier than ever and we’ve abandoned all
    harsh cleaning chemicals.” Access to the full EM experience can be
    found at the world’s first fully EM built and maintained hotel and spa
    launched in Okinawa, September, 2005. The EM Wellness Centre and Hotel
    showcases the scope of EM with all building materials, furnishings,
    bedding, toiletries, cleaning agents and food produced with EM


    How can a mix of everyday microorganisms have such magical effects?
    Though the merits of cultures such as acidophilus and kombucha are well
    documented it’s now believed that a synergistic solution of
    microorganisms give longer, stronger benefits than a single one. The
    genius of Dr. Higa’s EM discovery is the happy marriage of both
    aerobic and anaerobic microbes, previously thought to be incompatible.

    EM’s unique formula inhibits malevolent molecules and promotes
    beneficial bugs, enzymes, nutrients and proteins. This enhances
    regeneration and reduces degeneration to the degree that it is being
    used in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath to halt the spread of disease
    and odours.

    EM’s phototrophic bacteria degrade harmful substances and release
    healthy organic complexes such as antioxidants. The same lactic acid
    used in yoghurt sterilizes pathogens and decomposes organic matter.
    Fermenting fungi and yeasts secrete B vitamins, nourishing plant growth
    with phyto-nutrients that suppress odours and putrefaction. EM’s
    actinomycetes produce anti-microbial substances that suppress harmful
    microbes. The three groups synergistically form a foundation on which
    beneficial life thrives.

    EM intelligently enhances ecological harmony, adapting to each
    circumstance rather than being an indiscriminant antibiotic, antifungal,
    herbicide or insecticide. It trigger’s nature’s innate balancing
    mechanism to re-establish equilibrium in a sustainable way.

    Dr Higa also attributes EM’s efficacy to the positive wave resonance
    it releases promoting substance and energy field unity. This is clearly
    evident from the food and flowers produced with EM as their colour and
    form far outshines those conventionally cultivated. As evident in the
    award winning orchids, herbs and fruits of the Tropical Plant Resources
    Research Institute of Okinawa, Japan. Company President Toichiro Nago
    says, “As EM prevents oxidation and produces antioxidants it also
    cultivates produce that lasts longer and has higher nutritional value.”
    The International Nature Farming Research centre verifies this claim
    finding that crops grown with EM have less nitrate ions, decreasing the
    plant’s pest and pathogen susceptibility, and higher vitamin C and
    carbohydrate levels.

    Planetary and Personal Panacea

    Scanning through EM educational material I’m struck by its wide range
    of uses. Smiling Japanese school kids pour it into polluted waterways
    with sparkling results. Thai relief workers spray it on Tsunami hit
    regions and victims to prevent disease and decay. Housewives clean and
    deodorize every area of the house with it. Gardeners proudly display
    it’s produce of perfect flowers and food. Breast cancer patients in
    Lahore drink EM-X with tangible benefits. Residents of Kenya’s biggest
    slum enjoy the improved sanitation and smell it brings. Swimmers at a
    Kawasaki school pool no longer get asthma, skin and eye irritations
    since EM replaced chlorine. Pig, chicken and dairy farmers are amazed at
    its ability to neutralize foul odours, compost their waste and boost
    animal’s health. Following are the many fields in which EM is reaping
    revolutionary results.

    Water purification and recycling

    Pure water is essential for healthy, prosperous living. With around
    1,000 million people lacking access to safe drinking water in developing
    countries it’s estimated that 80% of deaths are due to contaminated
    water, at least ten million a year1. With the water pollution problem
    expected to increase by up to eighteen times by 2025, a change of tide
    is crucial.

    EM may provide an answer. Wide scale trials have proven EM can
    effectively purify water for safe consumption and recycle sewerage and
    wastewater for agricultural irrigation. As EM America’s Executive Vice
    President Eric Lancaster says, “EM will basically make lagoon water
    into swimming water at a fraction of the cost and time.” EM also
    eliminates foul odour from septic tanks, reduces sludge in sewerage
    systems and controls excess algae, slime and salination. Australia’s
    VRM group are at the forefront of sewerage spill management. Their
    successful EM treatment of a Mackay sewerage flood led to less odour,
    toxic water and damage to wildlife than generally occurs with accidents
    of equal magnitude.

    Rapid industrialization in Japan has led to heavy pollution of its
    waterways. In attempts to reverse the damage EM is being used by
    enthusiastic locals and government bodies to purify Japan’s Yab river
    in Tochigi, Ainoya river in Ibaraki, Ariake Sea in Nagasaki and Seto
    Inland Sea at Hiroshima. In these areas they are seeing increases in
    marine wildlife numbers including octopus, shrimp, cucumbers, crabs in
    response to EM.

    EM zealots gather in groups to baptize Japan’s waters with EM.
    Environmental teams such as the one at Kyushu Island are dedicated to
    ‘ecological cleaning activities’, which include using at least 1
    litre of EM each a month to purify water and soil. In Akitsu, Hiroshima
    since 60% of the population started using EM for domestic cleaning and
    gardening the town’s water quality has improved significantly. In
    Zamami Village, Okinawa, after EM reduced the foul odour of 60,000 tons
    of dam water, 60% of residents reported an improved quality of water and
    the previously toxic readings of trihalomethane were lowered to a
    harmless level.

    Bangkok has been using EM for years to reduce the foul odours and toxic
    water of shrimp farms, treat waste and improve water. Governor Samak of
    Bangkok endorses EM, “We are achieving good results with EM. We will
    continue to actively use it.”

    EM’s cost-effectiveness is evident at Gushikawa City Library where
    since they started sewerage processing with EM annual costs reduced from
    $10,000 US to only $500 US. And when Hotel Nikko in Arivilla switched
    from chemicals to EM to treat their water they reduced expenditure by 5
    million yen a year.

    Agricultural wastewater not only pollutes waterways but is a massive
    waste when not recycled. Purification projects worldwide solved this
    problem in places such as Nanning city, China where they treat Cassava
    wastewater to reuse and purify Lake Weishan which was ruined by paper
    mill pollution. EM can also effectively eradicate serious pathogens as
    illustrated in Iwaki City, Fukushima where E. coli colony counts were
    reduced from 275 to 12.

    Rivers and lakes overloaded by run-off containing agricultural
    fertilizers, household detergents, organic waste, urban stormwater
    drainage and the occasional oil and chemical spill can be treated
    effectively with EM. With water damage EM was successfully applied by
    the German government after the Elbe River flood disasters of 2002 to
    decontaminate the toxic waters and prevent mold growth in the flooded
    buildings. And according to deputy Mayor Mr. Koji Yamawaki. EM removed
    Hiroshima’s Utsumi canal’s thick toxic sludge in a matter of months.

    An innovative use of EM is using it to convert wastewater sludge and
    turning it into potent fertilizer. This is being done by compost company
    Green Sun Co. Ltd by mixing the town’s wastewater sludge with EM, rice
    bran and chicken manure and making it into pelletised organic


    Serious health and environmental concerns raised by chemical farming are
    leading more people to prefer organic produce. EM and Kyusei Nature
    farming methods support this trend by promoting agriculture that is
    productive, profitable, energy conserving, environmentally sound and
    safe for consumption.

    One of the biggest agricultural problems is the lack of nutrients and
    topsoil due to chemicals, row- crop production and intensive tillage. EM
    solves this problem by reinstating millions of microorganisms to the
    soil turning it into eco-gold. This sustainable soil called zymogenic
    soil creates the most conducive growing conditions.

    A soil rich in minerals and regenerative microorganisms provides optimum
    production levels, reduces disease and produces top quality crops all
    without chemicals. As Dr. Teruo Higa says, “EM technology in
    agriculture not only does away with the need for agricultural chemicals
    and artificial fertilizers, but achieves better results in every way
    than when they are used.” When EM is introduced to soil it
    competitively excludes pathogens, pests and weeds; nurtures nutrients
    and earthworms; decomposes organic matter and detoxifies chemicals. This
    rich soil environment promotes plant germination, flowering, ripening
    and increases crop quality and quantity. As Dr. Teruo Higa explains,
    “At the present time, average yields for rice grown using conventional
    methods are currently running at nine bales per 10 acres. Nevertheless,
    within only a few years of instigating the use of EM, we have seen rice
    yields rise to 14-15 bales/10 acres.” This shift from chemical farming
    to organic practices can yield better crops within a year as Hiroshima
    Ikeda farming brothers testify, “After using EM for one year our rice
    harvest yielded 70% more than the previous year.” Mr. Osamu Saito,
    vice president of Kitamura EM Farming confers, “Activated EM has
    markedly reduced disease and improved yields of vegetables.”

    As developing countries prone to food shortages need EM technology
    urgently the charitable, non-profit EM Research Foundation are
    channeling profits into agricultural projects in countries such as
    India, Sri Lanka, Africa and South America.

    Recycling Waste

    Throwaway, consumer societies are accumulating more garbage than the
    earth can accommodate. The US alone creates 222 million tons of garbage
    annually and at least 60% of that goes to overflowing landfills. Food
    scraps comprising about 11% of this landfill decay stink, attract
    rodents, emit dangerous greenhouse gases and don’t decompose
    completely. Whereas with the aid of EM many countries are proving that
    it can easily be converted to valuable soil- enriching compost.

    A model EM example is the Izumiohtsu factory of Sumitomo Rubber
    Industries Ltd, which used to pay for garbage removal until 1999 when
    they began composting the waste from 14,000 meals a month and selling it
    back to employees. Since the Sapporo Grand Hotel started treating their
    waste with EM it no longer emits a foul odour, processing costs were
    lowered by 30% and they recycled waste into fertilizer for farmers. Also
    in Japan, Funao town converts 22% of their garbage to compost, reducing
    their annual garbage by 300 tons and saving vast sums on disposal costs.
    In Pune, India, since 2002 the city garbage has been sprayed with EM
    from a fire engine daily and compost is made ready to go to farmers
    within fifty days. In Hanoi since 2001, the Cau Dien Compost Factory has
    been collecting 160 tons of organic waste a day from the city market
    and, with EM, converting it into compost within 38 days.

    Other countries where large scale EM waste management is saving money
    and the environment include China, Korea, Burma, Vietnam, New Zealand,
    Thailand, Africa and South America.

    An easy way to recycle household waste is to compost organic garbage
    into garden food using EM Bokashi. Householders are finding EM composts
    their organic waste in a month as opposed to six months when using
    conventional composting methods. There is also only a very mild sour
    smell and none of the heat, gas or bugs associated with aerobic compost
    methods. If more people employed EM composting the soil would revitalise
    and landfill reduce in record time. Such as in Yanagawa City, Fukuoka,
    where 13,000 households are using free activated EM for garbage
    composting, replenishing soil and purifying water.

    Since 1996 the composting concept has been taken to many schools by the
    Bokashi Outreach Network Program in the US. It aims to train kids to
    take steps towards an environmental solution rather than perpetuating
    the problem. Teachers such as Pusch Ridge’s ‘recycle Queen’, Nancy
    Gifford are introducing EM in a school-wide program to compost cafeteria
    waste. She also uses EM in the school’s small garden and sends students
    home with Bokashi bags to bury. In Yoetsu Junior School, Kamakura City,
    450 students started learning about EM since 1996. All students are
    given composting bokashi buckets and were excited to see that their EM
    composted garbage made their school corn crop grow faster, larger and
    tastier corn than those grown without EM. Also in Australia the
    ‘Scraps from Lunch to Lunch from Scraps’ program run in ten Adelaide
    schools showed children how to recycle food into fertilizer. Bertram
    Hawker Kindergarten children benefited according to director Margie
    Colton, “It’s allowed them to see the cycle of how things can be
    used again to grow food.”

    Animal Husbandry

    When Japan’s Tamaki dairy farm fed cows EM fodder and sprinkled it in
    their stalls they noticed remarkable changes. Within two weeks the bad
    odour disappeared, the milk increased and mastitis was almost
    eradicated. Other benefits of using EM with livestock are that it
    discourages flies and pests, improves animal’s digestion and produces
    great dung for fertilizer. Research from ARC-Onderstepoot Veterinary
    Institute also demonstrates the ability of EM to prevent the growth of
    pathogenic microbes including those causing botulism and salmonella
    poisoning. In the Netherlands amongst the 1,000 farmers using it agree
    that EM reduces livestock illness, improves milk quality and creates
    cleaner water and living conditions.


    Fish farms are notorious water polluters. EM has revolutionized
    aquaculture operations worldwide with shrimp farms in Thailand and fish
    farms in Cairo, Austria and Japan reporting cleaner water, increased
    fish numbers and natural weed control after converting from chemicals to
    EM. The Spital/Pyhrn Fish Farm in Austria found fish numbers doubled
    after employing EM and farm maintenance costs significantly reduced.


    Sick house syndrome is a phenomenon where chemical fumes from carpets,
    paints, building and decorating materials create debilitating symptoms
    in susceptible people. In order to prevent sick house syndrome and
    increase a building’s longevity, 150 EM houses have been built by
    Sansyodo Inc, Aichi, Japan. Since Mr. Hattori moved into his EM house he
    says there is “no more sneezing and less flies and mosquitoes.” Mr.
    Sakamoto is happy that he no longer suffers from asthma attacks and his
    grand daughter’s eczema cleared up. Other residents report that their
    migraines and allergies have disappeared. The house is healthier too
    with EM preventing concrete cancer, white ants, termites, rising damp,
    mould and wood rot.


    Therapeutic applications of EM-X, the EM and herb infused tonic, are
    slowly emerging. EM-X contains 18 amino acids, 40 trace minerals, and
    dozens of antioxidant compounds and enzymes. Scientific and clinical
    trials have established EM-X’s ability to regenerate cells and destroy
    degenerative influences such as cancer cells and free radicals.
    Scientists claim that EM-X releases positive wave resonance that
    promotes regeneration and assimilation of nutrients.

    Chinese medical research revealed that EM-X markedly inhibited human
    cancer cells involving breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and
    chronic myelogenous leukemia cells.2 Parkinson’s patients may find
    EM-X helps reduce neural degeneration, following research conducted by
    the Imperial College London supporting EM-X’s neuroprotective ability.3

    Anecdotal evidence of EM-X-‘s anti-cancer quality’s abound. Chinese
    doctor Huirong Tao, who is associated with the Toushi Clinic in Hokkaido
    Japan, cites the success stories of four cancer patients treated with
    EM-X and a special diet. Their tumours, whether situated in the chest,
    the prostate or the liver, diminished significantly and in some cases
    disappeared. Mamdooh Ghoneum, an immunologist at the University of
    Medicine and Science in Drew, California, has also shown that EM-X
    stimulates activity in natural killer cells, an essential factor in the
    attempt to control cancer.

    Because EM-X contains living organisms it responds differently according
    to the individual’s internal environment. Experimenting with EM-X
    myself for a month I found it made my body hum. I could feel an
    energetic buzz pulsing from through my palms and feet, which stabilised
    my previously bad circulation.


    EM’s natural yeasts, amino acids and alpha hydroxy acids support the
    skin’s natural renewal cycle and pH balance. The skincare brand SK-II
    applies the same principle as EM through the use of fermented sake
    filtrate. The formula called Pitera has been scientifically proven to
    increase skin metabolism by 70%. Because EM encourages regenerative
    dermal microorganisms users say it softens the skin, smoothes wrinkles
    and makes hair grow back to its original colour and softness. This has
    led to EM face creams, shampoos and soaps. Staff at Japan’s Amayama
    hospital for aged care also claim that EM infused water is much gentler
    on sensitive elderly skin.

    Domestic cleaning

    Satisfied housewives with EM bottles illustrate its innumerable uses in
    EM publications. Not only an effective substitute for chemical
    cleansers, EM actually purifies rather than pollutes the air and
    waterways. From large scale environmental cleanups to domestic kitchens
    EM is used to remove mould and grime, eliminate foul odours, replace
    washing powders, reduce insects, clear pipes and cleanse everything from
    pets, floors and walls.

    EM Forms

    Because EM is a living technology, it is flexible in its application,
    and therefore comes in a variety of forms. These include liquids,
    granular material and ceramics. Since EM’s available under many names
    this can cause confusion however the most common name for the original
    ferment is EM-1. Subsequent cultures from this are often called
    activated EM. Though imitations are available, only the EM trademarked
    product can be trusted for quality and efficacy.
    The registered trademark name for the original liquid microbial product
    is EM•1®. EM•1® can be used as a starter culture and grown one
    time for economical benefits. This growing process, similar to making
    wine or beer, is called Activation. The resulting product is referred to
    as Activated EM•1® or AEM•1®. Though imitations are available,
    only the EM•1® trademarked product can be trusted for quality and
    efficacy. All authentic products that are made with permission from EM
    Research Organization bare the EM logo.

    Following is a list of EM products.
    – EM-X is a golden, tasteless health tonic fermented from EM-1,
    antioxidant herbs and organic rice.
    – EM-5 (Sutochu) is a highly effective natural pesticide and insect
    repellent made from fermented EM-1, alcohol, vinegar, molasses and
    anti-oxidant plants.
    – Fermented Plant Extract (FPE) is a powerful plant fertilizer made from
    freshly cut grasses, weeds and crop residues fermented with EM-1.
    – EM Togishiru is starchy water, molasses and EM-1 used as an effective
    domestic cleanser and air freshener.
    – EM mud balls are used for water and soil remediation.
    – EM Bokashi is a dry composting mix combining EM-1 and organic material
    to convert food into fertilizer. It may include rice bran, corn bran,
    wheat bran, maize flour, rice husk, bean husk, rice straw, animal dung,
    sawdust and coconut fiber.
    – EM Ceramics. Since EM survives very high heat it can be baked into
    silica clay ceramics. In water these ceramics break down the water
    particles to increase its bioavailability and resistance to malefic
    microbes. The water is said to reverse oxidation and elicit beneficial
    magnetic resonance to enhance natural cell regeneration. Ceramics can be
    added to cooking rice, deep frying food, fish tanks and powdered into
    paints and soil. An innovative dentist is adding EM ceramics to cavity
    fillings with promising results.
    – EM Toiletries infused with EM-1 these include soap, toothpaste,
    shampoo and face cream
    – EM Salt. Okinawan sea water is harvested on the full moon and
    fermented with EM-X. The sea water is dried and the resulting salt is a
    health salt containing all the bio-available trace minerals from the
    – EM Bokashi Rub Oil is a warming liniment combining EM and fermented
    herbal oils recommended for arthritis, aches and fungal infections.
    – EM Paint has been shown to reduce mould, termites, toxic fumes and
    enhance paint durability.
    – EM clothes make the body warmer according in infra-red ray research.
    – EM Glass-stone (Super Sol) used as a foundation filler in roads,
    floors and walls. This protects a structure from deterioration, pests,
    chemical fumes and radiation.


  3. Monday 26th Oct. 2009 (Half term week). Falmouth and Penryn afternoon event for drawing attention to the December Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen and to celebrate low carbon living.

    Walking, cycling and other non fossil fueled transport, to start in Penryn, travel along North Parade, through Falmouth and end at Gyllynvase Beach Cafe where there will be music and refreshments.

    For a lively, colourful event your help is requested: music, dance, theatre, anything to get feet tapping and people engaged with this major challenge for the planet. Your ideas and help to: or 01326 317587

    For more info on Footsteps to Copenhagen campaign across Cornwall go to:

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