Using Microorganisms to Promote Healthy Soil for Healthy Plants and Healthy Farmers, Part 2

Malunggay, which is locally known as kamunggay or marungay, is often described as a ‘wonder plant’ due to its many uses, such as a common ingredient for soup dishes and as a herbal medicine to treat different ailments.
A primer on using EM (efficient microorganisms) making your own organic fertilizer.

Read Part 1

How to Expand Your EM Army Crop to Defend Your Farm

Why is EM-1 the most economical solution to improving soil conditions? Because you can make your own EM-powered solution 30 times with just water and molasses or sugar in 7 days!

A grade one student can do it by following these simple steps:

1 liter EM-1
1 liter molasses with at least 50 brix level (always buy from a reliable supplier)
28 liters of non-chlorinated, non-contaminated water
1 plastic container (40-liter capacity). Make sure the container is washed clean of toxic chemicals

1. Dissolve 1 liter molasses in 28 liter non-chlorinated water. If your water is chlorine-treated, allow the chlorine to oxidize for a day in an open container.
2. Add 1 liter EM-1 to the solution and mix well.
3. Cover the container tightly. Store under room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
4. The fermentation process will produce gas. On the third day loosen the cover to release the gas and cover tightly again.

Always use a plastic container to ferment.

On the seventh day, it becomes EMAS. It should have a sweet-sour smell. If it emits a foul smell, the water or container used is contaminated. EMAS should be used within one month for best results; please see the instructions below on how to use it.

If you are not going to use the EMAS in one application, you can refill one-liter bottles (we use softdrink liter bottles) for a total of thirty bottles. Store these in a cool, shaded place. Remember to use it up within 30 days.

Preparing One Liter of EMAS

Dissolve 30 grams of molasses or sugar in one liter of clean water and add 30 cc of EM-1. Shake well in a one-liter PET bottle. You may use hugas-bigas water (water used to wash rice grains) instead if available. The rice wash contains additional food for the microbes. Ferment for 7 days. Release gas due to fermentation if the bottle bloats.

(Article continues after photo.)



EM-1 concentrate has a shelf life of one year. EMAS has a shelf life of one month. Always store the bottles inside your house, away from heat. Make sure your bottle is sealed tightly.

Read Part 3.

This article was prepared by the Harbest Organix Department of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, with its major reference being the EM Training Manual 2011 Edition published by the EM Kyusei Natural Farming Center, Saraburi, Thailand. Write us for guidance and a free consultation. You can reach us at the numbers given above and [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also visit our blog online at

This appeared as “Healthy Soil for Healthy Plants and Healthy Farmers” without a byline in Agriculture Monthly’s September 2015 issue.

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Agriculture Monthly magazine is the Philippines' best-selling magazine on all things agriculture. It is packed with information and inspiration on how to make the most of your farm or garden.

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