Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 8

Our drive into Obera with Kim and Marcelo... they brought us into town today to show us around, which was so much more helpful than us stumbling around by ourselves (like we did on our last day off)!
One view of town:
It has been raining here a lot, so Kim taught us all about making EM (effective microorganisms) during our afternoon work hours. A man from Japan apparently kicked off this bunch of knowledge, and you can buy EM for your garden (to make healthy soil) etc. online, but you can also make your own really easily at home using fresh, local, organic fruits with skin and some form of sugar to feed the bacteria. If you do this yourself, you propagate the bacteria that will be most beneficial to you because they are from the area you live in. Plus, it’s delicious to boot. It’s a win-win! The one Kim and Marcelo have right now is made from Loquat mixed with GuaviRoba, and it’s delicious. The loquat lend an amaretto-like flavor which makes me smile and crave more. EM are taken a bit at a time, like when sick, as a form of probiotic, but also can be made for the garden, to control pet odors, etc. It’s such cool stuff! Kim mixes a 5 gallon bucket of fruit, skins and all, along with 1 kilo of sugar (2.2 lb, right?) and lets it all do its thing (covered, but not tightly, because you want the bacteria to process aerobically with oxygen) for 3+ weeks. They make a delicious, somewhat vinegar-like fermented-tasting liquid that can be strained out and stored (again, in a bottle that is sterilized and has a cork that is cut so that it can breathe) for a very long time. Kim’s favorite kind is banana EM, and we’re going to make some soon when she gets to the farmer’s market to get a bunch of bananas. I’m thinking that up North lots of our summer berries would make delicious EM, and I can’t wait to try! It can be made with apples too, and Kim recommends cutting them up first (skin and all) to make it easier. I hope you all try this… Bon appetite!

Here are the beautiful red seeds from the ripe bitter melon that popped in the garden:

We eat the delicate flesh off of them, and then they look like this. Isn't it cool that the seeds look somewhat like the melon itself?

These butterflies were dancing with each other for hours under the hammock this afternoon...


  1. Love love love your pictures and descriptions and hearing about your adventures! Reminds me of COA and Washington for us - learning new things everyday, growing, exploring ourselves and our environments! I miss it all... xoxo love you!

  2. It's so interesting what you are learning about EM! I had no idea about the different flavors/aromas! That will be great to try one day on our own farm : ) Keep good notes!

  3. Oh my gosh, I have VERY thorough notes Kathy! Never fear! EM will be in our futures!

    And oh, Rickie, it would be SO fun to do this together! That time in Washington was one of my favorites, and it has been amazing to feel like I am learning in similar and wonderful ways here too!
    Much love to you! xoxoxo