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Enlivening probiotic feed supplements for orchard (?)

Posted by Eliza Greenman 
Enlivening probiotic feed supplements for orchard (?)
May 24, 2018 09:06PM
I have pigs in an orchard and lately, the idea of homogenizing orchard care with pig care has struck an interest. The pigs already drink whey and I have emptied their whey tank into my spray tank before for the trees, but I want to go a lot further in the symbiosis of management in the coming years.

For today's topic, there is a feed supplement called ProBios that comes in a powdered form and contains:
Enterococcus faecium
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus plantarum
Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus licheniformis

I have done a few experiments in my apartment this year, starting with using this powder as a starter in fermenting my pig feed. That was successful, so then I set out to see if I could ferment this supplement using water and some molasses. It quickly came alive in my reverse kegerator (there's a heater in it for climate controlled ferments).

A 25lb of this powder is WAY cheaper than EM (especially since I can get it at wholesale costs) and I'm wondering the following questions:
1.) Does anyone have any objections to the differing ingredients here: Enterococcus faecium, L. acidophilus, B. licheniformis?
2.) I need to do some reading in Michael's book and in some other forums here on the subtleties of the ferment and what comes alive and when, but I'm wondering when the time would be to pull the trigger and spray this stuff. Monitor the specific gravity and go for it once a certain amount of sugar has been consumed?
3.) Open ferment? Partial open? When should I let the local S. cerevisiae join the party?
4.) Any ideas for how to make this a legit comparison of EM1?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2018 09:20PM by Eliza Greenman.
Re: Enlivening probiotic feed supplements for orchard (?)
May 28, 2018 03:56AM
Diversity is generally always good, Eliza, and your thought process is spot on. All lactobacilli appear useful but I will speak up for the yeast component of effective microbes as particularly important on the fire blight front. There's much we don't know about the interaction of organisms -- yet alone the skill set of individual species -- other than what a company puts out about a proprietary product like Blossom Protect. Your plans to include Saccharomyces cerevisiae could serve equally well . . . but I have no opinion when these winemaking/baking yeast should enter the fray.

Nor can I speak to the pace of "your team of organisms" other than to say lactobacilli respond quickly and like a 100F start-up temperature, give or take. I brew EM1 approximately ten days to activate (fill the 22X volume with microbes) before applying. The blackstrap molasses is consumed by that point, leaving behind only a trace mineral component. A splash of algae-rich pond water may bring some photosynthetic bacteria into your plan. The purchased microbes are facultative organisms and thus go back to a steady state once the pH level drops into the 3-4 range. This is done in barrels with loose caps since alcohol isn't involved in the activation process and thus no reason to worry about acetobacter. There's an almost-sweet, earthy smell when all is said and done.

Comparison trials are made readily enough if you have several trees of the same cultivar in the same ground. I would proffer not to skip the fatty acid component of the holistic approach with whatever set of probiotic microbes as it's key to supply the troops with some combination of neem, karanja, and fish hydrolysate once out on the trees. And of course write down all relevant data concerning rates, frequency, wetting events, and when disease symptoms first stand revealed. Go, pig microbes, go!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2018 04:00PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Enlivening probiotic feed supplements for orchard (?)
June 06, 2018 07:29AM
I know my reply here doesn't address your post, so please pardon my deviating from the topic. I thought this subject of pigs and orchard ecosystem cultivation with microbes was tangentially related to a technique I've been reading about in Korean Natural Farming and that perhaps you would find it useful.

I am not writing from direct personal experience, but if you haven't already, check out the Korean Natural Farming (KNF) piggery. This simple, inexpensive designed system is derived from a process of culturing Indigenous Micro-Organisms (IMO) and employing these to create a pig pen in which the bed is a composed of an microbiologic substrate which rapidly digests pig waste and apparently never needs replacing.

One of the best places to embark on the basic processes and formulations of KNF is Chris Trump's YouTube channel. His family, which bears no relation to the president, runs a 700 acre Macadamia nut farm, Island Harvest Inc. that is operated organically by employing the techniques of Korean Natural Farming. They are apparently having great success with this process both from a financial perspective (due to the absence of expense on inputs) as well as a pronounced biologic vitality in the landscape and their trees. As an example, apparently a common terminal disease vector in macadamia nut trees is phytophthora root rot and the only recourse was for the infected trees to be removed from the site. A section of orchard infected with this disease was set aside as a test area and those trees are now exhibiting vigorous growth, bearing fruit, and demonstrating no signs of disease. It's a pretty cool and exciting subject and there is an entire curriculum surrounding the methods of which I have only the most rudimentary conception and essentially zero direct experience with. That should change this coming year however...

Here is a direct link to Chris Trump's YouTube channel and the video on the no-smell piggery.
Here is a link to his basic summary of Korean Natural Farming.
Here is a feature article from 2016 from Western Farm Press on Island Harvest
Here is a Hawaii extension article on the EPA compliant IMO pig pen which has been further acronymized (there seems to be an overabundance of this in KNF) into Inoculated Deep Litter Systems (IDLS)

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2018 03:49AM by Karn Piana.
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