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Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's

Posted by Brandt Schisler 
Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 29, 2020 09:44PM
Hello All,

I recently been working with a guy from a company called "New Life Agricultural". He brought a ORMI certified product to me to use that he states has microbes from a stew that Jim Martin cultured in the 1950's. It is said that during Martin's process it is possible that the fermenting of anaerobic bugs helped Martin culture an ancient form of bacteria called photosynthesizing prokaryotes, like the ones believed to have evolved three billion years ago. Scientists such as Lynn Margulis of Boston University believed the prokaryotes symbiotically attached themselves to - or became incorporated into - a successor life- form known as eukaryotes, which included blue-green algae and all higher animals and plants. When the blue-green algae's successors spread to the soil of the planet's land masses, they engendered incredible fecundity - a virtual Garden of Eden.

Looking at microorganism details of this product and comparing it to EM-1, I see that EM-1 promises a minimum of 1 million CFU, but not sure how many strands that consists of. The 'New Life Agricultural' has over 26 million CFU's and over 5000 strands of beneficial bacteria and fungi/mycorrhizae. With that said, he told me NOT to spray it as a weekly spray or it could be too much for the plants... one spray in the spring, small foliar spray mid season, and one fall spray.

I personally seen this product in action on traditional row crops, and I must say that I am amazed at the results. The worm activity under the soil is astonishing as well... especially in areas where there were no previous worm activity. Nonetheless, I have sprayed this product on our orchard this spring with humic acid and will be eager to see the results... especially since the orchard that I am working with is a 30 year mismanaged orchard that we are trying to bring back and convert to Organic. I have added picture of product label at the bottom.

Looking for some feedback from the community on their thoughts about this new and upcoming product and if anyone else has heard of Jim Martin in terms of Microbes.

Thank you,
Brandt

Hickory Ridge Orchard
Zone 6a in Missouri


Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 29, 2020 11:00PM
After doing some more reading I now realize that using the Photosynthetic bacteria (New Agricultural Life) as a Spring and Fall spray, and spraying Lactic Acid Bacteria (EM-1) as a weekly foliage spray, would give me optimum results for Biological Reinforcement in my Orchard. I think my brain is finally starting to come full circle and tie things together. Community input is still greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Brandt

Hickory Ridge Orchard
Zone 6a in Missouri
Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 30, 2020 01:20PM
That's probably the longest list of organisms I have ever seen for microbial product! Anyway, there were a few that jumped out at me: Glomerella (Bitter rot is a common fruit rotting disease of apple (and pear) that occurs in all states where apples and pears are grown (Figure 1). ... Glomerella cingulata can also cause a leaf spot and canker on apple, although these forms of the disease are not common in Ohio.) and Xiphinema (a nematode) that make me question the veracity of the list. And Trichoderma aureoviridae (which is wonderful beneficial, but not usual species mentioned for ag). Many of the others do not seem to have any connection with soil biology or plant health - while others do. So, not trying to Mr.Cynical here, or disputing what you are seeing, but I'd be interested to see what roles the vast majority of those organisms listed play in soil and plant health - or are they just after sheer (and not functional) diversity. The web site doesn't offer any details nor can I find any studies or reports other than the testimonials. I am still going through the complete list (I am not familiar with all of the organisms, though many genera are familiar by name) and so may come up with something. Are there more details you or the company can offer?

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 30, 2020 04:47PM
I put in an inquiry and talked with Cindy (Frank is the owner and Cindy provided me with his cell if I had any questions). Right now for 2 gallons it is $50/gallon (normally $88 IIRC) and $15 per gallon to ship. It does state on their website that a 275 gallon tote is $28/gallon.

I'm usually up for experimenting so I'll try this on a portion of our vineyard.

Running Hills Farm
Mount Horeb, WI
Zone 5a
Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 30, 2020 10:23PM
Mike,

I spoke with my distributor, and discussed some of the things you had mentioned. I suppose I need to go back before I go forward. My distributor is actually a farmer who farms 1500 acres of traditional row crops (corn and soybeans) here in Central Missouri. This product is old, but it has been brought back to the forefront via two investors - Frank and Jim. Somehow, someway they were able to get a hold of Jim Martin's last known microbes that were cultured back in the 1950's. The product had been used in the past to clean up oil spills, especially the hard to recover oils in the ground. See article at end of message on more details pertaining to Jim Martins microbes (little bugs).

They knew the product could be beneficial for Agriculture, but ultimately did not know it's potential. Along came the farmer (my distributor) who farms 1500 acres of very hard clay soils and was at the end of his rope, so he offered to try the product. An example I have seen on paper myself, is this farmer had two farms that previously averaged 150 bushels of corn per acre... last year is his second year of using this product and he averaged 230 bushel per acre and is transferring his whole operation to organic currently. The Missouri state record for bushel an acre on no till land is 274 bushel. This particular farmer is confident that he will get close to 300 bushel an acre this year. Long story short - there are no university research studies on this product yet because it has only been available for approximately 4 years now... all the testimonials have been done by the owner and local farmers and they believe in it so much they are trying to spread the word so that traditional farming can turn itself around and stop depleting the soil before it is too late.

Their approach is sheer diversity of microbes. Their theory is that the more strands of beneficial microbes that are in the soil the more they will work together for the betterment of the soil. Most products on the market today can promise 'AT LEAST' a million microbes, or AT LEAST an X amount of strands. From my understanding, under a microscope they have counted thousands upon thousands of strands of beneficial microbes with close to 26 million CFU and are still finding new ones everyday. They only show the top 25 strands of Bacteria and Fungi with the highest CFU/PPGL.

Pertaining to the Glomerella cingulata, I am told that there are actually "hundreds of species within the product that will show to have a negative effect to a certain plant, but when you have diversity and a team of other bacteria/fungi that work together they balance out and have a positive result" (does anyone have any thoughts on that particular statement?). Supposedly it is more important to have a diversity product rather than a specified microbe product because the diversified product will prove to have more long term benefits.

I am new to this product and am monitoring my Orchard closely and hope to document my findings to update the group, there are certainly some unknowns, but from what I have seen through other's trials, this product has been nothing short of remarkable.

Thank you,
Brandt

Hickory Ridge Orchard
Zone 6a in Missouri

Jim Martin Article - [www.texasmonthly.com]
Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 31, 2020 08:35AM
I'm all for microbe diversity. That said, I get the sense that this particular rendition of "Jim Martin's Original Microbes" is designed for soil application. That would explain the inclusion of Glomus species to beef up mycorrhizal connection (which only happens in affiliation with roots). I have the sense, Brandt, that's what you intend when you speak of a spring and fall application . . . with use of the lactobacilli and yeasts in EM-1 in the growing season as the arboreal leg of your plan.

Going to the source has value for homecooks, with this taken from that Texas Monthly article:
"As described in the patent, Martin’s process propagated blue-green algae by combining filtered cow manure—not just any cow manure but the manure of milking cows—with fresh seawater containing algae, which was allowed to stand until all that remained of the blue-green algae was its enzymes. This so-called “master culture” eventually produced new blue-green algae, or phytoplankton, which was fermented in a digester with regular infusions of cow manure along with large volumes of fresh water and small quantities of yeast. The liquid was then further diluted with fresh water until only byproduct and enzymes were left."

Keep us posted, mon!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 31, 2020 10:23AM
Michael,

Yes, I believe it is mostly designed for soil application, when I asked them about using it as a foliage spray they were unsure but thought it would be okay (I now feel that it shouldn't be used as that in my operation). One warning they gave me is to not apply too much, no more than two gallons an acre per year. They only suggest that because in one of their trials they poured 1 gallon undiluted liquid on a bush and it took off growing too fast and actually died. So, too much of a good thing, isn't necessarily a good thing.

With that said, my plan was to us EM-1 as my foliage spray throughout the season with the seaweed extract, neem oil, liquid fish, TM-90 (similar to SEA90), and Kaolin clay.

I am obviously paying more attention to detail now, but I sprayed this product a week ago and am noticing worm holes everywhere, even in tractor tracks from a couple of days ago. I pulled back some mowed grass that had piled up under a tree from last year and the soil looked like a sponge, I never recalled seeing that many worm holes before. Again, could be just me noticing things now, but will keep documenting what I find and keep everyone posted.

Appreciate the feedback!

Thank you,
Brandt

Hickory Ridge Orchard
Zone 6A in Missouri
Re: Jim Martins Original Microbes from the 50's
March 31, 2020 04:57PM
How very biodynamic of him - "manure from milking cows" indeed!!
Yes, keep us posted.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
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