Using Microorganisms to Promote Healthy Soil for Healthy Plants and Healthy Farmers, Part 5

Lemon balm
A primer on using EM (efficient microorganisms) making your own organic fertilizer.

Read Part 4.

Making EM-5

This organic pesticide is homemade and can be done by anyone aged 8 to 88. All the materials needed are readily available.

600 ml non-chlorinated water
100 grams molasses
100 ml fermented tuba-suka
(coconut rum vinegar)
100 ml lambanog or gin
(ethyl alcohol)
100 ml EM-1 concentrate
150-250 grams of either chopped garlic, onion, hot pepper, ginger, neem leaves, marigold, tanglad, citronella, and other insect-repellant herbs. It can be a mixture of several ingredients.
One wide-mouthed plastic container (we use gallon jugs of distilled water).If mixing one
gallon, just multiply by four the volumes indicated above.

How to Make EM-5 Pesticide

1. Dilute molasses in water until completely dissolved.

2. Add tuba vinegar, distilled spirits, EM-1 and finely chopped plant materials. Mix very

3. Ferment for 14 days. Release the gas produced by fermentation every 4 days.

4. After fermentation, strain EM-5 using katsa cloth and squeeze out the juice. Add the remaining plant parts to compost or sidedress these to plants then cover with soil. Keep the extract in a clean, tightly sealed container at room temperatures, away from direct sunlight. Always keep under shade.

How to Make EM-5

Read Part 6.

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 or 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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