[permaculture] SoilFoodWeb

permed at nor.com.au permed at nor.com.au
Fri Oct 11 07:36:40 EDT 2002

Jerome Osentowski wrote
>EM  stands for effective Microrganisms, and they do not work in  Hot 
>composts  They will fry along with about everything else.

I have encountered this veiwpoint of hot composting "frying" everything 
before in UK pc publications (think it was 'Pc in a Nutshell') and don't 
understand what the problem is. Is it a pc myth from an ill-informed pc 
teacher in the early days that's been perpetuated?

Hot composting is a natural process generated by beneficial 
microorganisms working at their optimum in an ideal carbon/ nitrogen 
environment. At these temperatures (60+deg C) plant pathogens are 
destroyed along with many weed seeds (a positive 'frying') and the 
beneficial organisms break down chemical residues, antibiotics etc. As a 
certified organic grower I can only use non-certified materials (plant 
and animal manures) if they've been through a hot composting process.
Different organisms operate in different conditions and there are 
beneficial MO's specific to various temperature ranges. This blanket 
bagging of hot compost processes almost smacks of a kind of 
micro-organism apartheid...

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