lb, bim, bionutrients, oh my!

txpeach100April 24, 2009

I am new to this forum and will do a full intoduction at another time but wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading and reading and linking and reading this last few weeks. My head is swimming with so much information and my desktop is cluttered with wonderful links.

My interest was peaked with the topic "Why I love the internet..." post and I dutifully followed all the links and continued to read, search, read more until I am throughly confused. In the original article from Carandang he talks of Bionutrients as the fermentation of plant products with crude sugar then strained for an extract. BIM was described as a way to get LB from rice wash, yet when I read other posts by members, it seems you are doing it differently.

As such I would beg for an indulgence and have some of you generous posters please have pity on me and supply me with a simple recipe for LB & BIM. I can't wait to get my garden growing again!

Thank you all for your wonderful contributions!


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It really can be overwhelming and the Carandang piece is probably the most confusing/hard to dig the info out of without reading it over and over.

Also, I think it could be said that you can end up with two different things. The "super concentrated" result of the collection of LB, draining of yogurt, or fermentation of whatever fruit mix you're using. Then you have your "first dilution", where you mix it with water at the 1:20 rate. For application the "first dilution" is further diluted again. If you've seen the Maye Bruce link that Blutranes posted you'll see that with her biodynamic mixes she got best results with higher dilutions.

Simple LB collection:

Drain some plain yogurt (any "strength"..ff, lowfat, whole yogurt) in a sieve lined lined with a coffee filter. Place this over a bowl and put in fridge and let it drain for a couple of days. (No need to cover.)

Use the solids from the yogurt to make yo-cheese, lebneh, etc by mixing in some spices or pouring olive oil on it and eating it with chips.

The longer you drain your yogurt, the more whey you will have. Store in fridge. (This is like the "super concentrate). Mix about .6 tsp per 1 gallon cholorine free water for a pure LB spray. OR, mix equal parts of the LB with unsulphured molasses to store at room temp. Mix 1.2 tsp of this mix with 1 gal water.

Bionutrient collection/fermentation:

Mix fruits (or whatever is mentioned) with about 1/3 of the volume of the fruits of molasses or raw sugar mixed with water to equal 1/3 volume. Let sit until mold forms. Drain the liquid (your "super concentrate" and then mix at the ratios mentioned in the Carandang piece. (1:20 for first dilution, 4-5 tblspoons of that with 2gal? 5 gal? for application (dont' have it in front of me right now)...

As for the ginger/garlic extract..that is different and I haven't done that one yet. That is mixing with beer or wine and letting it sit overnight and then doing something else.

Same for collecting calcium phosphate. (See the eggshell post)...different process.

If you were going to mix the LB and any of the other bionutrients together, the LB would need to be 50% of your mix and the rest divided amongst the other ingredient. Your choice.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:25AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Welcome Peggy, I've made my LB just like Gil's recipe. I posted an Americanized version of it in the ''why I love the internet...'' thread.

My BIM came from cooking the rice used for the wash and adding some oat bran and putting them in cheap nylons and burying them in my worm bin. I put the nylon in 5gal of rain water and made a AVCT soil drench w/ it. I'm going to do it again later(I'll add a touch of molasses to the mix) and bury one in my friends yard(forest duff) as well as using my worm bin again.

It's easier than harvesting castings - and I figure since I fed the worms a variety of local OPBL and local horse manure, it should be as good if not better than forest floor duff.

I think I've done the same as Blutranes for the rest.

I have a potato bim made from potatoes cut up and covered in rain water , a tsp of LB, and a bit of molasses mixed in. I didn't stir but just kind of shook the whole thing a few times. I use old ice cream buckets w/ holes poked in the lid(not big enough for flies to enter). When the whole thing was covered in white spores I strained it several times and put all the solids in my compost pile. I chose green 2 liter bottles to store it, my wife won't give up soda, and I figure the colored plastic might help protect it. I've got my LB in the bottom drawer of the fridge, the rest on a shelf in the garage. When it gets hotter I'm going to move them all to the pantry.

I've done the same w/ apples, bananas, and tomatoes all separately. The tomatoes are ready to strain and the bananas need a week.

I'm also going to do one w/ garlic and I have an aloe plant that is getting gangly and needs pruning. This summer I plan on taking some grass clippings(red clover/ common comfrey/Roman chamomile/catnip/catgrass/dandelion) and letting them ferment and doing the same w/ all of them.
I'll also do a seperate one when my stinging nettles come in.

The potato bim has gone on my potatoes and they are doing nicely. The tomato will go on the tomatos the same. I plan on adding about a TBSP of ea to my next batch of AVCT. Don't know why, don't think I've seen it recommended to mix them all but I'll report back if I kill off my whole garden.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:35AM
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Here's the quote about mixing from the GC piece:

Our concoction or recipe of beneficial indigenous microorganism (BIM) is 50% lactic acid bacteria and the rest is 50% of the other microorganisms cultured. So you may use 1 part forest microorganism, 1 part bamboo microorganism and 1 part specific plant microorganism mixed with 3 parts or 50% lacto bacilli. The more diversed microbes, the better. However, we will still use 50% of the total beneficial indigenous microorganisms to be lactic acid bacteria.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 1:25PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I'd forgotten that, thanks for posting. I've been reading so much lately it must be time to go back and reread to see what I've missed or forgotten! So many great ideas and it's fun being a back yard chemist.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 1:44PM
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blutranes(z8 Mid Ga)


From what you have read and from what has been said in this thread, it should be apparent that making BIM is close to a matter of personal interpretation. Yes, techniques have been offered (Carandang), yet these instructions come with the suggestion to "add" your own personal "touch" when making your brew. Using what is at hand, combined with what is expected as the end product can lead to a very good personal brewing technique. Knowing that the brew should smell sweet, have yeast collecting on the top of the container, and when bottled there should be a slight building of pressure on the lid of the container is enough information to let one know the brew is "right".

The only way to learn how to make BIM, EM, or Bug Juice is to make your brew and see what one has created. If it doesnÂt turn out right, we can pour that blend on the compost pile and make another until we are satisfied with what me made. Get your feet wet Txpeach, make a batch and come back and tell us what you did. This is how we started, and it has proved to be the best learning tool one could haveÂ


    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 9:40PM
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If one likes farmer's cheese, there is a quick & easy way to get LB as a byproduct of making cheese. Put an open packet of buttermilk into a pot filled with water so that water level is slightly below the top of the packet and water does not get into it(we do 2-3 packets at the same time) warm up water, but don't let it boil. When you see that whey separated, drain the packet into a sieve lined with a cheesecloth placed in a pot to collect LB. Pick the edges of cheesecloth & press the cheese collecting more LB.
Eat the cheese it makes your bones stronger, so you can work your garden harder.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 12:28AM
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Milque Toast..what is a packet of buttermilk? Around here down south) buttermilk comes in pints, quarts and gallons! :-)

Is farmer's cheese similar to the "yo-cheese" made from draining the whey from yogurt?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 8:12AM
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Penny, Thank you so much for your reply! It is exactly what I am looking for. It will help greatly as I start this journey into elixirs and extracts. Hmmmm...sounds like I'll be "brewing" up lots of concoctions. Hope burning witches doesn't come back into fashion!

rj_hythloday, I don't have a worm bin but will check out the cooked rice in hose method. I have a drawer full of pantyhose that went out of style ages ago. Do you start all your BIM with homegrown materials? Alas, my garden has been neglected these past few years due to my mother's illness and passing last year but I have an organic grocer nearby that I will look into. Thanks for your help!

Blutranes, thank you for your insight. I do understand that I must make these brews my own but as a new "garden witch" I felt it necessary to know where to have a starting point for which to start my own journey down this road. I have throughly enjoyed reading your posts around the board and have gained great insight into what is to become.

Thank you all again!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 12:21PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Peggy of all my BIM's the only home grown ingredient was the aloe plant that needed pruning.

The rest have all been store bought that were going bad on the counter. I had saved seed potatoes last year and just planted 3 small ones, the rest went in a bim. I did buy a jalapeno (used 1/2 in dinner) a head of garlic, and some ginger just for a bim last night. About .40 cents for all 3.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 12:34PM
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Peggy aka fellow Garden Witch..

Glad that helped! So sorry you've been through so much lately with your mom's health and passing. The garden will surely help heal your soul!

Yogurt whey I've gotten from store bought and homemade. Also from homemade kefir but that was made from store bought pastuerized milk. So, none organic as I haven't bought any organic milk.

My first bionutrient was made by fermenting the fruits off of my eleagnus bushes. I chopped them up in a little food processor and added unsulphured molasses to let them ferment. I think I ended up adding that to some bug juice I made.

The Bug Juice was made with fresh apples. I now have some that are getting overripe and have gotten some bananas which I will let turn brown and then make more bug juice as well as some of the papaya/banana/squash bionutrient.

I haven't been able to play with the brews so much lately as I have a work deadline (2nd career) thsi week. THEN, it is all about the garden!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 2:38PM
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pennymca wrote:

Milque Toast..what is a packet of buttermilk? Around here down south) buttermilk comes in pints, quarts and gallons! :-)

Is farmer's cheese similar to the "yo-cheese" made from draining the whey from yogurt?

1. If you meant half-gallon then the same is here. This is one of those cases when size does not matter :). Technology of cheese making is the same, so the size of buttermilk carton you use depends on your appetite :).
2. If "yo-cheese" is what they sell in ME ethnic stores as "Greek yougurt" then NO, they are not similar. In our neck of the woods every supermarket chain carries 8oz packages of farmers cheese for around 4 bucks.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 11:14PM
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blutranes(z8 Mid Ga)

Peggy said:

"I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts around the board and have gained great insight into what is to become."

Thank you Peggy, your kind words are much appreciated.

I absolutely endorse growing a garden with material on hand, or material others have viewed as trash; free is my favorite thing to use to make a garden grow. The photo below is from a lady that lives in a town near by using the first potato BIM brew I made. Although my potatoes suffered from frost damage (they are making a great come-back), she didnÂt have the same problem due to the building blocking the wind in her yard. She has only used BIM as fertilizer blended with Bug Juice at the normal ratio. She admits to harvesting fist-sized potatoes already and looks forward to continue to harvest throughout the summer. The front two rows were planted 3 (three) weeks later; the back rows have been banked 3 (three) times, and are supposed to be 2 (two) feet away from the building.

Not bad for a 78-year-old lady and her 2 (two) grandchildren using Blutranes home-made compost, BIM, Bug Juice, and some seed potatoesÂ


    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 4:15AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Has it really been 3 weeks since we talked about BIM?

I soil drenched w/ modified bug juice a few days before planting, about 3 weeks ago

I made a tea for the plants that went in the ground 2 weeks ago (or so).

Yesterdays Tea included:
5 gal rain water in 6 gal garbage can aerated brewer.

*BIM Brown rice cooked in rain water, not rinsed; after cooking I added oat bran, corn meal and molasses. Mixed it all up, it stunk! Put all that in a nylon stocking and buried it in my worm bin for about 10 days.

*1/4 cup ea of BIM's made previously by fermenting w/ molasses and rain water and straining:
**cucurbit - Cuke and watermelon blended
**Banana blended
**Tomato 3 or 4 varieties w/ a few stems and a few tom plants that died, and a few strawberries w/ tops smushed
**Apple smushed
**Potato smushed
**Aloe leaves from plant,head of garlic, ginger, peppers, red wine, apple cider vinegar blended.

*1/2 cup ea LB, Fish Emulsion/Kelp Meal, Rich Earth 12% Humic Acid Liquid Plant Booster, molasses, and a handful of raw sugar added the second day.

I started the brew Monday 6AM and it instantly had froth. Diluted it 3:1 w/ rain water and applied w/ my 2 gal sprayer.

Second day and nothings died off, I'll post again in a week. Maybe I should take a pic tomorrow and again in a week or two. No control, I doused the whole garden and lawn. I put the last gal mixed w/ 8 gallons rain water on my two compost piles.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:37PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I forgot in the Bim I buried in the worm bin I also included 1/4 C ea ground flax seed and sesame seed.

The kids said it smelled like root beer. I thought it smelled more like chewing tobacco.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:55AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I swear some of these things have taken off in the 3 days since I fed them. Blooms on a few of the toms, which have almost all doubled in height. My acorn squash has doubled the leaf canopy. I took a pic Wed I'll take another one next wed.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 6:41PM
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shlegminitism(zone 8)

I'm loving these threads. I have a question though if there are still any learned viewers monitoring this thread. We save our kitchen scraps, filling up a pretty large (maybe a gallon) tupperware container every three days or so; Anything from older, sometimes browning fruit and veggie scraps, onion/garlic skins, coffee grounds, and the like. Its starting to look like were making more scraps than we have carbon-based materials to mix with, and cannot maintain the appropriate level of our compost bin without having to find something to do with our higher in nitrogen scraps.
This makes the possibilities of bionutrients appealing. Would it be possible to just dump the whole gallons worth of mixed scraps into a bucket and add the molasses and ferment from there? Or would this multimix of various types of plant materials invite different types of molds that would compete with each other, limiting the potential of a certain mold type growing on its own?
Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 7:19PM
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