Joshua Mikesell utilized microBIOMETER® in a University of Michigan Intern Student Program last fall for his 501(c)3 compost business Happy Coast.The goal of his compost business is to seek out organic waste products and develop ways to reduce and recycle these materials. In preparation for the study, Joshua created multiple controlled scenarios to test biomass in certain situations and in several types of compost.
For the project, they sorted through food waste obtained from local businesses and developed a process and ingredient list to produce their own organic fertilizer. microBIOMETER® was used to perform the initial tests. Then after their pellet applications was used again to determine effectiveness.
The University of Michigan was so impressed with Joshua’s study they now want to send him as many students as possible to continue this work.
Click here to read the entire report as well as view all the microBIOMETER® data collected.
With a small R & D grant awarded from the Dutch government, Jo Ploumen of the Netherlands is using microBIOMETER® to determine fungal to bacterial ratios in vermicompost filled in a Johnson-Su Bioreactor versus residence time. Jo also uses microBIOMETER® to measure microbes and F:B ratio in select soil samples as a member of a garden club. He found the differences by method of gardening; organic vs fertilizer and bare vs covered soil to be striking!
“I like microBIOMETER® as it is a cost-effective tool with a high impact, potentially,” Jo said.
Jo’s impressive resume includes studying Chemical Technology at the Technical University of Eindhoven, employment at multinational AKZO Nobel as an R & D specialist and co-founder of Pulsed Heat BV. In 2019, Jo founded Ploumen E.S. Compost to begin research based on the findings of Dr. David Johnson. Johnson is the developer of the Johnson-Su Bioreactor which delivers a compost with very unique properties.
We are honored to have Jo as a valued customer, data collector and partner on our journey to increase awareness of soil health, regenerative practices and carbon sequestration!
Ben Rodman is a vermicomposter with a love for all things biology and horticulture. His vermicomposting operation, Lyons Worm Works, has grown from simply diverting and reclaiming their household organic wastes into a small-scale but growing community effort.
Combined with all the spent substrate from their gourmet mushroom cultivation and gardening and brewing waste, Lyons Worm Works creates high-quality, microbially dense and diverse living vermicast for regional consumers. For Ben, providing quality vermicast to customers means having objective measurements of its quality for multiple reasons: integrity and trust, quality assurance, marketing, and constant experimentation to improve his product and process.
“Experimentation and real data has always been important to me; bridging my idealism with the real world we live in and grow our food and medicine in. microBIOMETER® is giving me fast, quantitative data to assess important considerations like feedstock quality, evaluating the impacts of process changes, durability and storage for finished product, and for fine-tuning my compost tea kit recipes so customers can make high-quality aerated teas at home. Having a fast, accurate and objective way to assess my products provides me with the data needed to make informed decisions. It gives my customers and I confidence that my products are going to help them meet their goals. What a great product for the small producer like me, for whom a home lab isn’t practical and routine commercial lab testing is prohibitively costly!”
Green Country Worms is a small worm farm located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Their main focus is producing high quality worm castings. They started vermicomposting in 2008 when they received their first pound of compost worms. 12 years later they still love composting with worms and are fascinated with the worm castings they produce.
About a year ago they discovered their customers wanted proof of the quality of their product. While they could make claims about their worm castings, their customers wanted to see actual data. They periodically sent their castings to a certified lab to be tested, however, this is costly to do on a regular basis.
They love the microBIOMETER® soil test because it is affordable and it gives them a quick census of the microorganisms in their castings. They learned early on that a simple NPK soil test did not give them the data they were looking for. Being research minded they were also happy to find out that microBIOMETER® is involved in various university studies to demonstrate it’s validity and reliability as a soil testing instrument.
Green Country is currently using microBIOMETER® to compare worm castings that are produced with high quality malted barley. They feed malted barley in some of their worm bins and not in others.
Stay tuned! We will post the results of their experiment once it is complete.