Microbes by Marco – JP022

Marco is an avid practitioner of Korean Natural Farming. He grows his own inputs, teaches (us on the podcast) others how to make them on his Instagram page (linked below) and also sells his surplus inputs at MicrobesByMarco. Fans of the podcast will notice that I referenced him at our talk at Rooting DC.

Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊ
edase Paa   ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ
Modupe O
ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏ

Thank you for listening to


Transcript (automated)

MO 0:01
I Mason Olonade and this is Jìgìjìgì Africulture podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul and we share strategies for how to do both. To do both, we asked two questions. How do you grow while you grow kale, collards, tomatoes and melons? And why do you think the healthiest soils are black? Today I have a very special guest Marco and I met Marco because through Instagram through the gram is one of the very few of us who know what KNF is natural farming is and I’ll your teaching people and in preparation for the talk that we’re going to give it routing DC I found that that Marco makes his own value added products. micros by Marco calm, producing natural inputs for your farm and garden. Welcome Marco

Marco 0:59
Hello Thank you for having me.

MO 1:01
It’s my pleasure, man. When did you first realize you were supposed to have your hands in the soil?

Marco 1:07
I think I realized that a very young age. I was always a kid that enjoyed nature shows, being outside. I was always an outdoor kind of kind of kid. That led to me studying forestry management and soil biology in college. From there kind of really inspired a lot of growth in me, made me want to just just be more part of nature on a on a deeper level and just, you know, being outside in and I actually wanted to see if I could, you know, change, change kind of the way I looked at nature, you know, so From there, it kind of just inspired me to grow garden and I’ve been garden, you know, ever since, you know, so I’m 45 now so I’ve been kind of hands on the soil for, you know, over 20 to 30 years so

MO 2:19
and then, you know, the so how did you come across like KNF?

Marco 2:25
Um, KNF I’ve learned about KNF of probably about four years ago now. Like I said, with my college background I’ve always kind of been into soil biology. But there was never really a garden method that I knew of that, you know, focused on that, you know? So I was just doing some research online and I came across a guy named Chris Trump who has a lot of YouTube videos. on KNF and And I just saw the way he was creating his own inputs, using natural ingredients. And it made a lot of sense to me right away, and I just started making my own inputs from there.

MO 3:16
So it’s like, you know, like we were talking about before we were recording with with with, with KNF. There’s such an abundance that can be created with all this. And you know, when you pulled up, I saw the bananas that you had. I mean, you had probably, maybe, at least, so I saw three, right? They seem to be double stacked

Marco 3:40
for four cases of 40 pounds apiece of bananas on my truck,

MO 3:47
and so then from there, I mean, and I know that I mean you don’t process them to put them in there, right? You just put them in there straight, you know, whatever, whatever in whatever is the compost where you’re not peeling No, separating them out anything like that.

Marco 4:02
Well, those those bananas, they do go through a little bit of a process. Yeah, so um, basically to make fermented fruit juice, which is wonderful, KNF inputs you combined have to equal weight of the fruit and unrefined sugar, combine them, mix them together, and then let them ferment in an open top container for about five days. Yeah, so yeah, they are, there’s a little bit of a process to it. And what that does is the sugar pulls the enzymes and the plant juices out of the fruit. And then after five days, there’s a separation that leaves you with solids and liquids. And the fermented fruit juice is this liquid that you pour off. After five days that liquid can then be stored and then used as a garden input diluted at one to 1000 with rainwater or unchlorinated water.

MO 5:03
Yeah. When I when I say in process I mean in like, the bananas is as I saw them are going to be put in this or like just like how they are. Yeah cuz I so I had I tried to make my own FPJ Um, and I don’t know what I was reading but they were saying that you had to let that be gay wait for a while and there were all sorts of bugs that I’d never seen before. My, my, my, my sort of container but I still use it and, you know, with this sort of thing because I, I wanted to be able to do it in a sort of controlled experiment where you know, this is like that and I was like, Yeah, I don’t care. And I mean, it seemed to work I hadn’t and that because I didn’t make really any of those things beyond like the coffee stuff that I’ve been talking about on the podcast on knishes. I had such a mean because these The one cafe that we used to go to, I mean, they would they would give me five gallon buckets a week. You know, I mean, coffee ground rice too much to deal with for my little plot, you know. But I didn’t know that it was as short as short as five days for the FPJ. That’s crazy.

Marco 6:18
Yeah, that’s, um, that’s pretty. That’s pretty much standard. Um, I would never let it go more than seven days. Oh, yeah. Yeah. The process basically is you know, the sugar is pulling everything out via osmosis. And then in the thing with the bugs, make sure you keep it covered. No, yeah, porous cloth, because yeah, definitely fruit flies can get a little crazy. But usually when you mix the correct ratio of sugar, it helps keep the, you know, the bugs and kind of mold on top down to a minimum.

MO 6:54
Yeah, I think I had used a watermelon and i think that i think That didn’t account for the water wait a while, like, because I just I and I balled it. Of course I didn’t have I didn’t have the scale that I should have had to make it proper. But once that sort of stuff turned into water, I was like, Oh, I need to add more sugar now because it’s not like a isn’t so much of the slurry as it as I think that it’s supposed to be in a garden kind of loose syrup. Like, you know, I mean, I know. Yeah, kind of sir. Instead of the concentrated thing.

Marco 7:30
Yeah, you usually get that separation, you’ll get the kind of the solids that they’ll float up. And then that that clear liquid on the bottom is really that’s the gold. That’s the part that you really want to use and they want to strain it. And you can just throw the solids on into your compost or right into your garden there in the soil. And that all gets used to

MO 7:52
I the cover that I had had, I don’t remember what it was, I think it was just paper towels or whatever, but somehow they insect pressure was so much it just ended up taking all these flies. And I was like, Okay, this is perfect anyway cuz, right the exoskeletons, they’re you know, they’re bright, the brake iridescence all that stuff’s gonna come through to my flowers.

Marco 8:14
That’s all good. That’s all good. From there. Okay, from there.

Marco 8:19
It’s okay. Um, yeah, absolutely. So, what do you have growing on this year?

Marco 8:29
All right, so this year, I have, I have a new garden property that we got last year. My wife and I are, I’m the gardener. She’s just a looker, but it’s our property. So the first thing I put in last year was food beds, because I wanted to just get some food going, um, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelon, strawberry, put in a strawberry patch and Few herbs like Bazell and time. So this year I expanded it and this year I’m going to grow more of my K and all of my k enough input ingredients. So I’m growing ginger growing. Angelica, which is an herbal use the root use growing garlic growing set, two types of sesame, white and black, which the stocks are used in the inputs. And I’m growing a couple different types of tobacco, native tobacco, which the stocks are also used for water soluble potassium. So the goal this year is to continue with my food beds. And now also grow all of the ingredients that I used to make the inputs The food beds. So I’m kind of just a my property I’m making it to where I’m growing the nutrients for the plants and then the plants and then the food and then making a complete cycle, on my property.

MO 10:12
that has been the most mind blowing and liberating concept about this natural farming thing is that you can grow your own fertilizer, then meaning that you can grow your own soil for and, and without having to I mean and this is even prior to the composting by growing the right plants providing even the the you know the providing pioneering root structures and or ones that last for a long time and then taking the above ground things, cutting them off and then doing the making these sorts of processing in the end these ways to sort of build this up and if it costs you seat costs You know, two bucks for however many seeds, you know, and even just from sample packets, all those things can be so, so so abundant.

Marco 11:07
Exactly. If you if you have one seed and then start one plant, you could propagate that plant from there. So there’s caution never be an excuse if you have a place to grow. If you have a little bit of space, then it shouldn’t be about cost. It’s only about whether or not you can at least get your hands on one seed round or even one plant and then which most people can do that.

MO 11:33
And and if you and really is about like timing or planning because sometimes you may not even need to buy the seed or the plant, you know, like, for example, mice so I bought some sweet potatoes last year from our and is 2020. So, Fall of 2018 bought them. In March, they had sent out all these slips because I forgot about them. And then I put them in the ground and got twice as many as maybe four times as many as I planned on add to that ground. And now they’re shooting out slips again for and I just bought those to eat, you know, two years ago, right? So, or, you know, in it, or even when did the amaranth that I really loved that the amaranth that is just one of the most perfect plants to me because of all the nutrition, the soil pioneering that it can do for the you know, the C$ the stock itself being this huge

Marco 12:39
And it smells good. I mean, it’s so many things.

MO 12:42
I didn’t eat and then I’m the one variety that I got from Baker Creek. They’re saying one seed can make it to a pound of seeds. Hmm,

Marco 12:51
That’s right. That’s right. That’s it’s just it does blow your mind. You know. I got A couple years ago, I had some kale that ended up going to seed and harvested all the seeds. And I have probably about two ounces of seeds, which is more kale. I mean, Kelsey to time if that’s thousands and thousands of seeds. I probably have, you know, half a coffee cup full of seeds. And I thought, Man, I’ll never grow this many kale. And you know, before the seeds go non viable. Well, just this year, I had a friend that started growing microgreens. So I said, Well, let me try some microgreens. So I did a tray of microgreens. Yeah, and didn’t take very many seeds, but now I’m kind of hooked on those and I know what I’m going to do with the rest of the seeds. Now, I mean, they’re something that you can grow. When people say don’t have space to grow a micro green tray is what 12 inches by 16 inches or so. All you need is a window sill. All right, and those microgreens are ready in about eight days, and one tray is a meal for two people and at least you know, so you could rotate your micro green trays, if you only have one space. You can always have fresh greens if if you want them, you know, you just kind of think a little bit outside the box, I think was an option.

MO 14:20
I haven’t given I haven’t given microgreens enough because every time I sort of see it, I don’t I forget, I forget that people eat this stuff. Sometimes because I’m, you know, just really caught up in usually just in my own head and this sort of premise of it. And really in this sort of economic aspect of it. I’m thinking about that a lot more. And I mean, when I see it on Reddit, that people setups, it’s clear that they’re not necessarily using it to feed themselves, right. It’s selling it to the local hip restaurant that is doing a microgreens thing for us. But even like you said, I mean, with what a $40 investment or something like that you can get an LED light bar from your home depot. And set that up in the basement or in your bedroom you know in a cabinet space somewhere and then you can read those read those greens up easily in and especially these sunflower seeds from the from the from the CO-operative grocery store. You can do the same thing, even with the amaranth, wheat berries, wheat grass, almost all those things are those

Marco 15:20
grown naturally right around you if you just look. Some of them do. One thing with the microgreens is I was I was never really hip to them either. And then I was I went to my local farmers market, because I want to have a booth set up this year. Okay, so I was just walking around to each of the little shops or stands and a guy had microgreens I was just giving some support and I bought an ounce worth, you know, it was about a Ziploc bags for and I took them home and actually put them in a pan and sauteed them Hmm. And I was literally like one of the best things I ever had. I’m like I got it. I got it.

MO 16:00
Yeah I need to try this for for for for 2020 because I don’t think I’ll this this year I won’t have the opportunity to probably be moving later this year. So I wanted the opportunity to really have a 10 to apply but that that that might be my my little angle project.

MO 16:19
That might be my what I got going on this year. Yeah. What so I saw that the other day and I was extremely curious because I didn’t know why you were growing tobacco. I’ve always wanted to grow tobacco just because it’s tobacco. But then when I saw that you said that about water soluble potassium. I was like, excuse me.

Marco 16:42
I am. The interesting thing about the tobacco is um, tobacco is one of the is so backhoe is using one of the key nfm inputs and what what it is is you take the stalks At the end of the growing season the stocks once they’re fully mature, you strip all the leaves, which I will use leaves as well because I want to use those for my for my natural leaf backhoe. But so you take the stocks, chop them up and then you want to biochar there, which you know, basically, I’m sure a lot of people know what it is. But viral chars when you more or less burn something or turn it into carbon without flame and oxygen name. So when you buy a char, you’re basically taking it to a point where it’s down to it’s it’s just black carbon. And then from there, you soak, you take that those bio char stock, soak them in water for about 10 days, and then strain and that water is water has water soluble potassium, and then that can then be stored for pretty much indefinitely in a jar. Use when needed. Dilute At one to 1000

Marco 18:03
so that’s that’s the main reason you grow tobacco.

MO 18:05
Yeah, that’s that’s Yeah. Cuz I mean, I wanted to go in for the same this for the for the leaves itself and you know and even the history and our history in this country and just to know just to know what that’s like because at this growers panel that the DC department of recreation put on, they had a, they give out they gave out cotton socks, I think from the brother in North Carolina. Who is Julius, I forget his last name, but he has a his account is on blackcotton.us and he has uh, he’s like fifth generation American or whatever and he has, but what I didn’t realize is how sharp cotton those those those boluses are. Oh, yeah. And I was just like, you know, I had listened to the audiobook of the story. That’s never have this story. Half the story hasn’t been told her. I can’t remember the exact name of it, but um, I listened to that. And he was talking about in a in that about the half that has never been told as the name of the book. And he was talking about half the book is the economic part of the economic aspect of slavery that hasn’t been called. And then half of it is about weaving that with a story or narrative of a brother who was free in Boston, and then it was kidnapped into slavery. And talking about him working his way back from wherever he was back to Boston, and talking about having to pick cotton and seeing the sort of way that our brothers and sisters ancestors were turning to machines. And how you know, when he was trying to pick cotton is you know, he’s getting all scarred up from from this, whereas there were women who had, you know, gotten on, you know, on their knees, and we’re just going through, you know, like with both their arms extending in the road And just you know, doing this, like, he was in it, and I didn’t understand actually have some of it. But ultimately what I’m getting at is that this is some of these, it I sort of see it as a point of healing for us to then grow these plants that we were forced to, so that, you know, ancestors who are within us, you know, can that sort of thing can be relieved completion of that circle.

Marco 20:27
That makes a lot of sense. On that same note, when you talk about picking cotton, you know, my dad is from South Georgia, and he grew up. That was one of his summer jobs, you know, in the summer jobs picking cotton. But the point here is we invented the cotton gin, right, because of that lady, and because of those men and women that I taught her hands on, we don’t get credit for inventing the Titans. Right? So Eli Whitney wouldn’t have invented tightens him because his fingers weren’t getting cut up. He wasn’t getting scratched up. It didn’t matter to him. But what he did was took our invention. And then he got credit for, you know what I mean? And going back to just growing plants like the ancestors did, um, you know, I believe that many of us of color are native to this country as well. Not everyone came on slave ships. You know, I mean, there’s a big history of people that dates way back that, you know, Columbus arrived here from some of the first faces he saw were people of color, you know, where he thought he was in India, you know what I mean? So, the seeds that are grow the tobacco seeds, and the reason I got all that is because I get them from, I’m actually going to pick up these.

MO 21:47
Oh, yeah, I saw you this morning.

Marco 21:49
She’s a Native American, okay. She’s half native. And so she, she takes a lot of pride in growing things like the tobacco and those kind of things too. So I’m blessed to be able to pick up some some of her seeds this morning after I leave here so I’ll be growing tobacco along alongside everything else this year.

MO 22:10
This is amazing. How have you grown while you’re growing all that you got going on meaning how has your well being improved being in the soil?

Marco 22:23
I think it’s um, it’s really, it really helps me um, I work professionally I’m in high rise construction. I’m a Senior Project Manager. So it’s a high stress job. Every building has a tenant that’s ready to move and there’s always deadlines, there’s always timelines on the garden for me is my escape. Even if I just go over to my garden space and have lunch, it’s it just it relieves a lot of stress just out there and looking around and maybe walking for 20 or 30 minutes. But for me growing is is pretty much an escape from you know, like, you know the normal day to day rat race. So I like to get out of my garden at least every evening if I have the opportunity. And and that’s really that’s where it really where helped me grow because I feel like it’s benefiting My health is taking stress off me, which is giving me a better quality of life. And that’s kind of one of the reasons

MO 23:29
vitality, vitality. Why do you think the healthiest soils are black?

Marco 23:38
Well, that’s a pretty deep question. The healthiest soils are black, because the organic matter has been broken down. Leaves are green leaves go from green to brown. And after they hit the ground, they turn eventually turn in black, and the scientific reason, obviously is because the microbes are eating them and digesting them and and breaking them down almost to their purest form. Similar like I was mentioning about when you biochar something, you taking it down to its simplest form, which is carbon more or less wants microbes, worms, you know, all those things in the soil food web. Breaks everything down in practice a nice rich black soil. very strong, very hardy.

MO 24:38
Okay, what is something? Oh, rather, do you believe that we as black people have a special relationship with the soil? And if so, how do we potentially eight that if it is to be potentially hated?

Marco 24:56
I think that uh, I think we definitely have a connection with the soil. I think it goes back to mankind in general from from ages ago when the soil was your life, you know, I mean, what if you didn’t have good soil, you didn’t grow good food, you are healthy. You didn’t live long. There was no local market there was no you know, supermarket. This is the time when you you grew what you had on your property. So I feel like the roots of us is in the soil. I feel like we’ve lost that. And a lot of it is due to you know, the system and, and big agriculture and big food production. They want us to forget that. Like we already know how to grow food, we already know how to feed ourselves. Because if we remember that then they lose their profits, man, you know. So I feel like our roots are in the soil. I feel like we need more brothers like you and myself and many others that are out there to remind others that that’s where we are, you know that, you know, we’re not too good to grow our own food because when you grow your own food, you’re not waiting on someone else to feed you. Exactly. That’s that to me, that’s kind of that connection for me.

MO 26:30
So, is it is it as simple as just getting getting your hands in the soil to potentially eat that, that that connection?

Marco 26:38
I think getting your hands in the soil is step one. And then and then, you know, obviously you have to follow it through. I think getting your hands in the soil is rewarding and one way Mm hmm. But I think when you harvest that end result, I think that’s I think that’s the key trigger because Our bodies are, you know, programmed to respond to positive things, things that tastes good things that are appealing things that give you a certain you know, good feeling inside. It’s one thing to work hard and plant a seed, you know, that takes work. But just think of that when you walk back to that plant and now pull that tomato off and now eat the sweet tomato, and then that’s the That to me is the is the key. So getting people to follow through all the way to harvest and then that makes you want to plant again, right harvest again.

MO 27:43
You know, the last year that that article came out about tomatoes being bred so hardcore for shelf life, that they lost the leptins you know, so, you know, I’ve had many people in my life tell me I don’t really like tomatoes with it, like Right so it’s like okay, something’s up with these tomatoes and then when that paper came out and say that we bred the taste of tomatoes, tomatoes we there it was, it’s it was, it’s pretty crazy and even the concept of it had been so foreign to me despite having grown up eating tomatoes produce in my own backyard from my parents, when I was growing my cherry tomatoes and I see these huge green lines on the top coming out of the coming out of stock. I’m like, Okay, this tomato isn’t right because it’s not all the way red knowing that that shows you that it’s right because those green lines well flavor in Yeah, so yeah, it was it was pretty crazy to know that and then to eat, you know, the cherry tomato, and have it shoot, you know, juice out rice feet ahead of me and figure all that stuff is just like, wow, I really, I really gotta, I gotta, I gotta keep this going.

Marco 28:50
I agree. I agree with that on that. And that goes back to always I’m always gonna mention big agriculture and the food production. as being who this fight is against they did that they grew tomatoes just to last, or just to look rare, right? Just so that you would buy it, man well they also programmed you to think that only a pretty perfectly round red tomato was good man. There are some ugly hybrid tomatoes which are delicious. So yeah, they they that that goes back to those two the big big Ag and big food production. They don’t care about us They only care about the dollar, you know, so they don’t care that the tomato doesn’t taste good. And last and it looks pretty nice. You buy it No one’s returning a tomato to the store because it doesn’t taste good. You just deal with it or if you didn’t like you just

MO 29:51
don’t eat tomatoes. Yeah,

Marco 29:53
yeah, you say you don’t like tomato. So yeah, those are I agree 100% that they are They really bird that out of tomatoes but the good thing is for you know people like us we go out and reach out to good seed companies and get those old school hybrids and the ones that do taste good but maybe have looked the previous and that’s and that’s what we grow right

MO 30:16
I podcast is based on is yoruba proverb, Jigijigi ko see fa tu firmly rooted plant cannot be uprooted What is your favorite agriculture slash plant related proverbs are saying

Marco 30:30
I think the one that’s most important to me is do as nature does. That comes from JADAM. Or my master Cho he invented KNF as we know it today Asana has kind of taken the reins but do as nature does. I think if you keep that in mind, then all aspects of your garden I think it will. A lot of things will make sense to you.

Marco 31:02
One thing that it may be one thing that I do when I created my new garden space this year is the for the entire fall when people were bagged up their leaves and put them on the curb, I went around leaves. Okay, so what I did was I took a space, which was and thank you people for doing the work. So they put them on a curb, I picked them up. So I took and I pushed them I made this new space where there was a force before so I push the force out of the way with my tractor and I left me with just barren soil. So I immediately started piling leaves up on the soil. And then I also started watering with indigenous microorganisms and I collected from local forests because, number one, you don’t want to leave the soil barren with no protection, because all those microbes are now exposed to the sun and the air and they It’s gonna degrade your soil. So piling up leaves as nature does in the forest. So I wanted the benefits of the forest but obviously you can’t grow plants under trees. So the trees had to be removed. But do as nature does means basically I took us soil and now I started piling up leaves just like special force would do. The forest never needed anybody to put fertilizer out there, you know, it grows the leaves. The trees form relationships with microorganisms in the soil. Those leaves then drop, feed the microorganisms in the soil. plant the tree roots and the micro organisms also have their own relationship where the plants produce exudates which are basically a byproduct of photosynthesis. So now you have a micro plant relationship and In the soil and then now you have the plant above ground dropping more food to the soil. So that’s the levels are kind of the idea I had with creating my garden space was to, to nurture the soil with with leaves, just as nature does.

MO 33:15
And and this was how many how much time was this prior to us starting to grow this food?

Marco 33:21
So I started prepping this area in early fall. So I’d say let’s say October so this was this past season Yeah, this was just this past season. Yeah. And um, yeah, so I started this just this past season and now these beds will grow the ingredients we were talking about earlier for my cane FM but starting this spring, okay, so yeah, okay, so yeah, that’s gonna be half a season so it’ll be rich, but this year won’t be as rich next year will be richer next year to hit richer and it’s just all about building that soil up. I know my harvest this year won’t be as great But I know next year it’ll be better. Yeah. So it’s just looking forward, you know, down the line. And that’s also, you know, interesting when I go through next year I can kind of dig down and then say I remember I remember I put those leaves down now they’re, they’re black. They’re turned into soil. So I mean, that’s kind of

MO 34:21
what is a resource that you’d recommend for those looking to increase their agricultural understandings?

Marco 34:29
that’s a that’s a great question. Um, I like I said, My philosophy is I really am on to natural farming. I really think the JADAM organic gardening book volume, sorry. Second Edition, is a great read. And that’s JADAM it’s a great read. To me, it’s been very helpful. It’s a good way it’ll give you a good philosophy on the principles of KNF, such as do as nature does. And another one, good and bad are the same. Which means a lot of people say, you know, oh, that’s mold, or is that bad or when they grow microbes in their rice and some pieces of it are black, some are blue, some are red, some are yellow. You know, when we think of those kinds of things, as how we were taught by big agriculture, big food production mode is bad, okay? mold is bad, put preservatives in the food, you know, so, that principle, good and bad are the same. That means there are no bad microbes. There just needs to be balanced. So I feel like there’s a john way is a good way to understand that those principles.

MO 36:02
On the regenerative agriculture podcast, they had a I don’t remember exactly what it was, but they were talking about exactly in this good and bad at the same they were talking about how increasing the microbial diversity within your soils will enable you to because I mean, like we all the mycelial network, blah, blah, everybody knows about that. But fusariumyou know, corn smut all these things are ubiquitous everywhere, right? And so what this, you know, and so it’s like, so why do people some people get, you know, these, these rusts or whatever, when they’re present in the soil, and some people don’t, you know, and what they were talking about in this episode, I have to find it and I’ll send it and I’ll link it in the show notes. But they were talking about how the increased diversity of microbial species will then utilize these pathogenic fungi and render them beneficial.

Marco 37:07
Mm hmm.

MO 37:08
Which is mind blowing. But it makes so much sense. If these things are always in the soil, then they have to be doing something. And so then if you can use the fungi to then pathogen eyes, the pathogenic things, you know, minus minus a negative, or a negative minus a negative is a positive. Right. Right. And so or maybe you know, in this in this sort of situation, two wrongs make a right.

MO 37:39
yeah, the we’ve we’ve talked about one on podcast, many we, we’ve referenced JADAM a bunch of times, it’s probably that and the Carver’s bulletins are probably the literature that comes up most frequently. Absolutely.

Marco 37:58
Yeah. The Let’s say you say rust, it’s always there, it becomes a problem when the balance is not there. Right now when that when you when you get rust in our environment where it’s a rust friendly environment, then that’s when you have problems. That’s why a lot most of the inputs are used as soil drenches and foliar Feeds, Yes, on your leaf surface. So what you’re doing is you’re basically coating your leaves with beneficial bacteria or bacteria and fungi, micro micro organisms. So now if a pathogenic pathogen, bacteria, fungi touches the leaf, it can’t get a foothold. Right? The beneficials the good guys are all there like Hey, where we got this, many bad guys can come in and take a foothold. Now you can you can be here, we just can’t let you overpopulate to the point where you become a problem. So that’s where the good and bad are same as what the balance Think is a is a key principle.

MO 39:04
What is one question you wish I asked you?

Marco 39:15
i? That’s a tough question. Thank you. We’re fairly thorough. Um, I think we could uh, we could definitely go down a rabbit hole and go for a long time just talking on on microbes.

MO 39:31
Maybe we had to have you back.

Marco 39:32
Yeah, like that. Yeah, maybe we’ll do it again. But I think I like the questions you asked. I feel like it’s a good um, you know, I’m sure you’re most of your audiences pretty astute with you know, a lot of the things we’re talking about, but um, hopefully they kind of gives them a little more incentive to dig a little deeper.

MO 39:50
Absolutely. Yeah. I am. If you would like people to how can people contact you

Marco 40:00
You can, you can follow me on Instagram, Marco is growing. I also have a website microbes by Marco calm, that’s mainly just products. What I do in my products is I make everything for myself in my gardens, a lot of the items are diluted at such a high rate that I just can’t use them may know if you follow me and Marco is growing, I show you how to make everything. All the recipes are there and and if there’s anything that you cannot make or understand everyone that doesn’t have access to everything. If there’s anything that you are comfortable making, um you can check out microbes by Marco and I have some products on there which will help you kind of stop using the chemical fertilizers and the manmade stuff and start going towards natural.

MO 41:00
It’s a it’s quite amazing that the work that you’re doing and and, and it makes me proud to see it and I’m glad to be able to pitch some of your products at rooting DC also because it’s it’s such a vital thing you know it, uh, it takes a lot of time to experiment especially with the bokashi stuff. And and that that sort of stuff that that particular mode of composting, I’d like the efficacy is huge, but the entry level, you know, the barrier to entry is pretty high for somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing. And so given that, that you know, you can buy you can buy that the eight ounces or something like that is what you sell on the tube, have it already ready for you to go to just add and take that volume of compost and bring it bring it down for the life man. I mean, you’re you’re saving people a lot of time and a lot of work so that they can get growing as quickly aspossible.

Marco 42:02
Well you know what now now that’s the question now that you should I wish you to ask me is Bokashi

MO 42:07
I’m glad you brought that up what would you have said if I would ask you a question

Marco 42:10
well we didn’t even I’m I’m disappointed in myself we’re gonna touch on bokashi that’s one of my favorite things

MO 42:18
but then we get it We definitely get to talk we can talk more about

Marco 42:22
exactly bokashi is a great way to you there’s no excuse you can’t take your food waste and reuse it in a five gallon bucket right in a closet or cupboard of your apartment or house you don’t need a lot of room or space so definitely guys look up Bokashi if you haven’t heard about it,

MO 42:40
yeah, we did a we did a little bit about it. On our on episode compost where we, we talked about a couple different styles versus you know, with with what Fukuoka was talking about. Young saying talking about The Johnson-Su composting with and that big thing and it’s just purely for making micro organisms also bokashi and then sort of more typical way of turning it and everything and then what I did like what we were talking about when we’re walking around here,

Marco 43:18
all those are great ways.

MO 43:20
Yeah, we did. I mean, it’s really it’s really up to you to make to what works best with you. And that’s something about natural farming that I like the most is that it? told me that I can teach myself how to farm

Marco 43:36
correct you are the master of your garden. Then if any of you remember that, you’ll be All right.

MO 43:44
And I mean, and really. You you get that way by watching the plants tell you what to do. You know, it’s it’s, it’s, you know, just walking into the garden with an open mind smelling, smelling smelling the jasmine and the petrichor or all these sorts of things coming up in your nose and it’s just and these of these teaching moments that we that we learned from the plant the plants like, Oh, I got to do whatever I had to do here. This smells really good.

Marco 44:10
Right, exactly. It’s that reward.

MO 44:13
Right, right. Right. Is this positive feedback? Yeah. All right. We have will extend many, many thanks to Marco Marco Thomas, microbesbymaro.com for sharing his wisdom and experience please visit africulturepodcast.com for the full show notes. Share Jìgìjìgì with your friends family and closely related siblings in the soil. And we will save in as we say now, Asante Sana Medase Pa Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jìgìjìgì peace