Here at Seven Springs we work with a lot of different manufacturers and suppliers, each one with a unique focus and collection of materials. We wanted to share with you a profile on one of our local producers, Kenkashi Microbes, located in Copper Hill, VA, just a few miles from our farm. Their Kenkashi Bokashi blend and their Liquid Microbe Concentrate have been popular with homesteaders and market farms alike. Here to share a bit more with you about their incredible operation is owner Cassie Wilson.
"Growing up in DC, we were one of few families (if any) that I knew who composted; it was vanishingly rare in the city, and neighbors and friends were often baffled by us keeping our food scraps. My father was British, and had grown up using methods in his father’s garden that could be considered old fashioned; he brought these techniques to bear on our urban garden.
It was this love of the garden which ultimately led him to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and to microbes. Years spent building his soil, learning the ins and outs of organic gardening, and working in the field of microbes for large water treatment and Ag applications led him initially to the Bokashi method of fermenting food scraps for nutrient-rich ‘compost’—and this technique of fermenting his kitchen scraps and burying the yield directly in his garden has led to the richest soil I have ever seen!
Ultimately, my father- John Wilson- trained with his sister’s company Microbz in England to learn the techniques they employ for harvesting abundant, thriving beneficial microbial communities and turning these microbial bases into pro-biotic gut microbe brews. He launched Kenkashi Microbes with our hemp Bokashi blend in 2018. In the last few years, my husband Jason and I have continued to build my father’s vision up here in the Blue Ridge, working with healthy soil from which to harvest, using only organic materials to build a mother culture, and carefully brewing liquid concentrate for use in a variety of targeted liquid microbial mixes for soil and plant health. It is our mission to build understanding and connection between humanity, our actions and the microbial world. As so many of us are aware, our soil has suffered due to harsh farming techniques, topsoil removal and chemical treatments, often turning healthy soil into dead dirt. We understand how difficult it can be for people to conceive of the thriving and vital microbial world beneath our feet, but we envision a world where humanity reconnects to this source of life on the planet- the smallest microbial life present within and all around us—and learns to rebuild these environments naturally, combating soil death, limiting greenhouse gasses and supporting the planet for us all.
Liquid microbial concentrates are an amazing tool in increasing soil microbial activity, and in turn for building plant resiliency, and insect and animal health. Microbes provide plants with nitrogen and phosphorous, as they break down and release organic material. In turn, plant roots provide carbon and glucose to the underground microbial world- microbes perform a role in sequestering carbon back under ground, aiding in bonding carbon molecules to soil molecules. Bacteria and microbes continuously produce enzymes to ensure that nutrients are efficiently recycled and delivered to plant roots. The millions of microbes found in a handful of soil break down food, access nutrients and defend against harmful invaders. Microbes can be found in and on plants, roots and soil, and they contribute to increased root development and uptake of water and nutrients, as well as disease protection and resilience against frost and drought.
We brew a microbial concentrate which, when diluted, can be used directly on soil and plants, or mixed with amendments to build a targeted liquid blend. We also formulate our own liquid mixes, with amendments geared towards soil conditioning, root support, foliar spray and compost boost. In the long term, we are developing a weed control and a plant protector, all amended with organic supplements. We bottle smaller quantities of our various concentrates for the average homeowner, gardener and small farmer, and we also package larger totes of any of our blends for large-scale application. We will work directly with farmers to build the best blend of microbes and supplements for the ideal ratios for their unique needs. Additionally, we are really committed to our unique Bokashi compost formulation and hope to get this process into every home, eliminating the huge amount of food waste that goes into landfills. Bokashi is an amazingly simple approach to composting food scraps, and is really not actually compost but is instead fermentation. By introducing microbes to your food scraps early on, in your own kitchen, and keeping the lid on your bin, the microbes begin the natural process of converting the nutrients in the food, excluding putrefying bacteria. After two weeks, you can bury your food scraps directly into the ground, skipping lengthy compost bin processes. Our Bokashi is unique in that we use an incredibly absorbent hemp called kenaf which helps absorb the liquid produced by the process. The microbial world is a new frontier for science, and agriculture, but the experiences of farmers through millennia have shown the benefits in working to keep this tiny ecosystem thriving and competitive. A healthy beneficial bacterial and microbial community helps keep destructive bacteria in check, while supporting plant and soil health; these microbes work in concert with fungi and earth worms to keep the soil light and open for improved drainage. This in turn leads up through the system to healthy plants, higher yields, bigger flowers, more bees and bugs, and more birds! And we are standing on the edge, peeking into this world, and adding our small part to encourage this vital eco-system to thrive." - Cassie Wilson
Want to know how to incorporate Kenkashi Microbes into your home garden or market farm? Feel free to give us a call (800) 540-9181 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Kenkashi Microbes on Instagram - @kenkashimicrobes