Some Useful Microorganisms
What are examples of beneficial microorganisms? Here are four useful ones employed in natural farming.
Microorganisms may be beneficial or harmful. In agriculture or gardening, it is important that the farmer/hobbyist should strike a balance between these beneficial microorganisms and those which are harmful to succeed in growing crops. It will, however, be more desirable to enhance the growth of beneficial organisms for the sake of producing health foods.
Beneficial Microorganisms vs. Harmful Microorganisms
How will one be able to find out if the microorganism s/he is dealing with is beneficial or not? One way to find out is to see the outcome of its action on organic matter. Beneficial microorganisms cause fermentation while harmful or pathogenic microorganisms cause putrefaction. Fermentation is a process by which useful substances such as alcohol, amino acids, organic acids and antioxidants are produced. These substances are useful to man, plants, and animals. Putrefaction, on the other hand, is a process by which harmful substances such as hydrogen sulfide, foul smell due to mercaptan, ammonia, and oxidants are produced. Food poisoning can result from ingestion of these products.
Examples of Beneficial Microorganisms
What are examples of beneficial microorganisms? Among those beneficial microorganisms that are found in growing plants that are healthy for human consumption as well as in producing other useful products to man are the following:
1. Lactic acid bacteria
As the name connotes, lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid, usually from sugars or other carbohydrates. Lactic acid is an important byproduct because it can act as a strong fertilizer, suppresses harmful microorganisms, increases rapid decomposition of organic matter, and ferments organic matter without the smell and other harmful outcomes (see tip on How to Prepare Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum).