Natural Farming Primer

Written by Jackie Prell Wednesday, 24 March 2010 14:11

Master Cho mixes it up with research results, philosophy, and humor at the Feb. 26 - March 4, 2010 workshop in Hilo. What if the best fertilizer was under your feet? What if you could make a product similar to EM and Bokashi simply and cheaply? Well, you can. It’s been happening in South Korea for decades and we have been fortunate to learn the basics here in Hawaii. Four years ago we bought a farm on the Big Island with soil that was flooded for more than seventy years with herbicides, fungicides, and arsenic: the usual arsenal of chemicals used by ginger, sweet potato and sugarcane growers. We were excited to be on land with soil, not just lava rock, common on the Big Island, but were immediately dismayed to see and feel the soil close-up: dry, lifeless powder, not a worm to be found. Our first crops struggled against weeds and pests. Then, a year and a half ago we were introduced to Natural Farming with Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO’s) and we are seeing amazing improvements in our soil structure and plant health. Wherever we put down our homemade, mycorrhizae-rich, “fertility drug” as my husband calls it, the soil regains its loaminess, tilth and structure, and the earthworms come in droves.

The basic theories of Natural Farming include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Use the historic nutrients of seeds Use the indigenous microorganisms (IMO’s) Maximize the inborn potential Do not use chemical fertilizers Do not till the land Zero emission of livestock wastewater Sow less, yield more

Natural Farming with IMO’s is a distinctive approach to organic farming that is practiced successfully in over 30 countries, in home gardens and on a commercial scale. Mr. Han Kyu Cho first formulated and fine-tuned these practices for 40 years and has trained over 18,000


Other inputs and sprays are made from fermented plant juices. http: //localgarden. There are also recipes for water soluble calcium made from eggshells. 4) mixed with soil and cultured again. his home. and began giving classes for free. made from the tips of growing plants mixed with brown sugar. This is then mixed with 5) compost. and 2/5 . Hoon Park brought Natural Farming to Hawaii. 24 March 2010 14:11 people at the Janong Natural Farming Institute ( http://janonglove. 3) further propagated on rice bran or wheat mill run. The entire process takes 3 to 4 weeks. Natural Farming is unique in that it is not meant to be commercialized. Park was in South Korea doing missionary work and noticed commercial piggeries with virtually no smell that were using Natural Farming methods. Then Dr.Natural Farming Primer Written by Jackie Prell Wednesday. and microbes or mycorrhizae indigenous to each locale or farm. fish amino acid made from fish waste. Dr. or added to potting soil or spread on beds before planting. He learned about Natural Farming and realized that this was a practice that could eliminate hunger and poverty in extremely poor parts of the world. lactic acid bacteria . but rather practiced by farmers. These microorganisms are 1) cultured in a simple wooden box of rice. easily available ingredients. He came back to ). with cheap. Demonstrations throughout the workshop clearly showed the steps for making potent natural fertilizers. A complete guide to making this input can be found by following a link on our club’s website. 2) mixed with brown sugar and stored in a .

with every farmer in the county practicing it for a year. with healthier chickens. Higher yield 6. Zero waste emission Several University of Hawaii at Hilo Community College professors have been learning Natural Farming and practicing it. Better quality 7. Michael DuPonte. but actually invigorate and rehabilitate the ecology. has helped to establish a piggery in Mountain View using Natural Farming methods and feed. but saved money on their inputs and sold their rice for a premium. as well as going to South Korea to observe it firsthand. We get fish waste from the local fish market. 5. a professor at HCC teaches basic Natural Farming classes and another professor. that you literally don’t even have to clean it out. Farmer friendly 8. de-boned and packed into a container with brown sugar and fermented for a few months.Natural Farming Primer Written by Jackie Prell Wednesday. These rice farmers not only had bigger yields than usual. There is also water-soluble calcium phosphate made from animal bones and vinegar and a seed soak solution. less work and no smell. 3/5 . Stronger. Methods for raising chickens are similar. Their bedding can remain in place for 10-20 years or just be pulled out when it’s needed for fertilizer. David Ikeda. More desirable crops 3. healthier and more nutritious plants 4. Where they practiced Natural Farming they had the added benefit of cleaning up the waterways. Lower cost to the farmer (by as much as 60%) 2. which are not only safe for the environment. Many of these inputs are made from things that would otherwise just be thrown away. The fish amino acids is simply fresh fish waste. 24 March 2010 14:11 insect attractants made from rice wine. which are used according to the nutritive/growth cycle of the plants. Natural Farming has been embraced by the South Korean government after one county experimented. which the market would have to pay to dispose of otherwise. There are a half dozen more inputs that can be made simply and easily at home. The benefits of using the Natural Farming methods include: 1. The inputs are made from natural materials. clean and dry. The pigs excrement is so odorless. rivers and even coastal waters.

under the harsh wind and with only a few inches of rainfall a year. scrumptious strawberries. which again sell for a premium. The population of Beking was suddenly assaulted by the smell of pig waste and protested violently. He went to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and planted trees there. an entire county is practicing a model of totally self-sufficient farming where each farm has 500 chickens. Corn and barnyard grasses have been planted for livestock feed and wells have been dug.D programs in Natural Farming. China. The men came back and the army immediately started practicing the Natural Farming methods and the smell went away. put 5 gallons of ocean water. Hoon Park. the Chinese army came in. Efforts to plant trees had failed three times earlier. With Natural Farming methods the trees had a 97% survival rate and are now 20' tall. 2 liters of agricultural mineral water (water which has had an 4/5 . Mr. 20 pigs and five beef cattle. His basic recipe for introducing indigenous mycorrhizae to the soil and increasing micro-biological activity on one-quarter acre of land follows. When the Chinese were preparing for the Olympics to be held in Beking. 6-7 lbs. Dr. Cho has spread Natural Farming worldwide. who brought Natural Farming to Hawaii. The head of the Chinese army sent two men to South Korea to study Natural Farming. The University of Peking now offers Masters and Ph. Mr. bringing with them their pigs. which he had heard about. of sugar. 24 March 2010 14:11 Also in South Korea a co-op of 40 strawberry farmers uses Natural Farming methods exclusively in their 300' long greenhouses producing gorgeous. And in another wide scale experiment.Natural Farming Primer Written by Jackie Prell Wednesday. Into 125 gallon container of water. Watermelon farming now provides a stable income to farmers there also. which they raise to feed themselves. interprets for Master Cho at the 2010 Hilo workshop. Cho’s son has created his own methodology of Natural Farming which is even cheaper.

Let this mixture sit for 18 to 20 hours. along with protocols for adding specific inputs during the nutritive cycle of the plant. Can Natural Farming be done with no store-bought fertilizers? It is being done not only in home gardens but also on a commercial scale. its texture and rich website and make your own. and next to it a tray of seedlings without it. Plant a tray of seedlings with it. Add to this. here in Hawai‘i. converting with enzymes the nutrients of the soil into food the plants can use and taking carbohydrates from the plants and turning it into nutrients the soil can use: “sequestering” carbon in the soil for later use. They grow into the roots of crops and out into the soil. Mycorrhizal inoculation of soil increases the accumulation of carbon in the soil by depositing glomalin. Mycorrhizae are “fungus roots” and act as an interface between plants and soil. This solution can be applied 8 to 10 times a year for the best results. Miles of fungal filaments can be present in an ounce of healthy soil. They act symbiotically. Mix these soils together and take one handful and drop it into a pint of water. Natural Farming is the propagation of mycorrhizae. It is simple. 24 March 2010 14:11 aquarium pump circulating the water or has been dropped from 10 feet onto mineral stone or azomite). increases soil structure. which in turn. Apply it during rain or right before rain or in the evening or early morning. Pack a blender with wild grass and a little water and blend.Natural Farming Primer Written by Jackie Prell Wednesday. dilute it 10 times. increasing the root system many thousands of times over. cheap and easy to try. shaded spot on your land and scoop up a handful of soil off the top half an inch: soil that has it’s own mycorrhizae already present and thriving. a handful of soil from three different naturally fertile spots. it is incredibly empowering to mix our own mycorrhizae-rich soil amendments and to be weaned from the fertilizer store. Very simply. The last ingredient you make in a blender with wild grasses. Follow the steps at the http://localgarden. its buoyancy and ability to hold water. It is glomalin that gives soil its tilth. For us. To apply it directly onto the soil. Make 2 quarts of this and add it to the 125 gallons of water/mix. by binding organic matter to mineral particles in the soil. 5/5 .  Now go to a naturally fertile. To foliar feed. You’ll be impressed by the difference. dilute it 20 times. Add to the 125 gallons of water.

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