Korean Natural Farming- “WCA” & “WCP”
“WCA”: Water Soluble Calcium
“WCP”: Water Soluble Calcium Phosphorus
Korean Natural farming teaches us to make our own water soluble calcium and water soluble calcium phosphorus from simple ingredients that are easily found from your kitchen.
Calcium and phosphorus are important for our plant growth, health, pest and disease control.
In Korean Natural Farming it is beneficial to add these inputs during certain times of the plants development. Calcium is important during the beginning stages of the plant to assist its strong growth. Phosphorus is important during the “change over” period between vegetative cycle and flowering cycle.
Fungal disease and blossom end rot are also signs of calcium deficiencies.
Lack of Calcium also causes PH imbalances towards the acidic side.
The water soluble application also allows an easily absorbed source of nutrients to the plants immediately. This system can show to be superior to a powder form of calcium which requires a long process of breaking down into the soil until it is available for the plant to utilize.
-Vinegar (alive: homemade, apple cider vinegar, brown rice vinegar, etc.- No White or distilled)
-Large glass containers
-Cheese cloth and string
-Toasting mechanism: BBQ, Oven, Torch, Camp fire, Etc.
-Collect Egg Shells and rinse clean
-Prepare the way you are planning to “toast” your eggshells. This can be done on a BBQ, over a camp fire, or in the oven. We have access to a flame propane torch:
-Toast the eggshells:
-For Calcium only you want the eggshells to be toasted brown without the charred black. For Phosphorus you will want eggshells that are charred black:
-These toasted eggshells will now be added to your vinegar. You need “alive” vinegar not white vinegar or distilled. You can make your own alive vinegar or buy apple cider vinegar with the mother culture. This is our homemade vinegar, one jar for calcium only eggshells and one jar for calcium/phosphorus eggshells:
-Add eggshells to vinegar: ratio is 1:10 (eggshells : vinegar) Add the eggshells slowly as the reaction is a fizzing and can get very active if added to fast all at once:
-Below is both WSC: Water Soluble Calcium (lighter) and WCP: Water Soluble Calcium Phosphorus (darker):
-Cover jars with cheese cloth and string and let sit in a dry dark space for at least 20 days. After 20 days you can add a small amount more of toasted eggshells to see if additional fizzing occurs. If so, the vinegar is able to still extract more calcium. If not, the vinegar is at its capacity for absorption.
-When finished, strain and store in glass jar with lid. Dispose of eggshells in compost pile.
WSC and WCP can be used at a diluted ratio of 1:500 – 1:1000 to non-chlorinated water. This input can be put into a sprayer and used before sunrise as a foliar and garden bed spray. This input can be added with other inputs during spraying however should be stored separately.
Korean Natural Farming- “FPJ”
“FPJ”: Fermented Plant Juice
Fermented Plant Juice is a fermentation process in which harvested fast growing plants are mixed with brown sugar to extract the plant materials. This creates an “input” that will be used on plants as a foliar spray that can be sprayed onto garden beds for plant and soil health.
Plants selected for the FPJ should be rapid, hardy growers. Best to avoid woody plants as they do not contain the nutrients to extract. Think leafy green. Before sunrise the plant is in respiration mode. After sunrise it is in photosynthetic mode therefor it is required that the harvesting of your plant should be done before sunrise to capture the desired nutrients. Also do not rinse the plants once collected. This will keep all healthy microbe activity to pass on to your fermentation process and increase the FPJ’s value. Select vibrant, healthy plants when harvesting. The plant we are using for FPJ is Comfrey. Comfrey is a fast growing plant producing huge amounts of leaves.
-Brick or large stone for weight
-Cheese cloth and string
-Small bucket with air lock
-Harvest Comfrey leaves before sunrise, preferably in the dark. Cut off the tops of the plant leaving about 2 inches left above the soil. Select only healthy, vibrant leaves. Compost any leaves that you do not select.
– Add estimated equal amount in weight of brown sugar to comfrey leaves in 5 gallon bucket
– Mix brown sugar into comfrey leaves with hands (gloves). Massage the brown sugar into the comfrey until all the leaves are well saturated. Comfrey leaves will shrink down to a fraction of it’s original size.
-Place second bucket on top of comfrey and place brick or large stone inside bucket to serve as a weight for 24 hours. Second bucket compresses the comfrey down to create a compact environment for the brown sugar to extract the moisture from the comfrey leaves. In addition the buckets should be placed in the middle of a shallow container of water to keep fire ants (if you live in the jungle) from infesting the brown sugar mixture.
-After 24 hours of the compression, removed weighted bucket and put cheese cloth with string over fermenting comfrey. Placed a container lid lightly on top to keep rain out or keep in a very dry, shaded area. Also keep fermenting bucket in shallow container of water to keep the fire ants out.
-It is also beneficial to rotate and swish the bucket regularly (without taking the cheese cloth off) to mix and move the contents inside. This helps assist keeping undesired mold from forming on top of the comfrey.
-Let the contents ferment for a few weeks. I am desiring most of the brown sugar to be fermented off so that the final liquid is not too sweet containing too much sugar. If there is a lot of sugar remaining from the fermentation process, the fire ants will swarm the plants immediately after spraying the “input” onto the leaves (welcome to the jungle!).
-After fermentation process is complete, gently pour the fermented plant juice out of bucket into new jar. (comfrey matter should be composted)
*NOTE: There most likely will be mold on top of comfrey plants that are not submerged in the fermented liquid. This is normal and no need to worry. Everything is correct. Just hold back the comfrey leaves and mold that are found on top while slowly pouring out (into a new container) the liquid that has been fermented (“FPJ”) from the bottom.
-This would be the same for any typical fermenting process of any matter: when the matter is not protected in the juices (an anaerobic environment), the top matter that is exposed to the air (aerobic environment) will form this type of harmless mold. The matter below in the fermented juices and the juices at the bottom are alive and healthy, full of all the micro-organisms and probiotics ready to go to work.
-Strain FPJ into new container with cheese cloth to remove any remaining particles.
-For long term storage you can mix the FPJ 1:1 ratio with brown sugar or molasses. The FPJ should now be stored in a plastic food grade container with lid and air lock. The contents produces gas so without an airlock the container will expand/explode.
FPJ is diluted with non-chlorinated water in a 1:500 to 1:1000 (FPJ:Water) ratio. This input is used as a foliar spray and on garden beds. Spraying should be done before sunrise. FPJ can be mixed with other inputs at the time of spraying however needs to be stored separately.
I compleated my Permaculture Design Certification this last weekend at a near by permaculture community/farm here on the big island. When I finished my Recycling, Resourse Management, & Zero Waste certification back at Santa Monica Collage, the one word I can say to wrap up that course was “Signs”. Yes, there was much more involved in the whole course and process however if you can say one word about Resourse Management it would be- “Signs”. Make lots of them and put them on lots of containers to source separate your (waste) resources.
So now I have completed the Permaculture Design Course and if I could also walk away describing it in one word it would be “Observe”… and of course there is also more to it. At it’s core however, you will be left with one word- “Observe”. The magic in observing comes when it is not accompanied with your opinion. There is no why. There is no how. Their is no “the tree has yellow leaves because it’s lacking nutrients”, there is only “the tree has yellow leaves.”
In the spirit of observation I leave you with a passage from a book I am reading: “Jitterbug Perfume”, by Tom Robbins.
“Bones are patient. Bones never tire nor do they run away. When you come upon a man who has been dead many years, his bones will still be lying there, in place, content, patiently waiting, but his flesh will have gotten up and left him. Water is like flesh. Water will not stand still. It is always off to somewhere else; restless, talkative, and curious. Even water in a covered jar will disappear in time. Flesh is water. Stones are like bones. Satisfied. Patient. Dependable.”
Korean Natural Farming teaches us practices in organic farming. Effective Microorganisms clean up foul odors, support sustainable farming practices, and works with compost and waste management. The bacteria we will be mainly working with is called Lactobacillus.
Lactobacillus- also know as Lactic Acid Bacteria and is abbreviated “LAB”.
LAB contains bacteria that converts lactos and other sugars into lactic acid from the end product of a carbohydrate anaerobic fermentation.
In KNF it is taught to make a simple Lactobacillus serum using rice, water, milk, and molasses. The procedure is quite simple and a lot of fun. There are many uses of the LAB once you have made it. I am going to use it first for cleaning up the current waste management area and see if I can get rid of some of those flys! I will also be spraying it on our gardens as a folier spray and adding it to our compost piles to assist in composting. Here’s how to make it: