Plant Alchemy With KNF: Korean Natural Farming And Jadam

------ Efficiency of KNF vs. Jadam Extracts ------

I've mentioned that I prefer the KNF brown sugar extracts to the Jadam water extracts for a number of reasons, one of which is the much more thorough extraction when using brown sugar. For those that have been wondering, below are the figures showing the differences for comfrey. Generally, sugar is many times higher than water in nutrients extracted:

....................................P..............K........Ca.........Mg........Fe.........Si.........S..........Cl.........Na.........Al...

Comfrey (sugar)...270.8.....1,025....31.52....34.15.....2.06.....15.4......8.32......80........0.58......0.31
Comfrey (water)...12.71.....113.5....12.05......5.46.....0.51.....12.0......0.41........7........1.43......0.01

.................................21.3x......9.03x.....2.62x.....6.25x...4.04x..1.28x..20.29x..11.43x...0.41x.....31x..
 
Wow! That's a huge difference!
Yeah, people often throw around the "this method is better than that one" comment without putting any numbers to it to show just what they're talking about. The numbers help put things in perspective.

The water based version is good too and certainly has its place, but this difference is one of the reasons I prefer the sugar extract approach.
 
Hi Azimuth

I won't pretend to understand everything you're talking about, but hope you don't mind me following along. I've been doing lots of reading into the Jadam and am highly interested
 
Hi Azimuth

I won't pretend to understand everything you're talking about, but hope you don't mind me following along. I've been doing lots of reading into the Jadam and am highly interested
Hey Rex,

Happy to have you along. The Korean Natural Farming and Jadam methods are getting more attention lately. Two similar but also very different approaches to organic gardening inputs.

Emilya's thread I cited early on is a good one for hands on learning and YouTube has some good content from Chris Trump and a guy named Drake, both from Hawaii. They mostly do the sugar based approach of KNF but there are hours of content on there to give you a good background.

I'm starting a Jadam fertilizer barrel today for my outdoor garden so I'll get some hands-on experience with that approach as well.
 
So, inspired by a question from @HashGirl in another thread, I made some dandelion tea today for my vegetable garden. I filled a 2 gal/8 liter bucket with dandelion leaves and roots, boiled a gallon or so of water to cover and then set it out in the sun to steep and cool for a couple of hours. I would have used the flowers as well, but those are long gone.

I will say the exercise reminded me why I planted comfrey in my garden this spring. It was a bit of a pain and I only harvested a small bucket. Granted I used a dandelion weeder to get an inch or two of root which added to the process, but I'll also admit at the end I was just pulling leaves.

Once it had cooled down, I mixed it 1:10 with rain water and watered the garden, though I kept a little bit aside so I could water the houseplants with it tomorrow. That should make for some happy plants.

I also added the strained out leaves to my newly started Jadam Liquid Fertilizer barrel to get that started, and covered them again with rain water.
 
I started my Jadam Liquid Fertilizer barrel this afternoon with the strainings from my dandelion tea, another bucket of fresh dandelion greens and roots, and added some kelp, leachate from my worm bin, worm castings, stone dust, and a bit of leaf mold and covered it all with rain water. That should get it off to a good start. Let the stink begin!

I'll also add some fish tank water from my aquaponics set-up, and some comfrey, stinging nettle and horsetail fern to really get it going, but those will have to wait for now, as I don't have any available at present.

I have various liquid fertilizers that I share with family members and they know to ask for my fish juice from the aquarium, or worm juice I make with my vermicompost, or the plant juices I make from aloe, dandelion and other things. I'm going to call the stuff from this new barrel my "swamp juice" since thats probably what it's going to smell like.

I have some ideas on how to minimize the smell that I'll try out in a couple of weeks when I have a good sense as to how bad the stink really is.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how well it works on the plants.
 
Good job ! :nomo: lovely to see more natural farming , the stink becomes the norm , you get used to it , then you enjoy it lol , if it don't smell then I would worry:laughtwo: it only smell swhen you open the lid :ganjamon:
I only use the sugar for my fish extract , FAA , I found the more I used the sugar the more acidic the medium became , also noticed more fruit fly and other flying insects .

Using the natural farming is a lot of guess work , as long as you get from start to finish you have done it right so take notes and plenty , If the plant material is left long enough to stew it will be just as good as the sugar extract in the end and much cheaper , your ph from the natural ferments should be around 6.8 to 7.2 , with the sugar/molasses ive seen tea come in at 4.3 ph so that put me off , like every thing in life do not over do things , well done and keep at it , It is a fun way to do things


:goodjob: & :goodluck:
 
I found the more I used the sugar the more acidic the medium became , also noticed more fruit fly and other flying insects .

I've never paid any attention to the pH when I water, but maybe I'll test it next time. The usage rates of the extracts are pretty low (I use 1tsp/gal) so never really thought it would move the needle that much. But certainly worth a look.

And I don't think it's the sugar itself since that mostly gets used up in the fermentation process, but I do think that process gives you a vinegar type output so it would lower the pH to be sure. Just not sure how much.
 
I've never paid any attention to the pH when I water, but maybe I'll test it next time. The usage rates of the extracts are pretty low (I use 1tsp/gal) so never really thought it would move the needle that much. But certainly worth a look.

And I don't think it's the sugar itself since that mostly gets used up in the fermentation process, but I do think that process gives you a vinegar type output so it would lower the pH to be sure. Just not sure how much.
If the usage is low I would just keep at it ,
I threw a half cup of sugar ferment into a 100 litre bin of water that was 7.4 , brought the tub down to about 5.2 , could also depend on the plant used , I forget what I used at that time I like my inputs at 6.6 to 7.2 where microbes are more active
Every one has their own spin on natural growing and things that work for you might not work for me and the same as what works for me might not work for you ,
You find your own feet and methods along the way ,
Good luck ,stay safe , and green :)
 
If the usage is low I would just keep at it ,
I threw a half cup of sugar ferment into a 100 litre bin of water that was 7.4 , brought the tub down to about 5.2 , could also depend on the plant used , I forget what I used at that time I like my inputs at 6.6 to 7.2 where microbes are more active
Every one has their own spin on natural growing and things that work for you might not work for me and the same as what works for me might not work for you ,
You find your own feet and methods along the way ,
Good luck ,stay safe , and green :)
Ok, so let's do some math.

1/2 cup = 4 oz. There are 6 tsp per oz, so you used 4x6 = 24 tsp.
100L = 26.4 Gal, so 24 tsp / 26.4 Gal or about what I do (1 tsp /Gal).

And, when I say I use 1 tsp/Gal, that's true for each input, but I usually use 3-4 at a go (Kelp, Dandelion, Aloe, Calcium).

YIKES, I guess I will have to check the pH! :oops:

Now let's look at dilution rates.

With KNF, dilution rates start at about 1:1000, and Jadam starts at 1:20, or a difference of 50x. If you assume KNF is roughly 8x on average more effective in extracting the goodies than Jadam (per the table entry above and ignoring for a moment that longer Jadam ferments could indeed release more/all of the rest of the goodies over time) maybe the reason for the lower KNF application quantities really has more to do with the very low pH of your application liquid rather than too much nutrient burning you plants.

If they were normalized and equal nutrients were supplied, and with KNF being 8x more effective in extraction, one would expect to use 8x more JLF (Jadam Liquid Fertilizer) to equal the nutrient amounts of KNF. BUT, you don't use 8x, you can use 50x the nutrient solution.

So then, one could argue, the Jadam method might be adding 6.25x the goodies (50x / 8x = 6.25x) at each watering, and this also ignores the fact that with Jadam one is also adding a much larger quantity of active microbes since with KNF the usage amounts are so low and presumably the microbes are dormant if you add sugar to put them to sleep to make it shelf stable.

Hmmmmm. I'm starting to sense a shift in my thinking. Perhaps. Still need to noodle on it a while more. Compelling math, though, for sure...

Plus, the Jadam method is so damn easy. Throw a bunch of material in a barrel (and you can do it over time rather than all in one go), add some water and microbes via some leaf mold and move on with your life. Then, when ready to apply, maybe mix up a batch of the JMS (Jadam Microbe Solution) and water in.

I still have the smell issue to deal with, but that will have to wait a couple of weeks for my original Jadam ferment to mature so I can see (smell?) the extent of the problem and try a few things to mitigate it.

Stay tuned!
 
So I went to add some water from my fish tank to my swamp juice barrel and found the mixture frothy with bubbles. Kind of surprised at how much activity there is after only about 48 hours. Very pleased.

But none of the stink yet that @NuttyProfessor seems so enamored with. No doubt it's on the way though given the activity I'm already seeing.

On my way to the barrel I passed my garden and my newly established comfrey plant. I noticed one of the leaves had been broken off (damn chipmunks) and decided it was time for an experiment. So far I only have a half dozen or so leaves which is not enough to do much with yet, but I took the opportunity to start a micro swamp juice jar. Its small enough to keep on my desk so I can watch the process up close.

I chopped up a couple of leaves and stuffed them into a small jelly jar and added some rain water. Since I used up the last of my leaf mold stash when I started the larger barrel, I decided to add a different combination of microbes, specifically those specializing in breaking down organic matter, as the microbe portion of the mix so I added a teaspoon or so of fresh worm castings from my worm bin.

I figure that the whole idea of the leaf mold is to add the microbes to help break down the organic matter and doubt that leaf mold has some special properties that can't also be had with the worm castings.

So, in the name of science, we're going to find out.
 
The way I look at it , using rain water is free , collecting all the weeds and other plant material is also free , so I can fill loads of barrels with plenty of old plants were as using the sugar you need equal amounts of each plant and sugar , I could do 100 kilo for free but if I were to do a 100 kilo of plants with sugar I could never afford to do it so letting it just sit there over time is where you save money this is what jadam is about , ultra low cost , I know you get a quicker concentrated result with the sugar but jadam do things local and free , , , with the fish amino acid I use once or twice in flower , start of flower and near the end , I don't need much so this is why I only use sugar for the fish , , If I left the fish in barrels of water it will be too much smell , the plant ferments are nothing compared to a fish ferment, they will bring a million flies with it
 
A month or so back I made some Horsetail Fern JLF and today I'm going to try it out.

On the houseplants.

Because, you know, there are limits as to how far I will go with experimenting on my ladies. ;)
 
So far, so good with the house plants. To quote Emilya, "So far the plants look not to have died." So there's that.

I used a 1:30 dilution rate. The Jadam book suggests dilution rates of 1:20-300 for plant based ferments, and 1:30-1000 for the more potent ferments from fish, etc. Probably would have been prudent to start weaker, but whatever, this is science after all.

Now for the smell. To be honest, the smell wasn't as bad as I had feared. I was expecting a gag inducing stench of rotting flesh, but instead it smelled like my Bokashi bucket. Still not a pleasant smell, mind you, but not as bad as feared. Sort of a pickled manure smell? Like a spring time barn smell. Kind of hard to describe.

This was my first small batch started May 2, or about 6 weeks ago. Not sure if other batches will smell the same, but if the swamp juice barrel smells like this I can probably live with that. And I still have some things to try to knock it back a bit.

Watering day for the girls is probably tomorrow so, assuming no ill effects on the plants I just watered, I'll be trying it on them then.
 
So far, so good with the house plants. To quote Emilya, "So far the plants look not to have died." So there's that.

I used a 1:30 dilution rate. The Jadam book suggests dilution rates of 1:20-300 for plant based ferments, and 1:30-1000 for the more potent ferments from fish, etc. Probably would have been prudent to start weaker, but whatever, this is science after all.

Now for the smell. To be honest, the smell wasn't as bad as I had feared. I was expecting a gag inducing stench of rotting flesh, but instead it smelled like my Bokashi bucket. Still not a pleasant smell, mind you, but not as bad as feared. Sort of a pickled manure smell? Like a spring time barn smell. Kind of hard to describe.

This was my first small batch started May 2, or about 6 weeks ago. Not sure if other batches will smell the same, but if the swamp juice barrel smells like this I can probably live with that. And I still have some things to try to knock it back a bit.

Watering day for the girls is probably tomorrow so, assuming no ill effects on the plants I just watered, I'll be trying it on them then.
Awesome! Smells are subjective to an individual. For me there's nothing better than a salt marsh at low tide. My wife thinks it's wretched though. I have awesome childhood memories growing up by the river.:passitleft:Chunky Cherry Thai today. WooPa!
 
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