Chad Sentman

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since Mar 11, 2013
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Recent posts by Chad Sentman


"Maintenence Solution" (for whatever reason abbreviated as SES) = OHN + FPJ + BRV

Some people dislike the notion of pre-portioning Maintenance Solution as it is something of a shortcut from the prescribed recipes, and the alcohol from the OHN can affect the livelihood of the microbiology in the FPJ and BRV.

Soil prep = SES + FAA + SW + LAB
Seed prep = Soil prep - 1/2 LAB
Leaf stage = SES + FAA
Flower stage = SES + WCP
Fruit Stage = SES (with FFJ instead of FPJ) + WCA

At each stage where FPJ is involved, it is best to use an FPJ made from that stage, from that plant. This is especially true for grapes and citrus, which should be used exclusively for grapes and citrus respectively.  For example, in the leaf stage of a strawberry plant, use an FPJ from strawberry leaves, in the flower stage use an FPJ from strawberry flowers, in the fruit stage, use an FFJ from strawberries.  If, for example, you don't have an FPJ from strawberry flowers, try an FPJ from the same stage from a different, similar plant.  Matching the stage is more important than matching the plant, except in the cases of grapes and citrus, were matching both is important.

Some people dislike the notion of pre-portioning Maintenance Solution as it is something of a shortcut from the prescribed recipes, and the alcohol from the OHN can affect the livelihood of the microbiology in the FPJ and BRV. Also, SW and LAB should be added as needed, in the proper amounts, but CAN be added at each stage.

With the exception of IMO and SW, every KNF input derives from human food and is non-toxic. Even IMO and SW are probably fine for you to consume, if that's your thing.  The inputs are intended to boost plant and soil fertility and health, but in addition to being non-toxic, they all taste delicious, and many people use KNF inputs in the kitchen as well as in the field.


Although I started my journey with LAB, it is probably far easier to begin with FPJ/FFJ.

1. Harvest plant material (ideally before sunrise) and put it into a container with a lid.
2. Whatever the weight of your harvested material, add the same amount of brown sugar.

That's basically it. You can use anything. If you use leaves, roots, stems, flowers or UNRIPE fruit, it's considered an FPJ, if you use RIPE fruit, it's an FFJ.

If you want, you can lightly massage the sugar into the plant material, but it's not really necessary. Just wait.  The dryness of the sugar will pull the liquid content of the plant material directly through the cell walls through osmosis.  After probably less than half a day, the plant material will be swimming in a pool of its own juice, although one batch I tried took closer to two weeks.

I was delighted to discover that this is exactly the same recipe that Pascal Baudar recommended for making Green Pinecone Syrup in his book about brewing fermented drinks.

This is also essentially the same recipe as FAA, except instead of using plant material, you use animal material, usually fish, heads and guts included.

Put it in a container, add equal weight brown sugar, and wait.  The sugar pulls the FAA out of the fish and you have a nice liquid nutrient. 

Once the liquid is extracted, wait a week or two before straining it off into another container (like a bottle, for example). Don't throw away the plant material.  Refill the original container with the plant material leftovers with water, and it will turn into a delicious, wonderful vinegar. In a pinch, these vinegars can be a substitute for BRV. Not perfectly ideal, but doable. best recommended substitute seems to be Banana vinegar, made with the whole banana and peel.

WCA is simple to make.
Keep the shells from about a dozen eggs. Mash them up and put them into a dry skillet on a medium heat.  Stir the egg shells and keep breaking the pieces smaller.  As the egg shells become slightly browned from the heat of the skillet, blow gently to remove the egg membrane, similar to how you might blow into a bowl of amaranth seeds to separate them from the chaff. Once you are membrane-free and all the egg shell pieces are nicely browned, put them into a container and add vinegar SLOWLY. The chemical reaction will be a bit turbulent at first. A few times a day, or at least once a day, bump the jar to see if there is still bubbling activity. If nothing happens, try adding more egg shell pieces. After about two weeks, you can strain off the pieces of egg shell and the liquid is your WCA.

WCP is similar, but instead of using egg shells, you use charred bones. Apparently bones from birds aren't as good as bones from mammals or fish.  Put them on the grill and cook them until they are black.  Drop them in vinegar and wait a few weeks, then strain them off. The leftover vinegar is WCP. It will taste and smell like a sort of sweet and sour sauce. Vinegary tang mixed with smoky BBQ flavor.

SW should be diluted 30:1. This is enough to set the trace minerals free. It also is approximately the same salinity as your blood.  If for whatever reason the marine microbiology are unimportant to you or seawater is difficult to come by, you can still get the nutrient boost by using sea salt. for every liter of water, add 1 mg of sea salt.

OHN is the most complicated, most expensive input of them all. It also takes the longest to produce, though technically, you could be up and running after two weeks.

You will need six jars (or containers with lids), AND six MORE jars with double the capacity of the first six.

OHN is made from exactly five herbs/spices: Angelica Root, Licorice Root, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Garlic.  Angelica Root has a double portion, which is why you need six jars of each size.

Each jar starts out as a sort of FPJ, but finishes as a tincture.

AR, LR and C are considered dry ingredients, and Gi and Ga are "wet" ingredients.

The first step is to hydrate the dry ingredients. Add them to their respective jars (the smaller ones) and add beer until the volume is about 1/2 capacity and wait a day.

Next, like in the FPJ recipe, add sugar to all jars. In the case of Gi and Ga, this is exactly like the FPJ process.  In the case of the two AR jars, the LR jar and the C jar, since they have beer inside, add sugar until the liquid surface is about 66-75% capacity. This is the fermentation phase, and lasts one week.

After the fermentation phase comes the extraction phase.  Add vodka to all jars until they reach about 90-95% capacity.

Stir all six jars clockwise once a day for two weeks.  After two weeks of stirring every day, you can pour off 1/3 of the liquid into the larger jars.  This is the first of five extractions.

Top off the jars with fresh vodka, and begin again, stirring every day for two weeks. Pour off 1/3 and replace with fresh vodka. This is the same for extractions 2, 3, and 4.

After the fourth extraction, replace the poured-off portion with fresh vodka and again stir clockwise every day for two weeks.  For the final extraction, pour off all the liquid, not just 1/3 of it.

In the video, he also uses Turmeric. Don't.

6 days ago
Now that I have acquired a bit more knowledge and experience about methods of Korean Natural Farming, I'd like to share a bit of what I've learned in the meantime with those of you who are as unfamiliar with the subject as I was a few months back.

In my mind, the centerpiece of Korean natural farming is the nutritive cycle theory. The idea behind it is, you give the plants what they need, when they need it, in the appropriate amounts.

The comparison can be made with human nutrition. Even if you wanted to, it would not be possible for you to consume today all the nutrients you need for the rest of your life.  Your nutrients must be supplied to you in the appropriate amounts several times daily. Additionally your body has different nutritional needs based on the various stages of life you encounter from birth until death. 

If you see a baby which is very thin, it's a good indication that something is wrong nutritionally.  A fat baby is a healthy baby.

However if you see a fat teenager, that's also an indication that something is wrong nutritionally.  And as a child grows older, it should be growing taller and thinner.  They should be developing skeletal structure and muscular strength. As they enter puberty their body has again developed a need for a different nutritional profile. Their body begins changing into a fully fertile adult.

And when an adult female becomes pregnant, her body imposes a whole new set of nutritional demands.

In the same way, plants have different nutritional needs in each stage of life, whether they are putting out leaves, roots, flowers, or fruit.  To meet these nutritional needs, we observe the plants, but feed the soil microorganisms.

That is the essence of the nutritive cycle theory.

At each stage of plant development, there are different formulas for solutions comprised of a handful of inputs, each with their own recipes. It is all very precise and specific, but collectively, is a very elegant system.

At the core of each formula are the same three inputs, which are Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ), Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN), and Brown Rice Vinegar (BRV). (When the plant is in the fruiting stage, replace FPJ with FFJ, or Fermented Fruit Juice, which is the same recipe as FPJ but made specifically from fruit.)

FPJ is concentrated plant food, containing all the nutrients, growth hormones and enzymes from the original plant.

OHN is plant medicine, compromised of five specific ingredients which are all anti-pathogenic.

BRV is a stimulant and activator.

These three together are sometimes called Maintenance Solution, the idea being that if your plant doesn't indicate a specific need, these three inputs are sufficient as a sort of irrigation, fertilizer and pesticide, all made from non-toxic, human food-based, inexpensive materials you probably already have in your kitchen.


I once heard Maintenance Solution compared with a simple salad made from a few ingredients. What breaks up the monotony of eating the same salad every day is mixing in a different flavor of salad dressing each time.

If Maintenance Solution is the salad, then the three options for salad dressing are Fish Amino Acid (FAA), Water Soluble Calcium Phosphate (WCP), and Water Soluble Calcium (WCA).

FAA is what makes the baby plant fat and leafy, producing biomass from the biological building blocks.

WCP is what makes the teenager plant tall, thin, and strong, adding structure and ensuring that it is able to carry the weight of the next generation.

WCA helpful in the production of fruit.


We've talked about LAB already so I won't go into it here, except to say that it is biologically active and very useful for restoring and maintaining balance and order in the microbiome, something like the police or national guard do for humans. A little goes a long way, but too much can be problematic.


For trace elements and minerals, KNF prescribes diluted Sea Water (SW). If you think of minerals in terms of a supply chain, you might say that all (or most) minerals find their origin in volcanoes, and that over time, various processes like the flow of wind, water, digestion, and so on, the minerals get distributed across the earth. Eventually they find their way into our waterways and end up in the ocean.

Not everything gets evenly distributed, but they all start and end in the same place, which is why garden supply stores sell products of volcanic origin like rock dust, as well as products of oceanic origin like kelp meal.  They have a broader spectrum of minerals than other soils and ecosystems.

One problem is that the minerals aren't always in a plant-available form.

In the case of sea water, trace minerals such as manganese, boron, molybdenum, and so on have been ionically-bound to salt molecules in the ocean. My understanding is that by diluting the sea water, these minerals are released from those salt molecules and become plant-available.

Additionally, there seems to be benefits not only from mineral nutrients, but also the unique biological profile of micro organisms in the sea water. It's a bit like the "edge-effect" in that, the highest biodiversity and the most interesting things occur where two systems interact.

In my next post, I will go into more detail on the recipes for the Korean Natural Farming Inputs and the amounts of each needed to make the formulas. In the meantime, I'd be happy to discuss or answer questions.
1 week ago
Indeed I would like more links.  Maybe 5 more?

And since they would all be "my" links, and you have a two-pledge minimum stipulation, does the cumulative total count, or must it be per-link?

2 weeks ago

paul wheaton wrote:Hi everybody!  I just started my seventh kickstarter.   Check it out HERE!

I definitely don't want to put more on your plate, but is there any way to get interim updates on how my custom link is performing, or any information at all about traffic and/or conversions?
2 weeks ago
I'm in the process of developing a board game, perhaps even several board games, which I think will have great appeal across many sectors, including people who are interested in permaculture, sustainability, preparedness/prepping, NGOs and aid organizations, teachers and educators, and of course, board game enthusiasts.

After I've gone through some market testing, how do I reach out to people from each of these sectors and ask them to (1) support the crowdfunding campaign by buying the game and (2) support the crowdfunding campaign by recruiting other people from within their spheres of influence to buy the game, all without coming across as a slick-haired salesman or a spammer?

I like the idea of offering a kickback, but I don't like the feeling of being "sold to" and I dislike the notion that I would make other people feel that feeling.
2 weeks ago

paul wheaton wrote:Hi everybody!  I just started my seventh kickstarter.   Check it out HERE!

Funded, day one. Well done.
2 weeks ago
Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ) is the liquid extracted from plant material by mixing it with equal weight of brown sugar, according to the official recipe used in Korean Natural Farming.

The dry sugar uses osmosis to pull anything wet through the cell walls of the plant, which is why it is not recommended to use molasses, for example, because molasses is not dry.

It is my understanding that the more advanced levels of Korean Natural Farming include another recipe, not called FPJ but FPE--Fermented Plant Extract.

I haven't found a recipe, but I believe it uses Lactobacillus.

Any help?
1 month ago

paul wheaton wrote:I added three new videos to the PIE private forum:

   - presentation by Helen Atthowe

   - the "eco poser" video by Chad Sentman

   - the Justin Rhodes bonus video

I just saw this, and had forgotten about that video.

How's the reaction been? I'm sorry, I feel like I dropped the ball, but that whole project took a serious backseat after we got land. I do intend to eventually continue unless someone else beats me to it.

Todd Parr wrote:Anyway, how is she qualified to say what is best for the chicken?

My best guess? Hubris.
3 months ago
A vegan on facebook is trying to convince me that eggs are unethical and that egg production leads to all kinds of chicken illnesses, diseases, or maladays, including ovarian cancer.

She says that someone who is compassionate toward chickens and rescues them from slaughter isn't TRUELY rescuing them unless they are also giving the chicken a hormonal implant to prevent them from laying eggs for maybe 6 months or so, to give them a rest.

She says further that chickens are not "meant" to lay eggs on a daily (or near-daily) cycle, but should only lay one clutch (I presume she means annually, not in the lifetime of the chicken), and modern chickens only lay they way they do due to selectively overbreeding to maximize egg production.

The hormone is called Suprelorin, or Virbac, or possibly Suprelorin Virbac.

Does anyone know anything about any of this? I couldn't find any results in the forum search.

Although I find myself in much disagreement with both the premise and the conclusion, I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I don't know how I feel about "needing" to provide a supplement to stop hens from laying. It sounds very anti-nature to me.
3 months ago