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Salt, sodium chloride, is in small amounts a necessary component of all life. Salt has been produced from the evaporation of seawater since prehistoric times. Seawater also contains most of the essential macroand microminerals essential for healthy plant growth (Turekian 1968, DOE 1997, Motavalli and Marler 1998). Table 1 shows essential plant nutrients found in seawater and their functions within plants. Investigation into the use of seawater for irrigation in agriculture has been ongoing for decades (Mount and Schuppan 1978, Feign 1985, Glenn et al. 1998, Sgherri et al. 2008).
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What Are Lactic Acid Bacteria? “Lactic acid bacteria” (LAB) refers to a large group of bacteria, rather than a single species or strain, that produce lactic acid as a by-product of digesting their food source (usually carbohydrates). The lactic acid accumulates to ferment or “pickle” the food, and LAB are capable of surviving in acidic (low-pH) environments. LAB are widespread in nature and are beneficial probiotics in our digestive systems. They are among the most important groups of microorganisms used in food fermentation, contributing to the taste and texture of fermented products and inhibiting food spoilage caused by other microorganisms. LAB are responsible
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Calcium plays a very important role as a nutrient in regulating plant growth and development and must be available for uptake from the soil or other growing media. Several soil characteristics affect the availability of calcium to plants: soils with higher pH have higher levels of available calcium than acidic (lower-pH) soils; soils with a higher capacity to absorb or hold calcium will have more available calcium; the presence of excessive amounts of sodium, potassium, or magnesium in the soil interferes with calcium availability. Calcium can also react with other soil nutrients, such as phosphorus, to form insoluble compounds that cannot be used by plants. Calcium is commonly applied as a soil amendment in the form of ground limestone (calcium carbonate) or gypsum (calcium sulfate) (Hodges 2010). Water-soluble calcium (WCA) is an alternative to these commercial sources of calcium. This fact sheet addresses frequently asked questions about making WCA and its use in Natural Farming.
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Commercially available fertilizers are a cost-effective means of supplementing soil with nitrogen (N) for plant growth and high crop yields; however, improper or excessive use of N fertilizer can lead to nitrate pollution of ground or surface water (Foley et al. 2012). Producers can minimize this predicament by implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) for fertilizer use that reduce nutrient losses and avert runoff and leaching from agricultural lands. Natural Farming incorporates the use of indigenous microorganisms (IMO) (Park and DuPonte 2008) and fish amino acid (FAA) to increase N availability in soils and improve crop yields while sustaining water quality. This fact sheet addresses the production and use of FAA in Natural Farming.
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What Is OHN? OHN is a mixture of edible, aromatic herbs extracted with alcohol and fermented with brown sugar. It is used to discourage the growth of anaerobic, potentially pathogenic microbes and encourage beneficial aerobic microbes in the soil and on plants. Herbs long recognized by many ancient cultures as having such prebiotic properties include fresh ginger root (Zingiber officinale), turmeric root (Curcuma longa), garlic cloves (Allium sativum), the bark of Angelica acutiloba, licorice root (Glycurrhiza uralensis), and cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum sp.) (Chow 2002, Sarker and Nahar 2004, Castleman. 2010, Naz et al. 2010, Jayaprakasha and Rao 2011, Maekawa et al. 2013, Ming and Yin 2013, Yadav et al. 2013). These herbs are used in the creation of OHN.
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