HOW TO PRACTICE MASTER HAN-KYU CHO’S
KOREAN NATURAL FARMING, KNF
a series of techniques used periodically
to grow healthy, abundant food
Each technique can be modified infinitely to meet the conditions and needs of each individual usage, no matter the location or climate. Master Cho calls this one principle, infinite applications.
Follow the series of techniques
Adapt each individual technique to your individual farm or garden
The series of techniques are outlined below.
SOIL FOUNDATION - IMO
Install a soil foundation using a local collection of Indigenous Micro Organisms, IMO. This can be as simple as a once and done installation. Soil is kept mulched with organic matter. This feeds the soil biology and prevents weeds. The work of composting is eliminated. Food scrapes and yard waste are ideally given to animals. Chickens and pigs are perfectly suited.
WEEKLY FOLIAR MISTS
Mist each crop according to each crops state of development, no more than once per week. Formulas can be made easily on the farm with materials at hand using wild aerobic fermentation. Ingredients are stored in a cool, dark place, individually, and mixed into a formula when ready for use. Overall dilution is about 1 part to 1000 parts water, so a little bit goes far. Each mix is determined by the stage of development of each plant and animal being cared for.
ANIMAL INTEGRATION & MATERIAL CYCLING
There is no Natural system that does not include both plants and animals. Other forms of life, such as fungi, are also omnipresent. Integration of plants and animals in food growing systems is closer to Nature. That’s what Master Cho’s system is designed to do.
Organic farming methods try to get around this by hauling plant matter and manures, artificially composting them, then hauling the finished compost back to the crops.
Natural farming avoids almost all of this work by integrating animals into the daily food system. Worms and soil biology do the tilling. Waste products from kitchen and yard are given to animals to render. An Inoculated Deep Litter System, IDLS, keeps the uneaten food and manure completely composted almost immediately.
This living floor, when covered with a structure designed to promote the health of the microbes in the bedding, will keep animals warm in winter and cool in summer, and brood chicks without a hen.
The floor of the IDLS animal dwellings always contains fully composted, fully IMO-inoculated, composted mulch. When placed out in the fields and planting beds, the results are higher yields, better quality food, and less, almost zero, pest and disease pressure. Just lay it down as mulch, watch it suppress the weeds and pests, and watch the food grow.
When the animals are given the fruits of the day, kitchen scrapes, yard waste, off-grade produce from a nearby farm, the feed is inoculated with some the inoculated floor material. Ingesting IMO-inoculated feed insures increased immunity, complete digestion, and therefore better health and nutrition.
If you do not have the ability to partner with larger animals, use small ones instead, like worms, Black Soldier Files (BSF), even bokashi. No matter how you set up the food system for your family, there will inevitably be waste. Not only is this inevitable, it is a blessing, a rich source of material to feed back into your food system. Just like occurs in Nature. This is Natural Farming and we are trying to mimic Nature.
We should be cycling our life stream, rather than consuming then discarding. While this may be an ideal, especially for modern people, it is an ideal to be reached for at any opportunity.
MASTER CHO’S METHODS SUMMARIZED
Use locally collected IMO to install a soil foundation in planting areas. Use the same IMO to inoculate the animals’ bedding. This is as simple as a once and done for crops. Animal bedding needs fresh organic material about once per month, but only needs inoculation once.
Give crops a weekly misting using ingredients that are made from locally available resources using wild aerobic fermentation. Design the weekly formula according to each crops state of development. Supplement animal water and feed to support their stage of life.
Feed animals with the daily waste stream: kitchen scrapes, yard waste, agricultural waste from nearby farms such as off-grade produce or by-products.
Use IDLS bedding from the animal dwellings to keep planting beds mulched, feed the soil biology, suppress weeds, and evolve and develop soil microbe diversity. Pests and diseases are controlled by passing organic matter through as many different species of life forms as possible.
Over time, especially after three years, the work load will continually decrease, so will pests and diseases. All the while increasing topsoil, crop yields, taste & nutrition, and plant, animal, & human health. Master Cho’s methodology also improves the stability and diversity, of the land, and increases tolerance to weather and climate extremes.
Note that nothing is done to fertilize crops. The KNF system is designed to mimic Nature as much as possible. In the wild, plants do not get fertilizers, and animals do not get grain from a mill.
The plants are able to obtain exactly what they need, when the need it, and in the proper amounts directly from healthy, living soil. With proper planning, animals can also be fed from materials found on or near the farm. These methods greatly reduce costs and labor.
Natural Farming is growing food in a way that resembles Nature. Korean Natural Farming is Master Han-Kyu Cho’s methods of doing that.