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Using Patterns to Choose Plants in KNF (part 3)


When choosing plants to make into inputs let the pattern tell you what to use. Fast growing green plants are used to encourage green growth, fruit are used to set and ripen fruit, and so forth. There are endless patterns to use.

The pattern approach can be used for specific crops. Make a ferment of the plant you are growing, and use that in your weekly spray on that same kind of plant. The biology involved will be exact for the crop and the results will be very good.


Best practices for Korean Natural Farming (KNF) indicate using separate inputs for each stage of life as hormones, enzymes, co-factors etc. will all change over the life cycle of the plant.

As stated previously, it is a good practice to use Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ) inputs made from the same plant you are treating. Tomato inputs are a good example. (Note that tomato inputs are only recommended for use on tomatoes. Other, milder plants can be used universally.)

Use young tomato plant thinnings to make an FPJ for young tomatoes. The suckers that grow from the crotch of the branches are also great for the growth phase of tomatoes. Use the tomato tips just starting to form flower buds (with no open flowers, just the buds) to induce flower growth in tomatoes. To get the fruit to set use a green tomato Fermented Fruit Juice FFJ from green tomatoes. Switch to ripe tomato FFJ to help fruit ripening.

The pattern here is “same-same,” tomato on tomato, tender leaf tips to grown vegetative growth, flower buds to set flowers, green fruit to set fruit, and ripe fruit to ripen.

The plant material for Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ) does not need to be from the same crop as we are matching the stage of life biochemistry. However, some plant material is only suited for use on the same crop as some biochemicals are not tolerated by other crops. Plant material from citrus should only be used on citrus, for example. Likewise use tomato FPJ only on tomatoes and grape FPJ only on grapes.

If in doubt, use something known to be mild, or test on a single plant that you don’t mind losing.

I should also add a quick caution here for using flowering material. In flower, plants are undergoing reproduction, and the hormones involved are powerful and specific. I was taught by Master Cho that open flowers from tea bushes can be used to inhibit tea flower production, as the bushes receive the chemical directive that reproduction has already occurred.

However, in my experimentations with inputs made from flowering materials, I have found profound and long-lasting effects. In theory, any unopened flower bud should contain biochemicals conducive to flower bud production, and once the flower has opened, the biochemistry changes dramatically (think of hormonal teenagers). I have seen the plant shut down flower production for several months, up to a year, and I have seen the effect carry on into following years on the same plant.

Therefore, the only consistently safe flower bud I can recommend is the bud from a developing stalk of bananas, the red, heart-shaped structure at the end of the stalk. Any other flowering material I highly recommend testing before widespread use. I believe this is why Master Cho teaches the use of mixing green fruit FFJ during this critical reproductive stage, which he refers to as the Cross Over phase.

He recommends switching from a vegetative FPJ (made from fast growing plant tips) to a Cross Over FPJ just before flower buds appear. For early Cross Over, mix a vegetative FPJ with a green fruit FFJ. In later stages of the Cross Over phase, when flowers buds are present and starting to open, mix the green fruit FPJ with the ripe fruit FPJ. This is a much safer approach and does not need testing, as is necessary when using flowering plant material.


I had a miracle berry bush that was growing too tight, branches and leaves all bunched together. It was very slow growing, and producing no berries. The nodes were too close causing it to choke and suffer from fungal problems.

I wanted the bush to open up, lengthen the node spacing, and give it a chance to grow properly. My solution? I looked around for a fast growing, “leggy” plant with long spaces between nodes. I ended up choosing a vine. I don’t remember which one and it doesn’t matter.

After giving the miracle berry an FPJ made from this leggy vine the bush opened up and started growing correctly. I saw the pattern “leggy” and put it where I wanted a change, my compacted miracle berry bush. My compacted plant then grew longer nodes, became a healthy bush, and started soon after giving berries for the first time. It produced normally for years after this single application. I did nothing else.

You don’t get these kind of results looking at plant nutrition. It was actually a hormone that helped in this case. I knew as a scientist that gibberellin would work; it’s used in vineyards to open up clusters of grapes to prevent rotting.

However, knowing that gibberellin would work ended up being unnecessary data. Instead of spending hours researching sources of gibberellin and ways to extract and use it, or where to buy it,

I just looked around for the pattern I needed, which was a leggy plant. I had the solution in a couple of minutes and was ready to use it later that week. The pattern approach is easy and highly effective.

This pattern of following growth habits and using them as the active FPJ in weekly misting formulas, has countless uses. If you want a plant to do something, find a plant that does that thing, make an FPJ out of it, and apply to the crop you want to change.

Next we look at specific recommendations.

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Jan 03, 2023

I have also made an FPJ from the growing tips and flowers of the Poroporo tree which is a vigorous shrubby native (of NZ) in the Solanum family. Our tomatoes and Tamarillos tend to struggle here so I am hoping this may help them. I also plan to make an IMO collection from the base of these trees which are growing on the edges of the established forest in the back (higher elevation) of the farm.


Jan 03, 2023

Thanks for sharing your knowledge Sherri.

Today I made an fpj from green figs. I am not sure what I will use it on but I wanted to use them because they were plentiful! I understand the fig is actually a flower so that may influence what it is good for...


Nov 16, 2022

Thanks for redirecting my image of life cycle environment influencing factors. This may also apply to modifying animal phenotypes.

Sherri Miller
Sherri Miller
Nov 17, 2022
Replying to

Thanks for for your comment. Yes these principles can be applied to animals. This subject will be addressed here soon.

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