Articles, Blog

Chris Trump: Korean Natural Farming in a nut shell

December 15, 2019

Hello. Let me give you
Korean Natural Farming in a Nutshell. Forgive me. I’m a nut farmer
and that’s a nut joke. But really, Korean natural farming,
if you aren’t one of the initiated or don’t know about it,
is kind of ambiguous. So let me
break it down. It is an attempt – one elegant method –
to join or work with nature to grow food. There are many ways to do this. Nature grows food effectively, and there are things
around the world that people use. But Korean natural farming
is an elegant method to grow food using the process
that nature already uses. [Hawk cawing] That was beautiful.
That was a hawk saying, “Hello.” So what we do is
we go up into the forest and we look for
an indigenous biology bloom or mycelium that we can see
with our naked eye. We take a, collection. Actually, we take several collections,
samplings of that indigenous biology, we bring it down and
we bring it to our farm and the place
where we grow food. Here, when we apply it to the soil,
it changes things. If you have a depleted or soil
that was maybe in some other things like construction or whatnot,
the soil will be depleted of biology. By introducing indigenous biology,
we boost the entire ecosystem that is happening
under the soil. One of my mentors
or people I listen to, Elaine Ingham, talks of it
as the soil food web. What good is that? Well, as soon as you apply
a large amount of biology to your leaves and your trunk
or whatever it is you’re growing in your soil,
if it’s indigenous, and even if it’s not, but the biology will get
established where you apply it. Well with this indigenous biology,
it will not only get established, but it will perpetuate
year after year. That’s the idea anyway.
And I’ve found it to be true. Once you apply this biology to the soil,
it takes root so to speak, it goes down, and now you have a layer
of biology working that is spreading out. That biology now is food
for the next level of the food chain, your nematodes and your microarthropods
interact with that biology in a special way. So now we have our soil surface biology here
and we have earthworms now also involved. They’re moving up to eat this biology,
moving down to live and breed. This now is increasing our water retention
and our aeration of our soil, the porosity. As those earthworms move up and down,
our water retention increases. Well that can have drought-resistant
effects on our plants. Also, the biology itself, just like us,
is 70 percent moisture. And when, if there is a drought event,
those organisms can die off and their body’s release
is actually a buffer to your drought. So why does biology
help grow food? Well, there’s a lot on that. I’m not going to
get all into that. But natural farming,
why is natural farming a good and effective tool? Well as you apply it
on your leaves and on your ground, this biology gets established. And with a tree
or some of your vegetables, whatever it is you’re growing, those fungal biologies
that you’ve collected will create a relationship
at the root tip. We all know that
plants photosynthesize. They produce sugars and use it
to make their structure and their fruit. Well they take some of their excess sugars
or some of the sugars they set aside for the purpose of creating
relationships at the root tips. So they will come down and say, “Here, fungi. I have some sugar
I’ll trade you for boron or zinc or iron. And at the root tip, through
a biochemical communication, they will exchange
photosynthesized sugars, or carbs, for minor minerals,
which we all know plants need. That’s one small aspect
of why growing with biology is great for making
really healthy plants and vegetables. Another aspect is, as you’ve increased
your water retention, your rain comes down,
biology on it or in their bodies and in their interactions,
are involved with something called enzymes. An enzyme is an organic molecule
that facilitates a chemical change. What that means is
as your rain water comes down and more of it is retained in the soil,
because your earthworms are moving up and down
and your soil is becoming aggregate, your rainwater,
which is N2, non-plant-available nitrogen, because of the biology present,
will have an easier time becoming ammonia,
or plant-available nitrogen, because the enzymes on the biology
will help to lessen the energy to convert N2 into N3,
plant-available fertilizer. All of sudden, your plant’s healthy
because it’s getting its minors. Your soil has better water retention
and drought resistance for your plants and your rainwater is working
for you more and more in nitrogen. In addition to this being
a really effective way to make really healthy productive plants,
it’s also really cost effective. Natural farming is inexpensive. It’s doable on a large scale
or a small scale for very low cost. And I’d like to
share it with you. So check out more of
What Is Natural Farming on the page. Thanks so much. Captions by Mike Ridgway,


  • Reply Nikolas Hoyt August 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Those mac nuts look really healthy but why the cane grass cover crop? Why not a nitrogen fixer or mulch material?

  • Reply gh fjj August 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    can i come work for you for a knf apprenticeship? i have most of the knf made so far besides a couple things.

  • Reply gh fjj August 21, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    do you have instagram?

  • Reply The Food Park Project September 1, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Nice explanations! Thanks!

  • Reply Shaun Bluethenthal September 12, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Excellent job putting this material into an easily digestible form. Do you have a preferred email I could reach you on for a professional dialog/ inquiry? If so (and if you find the time, of course), ill take your response at [email protected]
    Either way, keep up the good work, and thank you for your time.

  • Reply Jules Damutalau October 3, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Thank Chris for simple explanation.. super!

  • Reply Sallmon sal December 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    thanks brother

  • Reply FoodPimpz December 21, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Diggin' it.

  • Reply Healthy Roots & Strong Wings January 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks for this info Chris!
    Do you also have a website?

    Thanks again and keep it up!

  • Reply Mr Hankey February 27, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Subscribed!! very important information..

  • Reply nickthesavage March 3, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Hi Chris – would be really keen to talk to you – i hope you dont mind i am going to email from you website – tks in advance !

  • Reply David Crumb April 29, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Can you tell me what type of grass you are growing there? Do you practice silvopasture as well?

  • Reply fonotoa polua May 25, 2017 at 10:36 am

    thank you chris for your videos. you have broadened our understanding of this kind of farming. I've seen a lot of farmers using bought fertilizers and I am not a big fan of store fertilizer. I believe in nature's natural process. thank you for your videos. i really appreciate you for doing the hard work for us and for sharing your knowledge. my father and I will use your videos for our startup farm. Faafetai mahalo thank you

  • Reply MsFredwina June 13, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    This is awesome and I'm trying to figure out how to apply it to Tennessee. I would really be interested in purchasing an easier guide than the JADAM book. I am truly confused with IMO 1, 2 and 3 and OHN and when to use them. Your videos are great for learning how to make them. I just need direction of exactly what I need to make and when to use it. Can I just make IMO and use it or do I need to go further? I am currently trying to put together just a list of acronyms and their meaning!
    My next question is about the JADAM book saying to not to add sugar to the IMO (I believe). I thought that this was how it was made, or am I again getting them all confused?
    I have cousins in Hawaii and watching you makes me want to visit. Time to watch your videos again!! Thank you!

  • Reply Jonathan Self July 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Hey Chris. First of all. Points for solid dad joke at the storage of the video. 2nd thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I'm completely ignorant to farming and gardening. I'm buying 8 acres (4 wooded) and I'm devowering permaculture and KNF principles. Still, I don't have any idea on how to literal START. I understand IMO and etc however, everyone assumes I already have a working garden/farm. Clearly, KNF and one straw begins from no till. So, am I supposed to lasagna garden? Putting down paper seems to separate the biology of the soil from the "fake" soil on top. I see, to have good healthy soil already (lots of moles) and I'm just not sure how to begin to set my garden up for success. Should I grow crop cover for a year or two then plant? I'd be so great full if you could point me to some super basic resource material.

  • Reply lolo Mk August 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    thank you for making things easy for me to understand yum made great videos .. thank for sharing

  • Reply justin g November 14, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you chris you have 1 of the best videos on youtube. Keep it up!!

  • Reply David Smith April 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Chris … I have watched all your videos and am a little overwhelmed (IMO1 IMO2 IMO3 IMO4 WCA JMS SES LAB FPJ OHN LIQUID IMO) I'm just beginning and would like to know what to start first and and an order of prossess …. I am now going back and rewatching your videos and taking notes but am eager to get started … Please help … I feel like I'm going in all directions and retracking steps

  • Reply Zeebra237 May 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    This does nothing for me. I will look elsewhere for KNF.

  • Reply ART and BRI May 19, 2018 at 2:37 am

    I shallowly buried rice in nylon stockings in a video recently, knowing nothing about what I was doing. One of my viewers pointed me to you. Really enjoying the videos and learning a lot…

  • Reply D Barton September 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you kindly for the videos

  • Reply Tommy Long October 15, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Great video Chris

  • Reply Oxbow Farm November 29, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I don't want to "dislike" this video, so I won't, but it is frustrating to watch someone use all kinds of words (that have very specific meanings) improperly. Biology ≠ Fungi, Enzyme≠ Molecule, Rainwater ≠ N2. It sounds like Korean Natural Farming in a nutshell is about harvesting wild mycorrhizae and other soil organisms and turning them into some kind of spray/soil inoculant? If you've studied Elaine Ingham you ought to be able to use these words correctly, in the correct context. C'mon.

  • Reply ke fu December 16, 2018 at 9:18 pm


  • Reply Olli Entropy March 10, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    you probably mean microbiome with biology?

  • Reply MORNING GARDENER'S SHOW. July 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm


  • Reply Daniel Dollar July 18, 2019 at 4:09 am

    That intro is hilarious

  • Reply Khu vườn của mẹ July 30, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Great video, I am a farmer from Vietnam, looking forward to visiting

  • Reply G Talk Garden Podcast December 4, 2019 at 4:41 am

    Needed this… Expanding to a 10 squarefoot space next year… I will be experimenting with this…

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