Grow Your Own

Korean Natural Farming

For us, KNF is the best form of zero-waste organic gardening.

According to Wikipedia, “Korean Natural Farming (KNF) takes advantage of indigenous microorganisms (IMO) (bacteria, fungi, nematodes and protozoa) to produce fertile soils that yield high output without the use of herbicides or pesticides. A result is improvement in soil health, improving loaminess, tilth and structure, and attracting large numbers of earthworms.

Cho Han Kyu, or Cho Han-kyu, born in 1935 in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, Korea, invented the Korean Natural Farming method. Cho completed high school education at the age of twenty-nine, while he worked on his family’s farm. In 1965, he went to Japan as an agriculture research student for three years and studied the natural farming method of three teachers: Miyozo Yamagishi (Japanese: 山岸 巳代蔵), Kinshi Shibata (柴田 欣志) and Yasushi Oinoue (大井上 康).

Upon his return to Korea, Cho combined his newly acquired knowledge with the Korean traditional farming method and fermentation methods, used in such Korean food such as Kimchi, and gradually invented what we now call Korean Natural Farming, putting it into practice by setting up a “Labor-Saving Abundant Harvesting Study Group” in 1966. As he gained more practice, he opened the Natural Farming Life School and Research Farm in Goesan County, North Chungcheong Province, in 1995. In 2008, he renamed his natural farming school and lab to “Cho Han-kyu Global Village Natural Farming Research Institute”, or Janon Natural Farming Institute.

The fundamental insight of KNF is to strengthen the biological functions of every aspect of plant growth to increase productivity and nutrition. Biology thereby reduces or eliminates the need for chemical interventions, whether to protect against predation and competition with other plants. For example, the metabolism of indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) produce complete proteins, while insects prefer incomplete proteins.

KNF avoids the use of waste products such as manure, which reduces the chance of transferring pathogens from the waste back into the food production chain, although in nitrogen-poor conditions adding manure can increase yield.

-Use the nutrients contained within the seeds
-Use indigenous microorganisms (IMO)
-Maximize inborn potential with fewer inputs
-Avoid commercial fertilizers
-Avoid tilling
-No use of livestock waste

Vegetables, Fruit, and Herbs You Can Regrow At Home

Be sure to look up specific instructions before attempting these yourself.

Stems to Regrow in Water
The bottom of the vegetable must be intact for this to work.
Bok choy
Cabbage
Celery
Green onions
Fennel
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lemongrass
Lettuce and heading vegetables such as Napa cabbage


Herbs to Grow from Stem Cuttings
Basil
Cilantro
Lemon balm
Mint
Oregano
Parsley
Sage
Thyme


Root Veggies to Regrow for Leafy Tops
Use root tops that still have their leaves attached. These roots will not regrow in water but the leaves will. They may regrow in soil over time.
Beets
Carrots
Parsnips
Radishes
Rutabagas
Turnips

Tuberous Roots & Stems to Regrow Entire Plant
Start with an organic potato or yam that has not been treated with growth retardant. It’s the eyes that sprout new growth.
Sweet potatoes
Cassava
Potatoes
Yams


Rhizomes
Ginger
Turmeric


Bulbs, Stems and Modified Stems
When each of these are regrown indoors in water, they produce edible leaves only (like green onions), not bulbs as they do in soil.
Garlic
Bulbing onions
Shallots


Seeds
Be sure to look up specific instructions before growing these. Many will produce fruit different than the parent:
Citrus | Lemon, lime, tangerine, etc.
Hot and Red Peppers
Melons
Mango
Pumpkins and winter squash
Tomatoes
Dates