Korean Natural Farming – Fermented Plant Juice

This is an extract from Dr.  Han Kyu Cho’s Korean Natural Farming Handbook p.106-p.121. Some slight editing has taken place to make the material more readable.

Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ)

1. What is FPJ?

Generally plants are composed of blood, chlorophyll and fiber. Plus, there are about 100, ooo to 150, 000 microorganisms per 1cm3 of leaf. Most of them are lactic acid bacteria and yeast.

Fermented plant juice (FPJ) is a fermented extract of the plant’s blood and chlorophylls. Brown sugar is used to extract the essence through osmotic pressure. Therefore, FPJ is a rich enzyme solution full of these bacteria; invigorating plants and animals.

It is interesting to note that chlorophylls don’t dissolve in water or oil but in weak alcohol. Microorganisms in the process of fermentation of making FPJ produce small quantities of alcohol; extracting the chlorophyll.

FPJ and Kimchi

Kimchi have enjoyed kimchi (korean style pickled vegetables) for hundreds of years. Kimchi, which is made by adding variety of spices and condiments to vegetables, is not only a food source rich in nutrition, but also helps digestion. Abundant lactic acid bacteria in the kimchi soup do this job. That is why Koreans will begin their meal with a spoonful of kimchi juice.

Some smart farmers tried to apply kimchi in farming. My father was one. My father never threw away left over kimchi juice, which is very sour, but instead always poured it into a container filled with human faeces and added water. He then used it as fertilizer and so the crops grew healthy and strong.

This got me to thinking that ‘if human faeces treated with kimchi juice is good for crops, why not use the kimchi juice directly? So I did some experimentation and applied diluted kimchi juice directly to the growing of crops. I tested to see whether hot pepper seeds dipped in old kimchi sauce would germinate. So I dipped the hot pepper seeds in kimchi juice for a while, sowed the seeds and observed the effects. The result were much better than I had expected.  Preparing the seeds by dipping them in kimchi juice meant that even old seeds sprouted and all the plants were healthy.  The success of my experiments led me to use other plants for kimchi ingredients  and FPJ is the eventual result. In essence it’s the same process to make FPJ as kimchi, except that salt has been replaced with brown sugar.

Mugwort and Dropwort

The two basic FPJs come from these two plants; Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) and Dropwort (Filipendula Vulgaris).  My inspiration for using these two plants came from my Korean ancestors use for these plants.  It was a traditional practice in Korea for women who had just given birth to bathe in a broth of mugwort water.  Indeed it is written in the “Dong Eui Bo Gam”, Korea’s great medical encyclopaedia, that mugwort is also known as the “lady’s plant” and that it was good for women.

After some studies of my own it became clear why this should be the case. Mugwort is rich in iron while Dropwort is rich in manganese. The iron in Mugwort thus supplements a woman’s supply of iron, which is depleted during menstruation or after she has given birth. Manganese on the other hand stimulates the peripheral nervous system, which promotes cell division, allowing wounds, such as those sustained in a difficult birth, to heal more quickly. However as trace elements iron and manganese are not only important for humans but also for plants. Therefore it occurred to me that extracting these micronutrients from these plants and applying both to my crops would produce good results.

The best ingredients are everywhere

Once again I should emphasize that the Korean Natural Farming philosophy strongly recommends that farmers produce their agro inputs themselves rather than purchasing them from the market.  As we have everything we need close to hand to make other inputs ourselves so it is with FPJ.

All things created by nature are imbued with energy and plants are are no exception. Plants overflowing with energy are all around us.  We can utilize a variety of weeds, crop remnants and wild plants from the mountains and the sea as the ingredients when making FPJ. Any vigorously healthy plant is good.

When making FPJ plants choosing plants which grow first in the spring or remain green longest in late fall/autumn are particularly good ingredients.  Fast growing bamboo shoots and arrowroots are likewise good.  In southern tropical areas banana, mango, kangkong and bapoom are vigorous and strong.  Addtionally, the lateral buds of all plants contain hign concentrations of growth hormones, which is excellent for FPJ.

2. What to collect

It is recommended that you collect that are strong against the cold and which grow vigorously when spring arrives such as Mugwort and Dropwort. Both plants are abundant in Korea but are found everywhere.  Mugwort endures both heat and cold.  Herbicide weakens it for a while but it shrugs the effects off quickly.  We want to transfer this innate strength to our crops.  Koreans traditionally used Mugwort for numerous purposes, including cooking, medicines and baths. Dropwort is also readily available. As a medicine it alleviates fever, promotes urination and is full of calcium and manganese, which promotes good blood circulation and stimulates the peripheral nervous system. Dropwort will provide the similar benefits to crops if they are sprayed with Dropwort FPJ.   Therefore farmers should always have mugwort FPJ and dropwort FPJ ready.

Fast Growing and Vigorous

When making FPJ it is important that your ingredients come from plants which grow quickly. Quick growing plants have growth hormones which are very active, and these plants have a lot of energy. This characteristic can improve weakness in your crops and help your plants recover from health problems.

Bamboo shoots are a typical example. You can almost see the shoots growing after the rain they grow so quickly. And because they grow so quickly you have to be quick when you are picking them. You shoudl remove the soil but not the outer skin. Bamboo shoot FPJ, like MUgwort FPJ and Dropwort FPJ can be used to increase vegetative growth when diseases weaken crops.

Some other plants, beside bamboo shoots, which are great ingredients for FPJ include cucumber, strawberry and kiwi. With cucumbers the lateral buds are used. A cucumber grows from1 gram to 10 grams in just 10 days. However, it is weak against cold or disease.  During the last part of the harvest season you should cut about 50cm up from the root system and then hang the cucumber stem upside down in a bottle so that the cucumber juice flows out and is collected. This cucumber juice is also good for facial care.  It is said that the juice can be stored for up to three years with the juice retaining it’s original quality, without discoloring or losing its flavor.

On seasons

All FPJ ingredients have a particular season for their collection. This is also true for sea plants. For example, seaweed is best collected between March and April. If you cannot obtain a sufficient amount in one season prepare a lot in the previous year.  Note that FPJ made in spring is used throughout the year so make plenty to ensure you don’t run out. It is also recommended that use wild plants that have lived in the local area for generations.  These wild plants, available in large quantities, will be vigorous and full of energy which is the key to making good FPJ.

FPJ from the same plant

Apart from FPJ sourced from wild plants we can also used FPJ sourced from the plant we mean to benefit. We give back to the plant what it has produced. You can use what otherwise would have been waste, tomato lateral buds and leaves, squash and sweet potato vines, crops eaten by insects or overgrown, picked fruits or buds, unmarketable and other agricultural byproducts.

3. How to collect

Avoid excessive sunshine and rainfall

If the day is clear due to the hot rays of the sun, then the moisture level of the plants may be low.  When the moisture level is low osmotic pressure might fail to extract the juice even if you add more brown sugar.  If the hot weather continues but you really have to make FPJ you should water the plant one day prior to collection.

You should also avoid picking plants during or immediately after rainfall because rain washes away the lactic acid bacteria and yeast on the leaves. If you make FPJ at this time the juice can become sticky and thick and won’t ferment well. This is also why you should not wash the ingredients before fermentation. Picking plants two days after a rain shower is recommended. The reason for this is microorganisms have been washed away on the rainy day and haven’t had time to re-establish themselves the following day. However after 2 days without rain they are once again present in  heavy concentrations.  This is a good time to pick ingredients as the plant is full of moisture.

Just before sunrise

Plants should be collected just before sunrise as this is when the plants have the most nutrients. Plants have two metabolic processes; anabolism and catabolism. When the sun is up, anabolism is primary; from about 3pm to the next sunrise, catabolism is active. This means that in the early morning just before sunrise the plants contain the most nutrients and vitality. Plants with dew on them also give you more volume. In all cases it is best to make FPJ as soon as possible after picking the plants.

Visit the site prior to any expedition

It is usually a good idea to visit the site where you are going to pick plants during daylight hours since finding plants in the darkness before dawn will otherwise involve a great deal of difficulty.  Local knowledge is also of benefit. For example if the coming season is the season of the clematis berries then you should have already noted where they will fruit from the previous year.

I should also mention that Natural Farming techniques work best when performed by the husband and wife in partnership. This is due to the fact that women tend to be more careful and particular when gathering the necessary ingredients for NF inputs.

Make your wife crazy about Natural Farming! If you do then everything will work out very smoothly. You will be able to practice natural farming well and have plenty of plants in storage.  Natural Farming is something that a married couple can have fun doing together.

Since mugwort and dropwort is needed every year it is a good idea to plant a small amount of each plant in your field. Mugwort and dropwort are both very prolific plants so they will grow well when planted and you won’t have to travel far to obtain them.

Quickly snap the growing point

You should pick the growing point for making FPJ.  Opinions differ on how far below the growing point to cut.  If you cut far down from the growing point you will get obtain a great quantity of material but the growing point portion will be small.

For cucumbers, it is best to cut about 10cm down from the growing point.  However it is difficult to obtain sufficient quantity for processing with 10cm so some people cut 20cm down from the growing point.

It is best to use the picked plants immediately. As soon as you pick the plants its liveliness and energy begins to diminish.  If you wait too long before processing the plants will start to dry out. If you try to make FPJ with dried out plants you will only be able to extract a small quantity of juice.

Immediate use is problematic when one must go into the deep forest to obtain, for example wild grapes or wild clematis, since bringing your plant cuttings back home will take some time.  Under these circumstances you should take some FPJ with you. When you pick the fruits dip them lightly in FPJ as this will form a film on the surface of the fruit preventing the escape of nutrients and energy.

Some notes on materials

You should use either a clay pot or a wooden container made from Japanese cedar. Avoid using stainless steel, iron or plastics.

A clay pot is good because it is not prone to temperature changes, particularly in summer. However the disadvantage of a clay pot is that when it is large it is very heavy and difficult to move or wash after use.  Therefore choose a jar which is not too heavy to manage.  A jar with a small opening is also good since less air will contact the juice and this will promote fermentation. Another reason for a small opening is that when the liquid rises to the top and all the ingredients are fully soaked, the liquid should rise above the level of the ingredients. If this does not occur then the surface will become dry and encrusted and fungus may appear.

For Japanese cedar containers sizes between 18L and 36L are adequate. It is also convenient to use a wine barrel with an outlet valve at the bottom since this makes retrieving the solution easier.

It is also a good idea if you have jars and containers of different sizes as different FPJs may require different container sizes. To practice NF properly, you will need 5-10 containers of various sizes. Most of the other inputs will also need containers.

If you cannot obtain a clay pot or a cedar barrel  you may use glass or plastic containers though the quality of the NF input will not be as good.

Finally, do not forget to shade glass containers with black cloth or paper, since the rays of the sun should be blocked.

Brown Sugar

Large amounts of brown sugar are used for making FPJ. Remember that when the ingredients have a lot of moisture (as in summer citrus fruits, fruits, flowers etc.) you will need to use more brown sugar. Generally the amount of usgar you need to use is 1/3 to 1/2 the weight of the ingredients.  When using ingredients with a lot of moisture you should use 1/2.  Should you be using Philippine crude sugar, you will need to add still more.

If it is totally impossible to obtain brown sugar then you may use white sugar. However, since white sugar has been refined it contains fewer vitamins and minerals. Consequently, the fermentation process will be different and the FPJ will be of low quality.

Even better than brown sugar is crude sugar. You can also mixed sun dried salt with sugar, though refined white salt should be avoided. Molasses is unsuitable as it contains too much water and so is not good for generating osmotic pressure.

Using a stone weight to extract air

After putting all the ingredients into a container you will need to use a stone, or similar weight, to extract the air. Since the plant juices are extracted by osmotic pressure, not by physical pressure some compression is needed to bring the the brown sugar and the ingredients into close contact. Place a stone on top of the ingredients, the size of which will vary according to the thickness of the ingredients and their sugar content.

Alternatively, you can use a plastic bag filled with water. This method has the advantage of spreading the weight evenly over the surface and  perfectly adhering to the plant material. The disadvantage is that you must ensure that the bag does not get ripped. So you should use thick plastic bags, or place one bag inside another.

The weight should be removed after the air has been extracted; maybe after a day.

Cover lid

A cover is needed to prevent insects getting in.  Porous paper is ideal as the cover must let air in and out.  Newspaper is not good because of their surface ink. You may use cloth but it is easy for small animals to get in and for dust to accumulate in wrinkles in the fabric.

Don’t forget to write the preparation dates and the ingredients on the paper as you will need this information.

5. How to make FPJ

1.  Collect the ingredients.

2. Shake the dirt off the ingredients but do not wash the ingredients as you will also wash away the microorganisms. If the size of the plant material is too unwieldy cut them into 5-10cm pieces. Doing this will increase the surface contact area and promote the action of osmotic pressure.

Note! Always remember not to mix different kinds of ingredients in one container. The rule is one ingredient to one container.

3. Measure the weight of the plant ingredients. Measure the weight of brown sugar. The weight of brown sugar should be between 1/3 and 1/2 the weight of the plant ingredients. You should adjust the amount of brown sugar to take into account the moisture of the plant materials you are using.

4. Put all the ingredients, plant material and brown sugar, into a large wide container and mix it altogether with your hands.  When the ingredients are fully mixed, cover with a newspaper and leave it for 1-2 hours.

5. Put all the ingredients into a clay pot. The ingredients should fill about 3/4 of the jar, not too much less or too much more.  This 1/4 space is not useless, rather it is the required amount of space for air to react with the ingredients to the correct degree.

6. Place the weight (stone or puncture resistant plastic bag filled with water) on top of the ingredients.

7.  Put on the cover (Ian: presumably paper) and tie it onto the jar.

8. Remove the weight after one or two days; after the air has been expelled from the ingredients. Put the cover back on.

9. Place the the jar in a cool, shaded place. Do not open, move or stir the ingredients while fermentation is taking place.

Using Salt

If the juice is not extracted well you can add sun-dried salt.  Doing this will promote extraction, though it will also make the final product unfit for human consumption. When you use salt make sure the amount you use does not exceed 1/3 of the amount of brown sugar you used; for example if you used 9kg of sugar you should use no more than 3kg of sun dried salt.

6. How to use FPJ

According to the nutritive cycle

Natural Farming applies fertilizer in accordance with the Nutritive Cycle Theory  proposed by Oino Ueyas. This theory states that crops need different nutrients at different stages in their life cycle. Given that, let us see which FPJ suits which stage.

From germination to early growth: Dropwort, mugwort, bamboo shoot FPJs are good. They will help crops become cold resistant and grow quickly and strongly.

During the vegetative growth period:  The crops are developing their volume at this stage, which means they need nitrogen. Arrowroot, bamboo shoot and reed FPJs are good.

During the changeover period: The crops need a lot of phosphoric acid (P) at this stage. Mulberry, grape, raspberry FPJs made from unripe fruit (unripe is when they have more acid) are good.  This is similar to a pregnant woman’s craving for sour foods.

Reproductive growth: The crops need a lot of calcium (Ca) at this stage. FPJs made from fully ripened clematis, apple, peach and grape are good.

General Use

FPJ’s are normally used at dilutions of 800 to 1ooo. When used with other inputs the solution should have still more water. And during the period from germination to the infant stage crops FPJs should be used at the lower concentration level (i.e. at an FPJ to water dilution ratio of 1:1000).  If the leaves are smaller make it even milder. During the reproductive growth stage it is better to to use the stronger solution (1:800) and spray on the leaves and fruit.

Dropwort and Mugwort FPJs are good for helping plants recover from the effects of storms, typhoons and sudden cold spells etc. FPJ will help plants with damaged leaves to recover and regain the optimum balance of microorganisms on their leaves. As such it will help farms recover from natural disaster. For all such emergency treatment you should use FPJ made from dropwort and mugwort.

It is better to use FPJ mixed with other inputs, such as OHN Oriental Herbal Nutrient, to obtain synergized effects. However, in emergencies you should avoid using strong concentrations, even though your need may be great. You should instead start with a weak solution and slowly move to a stronger solution as your plants recover. The reason for this is when the crops are weak their absorption power is also weak. You should also vary the dilution rate according to the weather, stronger in wet season and weaker in dry season.

FPJ as  a beverage for human consumption

FPJ is good for human health. FPJ made frommugwort and dropwort at effective treatments for constipation and arthritis.  FPJ made from bamboo shoots is good for people with weak physical conditions. Clematis and Japanese cedar FPJ are effective in alleviating liver and bowel diseases. People have said that they have been freed from several aches and pains from drinking FPJ.

Natural Farmers use FPJ as a beverage. Also if you get used to drinking NF drinks then you will drink less carbonated soft drinks. Phosphoric Acid, which is a key ingredient in carbonated drinks, flushes calcium out of of your metabolism. Therefore by choosing to drink FPJ instead of carbonated drinks you can prevent calcium depletion and the onset of osteoporosis.  If you raise your children by giving them FPJ to drink as opposed to alternatives, then your children will avoid minor and frequent bouts of illness. I am not exaggerating when I say that FPJ will protect the health of your whole family; it is the king of all medicines.

FPJ restores your body’s energy and also enhances your body’s activity thresholds.  FPJ revitalizes crops and trees so dried out and wasted that they seemed on the verge of death. The juice can also help treat the weakened digestive systems of cows, pigs and chickens when fed to them with brown rice vinegar (BRV).  Very quickly the animals will regain their appetite and vigor.

The effectiveness of FPJ can be enhanced by adding BRV. The combination of FPJ and brown rice vinegar is not only good for your body but is also has a very fresh taste. If you drink this FPJ twice a day (morning and night) then it will be very helpful in protecting your health. You can also experience beneficial health effects if you cook meat products after marinating them in FPJ.

7. Fermented Fruit Juice

Fermented Fruit Juice  (FFJ) is a kind of FPJ that is made from fruit. According to Mr. Shibada Genshi, the foremost enzyme researcher, fruit enzyme is like making honey in a cedar wooden container. Fermented fruit juice  (FFJ) is produced in almost the same way as FPJ. However if FPJ is ying, then FFJ is yang.

How to make FFJ

1. Prepare about 6 different fruit types (in all cases more than 3). The fruit should be fully ripe, either picked or fallen. Clematis (best) , figs, strawberries, grapes, wild berries, mulberries, carrots, apples and cherries are good. When there is insufficient fuit available you may add supplementary ingredients such as spinach roots, wild yam, dasheen, potato, chines cabbage, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini and chinese radish. (However, use persimmon only for persimmon and citrus for citrus. These two FFJs are not good to use on other crops because of their cold and sour character0.

2. For 1kg of fruit, prepare 1.2-1.3kg of brown sugar in summer, and 1kg in winter.

3. Wash the container and then disinfect it in the sun.

4. Spread the brown sugar on the chopping board and dice the fruit in order, starting with the fruit with the highest sugar content. After dicing the fruit put the sugar on the fruit and place them in a container, the sweetest fruit goes in the bottom. Do this very quickly to prevent the loss of essential substances. The ones that are difficult to dice, such as grapes and strawberries,may be slightly crushed with clean fingers.

5. Use half the sugar while dicing and pour the remainder in at the end.

6. Stir slightly, about 2-3 times with a cedar wooden stick.  Stir less in summer and more in winter.

7. Cover the container with porous paper and tie it down.

8. In summer fermentation will be complete in about 4-5 days, in winter it will be about 17-18 days.

9. After completion,sprinkle some sugar and store in a cool shaded place. There will be some sugar on the surface after completion; if it is hard like ice, the FFJ is a success.

How to use FFJ

use FFJ diluted 1000 times after the changeover period of your crops. It is excellent for reenergizing, whether for crops, livestock or humans. It will also keep your family healthy when consumed regularly.



  1. Manu Sharma said,

    November 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Very interesting post, Ian. Reminds me of the experiments of one Shripad Dabholkar of Maharashtra, India.

    Sorry for being off-topic but I saw your Treehugger post and wanted to share a rooftop gardening method I’ve developed (and tested) recently that qualifies for all the criteria you listed: ultra low-cost, waste-eating, requiring zero-energy input, easily replicated, simple, can be combined with animals.

    The most exciting part of this method is that it eliminates the greatest maintenance requirement for growing plants — watering them regularly. And no, it doesn’t involve drip irrigation.

    Please get in touch if you find this intriguing.

  2. Ruth Limbu said,

    November 17, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Hi dere………
    it was great to know about fermented fruit juice of korea. I wanted to know more about FFJ..if juice left for fermentation for a long time such as 10-12years..what dilution should be done to make it a health drink reducing alcohol content as well . i am just a student fron Nepal..waiting to know more about it!!

  3. November 27, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Hi all,

    Sorry for the tardiness of my response. It seems I have a child on the way. So my life is presently in a spin cycle.

    Manu, I certainly am interested. What we’re doing here in Tokyo has never been done before and it sounds like you’re on an unexplored path too. I will certainly be in touch at the weekend.

    Ruth, I’m sorry but I’m unable to answer your question. As far as I am aware it’s never been done. However, my advice to you would be to contact the National Productivity Organization for Nepal. The details are here, there is a contact email address but no website.


    Alternatively you could contact the APO directly. I know that the APO is currently looking at the possibility of funding a project using Korean natural farming techniques. The officer in charge of this is Mr. Choi, a Korean officer in the Agriculture Department.


    I hope that helps.



  4. Manu Sharma said,

    December 4, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Ian — First of all, congratulations!

    My turn to apologise now for the late response as I temporarily lost access to emails. Please get in touch over email and I’ll send you the details.


  5. glonryAgogy said,

    December 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for the informative information – I enjoyed reading it! I always enjoy this blog. 🙂 Cheers, woman-giving-birth-video.com

    • January 6, 2010 at 7:40 am

      Thank you for the compliment. Interestingly my wife, the indomitable Sunju Lee, kinda like the Korean version of the unsinkable Molly Brown, is going to give birth to our first child in July this year.

  6. January 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    i am from texas in the u.s. but am gaining much interest in the natural farming methods. any additional reading/websites/links/etc that you could recommend would be very appreciated.

    couple of questions. being in the states,,,how do i find mugwort and dropwort? is there a supplier of the dry form of these herbs? any other suggestions?

    on the FFJ,,,,,if a person does not have access to “fresh” organic produce, can one get by with grocery store fruit?

    thanks for your help

    marty baecker

    • January 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

      Hi Marty,

      I would think on the FFJ front you’d have to peel the material you use. A lot of fruit today is covered in chemicals or glazed with wax to make it appear shiny. I don’t imagine any of this would be good for FFJ. Of course what you are aiming for eventually is to grow your own fruit and then use fruit which, for one reason or another, you don’t wish to eat directly or turn into something else. Windfall fruit would be ideal.

      I believe Mugwort and Dropwort are fairly common plants, however that being said, there’s nothing stopping you from consulting with a herbalist for a health promoting weed plant that is native to your area. Ask for plants which are full of minerals. Chinese medicine experts would also be good people to ask as they use both of these plants.

      As for other resources.. Well I’d look at the Plants for a Future website. I’d also look at the ZERI website. I’ll look out the URLS for both organizations and send them to you. I’ll also send anything else that comes to mind. Combining Natural Farming with elements you like from Biointensive methods, Permaculture methods and George Chan’s Integrated Waste Management and Farming Systems (IWFMS) should give you everything you need.

      If you need anything else, just holler. However, for the moment, thanks for your query.



  7. Dan Brinkman said,

    May 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Hello Ian,

    I’m from Canada originally, currently working in Wonju, South Korea as an ESL teacher. I’d really like to find out more about Janong Natural Farming Institute and especially the Natural Farming Handbook that you refer to in your website, but I have so far been unable to contact them by e-mail.

    What would be the best way to get a copy of the Natural Farming Handbook? Are there other publications from JNFI that I should know about? This is all something I have only begun to look into (I’m a novice gardener, but an avid forager) but that I would love to learn more about. Please let me know more about the manual and anything else I should know about. Also, if you have any wishlist items, I do live close to the Canaan Farming School in Korea – let me know if you want/need anything from here. I have yet to make a visit, but it will be soon, I hope!

    Anyhow, keep up the good work on your blog. I look forward to reading more of it in the future.

    All the best, God bless,


    • August 31, 2010 at 6:56 am

      Hi Dan,

      Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. The blog went on the back burner while I was transitioning from Japan to Korea. I’m now back in Seoul with a new baby and a new job. I’m also an EFL teacher.

      The Korean Natural Farming Handbook is very difficult to get hold of. As if that were not enough I hear that Dr. Cho has published a newer updated version.

      I am attempting to put together an environmental group in Seoul, the idea being to use rooftop systems to generate the funds for restructuring all the services so that they’re not simply mine-use-dump pipelines but rather open cycles.

      Anyway, hope you’ll get in touch


      • Dan Brinkman said,

        August 31, 2010 at 8:04 am

        Congrats on the birth of your daughter and with moving back to Seoul!

        Thanks for replying, you definitely have been keeping busy as of late.

        I have yet to track down a copy of the original natural farming handbook, but perhaps a newer edition will be more readily available at bookstores. An environmental group in Seoul – that is a good idea. Here in Wonju there seems to be a high level of interest in environmental issues in general, which is encouraging. Yonsei University Wonju Campus and Canaan Farm School have a lot to do with that. Have you been to either of these places before?

        Have a good week.


      • August 31, 2010 at 8:18 am

        Hi Dan,

        It’s a boy, but thanks anyway. 😉

        In answer to your question I’ve never been to either place. I’ve been to the East Sea precisely once and that was in the general area, but moving from car to beach and back again doesn’t really count I’m thinking. As for the handbook, the original wasn’t available in bookstores, so I doubt the new one will be. However, my wife is a friend of Dr. Cho so I might be able to swing something. Dr. Cho has done work on behalf of Korea’s industrial productivity organisation KPC (The Korean Productivity Corporation) and will be taking up a higher post there in October. So I imagine there’s a number of channels that are open. I’ve met Dr. Cho a couple of times.

        Interesting you should mention Yonsei University. I picked up my MA at Yonsei in Seoul and so I’m also a member of the Yonsei alumni.

  8. NGIN BUNRITH said,

    June 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Dear Sir/madam,

    I am very intersting when visit your www, can Ipropose to visit your project?

    Best regards,
    Ngin Bunrith

  9. June 19, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    […] conditions. Clematis and Japanese cedar FPJ are … … Go here to see the original: Korean Natural Farming – Fermented Plant Juice « Rooftop Ecology's … ← Turn To Chris Pizzo For Easy Dismantling Of Attackers Bamboo Shoots Health Benefits […]

  10. Joesany Palma said,

    August 20, 2010 at 2:15 am

    I am interesting about your study. I’m planning to try it.
    hope to your support.

    • August 31, 2010 at 7:03 am

      Hi Joesany,

      Keep me updated on your progress. I’ll put it on the site.



  11. jeftin said,

    October 27, 2010 at 4:31 am

    i like it this is a great help for me to make my thesis.tnx

    • November 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Jeftin,

      Glad I could be of help. I’ve received a fair amount of help myself from other eco-friendly people, so it’s only fair that I pass it on.


    • March 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Hi Jeftin,

      Glad to be of help. If you are interested in this, I can also highly recommend Dr. George Chan’s Integrated Farming and Waste Management System (IWFMS). This tends to connect the farm to all sorts of organic waste, building soils and reducing farm costs.


  12. jamie said,

    January 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I am interested in using ffj and fpj in my garden. Is there anyone in the US that is doing this? The studies abroad are way over my level.

  13. February 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    i enjoy reading you blog. we’ve been spreading the gospel of natural farming here in the Philippines and got lucky with one participant who is now our sectary of agriculture.

    • March 12, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Dear Josephine,

      If you are an advocate of Natural Farming, you should contact the Development Academy of the Phillippines (DAP). The head of the DAP is Antonio Kalau, whom I have met personally and whom I can say is a very nice man indeed.

      Anyway, the DAP has conducted a series of training programs, in association with the Asia Productivity Organisation (APO), on behalf of the Philippine government. My understanding is that the training programs were very successful.

      • October 11, 2011 at 4:47 am

        Dear Ian,
        My husband Andry K Lim is one of DAP scholar since 1999 and been the resource speaker of DAP training on Green productivity programs all over the country. He went to Korea again during the opening of the Global Natural Farming Institute in Jeju Island,Korea.

      • October 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

        Hi Josephine

        If he’s DAP he may well know my wife. She was working for the Korea Productivity Centre for years before becoming an officer of the Asia Productivity Organization. She quit her job there last year and returned to Korea to have our baby boy. Her name is Sunju Lee. 🙂 I got to know Dr. Cho through my wife. I’ve had lunch with him a couple of times and we used to get free fresh fruit delivered for a while as well. 🙂

  14. mugisha vian said,

    June 19, 2011 at 6:35 am

    am a student of agriculture at makerere university uganda and i like natural farming so much.
    however in uganda we have limitted info about such. if i can access more through this email it would help alot. Vica_isha@yahoo.co.uk
    Qn. for how long can fpj be stored? does it expire or not?
    Qn what is the application interval for crops?

  15. shiela fra said,

    June 29, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Hi rooftopecology,

    We are going to conduct a research related to your study
    can we ask you “what are the bacteria that are produce in fermenting plant juices?” because our teacher wants us to conduct a bacterial analysis.

    we hope you can help us


    • July 9, 2011 at 6:57 am

      Hi Shiela,

      I believe most are lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. The mere fact that such things are indigenous, makes a generic breakdown all but impossible.


      Ian Gordon

    • July 9, 2011 at 7:19 am

      hello shiela,

      here are some of the bacteria isolated of microorganism
      Lactic acid bacterium, Lactobacillus sp., photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodobacter sp., yeast, Pichia sp., Actinomycetes, Streptomyces sp., and fermenting fungi, Aspergillus sp.
      my email add josephine.gamboa@gmail.com i can send you our study here in the philippines.

  16. loida acacio said,

    October 11, 2011 at 7:22 am

    what are the good characteristics of fpj?
    thank you!

    • October 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      That’s probably a question for people with practical rather than theoretical knowledge. Perhaps Josephine can answer that one for you.

  17. October 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

    @sir Ian and Ma’am josephine:
    thanks for the informations.
    @ma’am josephine: when can we get the result of your study? HAHA(:

    more powerS and GODBLESS..

    • October 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Shiela,

      Thanks. I’ve put this stuff on a back burner for a while. Of course if there’s something I’ve missed and you’d like me to put up on the site, just give me a shout.



  18. November 7, 2011 at 1:56 am

    hi ian,
    -what are the characteristics of fpj?
    -what are the classifications of IMO found in fpj?

    • August 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Hi Shiela

      I wish I knew. However keep in mind that each batch of fpj is likely to be different.

  19. November 7, 2011 at 1:58 am

    hi josephine:
    – what are the good characteristics of fpj?

  20. sane said,

    April 2, 2012 at 2:46 am

    what is benefits of fermented plant juice effect to chicken

    • August 17, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Dr. Cho drinks this stuff himself. I would also suspect that it would improve digestion, uptake of minerals and the like. Suppression of toxic bacteria in the stomach and gut is also likely. This stuff is connected to an animal’s bio-community. Doctors are now finding that the bacterial communities which live on us and in us are vital for health. New articles published in nature and science back this up. Some interesting facts on that..

      A baby is innoculated with the bacterial colonies of the mother when exiting the vagina. People who have had their stomach biological flora wiped out by antibiotics are prey to all sorts of illnesses. As disgusting as it sounds the excrement of a healthy individual inserted into the sick person as an enema saves lives. So I would imagine the benefits would be what probiotic producers have been touting for decades.

  21. Mila Celeste said,

    May 19, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Hi I’m Miles from the Philippines. I only started making fermented plant juice last year and sharing with our public schools and some local communities. It is very interesting to know that this started in Korea and I’ve learned more details from your article Anyway, Some municipal leaders have asked our help recently to manage their market waste and landfill. Any special formula for this?

  22. June 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you for any other excellent post. Where else may just anyone get that kind of info in
    such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m
    on the look for such information.

    • June 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm


      What kind of information were you looking for? I am a font of useless knowledge, or so my wife tells me. If I can help, I will. 🙂



  23. bheohssimi li-jen said,

    January 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Hi..can you please provide me further elaboration about the usage of FFJ on livestock;?please do help me find some more related references about these fermented inputs:>cause i am really having hard time finding related literature for my research..

    • August 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm


      Finding literature for your research will be a little difficult as Dr. Cho, the founder of Janong is more like a guru than a scientist. He experimented. He got good results. He didn’t really bother about the science. A good place to start though is by sending an enquiry to the Asia Productivity Organisation Secretariat, located in Tokyo. They might be able to help you out on this matter.

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