At 13-Mile Farm we practice Korean Natural Farming as much as possible. KNF provides methodology for soil enhancement and animal husbandry using indigenous microorganisms (IMO), extracts, and tinctures (collectively called “inputs”) produced here on the farm, primarily from local-to-the-farm (indigenous) materials.
By using these various farming inputs to enhance the quality of the soil, promote plant health and growth, improve feed nutrition and digestibility, and reduce or eliminate odors from chicken coops and goat areas, we simultaneously save money and farm in a manner responsible to the land and the livestock we raise.
The practice of Korean Natural Farming is nothing new in Korean and other parts of Asia where it has been adapted, but it is relatively new to the Western farmer and the methods employed challenge a number of concepts we have taken more or less for granted. We are used to thinking we must always till our soil and then add fertilizers and amendments before placing our seed or seedlings in the ground. Then we weed around the desirable plants we placed and maybe use some designer products to kill bad bugs or stifle mildew molds in an attempt to produce only large beautiful vegetables and fruits for our table and the market.
Note that whether you are growing your gardens or crops “conventionally,” with chemical fertilizers or “organically,” with naturally derived fertilizers the mechanics of farming are pretty much the same. Sure, an organic farmer might not be inclined to fully mono-crop, preferring to add diversity and so manage the soil in a way that minimizes dependence on fertilizers, they are still farming in essentially the same ways conventional petro-chemical farmers are working the land. Neither conventional or organic farming is sustainable in the long-run as the dependence on fertilizers and additives is still there; they simply come from different sources. KNF directly challenges this methodology.