Fermented Plant Juice
The post below is from my blurt blog.
Making Fermented Plant Juice
What is Fermented Plant Juice?
Fermented Plant Juice harnesses the naturally occurring nutrients, minerals, hormones, enzymes, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, cyanobacteria, etc from the plant's growing tips and/or floral buds(pre flower).
When applying FPJ, It is in conjunction with other various inputs in Korean Natural Farming, typically not by itself.
Collection of materials for FPJ:
Early in the morning, for peak microbial activity before the plant starts to transpire which is typically around 4am, collect the tips, floral buds, or unripe fruits of disease free plants The microbes love the dew.
Plants harvested for FPJ should be found in your immediate area. Invasive NON POISONOUS, Weeds that you can't kill, that are healthy are ideal.
Be mindful not to use roots or root crops; they lack airborne yeasts. Do not Harvest from plants that are sick, diseased, or deficient plants. Diseases can be passed with FPJ. Plants and fruits from the store may cause FPJ to fail, due to the lack of indigenous fungi, bacteria, and yeasts.
Do not use Store bought fruits or vegetables etc when practicing Korean Natural Farming.
Early in the morning, around 4am, I harvested the plant tips/floral buds, and cut them into 3/4 inch or smaller pieces.
- Low grade metal cutters or knives can cause oxidative damage.
I then weighed the plant material, and added equal amounts of unprocessed brown sugar. I placed the materials into a non metal container and mixed. Be sure not to mix different plants into the same container. Only one type of plant per jar. However, some of the plants I collected were extraordinarily dry; so I added half as much unprocessed sugar with them.
When using unripe fruits add 1.5 the weight of sugar or when the ferment is highly active/larger liquid returns when adding sugar.
The 1:1 ratio of plant material weight to unprocessed brown pulls the water from the microbes through osmotic pressure and the solution to make it mostly dormant, almost just like salting a fish.
By filling, and gently packing down the sugared plant material into my container to about 2/3 full or more if the plant material settles; I am allowing for the collection airspace to breathe since it is alive.
- 24-48 hours later the plant material might have settled. My goal is to have the material settle at 2/3 of the container volume. With my posts on Instagram, I'll be able to remember the type of material and note the settling volume for future fermentation.
I Added a sugar cap about an inch thick on the ferment pictured below but 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick is ideal.
I made sure the inside rim and outside of the container is clean in order to prevent bugs. I then covered the FPJ with a paper towel and secured it with a rubber band. Always labeling the container with positive intention and dating it each time.
I kept the FPJ out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days (depending on temperature) to ferment in my cabinet. 5 days in warm weather. If mold forms on top, remove and continue.
7-10 days in colder weather
After 7 days had passed, the controlled fermentation was complete and there was an accumulation of plant juice at the bottom of the container. I knew it was done by the faint scent of alcohol that indicated the controlled fermentation was complete, making sure not to let it ferment to the point of alcohol.
I strained the fermented plant juice from the solids with a HDPE plastic container and cheesecloths. I did not squeeze the plant material to get more fpj out, I only wanted to extract what was available through osmotic pressure.
I will store as is. But I monitored for a couple of days and added slowly 10% unprocessed brown sugar with some of the FPJs I made in order to slow down the activity/bubbles.
I covered the containers with breath-able lids after filling to the top. I, of course, then labeled and updated the date for the containers with love and intention.
I will store in a cool room, dark room/cabinet and using taste and smell I will monitor the FPJ quality and mostly because of the 4 seasons, I will only make enough to use in 3 month increments.
I won't use FPJ without OHN and BRV.
This is one of many inputs that I will be using for an upcoming type of Compost called IMO4.
IMO4:(Video from Chris Trump's YouTube channel.)
Most up to date progress on my Korean Natural Farming
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- Inter Natural Farmers