What is Korean Natural Farming (KNF) & Why It's Important To Solventless Rosin & Hash


Tyler Markwart

Medical cannabis activist, farmer, hash maker, syndicated journalist, and consultant with over 25 years experience in the medical, legacy, and recreational markets..

Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is an approach to agriculture and farming that emphasizes using natural and locally available resources to create healthy and sustainable ecosystems. With a focus on natural and organic inputs that holistically support the growing environment, resin that's cultivated with NFT methods can produce some of the highest-quality solventless products available. 

Beneficial microorganisms, lack of chemical exposure, composting and natural fermentation all support enhanced cannabis plant health. Healthy plants are more likely to produce robust resin profiles, which can translate to improved flavor, potency, and overall quality in solventless extraction processes.

Korean Natural Farming (KNF) is a farming/gardening protocol that was organized and popularized by Master Cho Han Kyu. This production method uses local and onsite fermentations of plants, fruits, and fish, as well as the culturing of microorganisms to regenerate land into a healthy and productive living soil. KNF is a very affordable and regenerative production method that reduces input costs for farms and home gardeners while helping to maximize yield potentials and quality. 

Finding a balance between being productive and being profitable, while also trying to preserve and protect the environment that you are growing in is extremely challenging, but it can be done. Using KNF inputs is one way to help you get to the next level of food and medicine production where quality and quantity cross paths. In this article we will go over each of the inputs, how they are used and how to make them.   

Integrating Korean Natural Farming into Your Current System

One of the first questions that often pops up when people are learning about natural farming techniques is “Will it integrate into my current irrigation system and IPM system?” The answer is yes. You can integrate KNF inputs into your current drip system as well as other foliar application systems. The steps required for this just involve making sure that your preparations are filtered thoroughly and that you do a small sample trial run to ensure that you have filtered your solutions enough to pass through your emitters. 

The next question is usually “How much time and money do I have to invest to make these inputs?” That question depends on the scale of your farm. For home growers, most of the inputs can be made very easily and relatively quickly.  The two most challenging and time consuming inputs to produce are OHN and FAA.  Some people who do not live near coastal regions or bodies of water may also not be able to access sea water, and fish but that can be supplemented with a purchasable product.  The important thing to remember is that we are trying to reduce the amount of inputs that we bring onto our properties, but sometimes due to situations that are out of our control we do have to bring products in.

List of Acronyms in Korean Natural Farming:

OHN - Oriental Herbal Nutrients
BRV - Brown Rice Vinegar
FPJ - Fermented Plant Juice 
FAA - Fish Amino Acid
WCP - Water Soluble Calcium Phosphate 
WCA - Water Soluble Calcium 
LAB - Lactic Acid Bacteria 
SEA - Sea Water
IMO - Indigenous MicroOrganisms

Now, let's look at these in detail. 


OHN - Oriental Herbal Nutrients

Application Ratio = 1000:1 (ROH2O:OHN)

This input is considered a medicine for the plant and works well to heal and prevent diseases that may negatively impact your crops. From my personal experience I have found that it works really as a pest preventative as well as a way to reduce viral and fungal infections in plants. OHN is considered one input but is made up of several ingredients.      


In the base recipe for KNF from Master Cho, it calls for making alcohol extracts of Garlic, Ginger, Licorice, Cinnamon, and two parts angelica. Some gardeners like myself like to also add a turmeric extract to the mix to increase the beneficial chemicals being extracted. These plants also are good for keeping the farmer healthy as well.  Taking a small amount daily will help keep your body in proper balance.

BRV - Brown Rice Vinegar

Application ratio = 500:1 (ROH2O:BRV)

This input has multiple applications and is used as a pH adjuster for liquid solutions as well as pest preventative.  Several published journal papers have shown that pests do not like the smell of acetic acid which is one of the components of vinegar.  Vinegar also contains amino acids which the plant can use to turn into proteins increasing nutrient processing efficiency and immune response.  

FPJ - Fermented Plant Juice

Application ratio = 500:1

Also sometimes referred to as FPE or Fermented Plant Extract; this input is full of beneficial nutrients, minerals, growth hormones as well as other important chemicals that the plant needs to live a healthy life. The key with this input is to match the stage of growth of the cannabis plants that you harvest and ferment with, to the stage of growth that you are applying the foliar input in.  For instance, if you have the capability to grow extra cannabis plants to sacrifice so that they can be made into nutrients, you can grow and then harvest those plants in their separate growth stages, like the vegetative stage, the transition stage into flowering and then the flowering stage. 

This is a little time consuming and takes some good organization and note taking…but it does allow you to fill in the gaps of nutrition and minerals that the plant wants at that specific time of growth.  You can also supplement the plant's nutrition needs with other plants that are called dynamic bioaccumulators. The most common of these plants are:

  • Redroot amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) 
  • Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
  • Common nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • Russian comfrey (Symphytum peregrinum) 

These plants are good at accumulating different nutrients and minerals, so knowing what the plant likes at what time will help with your harvests and applications. You can also include grass in the list above as it contains a high amount of nitrogen, especially in the springtime.  

So collecting, fermenting, labeling and storing these nutrients throughout the season will help reduce buying fertilizer while also providing a naturally derived plant available nutritional source that can help to reduce run off by utilizing plants growing onsite.  

FFJ - Fermented Fruit Juice

Application ratio = 500:1 (ROH2O:FPJ)

This input is often lumped in with FPJ or sometimes it is even just left out by some gardeners. But if you have the time and access to fresh fruit on your property then it doesn't hurt to add this input to your input solution. It can even have a beneficial influence on cannabis flowering plants sensitive to hermaphrodite tendencies (I’ll explain this more later). Because fruit has a higher sugar content than the leaves and stems of plants, this input is good for increasing bacterial communities in soils and on plant surfaces. Fruit also contains hormones that are beneficial for plants that are producing their next generation of seeds. This application can be made up until week 3 or 4 of flowering depending on how fast your plants start to produce flowers. It can be applied later into flowering but care and inspection for mold and mildew on the plant are important, especially in areas prone to fog and high humidity.  

FAA - Fish Amino Acid 

Application ratio = 1000:1 (ROH2O:FAA) during vegetative and early flowering (foliar and soil drench), half application rate during middle and later stage of flowering (soil drench). 


This input is used as an amino acid supplement. Amino acids are considered a nitrogen source for plants that are readily bioavailable. These amino acids can be converted into proteins by plants which are the building blocks of cellular structure and function. What does this mean…stronger, healthier plants that have increased immune system responses to pests and disease.  

This is one of the two inputs that can be difficult to source and it also takes a long time to produce. So it’s best to prepare FAA this year for next year's production cycle application. If you’re a vegan or someone who doesn't feel comfortable handling fish guts you can use plant amino acids from soy and other plants.  You can purchase these products from grow stores or grocery stores but again if you can acquire the inputs for free (fish guts from local fisherman) then you can reduce your input costs which means a greater profit margin. 

WCP - Water Soluble Calcium Phosphate  

Application ratio = 1000:1 (ROH2O:WCP) 

This input is used mostly during the flowering stage for adding a readily available source of phosphorus for the plant.  It is derived from charing animal bones (grass fed cattle) and then soaking the charred bones in brown rice vinegar.  It can be foliar applied from transition to week 4 of flowering and then it can be added as a soil drench during the middle and later periods of flowering. It can also be applied as a foliar or a soil drench during the vegetative stage of growth if there is a phosphorus deficiency apparent.    

WCA - Water Soluble Calcium  

Application ratio = 1000:1 (ROH2O:WSC) 

This input is suggested for use during late stage flowering in most plants, but cannabis prefers a heavier calcium and magnesium input regiment so it can be used during all stages of growth.  

LAB - Lactic Acid Bacteria

Application ratio = 1000:1(ROH2O:LAB) during vegetative growth, half that during flower

This input is used as a microbial inoculant that is beneficial for the leaf surface and soil. It is made using rice, water and milk.  One of the byproducts of this input is cheese which can be eaten by humans and other animals. The cheese has a strong and distinct flavor and is not for the mild mannered.  Lactic Acid Bacteria are one of the most predominant bacterias that are on the surface of the leaf. They also help to remediate poor soils so they work well as a soil drench as well.  

SEA - Sea Water

Application ratio = 100:3 (ROH2O:SEA)

This input is considered by many to be the strangest of all the inputs, but it helps to add that finishing touch to a soil that is almost perfectly balanced. The concept is that the ocean is the draining point for all rivers which are high in sediment, silt, nutrients and minerals. Salt water, while containing a high amount of sodium also contains all the other water soluble mineral salts.  Applications of Seawater are beneficial for filling in micronutrient levels as well fighting mold and mildew infections on vegetative growth. If you live in an area where you can not access the ocean or a sea, then purchasing a product called Sea90 will help supplement your needs.

IMO - Indigenous MicroOrganisms

Application Ratio = 500:1(ROH2O:IMO)

This input is probably the most important of all the inputs in the natural farming protocol. This is where you will culture the local indigenous microorganisms that have been adapting to your local environment for millions of years. Collecting samples in each season and then reapplying them to the according season of growth will help to maximize your plants symbiotic relationship with the natural microorganisms that grow in the area. IMO is made in several stages and takes a decent period of time to produce. 

It also requires close attention to detail and constant inspection to make sure it is within specifications. Not only is it the most important of the inputs, it is also the most difficult of the inputs to create. Expect to fail several times when practicing culturing microorganisms.  But when you do get it dialed in, your plants will be forever grateful to you.

Coupling Natural Farming with Synthetics  

Another question that is often presented when I discuss natural farming production with people is “Can I couple natural farming with synthetic nutrients?” The answer to that is, yes. On a personal anecdotal note, some of the best cannabis that I have ever grown was a combination of KNF and synthetic nutrients. The combination of the two allows for the plant to maximize its potential and the end result was great quality and with a lot of weight. Synthetics can handle adding the base macro nutrients (NPK) while KNF can help to supplement any of the micronutrients the plant isn't able to uptake. 

It is important to remember that KNF foliar applications are not a substitute for proper soil/growing medium nutrition. Foliar applications are beneficial supplements, think of them like work out supplements for bodybuilders. They help fill in the gaps and give plants that extra little boost.     

There are several places to access the recipes to make the KNF plant, fruit and fish fermentation such as the University of Hawaii’s publications (links below). There are also a multitude of online video resources on different platforms. Master Cho has a book available on Amazon.com and his website as well.  I urge you to purchase this book and to read it, reference it, and pass it on to your friends, family and neighbors. When producing these inputs you will fail, and sometimes people will fail several times until they are able to get a quality extract or ferment.  Be patient, learn from your mistakes and be open to criticism and help from others who have more experience than you do.  It’s also important to create these inputs with good intentions, as the energy you give will also be reflected in how well it works with the plants when applied.  

Application Rates

I personally make 1 foliar application each week up until about week four of flowering (when growing for seed you can make foliar applications further into flowering.  I will also make 1 soil drench application every week to help increase soil quality, though this is only if the plants aren’t growing vigorously.  Over time you will learn what your plants and soil/growing medium prefer.  But just like when a person consumes drugs, less is always more.  It is always easier to add more inputs later than it is to try and take inputs out of the soil or growing medium that you already applied. This link below contains the ratios in which to apply the inputs with: Application Guide

KNF Solution Calculator

There is another good resource available on your phone’s app section.  Search KNF Solution Calculator, the logo is an orange heart with the letters KNF in the middle.  This calculator will help you with the amount of inputs to add when making your soil or foliar applications. It also has an in depth description of how to make and apply each input.  There is also a separate section that will teach you how to make your own soap at home.  



Growing using natural farming inputs is kind of like creating an inception style production system.  You always want to harvest, extract or ferment your healthiest plants.  This is because when you take the healthiest plants and make nutrients out of them you are providing the plants with a full spectrum of nutrients, hormones, minerals and beneficial chemicals that will help the plant reach its fullest potential. 

Happy and healthy cannabis plants grown in an environment free of chemical contaminants will produce the finest quality resin. In solventless extraction, what you put in is always what you get out. Therefore, only the purest and most potent resin will be capable of producing the highest-caliber hash and rosin. 

NKF is not only ideal for solventless cannabis extraction, it's ideal for the environment. 



Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB)

Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN)

Fish Amino Acid (FAA)

Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ)

Water Soluble Calcium (WSC)

Brown Rice Vinegar (BRV)
Available at your local grocery store or can be ordered online for home delivery. You can also make your own BRV if you have access to fermented brown rice alcohol. 

Water Soluble Phosphate (WSP) 

Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO)

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