Welcome to the Experiments Page!
On this page we will be highlighting experiments from the Electric Fertilizer community… So, if you’re trying electroculture out and you’d like to have your garden or plants showcased here, please let me know and we’ll be sure to post your results here!
Here’s a link to my first experiment: My First Experiment with Electro-Horticulture.
On a side note, for those who are interested in the hard-core university driven research, we now have a “Research” page which will highlight selected dissertations, papers, journal articles, etc. If you’re an author and you’d like to be featured, please let us know.
This growing season, I’ve been working towards increasing the number of electroculture experiments in my yard and in my basement. While it seems that I have somewhat achieved this, my goal is to eventually have a small warehouse where I can have lots of proper experiments going on simultaneously under near identical conditions. In the meantime, I made due with what I have and what I have time to put together. In this post I’d like to share most of the projects that I’m working on, and perhaps you’ll find inspiration to give electroculture a try as well, seeing how simple, it can be to try it out in many cases.
Since winter seems to be nearing its end here in St. Louis – after what seemed to be a longer one than usual with lower lows and more snow than I can ever remember getting over here, it felt good to make it back over to Warren Street to check out the project site. A few weeks ago there was a team of people who hung up a bunch of decorative flags on strings. While I found out about the event too late to attend, it looks great!
This post is way overdue… (updated to include the original email):
Here’s an email I received last September from a friend of mine who was interested in trying out electroculture:
“This summer I planted a vegetable garden in my front yard. I planted tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli, peppers, and chard. I wanted to to try David Wechsler’s “electric fertilizer” concept, so I constructed a crude magnetic field generator: an old Samsung phone charger with a 5v, 550 ma output, connected by lamp cord to two three-inch nails, one connected to each wire of the charger. I buried the nails, upright, some distance apart, just below the ground in the center of the garden, and plugged the charger into an outside 110v plug. The garden is about 25 feet by 14 feet. The long axis is east to west. The nails were positioned on the east and west sides.
So you may have been wondering, what real scientific research has been going on with respect to electroculture… right? I had the same thoughts when I first set out on this journey, too. In today’s picture post, I’m going to share with you a couple pictures from a research article by Tsutomu Takamura.
I was just digging around some old photos and I came across a couple of pics from my greenhouse last year… Check out the what’s possible with the energy from a single solar cell!
September was a very exciting month for me as I was invited to give a presentation for the St. Louis innovation think-tank, Openly Disruptive. The meeting was on the topic of food & sustainability and I ended up speaking on 3 ideas where electro-horticulture would be of benefit to urban agriculture. It was a great event and I’ll share more about it once the video is posted online. The only thing that I would like to mention is that the speaker before me spoke a great deal about food forests and permaculture – which re-sparked some thoughts I had regarding how electricity could be used in those settings.
Saturday, July 27th was a great day at the Sunflower+ Project StL site – not only for the great weather, but for the results that we were able to observe. The results were a bit unexpected, but as you will see below, a positive sign that electro-horticulture works in a field environment.
Here’s an update to the Electric Fertilizer portion of the Sunflower+ Project.
A few weeks ago we showed up early on the day of the Awards Ceremony to begin installing the system’s electrodes.
To get a feel for of the lay of the land, I went to visit the property a few weeks ago… Being my first visit to Old North, I was pleasantly surprised!
Old North St. Louis – Recipient of National Smart Growth Achievement Award by the EPA
Sunflower seeds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To prepare myself for sowing sunflower seeds on-site, I started a mini-experiment to see if sunflower seeds respond favorably to electrical stimulation. We happened to have 2 varieties of sunflower seeds on-hand since my pet parrot, Oskar, is a regular consumer of those seeds. The two kinds were a small black variety and the other was large and striped.
So using some organic soil, I planted 4 seeds, two of each variety into some square spice jars. While they really are a bit on the small size, not only because sunflowers grow very tall, but also because they have large root systems (which is helpful with regards to phytoremediation). On the other hand, I chose these containers because at least in the beginning, I could keep them sealed to minimize moisture loss when I was gone from them over the weekend (since I kept this mini experiment running at my office). Here’s a photo of the initial setup.