1. Grasscity.com August contest: Subscribe to our channel on YouTube to be entered to win a PAX 2 Vaporizer! Winner will be announced Sept 1st
    Dismiss Notice

F.P.E. Fermented Plant Extracts

Discussion in 'Organic Growing' started by Russy, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Im having a hard time finding any information about these. particularly the benefits of each particular plant when used in an FPE.

    I have found one site only, which is here.

    Plants to the Rescue

    Does anyone have any informative links about different FPE's , and FPE ingredients.

    Looking specifically for information on the makeup of active ingredients in Cilantro for FPE making.

    Also, anyone with knowledge , please direct me on ideal temperatures , and or fermenting locations. Is it purely PH based, or Time? Or combination or time , ph and look/smell?

    Thanks much !

    fif3l likes this.
  2. russy, the only thing I have found was the one article with Gil Carandang's BIM. I have done the sprouted alfalfa seeds and fermented them. It is quite easy and I feel the product did help me with one of my better grows thus far.

    In a quart size container:

    2 tbsp alfalfa seeds, cover and wet them a couple times a day until you get the majority sprouted. Once you are there, cover the mass with clear, non-cholinated water and cover the container. Best to use a recycled plastic container w/lid. Though I have never gotten any pressure build doing this, the plastic is safer than glass just in case

  3. Nice post Russy I was wanting some good info on FPE as well
  4. #4 FunTimeGrowHap, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  5. Also, anyone with knowledge , please direct me on ideal temperatures , and or fermenting locations. Is it purely PH based, or Time? Or combination or time , ph and look/smell?

    It answers all of those questions.:)

  6. That thread is on a different subject almost completely , It is talking about EM-1 using Rice , and making your own Effective Microorganisms, I want to make Fermented plant extracts from various different plants , and Im trying to find the chemical/active ingredients in different plants for FPE making.

    I am not trying to mess around with EM right now, thanks though.
  7. At Southeast Asian markets you can easily find palm sugar (aka palm jaggery) in a 2 or 3 forms. This is a good carbohydrate to consider using as it's processed minimally which leaves the minerals and such intact.

    Using Gil's basic recipe you can use this serum to make bokashi bran and fermented plant extracts.

    Good choices for plants to use are stinging nettle, comfrey, alfalfa, dandelions, organic spinach, bananas, papayas, winter squashes (pumpkin is a good choice), etc. as well as the leaves and branches from harvested crops. Chopping up the plant as well as the roots and fermenting will give you a powerful agent to continue the health and viability from one crop to the next.

    In that same concept, taking some soil from a current crop which is healthy is a good source of humus for the initial steps of Gil's process.

    Lactic acid is effective at killing powdery mildew which is why you'll see folks recommending spraying milk on plants - this is just a very concentrated form.

    This process is far better than using EM-1 - no comparison at all. The difference is that Gil's method changes from batch to batch as the seasons change providing you with new additions of microbes from the atmosphere.

    You can increase the diversity of lactobacillus strains by adding anything that is fermented and does not contain preservatives. Miso paste, soy sauce, fermented bamboo shoots, organic beer, organic wine, organic vinegar, yogurt (especially the Bulgarian and Greek varieties), kefir, etc.

    You only want to add about 1/8th of a tsp. of any of the above - you're simply trying to inoculate the base recipe. This is added AFTER the initial brew is finished and you're now going to make Batch #2 using the same proportions of making AEM from EM-1 (2 parts serum, 2 parts carbohydrate and 20 parts water). This is when you would add plant materials to the new batch and as it ferments it's pulling out the desired agents leaving you with a very nutrient-rich lactic acid serum.


    Here is an example of the type of information im looking for , but for many many more plants...

    Comfreys (Symphytum officinalis, S. x uplandicum). Flowering perennial.
    Active ingredients. Allantoin, which stimulates cell multiplication. This is why allantoin is such an excellent ingredient for skin creams, especially for chapped skin.
    Action.Comfrey is a powerful stimulator of all cell multiplication, e.g. growth. It stimulates microbial growth in the soil, and in compost, thus acting as an 'activator'. Comfrey stimulates seedling development as well as foliar growth.
    Preparation. In fermented extract, use 2 lbs. of fresh leaves in 2.5 gal. of water. As a soil drench, dilute to 20%; as a foliar fertilizer and seedling fertilizer, dilute to 5%.

    Peppermint. (Mentha piperita) Perennial aromatic culinary and medicinal herb.
    Active ingredients. Many aromatic compounds.
    Action. Insectifuge and insecticide against aphids.
    Preparation. In infusion, 4 oz. of fresh plant in 1 qt. of water. Allow to cool, filter, and spray undiluted.
    In fermented extract, 2 lbs. of fresh plant to 2.5 gal. of water. Ferments extremely fast. Dilute to 10% before using. Note: Impedes germination so don't use on seedling beds

    Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Perennial weed.
    Active ingredients. A cocktail of ingredients still poorly analyzed but including formic acid, as well as iron, nitrogen, and many trace minerals. Acts as an immunostimulant for plants.
    Action. Strongly stimulant to both microbial and plant growth, thus a compost activator as well as fertiliser. Insectifuge and sometimes insecticide against aphids, mites, and other pests.
    Preparation. Use of the whole plant before flowering. Studies have shown that including the roots adds a fungicidal action to the extract. In fermented extract (the famous purin d'ortie), 2 lbs. of fresh plant in 2.5 gal. of water, fermented for a few days only. Dilute to 20% before using as soil drench or foliar feed. Use full strength as a natural herbicide (it kills with 'fertilizer burn' because it is so rich). Soak bareroot plants for 30 minutes in the pure extract or for 12 hours in a 20% dilution before planting to stimulate rapid establishment and vigor.

    Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium, main photo above). Perennial.
    Active ingredient. Pyrethrins.
    Action. Insecticide against aphids, cabbage fly, whitefly, carrot fly, and others. Does not hurt bees.
    Preparation. Harvest the flowers when open, and dry them. In infusion, use 1 oz. in 2 qts. of water. Filter when cool and spray undiluted. In fermented extract, use 3 oz. in 2.5 gal. of water. Dilute to 20%. Spray after sundown or in very early morning.

  8. How are you going to make FPEs without EM?

  9. Im sorry, but either something is lost on me, or Im not making myself clear...
    Ill just wait for more responses...
  10. Ya, no disrespect. I loved your crazy LST experiment.

  11. Don't mistake me for an expert, but I'm currently making some fpe. I have one made with em1 and a quart jar of dandelion flowers, one gallon jar of dandelion plants whole, one of bracken fern, and one planned for mullein. All these are abundant for me, that and the nutrient profiles from here
    Dynamic Accummulator Weeds
    The ones I'm working on are not done, the last time I checked the ph was 4, and I seem to remember it needs to get to the 3 range to be done. They also stink to high heaven. Also I'm using em1, but I guess you can get a fpe with just water and plant materials. With mine and em1 I'm mostly looking at getting minerals, with a water fermentation you may be able to extract compounds and minerals, but like I say I'm sure not an expert.......MIW
  12. Russy,

    The first thing to consider when you're making your FPE is the specific use it is intended for.

    If you are merely making an FPE for a liquid, plant based fertilizer you can use EM-1 for an expedited extraction and you will end up with a concentrate that will contain all of the elements that are contained in whatever plant you use.

    It helps to use a food processor to chop/macerate the plant material before immersing in the liquid which gives the fermentation a head start. This is pretty easy to do when making a gallon or two, but isn't gonna be fun if you're making a trash can full of a stinging nettle FPE. ( :eek: at LD) I got a look at/smell of LD's Stinging Nettle FPE today and am stifling my gag reflex while typing:D.

    FPE's will only extract elements......not compounds. For instance, alfalfa has some great compounds such as triacontanol.... if you want to extract the compounds you need to soak the plant material to a point, but not let it begin to ferment. More like making a tea.....let it go for about 7-10 days and then use.

    Using EM-1 in your FPE with a carb source will not only expedite the process, but will also really help for odor control. If not using EM-1, it can take 4-6 weeks for a good fermentation.

    Comfrey and Stinging Nettles can be used as stand alone fertilizers. An FPE with Horsetail will be loaded with Silicon (Si) and is a good tonic to use in place of Pro Tekt. Both Comfrey and Horsetail FPE's are also good during heat/drought conditions.

    Camelia flowers make a kick ass flowering extract and will also help your tomatoes. Yarrow blooms are the shit to apply on the flip to 12/12. With all of the goodies you've got going you're in the "Zone" for making FPE's and since you started this thread we'll have a place to share more info.

    I'm gonna go for now, and I'll dig out some more info later for you.


  13. #14 LumperDawgz2, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011

    1. The site that you linked to is a very solid resource for any number of subjects. Highly recommended. Check out their article on Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) for example.

    2. 90% of the information about using this or that plant is fairly anecdotal with most research having centered around the plants originally promoted by the Biodynamic groups (Demeter International) beginning 90 years ago.

    When considering a plant to use for making an FPE there are 2 primary areas to focus on - the elements that it has accumulated and the Secondary Metabolites that a particular plant creates.

    Elements are easy to understand, i.e. Calcium, Phosphorus, et al. - those 'elements' that appear on the Periodic Table. 8th grade science.

    It's in the area of Secondary Metabolites where things get more difficult to discern whether or not it would be beneficial to use in any form. A working definition for these compounds would be something like this from Wikipedia.com (I'm lazy this morning):
    Some examples would be Alginic acid found in kelp or Dodecenal that you would find in Cilantro for example.

    There are 2 basic ways to create an FPE. The popular 'easy' method is to use EM-1 which is 10 or so lactobacillus cultures, some yeasts, etc. It works but it some ways it works too well and I'll explain that in a minute.

    The other method is to simply take plant material and place it in water and let the airborne microbes ('indigenous' microbes) which would include native lacto strains, and let them do their work. The plant material itself is covered with microbes like you and I are.

    When you use a concentrated formula like EM-1 you're hitting that plant material with massive amounts of lacto cultures - enough to prevent rotting. But this level of anaerobic microbes completely and totally break-down the molecular bonds of the compounds found in that specific plant.

    Let's go back to my example of Alginic acid found in kelp. Alginic acid is a anionic polysaccharide found in brown kelp and is distributed throughout the cell walls. Here is structure of the compound (Secondary Metabolite):


    Not too complicated is it? Oxygen and Hydrogen in a specific structure. Break those bonds and you're left with what? Elemental Oxygen and Hydrogen - both of which are beneficial elements for your plants but it ain't Alginic acid any longer.

    When you use the method of using straight water a lot more is going on other than some very mild fermenting. Anyone who has made nettle or comfrey tea can attest that there isn't much fermenting going on but rather a lot of 'rotting' going on. In this method the compounds (Secondary Metabolites) remain intact and you'll get the benefit of these as well as the basic elements.

    There is no repository of information about which plants to use. Most of the plants being studied today are a result of their being used for decades/centuries and are now being evaluated as to the 'why' they've been effective.

    Having said that you can use another method to choose a plant. Take kale for example which is promoted for human and animal nutrition, i.e. it's nutrient dense. The elements that make kale nutritious to you or I are the same ones that feed plants - again Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium and the rest of the 73 elements needed by plants to grow and thrive.

    Another way is to look at organic products (legitimate) and see what they contain. An insecticide manufactured in Canada called EcoTrol is a good example. I looked at this product at a horticulture trade show last summer and read through the material they had available at their booth. But of greater interest was 'What's in this?" and it turned out to be rosemary extract and one of the mints - I believe it was either marjoram or oregano but it doesn't matter.

    Next up was to look into the history of using rosemary for reasons outside of the culinary arts. By using search engines like Google Scholar or even better, Scirus.com, I was able to collect the names of the compounds in Rosemary and by looking at those individually it was pretty easy to figure out how things were working. Same with lavender flowers.

    So here's my methodology - to extract elements use EM-1. It will get you there quickly and completely. If you're wanting to keep the compounds intact then simply brew the plant material in straight water. You don't need or want to add anything else. Rain water is #1 choice followed up with well water and so on.

    If you stay away from regular Google for your research and stick with search engines that are oriented towards researchers and scientists you'll find the information you're wanting more quickly. At the very least you won't have to wade through Johnny's blog or a marketing blab from a manufacturer.



    BTW - what OS are you running on your desktop/laptop? And are you familiar with using GREP/Regex within the structure of one of the server-side technologies like PHP, Ruby, PERL, Python, MySQL, et al? Searching can be accelerated in major ways if you are.
  14. Russy

    Here's a good example of what I'm talking about when using Scirus.com as a search engine.

    I took your example (Cilantro) and simply typed in the search string 'cilantro compounds' and here are the links on the first run.

    Kinda different from Google, Bing or Yahoo, eh?

  15. Wow, so much info, and yet you managed to answer my question perfectly.

    I had to read it 7 times, but I think I kind of understand it, you have given me much information to sift through and research, thanks as always.

  16. Just put together a Dandelion FPE. This time I added some fish meal, alfalfa meal and a little kelp meal. No AEM this time.
    Bring on the STANK!

    I may add a little AEM at the time of application to reduce the odor. Not sure yet.
  17. so where is the actual process for making these things?

    im loooking at the plants to the rescue site, is this the only resource?
  18. [quote name='"fif3l"']so where is the actual process for making these things?

    im loooking at the plants to the rescue site, is this the only resource?[/quote]


    This is a quick website with an overview of gil carandang's natural farming techniques.

    In that web page he explains the process of:

    In making bionutrients, the simple formula is to add 1/3 crude sugar or molasses and mixed with materials to be fermented and extracted. For example, let’s take papaya fruit fermented extract. We chop as thinly as possible ripe papaya, unwashed and unpeeled. We then add 1/3 crude sugar or molasses to the total weight or approximate volume of the papaya materials. Put the materials with at least 50-75% air gap and cover loosely with a lid and let it ferment for at least a week. After a week, you will notice some molds and microbial infections and will start smelling sweet, sour and alcoholic. The materials are then strained and liquid generated will be your pure fruit papaya extract. You can dilute this with 20 parts water. This diluted form can be used as bionutrient, using 2-4 tablespoons per gallon of water. Again, this extract can be added to animal drinking water and feeds, to compost pile or sprayed/watered to plants leaves and roots. This will be a good source of nutrient for plants or animals, and also for our beneficial indigenous microorganisms. Papaya extract is good source of enzyme pappain, beta-carotene and Vitamin C for example. So extract any plant material and just try to find out what kind of nutrients they have you can use for animal and plant nutrition. Should the materials you intend to use for extraction do not have much moisture (as compared to our papaya fruit example), you may add water enough to the level that will moisten all the materials.

    There are other forms / methods of ferments but im just going to show you this one to make it less confusing.


Share This Page