Imagine your beautiful permaculture farm or garden, filled with plantings of all sorts of useful crops that fortify each other and provide bountiful everlasting harvests. Now imagine how we can easily improve the yields of many of those crops, or protect them from early frost damage, or even protect them from disease…. simply by placing a few simple pieces of wire at choice locations around your garden? Never heard of such a thing?? Well it’s true.... Welcome to the world of Electromagnetic Permaculture!
Permaculture, the art and science of land management and design that encourages sustainability and self-sufficiency, can be applied to the world of electro-magnetic agriculture in accordance with a variation of the classic 12 principles.
- Observe & Interact - From the ancients to modern day scientists, it is by observation that those with a keen understanding of both nature as well as basic scientific principles were able to leverage natural invisible forces to enhance the value of their crops and their land.
For instance, in the observation of the conditions of plant life after thunderstorms, many have noticed that plant life seems to be much more lush, more fuller, more colorful and vibrant than from before. Is it true that it's just an increase in atmospheric nitrogen that creates the effect, or is there perhaps more to the story, e.g. a build up of electric field energy in the atmosphere, or the impact of electrically-charged raindrops that impart electrons to the cell walls of the plants? These electrically sensitive cells then react accordingly, creating a flurry of effects ranging from pigmentation changes, synthesis of growth hormones, metabolic changes and more.
What can be done with this new knowledge and understanding?
- Catch & Store Energy - With a new sense of knowledge - the understanding that energy affects the growth of plant life, in accordance with Principal #5 (Use Renewable Resources), we can leverage the presence of naturally-occurring forms of energy to catch and store energies in various ways.
From the combination of solar cells and batteries, to more simpler, appropriate forms of electromagnetic capture like the use of magnetic loop antennas, we can start to harness these natural forms of energy is new sorts of ways. Using charge collection systems and other types of antenna systems, we can capture radio waves, and electrostatic charges, too.
- Obtain a Yield - While growing plants normally will result in a yield, research has shown that through the use of electro-horticulture or electromagnetic permaculture in particular, that we can achieve massive increases in yield by more than 300% in some cases.
- Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback - Growing with electromagnetic energies requires the use of monitoring in feedback. If too much energy is applied to a given set of plants, bad things can happen. On the other hand, too little and results can be limited.
In applying electroculture to your own crops, it’s essential to experiment, observe, adapt, and try again to find the optimal approaches to use for your situation.
- Use Renewable Resources - Once you understand the influence that energy has upon plant life, a whole world opens up of different possibilities. In the world of electromagnetic permaculture, renewable resources are aplenty - sunlight, naturally occurring & artificial magnetic field energies, atmospheric electricity, radio waves, and more are available for anyone to use, if you know how.
- Produce No Waste - Electromagnetic Permaculture is an appropriate form of technology that produces no waste as the systems are long lasting, simple to construct, and can leverage the use of found materials for use in an up-cycling manner. The only outputs of these systems are concentrated electric & magnetic fields. With thoughtfulness applied to their design, they can last indefinitely.
- Design From Patterns to Details - The systems that we produce can be designed based on biomimicry concepts, allowing us to leverage design patterns found in nature in the creation of devices, structures and other artifacts by which we can influence growth outcomes.
For instance, some antenna designs are based on the shape of seashells, while other forms of atmospheric charge-collecting antennas may be based on charge-collecting leaf shapes.
- Integrate Rather Than Segregate - When applying electromagnetic fields to plants and entire crops, systems can be created where each plant is given it’s own singular device. And while this works, it can be more effective to design electropermaculture systems in a way that brings about more environmental aspects than just one.
For instance, through the use of Hegelkulture, we can improve outcomes by ensuring that the soil systems remain moist, enabling better flow of electric currents underneath plant roots. Outcomes can be further improved by including the use of nitrogen producing plants that will participate in a positive-feedback loop, experiencing stimulated increases in their own growth, while producing nitrogen compounds that will enhance the growth of their sister plants nearby.
Other types of improvements can be achieved by integrating multiple energetic forms into a single landscape to improve the chances of success.
- Use Small & Slow Solutions - One of the benefits of electromagnetic permaculture is that it can be applied at any scale, especially small scale for low or negligible cost.
- Use & Value Diversity - Not only is it important to be diverse in planting choices, but also from from an Energetic Agriculture point of view. With the knowledge that plants respond to electric fields, magnetic fields, and other forms of energy beyond the scope laid out here, better results can often occur from a layering of approaches.
Justin Christofleau, one of the founding fathers of electroculture, leveraged this approach. In his flagship electroculture device, he leveraged the use of multiple energy-collecting technologies - static electric charge collection, magnetic induction, and the Seebeck effect, which is based on the generation of charge between two dissimilar metals at different temperatures.
- Use the Edges - Like in traditional permaculture, with electromagnetic permaculture, there is value in the use of edges.
Some places where edge-effects can be beneficial are in the the moist regions surrounding ponds and streams. In addition to being sources of moisture for plant growth, they can be a good placement for electroculture systems that perform better in highly conductive soils. If using a DC system, which tends to not be long-term sustainable due to corrosion effects, placing systems near bodies of water or areas prone to flooding can help with more effectively moving water to more desired plant growth areas through the use of electro-osmosis. Edges matter in all sorts of ways, including electrode and antenna layout, where you need to think about how to best distribute the electromagnetic field energies.
- Creatively Use & Respond to Change - One of the things I find most fascinating is the diversity of applications that are possible with electromagnetic permaculture. With the changing of the seasons, electroculture can be helpful in managing your crops’ resilience to change.
One example of this would be in frost prevention. Research and historical records show that the use of electric fields in agriculture can actually protect plants against early frosts, perhaps through the increases in metabolic activity that they induce.
Electromagnetic Permaculture, while a new term in these modern times, is based on the use of sustainable approaches used long ago. From the use of ancient earthen mounds and rock dolmens for seed enhancement, to the use of 18th century techniques and modern approaches still being developed today, there is a ton to be learned and applied to gardens and farms of all sizes.
I’d like to invite you to dive deeper by exploring more of ElectricFertilizer.com as we explore the essentials of ElectroMagnetic Permaculture! To get a solid introduction to this whole new world, check out my first book, Electro-Horticulture: The Secret to Faster Growth, Larger Yields, and More... Using Electricity! Also, consider joining our email list for updates & specials - click here
Electroculture, Justin Christofleau, 1927.
The Noun Project