Ever since I was an adolescent, I loved finding catalogs and books covering esoteric subjects and arcane scientific knowledge. One thing I came upon was a set of papers archived by Rex Research that covered an amazing array of electrostatic-based inventions and discoveries.
After revisiting the idea once in a while over the years, I recently came across a much greater selection of web-material for the related topic of electro-culture… the concept of growing plants with electricity.
It turns out that the research is published in some books and articles dating from the late 1800s and occasionally up till the 1940s. After figuring out the right keywords, I found some additional studies including one recent article that I have yet to review that discussed the effects of applying electroculture to a commercial hydroponic greenhouse.
My current drive to electroculture came from a deep-desire or perhaps a knowing that the speed by which plants grow can be increased. I was also inspired to experiment more after hearing an interview (on The Cosmic Influence) from John Burke (and Kaj Halberg) speaking about their book Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty: Understanding the Lost Technology of the Ancient Megalith Builders where he talked about research involving a number of sacred sites including Stonehenge, and the various ‘mound’ sites, i.e. Cahokia’s Monk’s mound. His research revealed that at daybreak, and I think especially at the solstices, that these sites were used for fertility rituals by the agrarian societies of their heyday. In his studies, he found that at these times these sites had a significant increase in the electric field strength, and discovered that when seeds were placed in these locations or were exposed to artificially-produced electric fields, that crop yields increased significantly and the plants were hardened against disease. Additionally, there is other research by a number of people and institutions who demonstrate that all sorts of crops can be increased in speed of growth, amount of fruit or harvest, etc. when exposed to a variety of conditions including:
- Static electric fields
- Magnetic fields
- Negative ions
- AC waveforms over a limited range of frequencies
These topics are very exciting to me! Next, I’ll introduce you to an experiment I started. One of the techniques of electroculture was the creation of an “Earth battery” which consisted of a copper plate at one end of a row and a zinc plate at the other end. Attached to both plates was a piece of rebar connected to each plate by a wire. Then, both plates were connected by a copper wire strung above-ground. When the soil was sufficiently damp, a minute electric current could be measured by means of a galvanometer. In these experiments, a number of benefits came to pass including an increase in crop yields of 20% – 40%, decreased time to fruit, and increased resistance to disease. Similar results came from applying DC between the base and the top of fruit-bearing trees.
To get started, I made an adaptation and figured that i could get a similar effect by using a common DC power supply from an old cell-phone charger. After removing the charging connector and stripping the wires down so I could attach a nail to each terminal, I placed each nail on opposite sides of the growing container and filled over them with soil. I then proceeded to plant some Romanesco broccoli seeds. For the first week I kept the power on for 12-hours per day. Then I figured that it would be better to go all-out and keep power applied 24/7.
After about 1 week, the experimental group (there was a control group also – non-electrified) had stalks about 2x as long as the control group.
After the 2nd week, the leaves on the experimental group were looking a little strange to me… there was a light-green band along the perimeter of the larger leaves. I didn’t know what it meant, and assumed the experiment wasn’t working in a positive manner.
After the 1st month, the difference between both groups was astonishing! While they both were exposed to identical conditions, except for the electricity flowing through the root-structure, the experimental group had leaves that were almost twice as wide as the control, and furthermore, the entire plant had a lush deep-green color to it while the control was more of a pale-ish green. Check out the pictures below:
As you can see from the pictures, the differences between them after 1 month are quite large. I am happy to report that this experiment is starting off as quite a success and will continue to publish updates in the near future.