SONIC BLOOM - Terry McComb

God often blesses when we take His word to heart, and that appears to be the case when Dan Carlson examined how God originally watered our primal planet-" . . . a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." (Genesis 2:6). Carlson’s discovery of God’s ways resulted in a powerfully prolific garden that produces cauliflower so big only four will fit in a box designed to carry twelve!

Such an astonishingly fruitful harvest is part of a unique twofold process Carlson calls Sonic Bloom. This program uses the musical sounds of bird songs broadcasted over the garden and a misting machine with a special foliar that applies the mist to the plants’ leaves.

During a visit to Hickory Nut Research farm near River Falls, Wisconsin, I bumped along with Carlson on his John Deer utility cart on a short tour of his 140 acre tree farm. I soon became aware of a gentle sound above the clattering machine which sounded similar to a chorus of chirping crickets. When Carlson shut off the machine, I listened more attentively to the musical tones. They were not an obtrusive timbre but rather more like gentle rain. After awhile, I was not even aware of their presence.

With cheerful enthusiasm Carlson explains how he doubles production yields, increases the nutritional content, and more than doubles the shelf life of food products by using the sound I was hearing. This oscillating frequency apparently opens the plants’ stomata (breathing pores), and while the pores are open the leaves are sprayed with a plant nutrient enzyme.

Carlson’s happy eyes become serious as he said, "This whole idea began on a bitter cold day in 1960 while I was serving the U.S. Army in occupying the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. I watched horrified as a mother deliberately thrust her four-year-old’s legs under the back wheel of a reversing two-ton GMC military truck. I went to hit her, but when I saw the look in her eyes. I went away weeping because using a crippled child and begging was the only was she could hope to feed her family."

Carlson had noticed that 40 percent of the farmers in that area had starved because they would not eat next year’s seed. "I went to my fox hole and spent the next few days praying and thinking, praying and searching for answers," he continued with emotion. It was then I decided to do something about the world hunger problem during my life."

Back home, enabled by the GI Bill of Rights, Carlson spent four- or five-hour days for nearly seven years at the University of Minnesota Library studying plant physiology. Enrolled in the university’s Experimental College, he was allowed to design his own curriculum in horticulture and agriculture. While researching, he stumbled across a little-known recording called "Growing Plants Successfully in the Home" written by George Milstein, a retired dental surgeon. Milstein’s innovative idea convinced recording company executives of Pip Records to amalgamate into a popular tune the pure sound frequencies used by University of Ottawa researchers that had increased their wheat yields 66 percent.

Carlson started where Milstein left off and focused on finding frequencies that would stimulate leaf stomata to open. Stomata are breathing openings about 1/1000th of an inch across which allow oxygen and water to pass out of the leaf while other gases (notably carbon dioxide) move inside the leaf to be transformed by photosynthesis into sugars. Carlson experimented with various frequencies until, with the help of an audio engineer, he found one in the 3,000 to 5,000 kHz range that caused the stomata to open.

Having found the right frequency to achieve his goal, Carlson next turned his attention to the second part of his Sonic Bloom approach – what to put into the stomata once they open. Carlson reasoned that (even in poor soil) plants could be well nourished via the stomata with a foliar spray containing the right elements. It required not only the right elements, but the right balance. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are needed, but an overdose of any one element can distort or even kill a plant.

Carlson spent the next 15 years experimenting in the field and in labs throughout the country to find this balance. These tests required countless hours using radioactive isotopes and Geiger counters to trace the elements from leaves to stems to roots. Eventually Carlson included 64 trace and minor elements derived from natural plant products including seaweed. He also added chelated amino acids and growth stimulants while altering the surface tension of the water base to make it more easily absorbed. The end results of this research are known today as Sonic Bloom.

When applied to plants, the results are almost unbelievable. The first test of this twofold process was on a common household purple passion vine (Cynura) which normally grows about 18 inches and lives a short time. When treated with his Sonic Bloom process it grew to 1,300 feet and lived nine years! It traveled from room to room in his Minnesota home, and its growth was verified by researchers from The Guinness Book of Records.

Further tests showed that even without sound a leaf can absorb 300 percent more Sonic Bloom nutrients than any other foliar spray. But when accompanied by the special frequency, the absorption rate of nutrients rises to an amazing 700 percent – far more than can be absorbed via the roots. As a result, the harvested plants are more nutritious, taste better, have longer shelf life, produce greater yields, and mature earlier.

The experimental gardener than enlisted the technical expertise of a Minneapolis high school orchestra and choir teacher, Michael W. Holtz, to help develop a cassette tape for home gardeners with music pleasant to the ear. Carlson had been using Rega (East-Indian) music, which was picked up from a man, T.C. Singh (head of the Department of Botany at Annamalai University), who had conducted research on plants during the 1950’s in India. While these tones may not especially appeal to the listening taste of Americans, Singh’s published research "proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that harmonic sound waves affect the growth, flowering, fruiting, and seed yields of plants."

When I visited with Holtz, a kind, soft-spoken middle-aged man, I asked, "Did you use special audio lab equipment to determine the right pitch and harmonics to make the stomata open?" Holtz smiled and said, "No, but I did pray a lot." When Holtz first heard Carlson’s cricket chirping sounds oscillating out of the speaker, he recognized the pitch to be the same as the early morning bird choirs that sing just before dawn.

No one has explained why birds sing for about an hour just before dawn. The sounds are not mating calls or territorial warning calls. "It was thrilling," Holtz said, "to make that connection." I began to feel that God had created the birds for more than just freely flying about and warbling. Their very singing must somehow be intimately linked to the mysteries of seed germination and plant growth."

Holtz discovered that the key of D and E flat are best suited for Carlson’s purposes. He explained, "I feel from Genesis 1:3, when God said, ‘Let there be light’ that He used sound to create the electromagnetic spectrum." Holtz writes in his book, God’s Creation: Sounds, Birds & Plants, "The specific organella, the mitochondria, the chloroplast, and the golgi apparatus of a cell seem to be in the sound energy converting business. Their shapes appear to be perfect sound energy receivers of sympathetic vibrations. In the case of the chloroplasts, the sound and light work together. Both sound energy and light energy are converted and are stored as chemical energy." Holtz refers to Dorothy Ratallack’s book, The Sound of Music and Plants, where she tells how many of her plants preferred sound to light. They would lean towards the sonic energy coming from the speaker rather than toward the light source. She also demonstrated the effects of classical, jazz, and rock music. The former had positive effects on plants while the latter killed the plants in two weeks!

Perhaps we can learn from plants, for Job 12:8 tells, "Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; . . . " If we are attentive, nature speaks of her Author. "And He [Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). It is exciting to know that we can learn how nature and humans may work in concert with our Maker. Creation science often points to the differences that existed in God’s original creation, and the mist that came up from the ground to water the Garden of Eden certainly must have been laced with nutrients from the rich, untainted soil. This feeding of the plant life coupled with the most beautiful sounds of praise from birds that were not hindered by the fear of man could lead only to growth and fruit production substantiating theories about the large size of plants and animals being revealed in the fossil record.

The amazing harvests that have come from using Carlson’s process could fill an entire book, but here are a few examples. Wilson Mills of Circle K Apple Orchard near River Falls, Wisconsin, has used Sonic Bloom methods for the past 10 years. The state average yield is 290 bushels per acre; Mills gets over 500 bushels per acre. His crops mature two weeks ahead of competitors; his fruit has a shelf live of five months instead of the normal 30 days.

"I figure my 20-acre orchard has made one million dollars in the past 10 years using Sonic Bloom," says Mills. "My apples used to be 50 percent packable, but now they are 90 percent packable" (meaning they are eating size, thus bringing top prices).

Now let us consider a second example using cucumbers. Five hundred cucumber seeds soaked in a 500-to-one mixture of the Sonic Bloom nutrient solution were serenaded for eight hours by the Sonic Bloom tones. Planted in a greenhouse, they matured from seed to harvest in 40 days, producing 7,600 pounds of cucumbers. They had to be picked daily over a period of 36 days lest they grow too long to fit in 20-inch packing boxes.

Now consider studies done on soybeans. In the spring of 1985, field tests on soybeans were conducted by Gerald Carlson (no relation to Dan), senior editor of the Professional Farmers of America and Land Owner publication, in conjunction with the Biological Research Farm near Cedar Falls, Iowa. The tests clearly showed Dan Carlson’s process had increased the crop by 100 percent when compared to a control crop of untreated beans growing a quarter mile away. Soybeans have also done extremely well in Central and South America where harvests are often 137 bushels per acre with the Sonic Bloom program compared to typical harvests in the U.s. of 40 to 45 bushels per acre.

Foreign agriculturists have bought kits from Carlson that include sound recordings and nutrient solutions. Notable results include farms in New South Wales, Australia, where production increased by 160 percent in plums, 130 percent in nectarines, and 100 percent in apples. Although plagued by poor growing conditions in China’s Inner Mongolia region, melon, and potato harvests have experienced a 30 to 90 percent increase using Sonic Bloom products, and the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture found amazing test results. He plants to utilize the Sonic Bloom approach in his country’s agriculture development.

In years past Sonic Bloom has met with a certain degree of skepticism in the U.S. within academic circles, but there is a growing interest from government agencies, like the Department of Natural Resources.

In addition to the increase in crop yields, there are other benefits to the Sonic Bloom method of gardening since the sound attracts more birds than usual along with a large increase in the number of butterflies. Mosquitoes and other pests are thus consumed and their threat to crops is greatly decreased. The plants typically grow healthier and with less disease. Fresh evidence shows that fewer herbicides are needed in controlling threats to crops since the same sonic process of opening the stomata also works on weeds, thus increasing the absorption of weed-killing agents. This pest abatement method is called Sonic Doom.

Carlson’s desire to feed the world is making an impact with over 35 countries now using his process. As I savored a tomato (juicy and dripping with flavor like grandma’s garden variety) grown by his process in a greenhouse, I thought of the text, "Oh taste and see, that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" (Psalm 34:8).

Carlson obviously gives all the credit and glory to God for these discoveries that harken back to the Garden of Eden. "We should tender [treat carefully] plants and animals, not distort God-given gifts, still unrevealed in His creatures, but coax these gifts and learn to live cooperatively with all God’s creation," he commented with conviction. The next time you hear a bird singing in the early morning, remember He is not only praising his Creator, Jesus, he is also awakening plants to drink in the morning dew. "Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away." (Psalm 148:5-6).

-- Creation Illustrated, Summer 2000