Editor's Note: This story has received the greatest response of anything we have published in our 10 year history. We suspect the reasons include fascination, wonderment, and vindication of God's unfathomable design. "Sonic Bloom" first appeared in the now-sold-out Summer 2000 edition of Creation Illustrated. Once you read this story, you will better understand why that edition sold out long ago.
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 heads 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 utilizes the musical sounds of bird songs broadcasted over the garden while a misting machine with a special foliar applies nutrients to the plants’ leaves.
During a visit to Hickory Nut Research farm near River Falls, Wisconsin, I bumped along with Carlson on his John Deere 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 engine, I listened more attentively to the musical tones. They were not of an obtrusive timbre, but rather more like gentle rain. After awhile I was not even aware of their presence.
With cheerful enthusiasm Carlson explained 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 stimulates the plants’ stomata (breathing pores) to open, and while the pores are open, the leaves are sprayed with a plant nutrient enzyme.
Carlson’s happy eyes become serious as he says, “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 wheels 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, realizing that using a crippled child and begging was the only way she could hope to feed her family.”
Carlson had learned that 40 percent of the farmers in that area had starved because they would not eat next year’s seed. “I went to my foxhole 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 remaining 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 had 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.
Canteloupes the size of a soccer ball (above) and corn stalks (previous page) grow over 15 feet tall (often multiple ears from one area) provide for a bountiful and profitable harvest when given the Sonic Bloom sound and spray treatments.
Carlson started where Milstein left off and
focused on finding frequencies that would stimulate
leaf stomata to open. Stomata are breathing openings
about 1/1000 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.
field and in
to find this
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
When applied to plants, the results are almost
unbelievable. The first test of this twofold process
was on a common household purple passion vine
(Cynurasp), which normally grows about 18 inchesand 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.
Potatoes grow to nearly 10 inches in size and are very hardy compared to a potato from an untreated plant.
Further tests show 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.
These Scanning Electron Micrographs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the stomata (or pores) on a grape leaf magnified many times. The stomata appear more thoroughly developed and in greater density on the plant treated with Sonic Bloom (right) than on the untreated plant (left).
The experimental gardener then 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 1950s in India. While these tones may not especially appeal to the listening tastes of all Americans, Singh’s published research has “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, softspoken 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.
Sonic Bloom sound units developed to optimize the distribution of frequencies,
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 toward 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 God intended that we learn from plants, for Job 12:8 tells us, “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. 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 way of feeding the plant life through the foliage, coupled with the most beautiful sounds of praise from birds that were unhindered by the fear of man, could help substantiate theories about the large size of plants and animals being revealed in the fossil record today.
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 life 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 should grow too long to fit in 20-inch packing boxes.
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 test 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 agriculturalists have bought kits from Carlson that include sound recordings and nutrient solutions. Notable results include farms inNew 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 plans 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 damage to crops is greatly decreased. The plants typically grow healthier and have 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 hark 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)
Terry McComb writes from Lumby, British Columbia, Canada, where he explores the wonders of nature in order to inspire worship and praise to our Creator God.
Sonic Bloom Update
I recently spoke with Dan Carlson who gave this update. Sonic Bloom has been studied for the last five years in the country of Indonesia–a nation of 13,000 islands and the fifth largest population in the world with 300 million inhabitants. The population is growing at the rate of five to seven percent per year, and the country is forced to import more than 40 percent of its food. In August 2003, Carlson returned to Indonesia to inaugurate the first countrywide use of Sonic Bloom. The agriculture minister, Bomanong Sanogie, launched the program with the goal of his country growing all of its own food by the year 2009!
Research during the past five years proves that the Indonesians can double their rice crop via the Sonic Bloom method. The head of Crop Agricultural Service of Central Java province reported on (rice) paddy production in which one hector yielded 10.04 tons of rice. The none-treated hector yielded only 4.7 tons. The use of Sonic Bloom also shortens the growing time of rice from 145 days to 110 days; this earlier harvesting allows farmers to grow three crops instead of the usual two in one year. Anticipating the use of sonic-grown seeds, the farmers’ second generation harvests may increase another 50 percent, and the harvest time may be shortened enough to make four crops per year possible. Other government tests in Indonesia on Sonic Bloom included ginger, onion, and potato farms with some test applications revealing a 125 percent increase in yields.
Such national verification of the Sonic Bloom process begins a partial fulfillment of Carlson’s dream to help solve the world’s hunger problem. Fourteen other countries are also researching the use of Sonic Bloom in agricultural programs. As a result of this widespread impact, Carlson was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in economics in 2001, 2002, and 2003. He currently is continuing his research by planting the seeds of Sonic-Bloom-grown trees and plants. He has a vision of nurturing several generations of treated plants in hopes that their genetics may somewhat resemble the wholesome, well-nourished plants in the Garden of Eden. His research shows each generation of seeds becoming more productive and reaching maturity more quickly. Working with trees, however, requires the precious gift of time, but Carlson’s patience is proving fruitful. For example, he is now growing walnuts the size of lemons with twice the harvest. In other words, the seeds from treated plants can produce twice the harvest of the parent plant.
Some have questioned if so many nutrients are taken out of the soil to get double growth and greater nutrition, won’t the soil become depleted even faster? “No,” says Carlson. “One hundred major and minor trace elements translocate nutrients from the tilled-under treated plants (as well as any over-spray) into the soil, so each year the soil becomes richer.”
How many places are now using the Sonic Bloom method? “100,000 garden kits have been marketed over 23 years since 1980,” Carlson explained. “My dreams and prayers are to help farmers, gardeners, and greenhouse farmers grow the most nutritious, vitamin-rich, mineral-filled tasty foods they have ever eaten. About two percent of the farmers I speak with are really progressive and willing to do their own research and try it. The rest are content to let the bank own their farms and muddle along as is.” To date, Carlson knows of no failures when Sonic Bloom is applied according to the Spray Manual.
“I believe God has given me this gift to grow food according to His ways,” Carlson stated with
heartfelt conviction. Proverbs 27:23 states, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” The scripture predicted in Daniel 12:4 that “. . . until the time of the end; . . . knowledge shall increase,” and Paul admonishes us, “Test all things: hold fast what is good.” –Terry McCom