Normally, a Purple Passion plant grows about 18 inches. Dan Carlson’s grew 1,300 feet. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Carlson has produced 15-foot tomato plants bearing more than 800 tomatoes and African violets with 200 to 300 blooms per plant. Normally, they produce about 30.

So, how does this magician do it? He created Sonic Bloom, an organic spray of 55 trace minerals and amino acids. It is now being used in 30 states and 7 countries.

The spray is combined with oscillating high-frequency sound. Carlson says the process contains no harmful elements and the produce improves in taste and texture.

It is produced at Dan Carlson Scientific Enterprises, Inc., in Blaine, Minnesota.

His motive, he says, is to have some impact on world hunger.

That stems from an experience Carlson had in South Korea, where he served in the U.S. Army from 1961 through 1963. He witnessed a Korean woman placing a baby under the wheels of an army truck.

"I went over to strike the woman, but I didn’t," said Carlson. "I learned that she sacrifice the child because there were other children and not enough food. I decided to try to do something about hunger."

After being discharged, Carlson enrolled in the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in plant science. Then he researched extensively and, in 1972, learned that certain sounds stimulated plants to absorb more nutrients.

"Plants seemed to open their mouths and I developed something to put into those mouths – Sonic Bloom."

Carlson reports the following:

Tom Domhan, Herman, Michigan, brought in 85 bushels of barley per acre on fields treated with Sonic Bloom; 35 bushels on untreated land. The barley heads on the treated land were 19 to 23 inches long.

Jim Blake, of Dorchester, Iowa, got 35 bushels of corn per acre increase and 95 percent of his corn plants fully matured the second ear.

Gerald Carlson (no relation), Cedar Falls, Iowa, a farmer and senior editor of Professional Farmers of America, got 51 bushels per acre of soybeans with the treatment, compared to 37 bushels on untreated land. That’s with three sprayings and regular Carlson sound. With five sprayings and "extra sound," he got 75.2 bushels per acre.

The product, says Carlson, will work on plants in poor soil and low rainfall.

So what happened to the 1,300-foot Purple Passion plant? After being verified by Guinness, two of Carlson’s children were horsing around and caused the plant to get wrapped into the kitchen ceiling fan.

It’s now only (only?) about 50 feet long.

-- Grit, November 9-15, 1986