About Dan Carlson Sr. 1941-2012 and the Sonic Bloom Growing System

Thirty Four Years of Research and Sonic Bloom Continues to Create New Technology to Accelerate the
Growth and Yield of Crops World Wide

Dan Carlson Sr. is the original inventor of the Sonic Bloom system. What motivated Carlson was a horrifying event he witnessed in the early 1960s. In Korea as an enlisted soldier he was obliged to watch, impotently, a starving Korean mother lay the legs of her small child beneath the rear wheel of an army truck; crushed legs created an authentic cripple, entitled to a family-saving food subsidy.

Back home, entitled to the GI Bill of Rights, Carlson spent many hours in the University of Minnesota library, studying Horticulture, particularly plant physiology. Struck by the idea that certain sound frequencies might help a plant breathe better and absorb more nutrients, he experimented with various frequencies until, with the help of an audio engineer, he found one range that was consonant with the early morning bird chirping that helps plants open wider their stomata, or mouth-like pores.

On every leaf there are thousands of such small openings. Each stoma--less that 1/1000 of inch across--allows oxygen and water to pass out of the leaf, or transpire, while other gases, notably carbon dioxide, move in to be transformed by photosynthesis into sugars. During dry conditions, the stomata close to prevent a wilting plant from drying out completely. Photomicrographs show plant stomata opening wider to Carlson's frequencies, while a Philips 505 Scanning Electron Microscope shows substantially higher stomata density on a leaf treated with Sonic Bloom; additionally, the individual stomata are more developed and better defined.

After Dan Sr. fell ill, his son Dan Jr., carried on his work with Sonic Bloom while caregiving for his father
As stomata normally imbibe the morning dew, sucking up nutrients in the form of free flowing elements, why not, thought Carlson, develop a special organic Plant Food spray to apply to the leaves along with the sound that induces stomata to open. Even in poor soil, Carlson reasoned, plants could be well nourished with a foliar spray containing the right combination of elements.

To develop such an effective nutrient solution took Carlson 15 years of trial and error, experimenting in labs throughout the country, funded by a caring "angel." Carlson needed to find not only what elements serve to make a plant flourish; he needed to find their proper balance. Just the right amount of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus is needed, but not the overdose recommended by the chemical companies that swamp the plant to the exclusion of elements vital to its health. Too much of any one element can distort or even kill a plant.

To find the proper balance required endless testing with radioactive isotopes and Geiger counters to trace the elements' translocation from leaves to stems to peak to roots. Among the first natural substances used was Gibberilic acid, naturally derived from rice roots, needed by every living plant. Eventually Carlson included variety of elements derived from natural plant products and from seaweed; he also added growth stimulants, altering the surface tension of the water base to make it more easily absorbed. The end result was Sonic Bloom.

Inventor and agro-sonic researcher Dan Carlson, is the inventor of Sonic Bloom. This is a technology that combines the use of sound (in the range of birdsong frequencies) to open the stomata of plants with the application of an organic foliar nutrient to realize the plants' genetic potential.

The sound (which is essentially a synthesized version of birdsong), causes the stomata or breathing holes under the leaves to open wider, thus allowing in more carbon dioxide and nutrients. Better results can be obtained by using the proprietary organic foliar nutrient spray that takes advantage of the open breathing holes to feed the plant more effectively.

Using this technique Sonic Bloom often produces yields from 50 to 700% greater than normal. Carlson's own purple passion vine that typically grows 18 inches is now 1350 feet and growing, earning him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The technique is the number one project for the government of Indonesia and Carlson expects Sonic Bloom to solve the problems of world hunger. In this interview he talks about the resistance he has met with when trying to convince the industry and government that sound might have a role to play in improving our lives

Sonic Bloom

Sonic Bloom is a proprietary audio, organic nutrient plant growing process that was developed by Dr. Carlson to assist the Organic Farm, particularly with low water availability and poor soil conditions. When properly applied, sonic stimulation affects plant metabolism at the cellular level and increases the size and number of stomata on each leaf, resulting in a greatly increased absorption rate of moisture and nutrients - an effect that is quickly reflected in root growth, seed-germination, plant growth, and yield.

The second discovery is the development of a natural organic Plant Food which is most effective when applied at the same time as the sonic stimulus to the leaves of plants and trees as a fine spray, or to seeds as a carefully timed soak.

The use of the Sonic Bloom system produces greater yields, higher nutrient levels, shorter growth cycles and greater shelf life for the produce and has been shown to generate at least three (3) times the revenue over the additional cost of the process.

Dr. Carlson has proven these facts over time. During a six (6) year program in Indonesia, starting with the Senior Research Agronomist of each separate Government Institute, Institute of Rice, Institute of Cocoa, etc, and then with eight (8) universities, laboratories, and commercial growers involving rice, cocoa, palm oil, tea, coffee, corn, soybeans, tobacco, vegetables, orchards and ginger.

Here in the United States, record yields have been harvested of alfalfa in Pennsylvania, barley and tomatoes in Idaho and soybean in Iowa. These are examples in a long list of agricultural successes.

During a drought in the Sudan, where Sonic Bloom was used, the treated plants grew productive plants at 130 degrees daytime temperatures with 2 inches of annual rainfall. Wherever Sonic Bloom wasn't used, the crops failed.

Sonic Bloom has been marketed World Wide.. It has been recognized by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Switzerland, OMRI, Organic Material Review Institute, OGBA, Organic Growers and Buyers Association, and Eco Cert. Dan Carlson Scientific Enterprises, Inc. holds patents in the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and the European Patent Convention.

Mission Statement

To provide enrichment to every aspect of Horticulture for every type of grower.
To provide more bountiful, more nutritious crops that can be grown in any kind of soil or growing system and under the most adverse conditions for the purpose of improving the life of people in emerging countries, particularly improving the mental acuity and increasing the ability to learn among the youth in those countries.

Dr. Dan Carlson Biography: 

United States Armed Forces, 1961-1963, Experimental Sheet Metal Technician, Hughes and Douglas Aircraft Companies, Los Angeles, California, 1965 - 1969, Chief Executive Officer Director of Research, Dan. Carlson Scientific Enterprises, Inc. 1980 to present.

Education: University of Minnesota, 1963 - 1969. Experimental College; University of Minnesota, 1969 -1975. - B.S. Plant Breeding; World University, 1990 - Dr. Degree.

Publication References: Black Engineer, Summer 1985 Sound Nutrition, "Will Music Eliminate World Hunger?”, Secrets of the Soil, by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, 1989, Harper & Row, "Good Vibrations, A sound Diet' for plants", The Growing Edge, Spring 1991; Institute in Basic Life Principles, Aug_ 2000, Vol. XV71; TLC for Plants, Canada's leading gardening magazine, Spring 1991, Super Memory, The Revolution, 1991, World Watch, May-June 1993, Windstar Foundation, Llewellyn's Lunar Gardening Guides, 1993-1994 "Sonic Bloom Creation Up Close", Acres U.S.A., A voice for Eco-Agriculture, 1985 - 1998, "Brave New Waves", Biotech News,. Special Report 2000, Tenth Anniversary Issue; Countryside and Small Stock Journal, July-Aug. 2002, Creation Illustrated 2003.

Lectures: Dr. Carlson lectured in over 15 countries in Europe, East Asia, South America, USA and Australia between 1986 and the present. Among these he was the featured speaker at IFOM Organic Symposium, Lincoln University, New Zealand; first American to be invited to speak at the Bio Tech Symposium in Tokyo, 1988; in 1993, he lectured to leaders of the Bio Research Group, representing 24,000 organic farmers. He was frequently featured on various radio broadcasts, including the Millennium Radio Network, January 5, 2004.

Awards: “Prestigious awards for great agricultural accomplishments” from the Japanese government; Humanitarian of the Year, “for his unceasing dedication to alleviating hunger, pain, disease, and sufferings for the Peoples in the world”, Institute for Human Potential, 2002; Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001; 2002, 2003; American Biography; Honor of Dignity; Man of the Year, American Biographical Institute, 2004; 21st Century Award for Achievement, International Biographical Centre, 2004; Biographical entry in the American Biographical Institute’s 2000 Greatest Minds of the 21st Century; International Biographical Centre’s 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century award; International Biographical Centre’s 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century Order of Excellence award, Nominated for Lifetime Achievement Award. Memberships: Honor of Dignity and Man of the Year 2003, American Biographical. International Biographical Centre’s International Scientist of the year 2004.

An Interview with Its Creator: Dan Carlson 
By: Dale Lucht & Esther Turner

In the early 1960’s a young GI, stationed in Korea, witnessed a mother lay her young child beneath the tires of an Army truck, crushing his legs. She did it so she could get money from the government to feed her children. The GI’s name was Dan Carlson, a young Minnesota recruit, who, after witnessing that sacrifice, decided to devote his life to wiping out hunger.

How many people as young adults, make an oath like that, and then are sidetracked? But Dan Carlson didn’t get off the track. He went to college and studied horticulture and agriculture. As a result of Dan’s commitment, he developed his own present business “Sonic Bloom.” Sonic Bloom is more than a cute name, but is actually a revolutionary new technique to make plants grow and grow abundantly and beautifully!

While in college, Carlson concluded that if plants could be fed through their leaves, then it wouldn’t matter if the soil were poor. In leaves there are tiny pores called stomata that take in carbon dioxide and water from the air and give off oxygen. His theory was to feed the plants through the stomata with a mixture of nutrients. The trick was to get the stomata to open up when they were being sprayed.

At this time he stumbled on a record called “Growing Plants Successfully in the Home,” by George Milstein. That gave him the idea of using music to open the stomata upon demand. Carlson enlisted Michael Holtz, a Minneapolis music teacher, to aid him in developing music to go along with oscillating “cricket chirping” that Carlson had developed. Holtz realized that its pitch was consonant with early-morning bird chirping. They blended the chirping and musical tones into one sound which forms a command that stimulates the plant’s stomata to open and absorb the offered fertilization. Together, the stimulating harmonics and growth producing nutrients produced exceptional results. This blended recording is now available on cassette and is furnished in the Sonic Bloom Kit.

As our car entered the long driveway to his Nut Farm near River Falls, WI, we heard the unusual sounds of chirping! As we pulled up to the house, we were immediately met by Dan. After our four-hour drive, it was especially nice to be greeted with his warm smile and hardy welcome!

How is it that when you first talk to someone, and before you meet them, you already know that you will “connect” with them personally. I had this feeling about Dan Carlson. We had spoken several times by phone before I decided that I would like to know more about him and his product “Sonic Bloom.” In those conversations, I could sense something intriguing about him. Call it intuition, but I could feel a devotion and sincerity in his voice that caught my attention. Dan bent down and picked up a hickory nut that was just starting to sprout and gave it to me. “Here, you can start your own tree from the nut farm!” The three of us immediately meshed and I knew this was going to be more than an interview but an adventure.

“Dan, the first thing I have to ask is . . . What is all that chirping?” Dan laughed and went on to explain the way he uses sound to promote plant growth. He’s been playing his music for the nut trees on the farm and is reproducing nuts from those endangered trees successfully with Sonic Bloom. As we talked, I learned that Dan is a nut tree expert who has personally cultivated and matured the following varieties on his farm: Chestnut, Horse Chestnut, Butternut, Beechnut, and Heartnut. I learned that there are more than one variety of Walnut and Hickory Nut and that some develop more “meat” such as the Weshcke Walnut.

Dan has a way about him that puts you at ease and makes you feel comfortable. I felt as if I was talking with an old friend. His warm smile and eyes display a quiet strength -- a strength which motivates him to fulfill his lifelong goal to assist in eradicating the hunger of the world.

We walked over to his favorite spot on the farm. A clearing amongst the nut trees, surrounded by wild flowers with their vibrant colors sparkling in the sun. He requested that we sit on an old tree trunk. This is the spot where Dan goes to collect himself during those difficult times and as I looked at him, I could feel the compassion this man has for life and nature.

Dan shared the fact that he does a lot of negotiating for business from around the world. Recently, he’s had representatives from England, Mexico, and Japan come to his farm at River Falls. He had them stay in his log cabin not far from this special spot. Dan loves to take his guests out into nature because it removes the formal atmosphere and helps everyone to relax. Looking around at this spot, I can understand why he feels this way. In 1980, Carlson incorporated, and now has patents in 35 countries. And what are the results? A Pennsylvania alfalfa grower wins every contest, both for growth and nutrition. A cauliflower box that normally contains a dozen heads, only holds four heads of “Sonic Bloom” cauliflower heads. Soybean plants produce up to 300 pods per plant (30 to 35 is normal). (The beans treated in Wisconsin contained 27% protein against a normal 15%.) Dill plants over four feet tall. Calla lilies over six feet tall. Bell pepper plants bearing over 50 peppers per plant.

Sonic Bloom’s ingredients are “generally recognized as safe,” says Carlson, and have been approved by different organic growers associations. Also, the shelf life of Sonic Bloom produce is longer because there is more nutrition and trace minerals in each head of lettuce, tomato or watermelon.

Another benefit from Sonic Bloom is that, because the plant takes its nutrition through its leaves and is absorbed throughout the whole plant, including its roots, the nutritional value of the soil actually improves.

Gabriel Howearth moved to San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico, in 1984. Among other things, Howearth introduced amaranth, a high protein grain. The soil was alkaline clay-loam or adobe-sandy with a pH ranging from 7.7 to 7.9. Sonic Bloom increased the average yield from 1600 to 2600 pounds per acre and reduced the maturity time by 15 days. It’s obvious that Carlson’s main focus is still on feeding the hungry, as well as growing food on poor soil.

He is also involved in an experiment in Israel where they are trying to increase production of endangered African trees.

Another interesting project Dan is working on is with the Chinese government dealing with the province of Sinhiang of Inner Mongolia. The Chinese government has sent representatives to River Falls to work with Dan on improving their crop yields. He is showing them he can grow plants in the worst areas of the world. His rewards come from the awareness that, “He is starting to feed people!”

He is also treating yew trees with Sonic Bloom. There is an extract from the bark that is showing promise in curing cancer. With Sonic Bloom, he is able to get the taxol into the needles; thus eliminating the need to kill the tree to obtain the taxol. In experiments he has been able to triple production of the taxol. Always the humanitarian, he says, “That means three times more people can be helped.”

He recently returned from the Philippines where he was asked to advise them on what can now be done after the devastating volcanic eruptions. Many times the soil is improved as in what happened at Mt. St. Helens in the United States. But the Mt. Pinatubo eruption contained sulfur dioxide, which is poisonous. Dan showed us pictures from the Philippines with 15 feet of ash on the ground covering all life in the mountains. A million and a half people were relocated in Manila from the June 14,1991 disaster. A local university leader arranged to bring Dan in on a 4-wheel drive caravan to this devastated area where they are trying to recover and grow new vegetation. He went there to show them how his technique grows new plants. The special music aids in the absorption of nutrients and allows the plants to translocate the nutrients down into the soil and become accustomed to the toxins. He has been working with reclaiming soil from volcanic devastation for a few years now, with great success.

Dan’s witty sense of humor showed when he talked about how he views reclaiming devastated soil. He calls his attitude the “Robin Hood Approach,” where he robs from the rich (brings in nutrients) and gives to the poor (the depleted soil). Dan giggled with the thought.

Carlson said that not only did it affect the Philippines, but it also threw vast amounts of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere and we may be affected by it in the future.

One current event Dan is extremely excited about is the annual Chelsea Flower Show in England. He has been invited to the biggest horticultural show in the world. This 23-acre flower show is called the “Show of Shows!” Dan is thrilled with his invitation, for it represents recognition for his work and products. On display will be his own rose bushes which yield 67-70 flower per bush as opposed to 8-10 from a normal rose plant. In listening to Dan, I could hear the sound of a deep satisfaction in his voice as he said, ”This show gives me the chance to share my joy with the world!”

Not all of his experiments are of a serious nature. Years ago his wife allowed him to try Sonic Bloom on her passion plant. Although it normally grows to about 18 inches, the more often he treated it, the more it grew. By the time the Guinness Book of World Records came to measure it, the plant was over 1300 feet long.

When we visited him at his nut farm near River Falls, WI, Carlson’s knowledge and love of the land and trees was very apparent. The farm is an experiment, as well as a relaxation for this dynamic man.

One would think that the nut farm was his full time occupation. But, this is not so. His full time work is still “Sonic Bloom.” Even after 30 years, he is still excited by his quest.
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