Renewable Farming

How WakeUP can enhance your health — with an abundant garden this season

Corn and soybean yields respond to WakeUP — but garden vegetables and fruit respond even more dramatically.

That’s a personal observation from watching our gardens grow for the past seven years we’ve researched and enhanced WakeUP.

A perspective by Jerry Carlson, Renewable Farming LLC       Published Feb. 14, 2016

With WakeUP sprayed on gardens every couple of weeks, sugar levels are higher in fruit, shelf life is longer in storage crops like potatoes and butternut squash, and veggies like snap beans yield more. A lot more.

Oct. 12, 2008 Blue Lake pole beans still blooming


Mid-October, fence full of snap beans is still green and blooming


















I also filled our 25-gal. electric sprayer with a similar mix and asked our neighbors, Tim and Kris Boettger, if I could spray part of their raspberry bushes. They had two rows of raspberry bushes about 200 feet long. About every two weeks starting in mid-July 2008, I sprayed half the vines. Blooms erupted, followed by legions of honeybees and bumblebees — and then big, sweet raspberries. Delicious! No way could we keep up with the picking.

Kris, who manages “Barn Happy” at their farm, (a big barn converted into an antique mall, luncheon room and local Iowa produce shop) sold raspberries too. She’s picking raspberries in the photo below.

Honeybees were so prolific that I usually waited until evening to spray. But even the straggler bees which hung around late didn’t seem to mind the spray; they kept visiting blooms.

Kris Boettger picking raspberries, 2008

What we didn’t know in 2008 was that WakeUP sprayed by itself on fruits and vegetables accelerates movement of sugars out of the leaf, into fruit and growing points. WakeUP reduces surface tension of the sap, making it easier to pump ionically through the phloem tubes and sieve plates.

We’d never kept yellow squash or zucchini alive very long in our garden. Wilt would set in after the first few pickings. But when we sprayed alternating yellow squash plants with WakeUP, growth and blooming accelerated in the treated plants. The sprayed plants apparently had a greater resistance to fungus, and staved off wilting. An example is the pair below:

Treated yellow squash remained vigorous for weeks

Encouraged by the squash results, we planted a dozen hills of butternut the following season. And we expanded the garden into a surrounding field, where vines could spread out. We also began spraying WakeUP on field crops such as soybeans and corn. This made garden spraying easier: When spraying with the field sprayer, we’d just make a pass or two over the garden with WakeUP plus whatever foliar nutrients were in the tank mix. 

The impact on butternut squash vines was massive growth, blooming and production. Here’s a spoof photo we took in 2009, about mid-August, as butternut vines were sprawling 40 feet across the yard. The caption was, “Keep children away from possible vine attacks.” 

Butternut vines sprawl, engulfing small children


Our butternut squash are storable all winter





By 2010, butternut squash had become a staple in our diet. Each fall we harvested 1,500 to 2,000 lbs. of butternuts, stashing them in an underground storage area that remains about 40 degrees through winter. The real bonus: Generous supplies of butternut pie. And lots of butternuts to give away. The local HyVee supermarket’s produce manager prefers our butternut squash to the commercial kinds the store sells. Sweeter, a richer orange color, and firmer texture. As Carey Reams often said, “Healthy produce doesn’t rot easily… it just dries.”  That’s what happens with our butternuts in cool storage starting about March.  They get a little wrinkled from drying down.

Emboldened by butternut success, and reinforced by a pair of growing grandsons, we encouraged them to try watermelons. In northeast Iowa, watermelons are a long-season fruit in a short-season climate. But the boys raised (and sold) loads of melons. Their favorite was a melon with an exquisitely sweet, crisp orange interior.

Blake and Terry’s melons

By 2011 we had realized that WakeUP offered exceptional ability to carry foliar nutrients into crops of all kinds. So we expanded our field experiments, along with more aggressive gardening. A local business that overstocked its seasonal greenhouse with too many tomatoes and peppers gave us about 500 pepper plants. The boys appropriated part of our cornfield and we had a pepper surplus.

Part of our pepper oversupply

The commercial gardening breakthrough came when the grandsons grew enough to pick sweetcorn — and take over that project as a money making enterprise. By this time, around 2012, we had an old Hagie Highboy self-propelled sprayer and could get through tall crops. So we sprayed sweetcorn with trace elements and WakeUP, Sea-90, Lithovit — all intended to enhance the flavor and yield. 

The boys developed a “reputation” corn product in the neighborhood, with pre-orders each season. Years ago, in a previous generation, we grew Illini Supersweet from Illinois Foundation Seeds. That enterprise was swallowed up by one of the multinationals, but the foundation seed is still available from Harris Seeds. 

Terry Carlson, friend David Stone and Blake Carlson heading for market

In late 2012, after five years of field and greenhouse research with the original SoySoap product, we launched a high-risk venture: Manufacture our own unique colloidal micelle formulation. Our friend Don Wilshe wished us well, observing that the marketplace is so huge that neither of our efforts could ever fill it. He bought back our remaining inventory of the original “Formula 1” and went on to further success — especially in vegetable production in warmer climates.  An example of how spectacular this technology is emerges in a website Don set up to display use of his product on vegetables in the Caribbean region

Our two flagship products, WakeUP Spring and WakeUP Summer, have proven very effective for their intended purposes. They’re manufactured by a family entity, Generation Ag LLC, owned by Erik and Jeanene Carlson.  Erik continues research on fresh variations of the technology. Typically we test them by foliar-feeding known trace element blends, then checking rates of delivery into plant metabolism by using tissue analysis by Midwest Labs, or sap analysis at Crop Health Labs.

One of our neighbors, Jerry Saucke, has an avocation of raising grapes. His main challenge, other than deer and birds, is an array of fungal diseases. We supplied him with WakeUP Summer and suggested adding some trace elements or Sea-Crop with it. He began spraying it lightly on his five acres of grapes about three years ago, and reports a much healthier crop. The grapes apparently have a stronger immune system to resist fungal attacks in the humid northeast Iowa summer and fall weather.

Healthier grapes and higher brix

For several years, our families have been buying strawberries from Heartland Farms just east of Waterloo, owned and operated by Dave Myers. In 2012, Dave began experimenting with WakeUP, and now uses it regularly on all crops including greenhouse tomatoes.  We published an article on his operation in 2015.

Here are some of the fruits and flowers of his farm, raised with the assistance of WakeUP:

Heartland Farms at strawberry time

Jeanene Carlson, office manager at Renewable Farming, is an avid gardener. She and her husband Erik manufacture WakeUP and thus have opportunities to test various formulations. We’ve learned that WakeUP also enhances ornamentals such as bushes and shade trees. Here’s a passion flower, brought to bloom with WakeUP:

Passion flower

Jeanene and Erik are also starting new fruit trees. They’ve found that a twice monthly spray with WakeUP and trace elements accelerates blooming and fruiting in young trees, like this peach. The peach sapling is only in its second year, but bearing large and sweet fruit.  The purple flower near Erik and his son Lane in the photo below is a clematis.  Jeanene also maintains a “sun room” filled with long-lived ornamentals from palm trees to citrus and many others. This is an excellent year-round “lab” for WakeUP experiments.

First peach on a young tree
Erik and son Lane near their family’s garden