August 30th, 2011 → 12:45 pm @

Bio-dynamics (from Bios:= life and dynamos:= energy.

A science close to my heart, as it produces and provides the food I like to eat for good health and maintenance of my whole body.

Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), invented (not quite the word to use), Bio-dynamics as a way to introduce health, to the soil, that will produce an abundance of life in the soil, in the form of microscopic living beings, as well as the larger worms and other critters, who altogether work 24/7 to make the structure of the soil as good as you can get it, for the production of nutrient rich produce, full of vitamins and minerals for us to consume. There is no other way of getting these minerals and vitamins from the soil, because they aren’t there in the first place. They have to be introduced and the way Steiner does this is by using natures manures, herbs and cosmic radiation, to put all of them back in the soil in the right combination and proportion.

Apart from enriching the soil, the quality of the soil is improved and the structure is friable and porous. Rain water can penetrate freely and be stored in the soil for plants to take up, when they need it. It will not evaporate in the soil, as it does in dams and you don’t have to irrigate, unless there is a drought for a long time. The ground-stored water is healthy and fresh, not like some stored water from polluted dams or water courses.

The original product Mr. Steiner found, was what he calls the BD 500. This is produced, by filling special cow horns, from lactating cows, with fresh cow manure, also from lactating cows, who graze on bio-dynamic pastures, collected first thing in the morning.

Once these horns are filled, they are buried in the ground, in a selected place, over the winter months and left there to mature. The selection of the burial area is very important..

After a few months, one horn is retrieved and inspected for maturity. If the contents is right, all the other horns are retrieved and the horns emptied into a earthen ware container, where they are mixed together and left for a while longer to age a little. The smell of manure is completely gone and the BD 500 has a rich earthy smell about it. All these facets of Bio-dynamics are done to a calender.

Some methods are a little different, but basically this is how BD 500 is made.

When the right time is there for applying the BD 500 to the soil, a small amount is gathered and stirred in water, making a deep vortex stirring clockwise, then making chaos by stirring it quickly the other way, or anti clockwise and again after making chaos, back to the clockwise movement etc. This process takes one full hour. It is good to have all the family members help in the stirring and the applying of the liquid. On a small family farm, the family member carries a bucket and walks quickly over the ground, broadcasting the liquid with a leafy branch or a natural bristle hand broom and sprinkles it as far as he can in both directions of his path. A systematical approach is used to have members follow a certain pattern over the farm, so as to cover all of the area.

There is a special time of the year and also moon-phase, when BD 500 is applied. You will learn this at your workshop.

It usually takes 3 applications for the first year and 2 the years after, but this may vary somewhat in different areas. Whilst you use Bio-dynamics, no other manures are needed to be put out on the farm. Any Manure you collect from your animals, any leaves, grass cuttings, small branches etc., are used in the compost pile. The Bio-dynamic compost pile is very special as well. You don’t just throw all these materials in a heap and hope it is going to make compost. There is a procedure to follow and when the pile is completed, all in one day, it is capped off with straw or hay and all the other ingredients from BD 502 to BD 507, are strategically placed in the pile as well. The BD 507, made from Valerian flowers, is also used to sprinkle all over the compost pile. What happened to BD 501? Well, 501 is called `horn silica` and it is made up from powdered silica, packed in a horn and buried over the spring and summer months for 6 months and then applied with water. The influences from these preparations finish the compost, making it perfect for all minerals to go back into the soil, plus more.

It is so interesting and the food that you grow is something else. Over the years we had a lot of visitors come and learn from us the use of bio-dynamics and when they sampled the foods, they could not believe the taste. They say:”It tastes different and so real.” A carrot tastes like a carrot, not like the ones you buy from the shops and the tomatoes, ..yam!

Cattle put in a paddock, treated with BD 500, will not walk all over the paddock to find the sweetest picking, something they normally do in a non bio-dynamic paddock. Instead, they start eating from the gate, systematically grazing their way to the back fence, because it all tastes good and sweet. In my book I talk about the farmer who switched over to Bio-dynamics for his grazing paddocks and he was so amazed how his cattle behaved. Firstly they grazed systematically from the gate to the back fence, but also when he made winter silage, they ate every bit of it, something he had never experienced. No wastage at all and the first year of bio-dynamic silage, he sold quite a bit of this, because he had too much.

In Bio-dynamics there is also a way to get rid of vermin, it being animals or weeds that are very noxious. The farmer makes a “pepper”, from the weed or rat or whatever, by burning that pest in a vessel over a hot fire. This is a bit like cremating. After a while, a good while, of smelling this nasty smell in the case of an animal, there are only ashes left. These ashes can be prepared a certain way for distribution around the farm to stop the same pest from entering the farm. Again, some rules apply, so be careful and make sure you know what you do.

This is still only a summary, compared to what you learn doing a workshop. These workshops can take 7 or 8 days straight, depending on the lecturer, but we liked the 2 day week-end ones, so you had time to digest what you learned during the following week, before being overloaded with information. There is a lot of it.

I hope I have inspired you to go Bio-dynamic and maybe you can start a community of like-minded people, all helping one another. This is what is needed in society today and rather than living on a community, this way we can live on our own property and still call it a community of people, who are willing to help each other. As I wrote in `Victory over diseases,` we started this sort of thing of by just having meetings once a week, but it grew much bigger. People within a small radius from one another, able to help out when someone needs a hand.

In India, Mr Peter Proctor, a soil scientist from New Zealand, who has worked with bio-dynamics for 50 years, has set up thousands of hectares of bio-dynamic farms of all sorts, built 10,000 compost piles etc., over the last 15 years of visiting there. He has a fantastic response, especially from farmers, who started to grow GM foods, amongst whom many committed suicide,because of the lack of returns from their farms as promised them.

If you like to see for yourself what India has done, google `Peter proctor` and there you will find a great website.

Preparations list: BD 500 Cow horn manure

BD 501 Horn silica

BD 502 Yarrow Potassium, sulphur +

BD 503 Chamomile flowers Calcium +

BD 504 Stinging nettle Iron +

BD 505 Oak bark Calcium + fungal

BD 506 Dandelion flowers Silica +

BD 507 Valerian flowers Phosphorus

BD 508 Horsetail Foliar spray for fungi

Cow-pat-pit as another manure type preparation made in bio-dynamics.

For more information about Bio-dynamics in Australia go to: (Bellingen NSW)

www.rudolph steiner

The Bio-dynamic Research Institute. (Demeter)

Bio-dynamic Agricultural Assn. of Australia

c/- Post Office

Poweltown. Vic. 3797


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