What we do: Biodynamic Agriculture
Biodynamic Gardening is based on the principals that Rudolf Steiner developed back in the the 1920's after being approached by organic farmers who were concerned about the decline of their seed/crops vitality, the health of their livestock and overall quality of their food. Rudolf Steiner brought to us answers to these problems through the use of working with natures forces and the universal forces of the planets, stars, moon and sun together.
Not only do you pay attention to the movements of astrological cycles but certain substances like manure, or silica are stuffed into cow horns and buried in the earth to draw in cosmic and earthly forces, which change the manure or silica into a Biodynamic prep. These preps are then taken out of the ground six months later, now have gained a life energy quality and are sprayed over the soil and atmosphere. Before they are sprayed they are placed into water and stirred in a clockwise and counterclockwise pattern while singing and creating a tiny vortex in the water. This method activates the energetic potential these preps now have after being charged in the earth and can now have their greatest effects on the land.
The manure (BD 500) and the silica (BD 501) are not the only preps used in biodynamic farming. Other preps are used that are made from herbs like, Chamomile, Oakbark, Valerian, Yarrow which are combined together to produce a Barrel Compost prep which utilizes all these different forces. Other herbs are used like Nettle, Horsetail and Valerian to make special teas. They all have their own special quality that they are used for ensuring a total balance is established. A biodynamic farm can be looked at like it is an organism, with a brain, body, digestive tract and other organs. The Biodynamic preps represent all those different features of a body.
When growing things biodynamically it is very important to pay attention to the cycles of the planets and other cosmic features. All things are considered, the right time to sow plants, when to feed them, when to harvest them, etc...
Their are actually specific times of each day that certain varities of plants need to be planted. Their are four different categories of plants, Roots plants (beets, carrot) leaf plants (lettuce, Spinach) Flower/seed (chamomile, Flax) Fruit (strawberries, tomatoes) that require specific times to be planted, feed and harvested. The Stella Natura calendar is a great resource to clearly see what the times are to plant, harvest or feed certain species of plants. If these cycles are paid attention to, then very positive effects are gained on the nutritional value, taste, fragrance, resistance to pest/ disease, ability to withstand hardships and length of time the vegetable will stay fresh and unspoiled.
We have for many years taught people how to biodynamically garden or farm and they in turn have taken the knowledge and spread it elsewhere. One of Biodynamics greatest abilities lies in it's effectiveness at cleaning up damaged, poisoned environments. In the film "How to Save the World" we see before our very eyes how one man (Peter Proctor) changed India's agriculture forever.
Peter who is from New Zealand started biodynamics in India over 15 years ago. Since that time a biodynamic movement has started that is sweeping the country. Before Peter arrived 10000 farmers were commiting suicide each year in India. Industrial farming and modern chemicals, pesticdides can be thanked for this. After 40 years of using "modern farming techniques" the land was depleted and dead the farmers were in debt and starving. Peter brought them Bio-dynamics and started a revolution.
Everywhere biodynamics were used the land came back to life, the soil softened from hard brick like material to soft black soil, the air became cleaner and the water started to appear again. Families came back together, farms began working together and everything started to work in harmony. More and more people are going biodynamic everyday and the poisons and chemicals that were used, are being broken down or are gone completely. Farmers are now fighting for their rights and are pushing out corporate control and standing their ground, they now have the strength to do so. It is estimated that in 10 years the whole country will be biodynamic.
We regularily have showings of Peters movie "How to Save the World" at 3:00 pm on Sunday during our brunch. Call for dates, if interested.
Another country that is showing the world what biodynamics can do is Egypt. Years ago Dr. Abouleish returned home to his country Egypt. He was shocked by how bad the environment was and the meager living quality of his people. He started an agriculture business called Sekem (Egyptian for: Vitality from the Sun), the purpose of which was to better the conditions in his country with a commitment towards using biodynamic methods, healthy living and education. During the 1990's pesticide use was very high and Sekem started experimenting with organic pesticides. Their success garnered the Governments attention, which then granted funds to Sekem asking for their methods to be attempted at on a larger scale. Their results were renown, they were totally effective at stopping pest for attacking the crops, cotton harvested was now exceding the normal yeilds. The Governments reaction was very favorable and within 5 years the whole of Egypts cotton production had gone biodynamic and now their national output has increased by 30 percent.
Following all of this success Sekem has decided to open a University
were students and teachers from all differenent faith's (Islamic,
Christian, Jewish ect...)
Bio-Dynamic Agriculture Workshop in May.
Learn how to:
- Grow your garden in alignment with the planet and the stars to impact the yields of your crops!
- The preparations
- How they are used to restore the Earth's soil
- How YOU can do your part in making the environment better,
- How to make your body healthier!
Our goal is to raise the awareness of Bio-Dynamic Agriculture so more people will know methods to revitalize the soils of the Earth!
An example of Biodynamic Planting Calendar
4 types of crop growth: Root, Flower, Leaf, Fruit
An Example: Imagine if you planted your tomatoes on a Leaf-Day, you may have large plants with lots of growth but it may yield less fruit than you expected. Or if you planted lettuce on a Flower-Day, your plants may go to seed quicker than usual. Beets planted on a Leaf-Day, will have large tops but small root growth. We have many information and books to show examples of yield variation!
We have 2 types of Biodynamic Planting Calendars available at our store!
Maria Thun Biodynamic Calendar and
Stella Natura Planting Calendar
One man, One Cow, One Planet - How to Save the World
Biodynamic Agriculture & Farming (2007)
One Man, One Cow, One Planet exposes globalization and the mantra of infinite growth in a finite world for what it really is: an environmental and human disaster. But across India marginal farmers are fighting back. By reviving biodynamics an arcane form of agriculture, they are saving their poisoned lands and exposing the bio-colonialism of multinational corporations. One man, One cow, One planet tells their story through the teachings of an elderly New Zealand gardener many are calling the new Gandhi. Directed by Thomas Burnst. Written by Barbara Sumner.
A film about the farming revolution in India and one man, out to save the world. Written by Barbara Sumner-Burstyn