The first book I read (from start to end) about biodynamics was New Zealander Peter Proctor’s “Grasp the Nettle”. The title makes it sound a painful experience, but it wasn’t and it inspired me to put down the slim volume of Steiner’s Agriculture Lectures (started many times) and just give it a go, rather than trying to intellectualise it all. I was trained in Agricultural Science, so this was a bit harder than it sounds! Anyway, thanks to Peter, I’m still giving it a go, still trying not to intellectualise and trying to observe and learn and intuit. Maybe that’s what Steiner intended, when he presented such a simple, yet complex, and at times unfathomable treatise!
To start with the basics, biodynamics takes the view is that the farm or garden is a living organism; the mineral, plant and animal aspects are closely linked and worked with as a whole. In ‘modern terms’ it’s a systems approach, probably called ‘peasantry’ in much earlier times, and just ‘living’ well before that. Garden activity occurs in tune with both earthly and cosmic forces.
The movement of the moon, sun, stars and planets guide the gardener. This is made easier by Brian Keats, who produces the Biodynamic planting calendar each year, and can be as simple as planting at Moon opposite Saturn, or as detailed as it gets.
Biodynamics demands observation and action – of the soil, plants, garden, seasons, moon, stars, sun, cosmos.
Alongside this we use the usual organic principles of crop rotation, composting, focus on soil health and soil building. You could say it is an enhanced method of organic growing. But organics doesnt neccessarily use the planets to guide planting, nor the wider realms of the ‘elementals’.
This is the point where you go and try … and find more info … see the links on the home page and do your own researching.
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