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biodynamic book: Secrets of the Soil  RSS feed

 
Brenda Groth
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Just got my new copy of Secrets of the Soil from Amazon yesterday, I have read the first 8 chapters already and find it quite interesting.

On page 68 there was some talk of a more permaculture type of growing, but so far in the book it seems almost all the growing has been monocropping. It appears the growinig on the page 68 discovered that monocrops were depleating the soil even with the biodynamics, so he began to do some very limited intercropping and crop rotations, but far from permaculture at this point in reading the book.

It does seem that the mixes that they spray on worked best on soil that had been previously chem farmed, and it helped but not as dramatically on organic soils. This also makes sense.

It does have me curious enough to wonder if there is a place that the mixes can be obtained from a biodynamic farm by mail..as I do not have the sources to the cow horns, animal innards or the manure.

Going on to read more of the book

also a pesky possum got buried in my baby hugel bed overnight (hubby shot it and buried it, I wasn't happy but at least it will rot in a good place)
 
Brenda Groth
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10 more chapters read and wondering why all this info that was avail in the 80's hasn't ever been put into practice, at least not as far as I can see. If it works, why isn't it being done? If people know more about what is actually beinig done I'd love to know about it. A lot of interesting information but disappointing that things seem to be "as they were"..
 
Brenda Groth
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OK toward the end of the book it did get a little creepy, but I also ran across some really great information..it was worth the read and the bucks
 
John Alabarr
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Brenda Groth wrote:OK toward the end of the book it did get a little creepy, but I also ran across some really great information..it was worth the read and the bucks


Can you elaborate on what was creepy?
 
Brenda Groth
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well burying things in innards from animals, which I don't raise, and some of the spiritual stuff was a bit far out for my thoughts to come to grip with.
 
James Colbert
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I am reading the book now and can't wait to try some of the things mentioned. I already knew that rock dust was amazing stuff but now I also want to try creating compost tea in a vortex to make the minerals colloidal and broadcasting high frequency sound to get your plants to open their stomata creating freakish growth. Single corn plants growing 10+ feet and having 3 stalks each bearing 3 to 4 ears of corn each (up to 12 ears of corn from one plant!!!) I have to try it out and see.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I would worry about how the high frequency sounds would affect animals in the area, especially bats!

I called the local nursery today to ask if they have rock dust. They didn't even know what I was talking about.......
 
John Polk
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You may need to go to an Ag supplier for Azomite or Gaia's Green. Most home nurseries don't stock it, and it is expensive when they do.

My 'local' supplier is $16 per bag (44#)...about what a garden center gets for a 5-10 lb bag!

 
James Colbert
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I would worry about how the high frequency sounds would affect animals in the area, especially bats!

I called the local nursery today to ask if they have rock dust. They didn't even know what I was talking about.......

I believe the sound is emitted only around dawn. But that is a concern that should be investigated.
 
Jennifer Ludwig
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There are Biodynamic Associations throughout the United States. From these associations you can find contacts to farms that produce the BD Preparations and BUY them. The farm I work on is apart of the Oregon BD Association. A few times a year we get together with the group and pump out large quantities of preparations and then bury them. ....It's convenient that our farm also raises grass feed beef. The cow horn, skulls, organs and, poop are in abundance!

So if you're looking for an easier way to GARDEN Biodynamically, buying preps can be more preferable than sourcing and creating your own.



 
mexico rosel
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Wow, the high-frequency sound thing sounds interesting! I have a time-lapse monitoring system set up on a little experiment "chamber" I have inside (not very permaculture, I know - but in my defence, the lights are low-power LED and the experiments permaculture-based!) -- I use it to see how certain factors (e.g. different green manures/organic teas, substrates, etc) affect growth on tomato plants. I'll try playing high-frequency sound and see if it makes a difference! Does anyone know anything more on the subject? For example, artificial lights (like my LEDs) provide specific wavelengths of light (color), depending on whether the plants are in vegetative growth or flowering. Are there certain frequencies of sound that purportedly affect plants most positively?

Also, I had a quick google, and came across this (from 1988, can you believe it? Has this taken off since then, or been proven to not be true? I wonder!) -- http://www.nytimes.com/1988/09/04/us/scientists-listen-to-noises-of-plants-in-drought.html

Interesting stuff!
 
Brenda Groth
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Jennifer and those with biodynamic products available..would you please list the source information for purchasing those preps..

address, cost, items available, ordering info, etc...thanks
 
Sharol Tilgner
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Hi Brenda,

In answer to your question about where to acquire Biodynamic (BD) preps. You can purchase them at http://www.jpibiodynamics.org/ You can also get involved in a local BD group in your area and learn how to make them with the group. Most groups will then share the preps or sell them to group members. Some will also sell them to non-group members.
 
Stewart Lundy
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I got this book and just finished it. Some of it is okay. But the parts that are okay are fully referenced, cited, and aren't presented as a rambling (unsourced) narrative about highly suspect "science." The parts that are not okay are the anecdotal evidence that is presented as certainties without citations. But with most books with an agenda, fidelity to facts and intellectual rigor are only applied when it's convenient: there is enough to give the casual observer the vague impression of a thorough and academic attempt at grappling with these subjects.... but any further investigation and you cannot help but see that these claims are all tenuous at best.

A lot of this information is ripped from other sources. I got tired of Rudolf Steiner being called "clairvoyant" after the first few pages. Too many adjectives; too many adverbs; too little reality.

This is NOT to discount biodynamics as a whole. I might even try a few of them, for the hell of it.

As for "peppering" (burning animal skins), Rudolf Steiner recommends this as an absolute LAST resort after everything else has failed -- and the people who tried in mentioned in this book burned NINETY (90) skins at once for their problem -- sounds more like an infestation than a lone opossum issue.

I also finished Ehrenfried Pfeiffer's "Weeds and What They Tell Us" which is concise, dense, and informative -- far superior. I'd say, stick to some original sources: Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Wes Jackson, William Albrecht, Wendell Berry, Sir Albert Howard, etc.
 
Sharol Tilgner
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If you are looking for biodynamic research I would tell you to look to Maria Thun's work. I am sure there must be others, but I have never looked further than her research. The Oregon BD Group that I use to belong to took meticulous records so they could follow their prep creations carefully. The group makes the BD preps from animal parts that are from animals that were butchered for others to eat. Animals were not killed to simply take the bladder, head, intestines, omentum that we needed for the preps. We were scavenging that which most think is unusable from an organic animal that was being butchered any way. We simply made use of parts that would have been thrown out otherwise. The herbs used in the preps were brought in from various members farms. I use my own form of farming which incorporates many types of farming, including biodynamic activities such as astrological planting with the Stella Natura calendar, use of BD preps and in general my attitude towards the farm organism is from a BD perspective. This works for me but perhaps it would not for you. I would suggest to those interested in BD, they join a local BD group in their area to see if it is right for you or not. If nothing else you will find some very interesting and bright people join these groups. The basic tenants of BD farming are based on the farmer viewing the farm as an organism unto itself. They try to be self contained as much as possible. They see spirit in all that exists. Be it their goat or a speck of dirt. They too are a part of the farm organism and see themselves as no greater or lesser an important aspect of the farm as anything else on the farm. All BD farming is based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, the same person who started Anthroposophical medicine and the Waldorf schools. The name of the book where his teaching are offered is "Agriculture". If you want to know more about BD farming without buying this book (which is hard for some people to understand), I wrote an an article explaining what BD farming is as well as a second article about the herbs used in the BD preps. You can find both articles at this link for free, just go down the list to farming and you will see both of them there. http://herbaltransitions.com/herbalresources.html
 
jimmy gallop
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Thanks you just made me buy another two books .
 
Brenda Groth
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well said stewart
 
Greta Fields
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Brenda -- I Just discovered WHY Steiner buried manure in cow horns and planted them in dirt or compost piles: Cow horns contain microbes which, with manure, multiply like crazy in a pile of compost. I also read about using the innards of some animals to add to compost because they contain microbes that soil needs. It apparently has to do with seeding microbes into compost, so it is no more creepy really than buying a package of nitrogen-fixing bacteria at the farm supply store!
Some scientists measured soil ingredients before and after the cow horn business, and the results sounded impressive.
Even human doctors are starting to transfer microbes, you know? They discovered that feces from healthy intestines will cure people with intestinal problems. The idea of having somebody else's feces implanted in another person is really creepy! But they say it works!
I would like to add, Steiner is thinking like the Chinese in creating manure and herbal teas for gardens. I am reading King's Forty Centuries of Farming, which describes how Chinese use manure teas religiously. I once tried nettle tea, and the dying tomato plants perked up and looked good.
 
ben harpo
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It is possible to order biodynamic preps from the Josephine Porter Institute.
http://www.jpibiodynamics.org/

If you can make it to Tennessee Sept 27-29, you can get some for free.
http://www.barefootfarmer.com/events-2/

I also reccommend "Secrets of the Soil" it's pretty much a mind-blower.
 
Greta Fields
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Thank you! I would love to attend those workshops on biodynamic farming, but I am in a play that weekend....actually a local storytelling event.
It is good to know about this event though.
There is also a group of biodynamic farmers near Louisville, Ky., and they are having some really famous guy from Europe come here to do a presentation, but I can't go to that one either.
Yes, a lot of people on this website are recommending that book, Secrets of the Soil, so I guess I will get it.
Actually, there's several places which offer the biodynamic preps. I don't know enough about them to feel confident where to use them. I did try nettle tea on tomatoes though.
For now, I am just trying to make humus by adding humus from the woods to regular compost piles.
Greta
 
ben harpo
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The one in Louisville is Foxhollow Farm. They have an onsite food store and welcome visitors pretty much all the time.

http://www.foxhollow.com/
 
Greta Fields
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That's it. I had forgotten their name. If I weren't tied up in local events right now, I would go to one of these workshops! I feel pretty isolated, sitting here kon a mountain reading Rudolf Steiner books!
I looked at Fox hollow farm on the map... I hate where it is located, off that dangerous Louisville road. I used to drive into Louisville a lot when I lived in Lexington, but only to see the theatre downtown. I hate that traffic there, so it may be awhile before I make it to Fox Hollow.
I am more inclined to visit the Growing Warriors farms etc. around Richmond, Ky. area. Salamander Springs farm may be biodynamic.... can't remember now.
 
Stewart Lundy
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Greta Fields wrote:I Just discovered WHY Steiner buried manure in cow horns and planted them in dirt or compost piles: Cow horns contain microbes which, with manure, multiply like crazy in a pile of compost. I also read about using the innards of some animals to add to compost because they contain microbes that soil needs. It apparently has to do with seeding microbes into compost, so it is no more creepy really than buying a package of nitrogen-fixing bacteria at the farm supply store!


I think you are right. What is more important here is that BD500 is a COLD compost (overwinter) which means the enzymes (what mystics call "energy") are never broken down because the temperature stays below 119F. I don't hear biodynamicists talk about this, but I consider this to be the most important aspect of BD500. Burying the horn with the point "up" also consolidates the heat generated to that point, where the ground closer to the surface is COLDER during the winter. Energy (heat and electricity) consolidates on points, including that of a dead cow's horn buried over winter. The horn is a sort of "heat-sink" for the compost, plus providing calcium. The added benefit of an old milk cow's horn is that it contains the enzymes that were constantly used to autolyze the cow's bones and horn while lactating. The enzymes, provided that (a) the horn is not overheated, and (b) the cow died lactating, should still be intact.

I am revisiting the "Secrets of the Soil." The authors do not strike me as thorough or particularly honest. But the work they talk about seems to be done by sincere people. If you can stomach the nauseating hyperbole of the authors, there are some useful bits. For example: Azomite, volcanic rock dust, paramagnetism, BD500, sea mineral solids, etc. But you can find all this in ACRES, USA if you wanted better writing.
 
John Mcdogoode
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The book is life changing. Nothing short of it, as long as your perspective is ready to expanded and you are ready to grow spiritually.

Some call it witchcraft, non scientifically supported data, etc, etc.. to them, I say put the book down and come back when ready. It took me three years to finish the book because the information was assimilated when I was ready to grow as an individual and accept the greater knowledge presented within the covers.

From sonic bloom, azomite, even potenizing water, and using dowsing for the gift it is to humanity. Cosmic pipes/ fiedl broadcasters are the only branch of concepts presented I havent been able to enact. Hugh Lovel has been less than supported or helpful in achieving a higher level of stewardship. Luckily, like most scientific 'developments' there is more harm and complication to be brought forth from such. Dowsing and communing with the Nature spirits is much simpler and effective it seems.

Please don't discount or discredit this book until you have completed it fully. The knowledge is invaluable to moving our existence into a peaceful and harmonious one, away from our current struggling ignorance, in the shadow of the Church of Progression.

Also, to discredit the formative forces described, Hunza civilization, even Maria Thun's extensive work is a costly mistake to any who wish to steward harmoniously. We can learn so much from our past if we only accept we are not the best we have ever been.

This book helps us to remember our past experiences and successes, even if these memories are thousands of years old.

 
Ola Kindom
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Good info!
 
it's a teeny, tiny, wafer thin ad:
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23442/digital-market/digital-market/Underground-House-Book-Mike-Oehler
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