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