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Settling the dust around Biodynamic applications  RSS feed

 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Xisca,
For a person who is aware of the things you talk about, this thread would simply show another method of achieving the end products (the preparations and use of them).
For a person who doesn't have such a good understanding, this thread may help them have that lightbulb click on and that could be good for them.


Hola RedHawk, Cernícalo rojo (some live next door to me too!)
I read all the remarks about Steiner in this thread, drawbacks and reluctances about his spirituality, and I have seen various times before that I have had some very specific learnings that make a bridge between things that seem to not go together. As I think it is valuable for permaculture, and as I have done a few trainings that are not common ones, I share it. It does not complicate but simplifies. The spiritual needs no justification, and I never bother to check if there is truth in what I believe at this level: it just does not go to the same part of the nervous system, even beyond left and right brain.

It is very true that most of the scientific world does not choose to recognize the other parts of the human inner trinity. 



The paradox is that there is scientific knowledge about it! It just happens that when the scientific side is prefered over the spiritual side, there is a scientific justification that can interest those who are on the scientific side. Some people who see the spiritual side can indeed be upset to see that there is some science in this too. I admit that it can stop some of the fluent feelings at the beginning... I think the ANS is the only body system nobody seem to want to call by its name unlike digestive or respiratory ones. It has its way of functionning that is a surprise when you learn about it.

I started to read Teri McLuhan book ‘Touch the Earth’ and others from 11 onward... I was trying as a child to soak myself with words until I could feel between the lines. I accepted meditation only when I found one that included all three aspects. Knowing what I do can make me take care of myself with no fear when I have no external help, as I can let my body shake off some stuff from me with an anchor for my soul.

My opinion is that Steiner was not using mystical justification, but was using a certain language when he lacked the scientific explanation for his feelings and intuitions.

Also, maybe he knew that people are more prone to follow rules they are afraid to brake, especially when the process is demanding. The process of the preparations is difficult to implement and long, thus demanding. Can the spiritual aspects make it easier to follow?  I can see that warning - at cortical level of the mind - about bees deseapearing is not very efficient.

(Example: When wise leaders in Polynesia were seeing that some fish populations were lowering, they did not explain WHY they should not eat those ones for a while.... They were just saying that the spirits had told them that those fish were taboo... (then they would remove the taboo, when fish populations were recovering) It just makes people follow the rule more easily! which seems to be what happens to biodynamics followers.)

This being said, I am interested in adapting, as I have asked before
- how I can replace some plants I don't have,
- and also we have no cows here, and I am more than happy to use my glass jars for anything useful...
- I was also asking if non-ruminants manure gives the same result.
- And also if you can burry the stuff, card-board in that case, and leave it underground.

Also I can add that I do not know if I can bury my guinea pig manure - also dead animals - and down to what max depth, to help microorganism to thrive.

We can "disobey" Steiner only if we know what can be changed while keeping the result he meant!

Thanks
 
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Awesome thread! Back to the biodynamics: Bryant, you say the effects of biodynamics is similar to Ingham's methods - increasing the life in the soil. But istn't there a huge difference in the quantities used? I once bought a preparation 501 and there is about a heaped teaspoon use in a bucket of water for the whole garden, doesn't compost tea use much more? So there should be much more bacteria added than with the preparations?? In the very beginning of the thread you mention a teaspoon of silica for a whole area isn't silica a common element? Why would that work?
And the other question is did you test the 'pure' Steiner preparation against your version of it growing something or did you only try you version at once? And did you compare Inghams's 'preparations' vs Stiener preparations in the garden?
 
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Angelika Maier wrote:Awesome thread! Back to the biodynamics: Bryant, you say the effects of biodynamics is similar to Ingham's methods - increasing the life in the soil. But istn't there a huge difference in the quantities used? I once bought a preparation 501 and there is about a heaped teaspoon use in a bucket of water for the whole garden, doesn't compost tea use much more? So there should be much more bacteria added than with the preparations?? In the very beginning of the thread you mention a teaspoon of silica for a whole area isn't silica a common element? Why would that work?
And the other question is did you test the 'pure' Steiner preparation against your version of it growing something or did you only try you version at once? And did you compare Inghams's 'preparations' vs Stiener preparations in the garden?



hau  Angelika, 
Yes there are differences in quantities but this is at the "brewing stage" for the most part since once you have brewed the teas you then dilute them before you spray them on the soil.
As I mentioned, there seems to be a large amount of profit making by those who make and sell the preparations. 
If you purchase preparations, first off they are not going to be as fresh and thus will contain many more sleeping bacteria that have to wake up, so if you can make them fresh, you will get faster, better colonies growing in the treated soil.
Silica is indeed a common element, so is Iron but many humans are anemic (lack or low Iron in the blood), so it should not be dismissed that adding some silica, which is necessary for several mineral breakdowns by bacteria, shouldn't be done.
Steiner had two or three preparations that either included silica, one is ground quartz crystal, so a lot of silica in that one.

My experimentation was to first created the Steiner preparations exactly as described then I created my own method from having done them the first way.
Elaine, at that time had not codified nor published her methods.
Last year I started comparison planting areas consisting of one bed per each method, and will let you know the conclusions after this years season, which is the trial timing (2 year study).

Redhawk
 
Angelika Maier
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Thanks! I did not think on the dormant bacteria, indeed my preparation was laying around in a shop for probably some months. Yes, we all wait for the trials!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:

My opinion is that Steiner was not using mystical justification, but was using a certain language when he lacked the scientific explanation for his feelings and intuitions.

I was also asking if non-ruminants manure gives the same result.

Also I can add that I do not know if I can bury my guinea pig manure - also dead animals - and down to what max depth, to help microorganism to thrive.



I tend to agree with you but Steiner was a rather "mystical" oriented person too. His lectures were actually based in scientific data taken from papers written the year prior to his 1924 lectures so his ideas were based on solid scientific data that was current.

I have been using donkey manure to make some "cow horn manure" and it seems to work just fine. I have used rabbit manure too and it works pretty well as long as I pack it after misting it with water.

The cow horn manure is supposed to be buried at a depth of one foot from the top of the horn as it lays in the trench.
Dead animals can be composted as long as they are kept in an anaerobic state (if composting whole) if you chop them up and use dry materials to surround them the result will be quite good compost. (keep lots of material all around the "bodies")

Cardboard buried works great if you first wet it with some compost tea, that allows it to be a bacterial housing development.

Redhawk
 
Angelika Maier
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If you bury cardboard you lose the packaging as the cardboard decomposes Why a whole animal anaerobic? We buried a whole dead chicken and it went very quickly.
In Steiner's time there was next to no roadkill which might be a great source as well.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Angelika Maier wrote: Why a whole animal anaerobic? We buried a whole dead chicken and it went very quickly.


Burying reaches the goal of things going anaerobic, I think.

I have an article to share, showing our similarity to plants, and also that their roots are affected the same way our nervous system is. If they react to anesthesia, of course we can also give them great cares with good preparations!

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/12/we-can-make-plants-pass-out-with-the-same-drugs-that-mysteriously-knock-us-out/

https://academic.oup.com/aob/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aob/mcx155/4722571

The first article is more for general public and the second is more scientific. Quite fascinating...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Angelika, the cardboard works because it allows the bacteria to colonize and as the earthworms come to eat the bacteria and process the cardboard they leave behind their tunnels which the bacteria begin to use as nature intends.
Along with the bacteria, many different species of fungi hyphae will fill those left behind tunnels as they spread (most hyphae can be found to extend nearly a mile over time) and connect both with plant roots and other hyphae, this creates a hyphae internet of sorts that allows nutrient flow and communication.

When you bury anything, it tends to go anaerobic and that is the condition that meat decaying bacteria prefer so the animals bodies go away very quickly.
The dead baby hogs I compost only last about 30 days and then even the bones are decomposed into the compost, making it very rich in calcium and trace minerals.

Redhawk
 
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Bryant,

Thank you for another great series. It helps the thinking about providing healthier soils, separate from those that sell the parts and the process : )

Maybe off topic, and as such, I hope not to distract, but if I may ask, do you believe we need to be drinking vortexed (sp?) water?  Are you familiar with, and accepting of, what Dr Gerald Pollack has studied about H3O2, called EZ water? His studies have shown that the water we drink has to be transformed to this more gel like water, but that plants naturally have this form already. 

Maybe another forum, or topic, but your comment about water and a vortex effect made me wonder.  Thank you.  Betty
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Beth, no I don't think drinking H3O2 is such a great idea for humans or other animals.

What I drink is Icelandic Glacial spring water because it has a natural pH of 8.4, just alkaline enough to move my body to the right pH spot for better health.
Over the last three years I have done a lot of research and this is one part of my new regimen.

I do believe that vortexing water is good for soil amendments, it stimulates bacteria and fungi growth rates.

Redhawk
 
Angelika Maier
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We drove through the country and we will never do that anymore without a trailer and some gloves. We could have loaded the whole trailer with roadkill. If one dead roo weighs approx. the same than a bag aof blood and bone then this is $30+ per dead roo (poor roo). That would mean that all these dead roos and wallabies would go into an aerobic pile? How would I do that? It should not stink terribly or our neighbours might complain a little stink is OK though.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Angelika,
Unless the "body" is almost completely desiccated you need to use anaerobic conditions to compost dead animals.
The reason for this is that the bacteria that do the decomposing of flesh and bone are not oxygen lovers, they prefer a distinct lack of O2 in their environment, this is also what keeps the smell of death away.

If you want to do an aerobic composting you will need a minimum of 8 inches of material encompassing the core, where the critter goes, to keep the odors down.
To be "odorless" you would need to have a minimum of 12 inches of encompassing material and it would need to be heating up from nitrogen (you can use ammonia from a bottle, 5 gal. of spent coffee grounds, or lots of fresh cut green grass) to kick start this heating process.
During the decomposition you will probably notice beetles (black with a white abdomen stripe) running in and out of your compost heap, no worries, those are the flesh eaters and they will go away once they have done their job, then the bone eating bacteria will disassemble the bones.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Evan is a great guy and knows from where he speaks. I have great respect for him.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Rudolf did not ever organize a school where his methods were taught, so any reference to a Steiner School is not accurate, they should be called Steiner Method Schools or something similar to that.



Hau Redhawk, Wikipedia says:

Steiner's lecture activity expanded enormously with the end of the war. Most importantly, from 1919 on Steiner began to work with other members of the society to found numerous practical institutions and activities, including the first Waldorf school, founded that year in Stuttgart, Germany. (Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner)
 
Bryant RedHawk
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indeed he worked with the school, he did not found it. I've never found any accurate source that spoke about his founding any school, most all of them came into existence after his death.
Prior to 1924 most of his writings and lectures were on religious subjects and their relation with spirituality.

Rudolf Steiner gave his first lectures about his methods for improving soil in 1924, and he died in 1925.
He was not approached about coming up with ways to rejuvenate worn out soil on farms until 1922.
So how is it that he was doing these things before he gave his lectures?

This quote is from the Biodynamic Association web site

In the early 1920s, a group of practicing farmers, concerned with the decline in the health of soils, plants and animals, sought the advice of Rudolf Steiner, founder of anthroposophy, who had spent all his life researching and investigating the subtle forces within nature. From a series of lectures and conversations held at Koberwitz, Germany (now in Poland) in June 1924, there emerged the fundamental principles of biodynamic farming and gardening, a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the farm-organism to that of the entire cosmos. This approach has been under development in many parts of the world ever since. Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, who worked with Dr. Steiner during the formative period, brought biodynamic concepts to the United States in the 1930s. It was during this period that the Biodynamic Association was founded in 1938.



As to the Waldorf School, Steiner's Essay: An Introduction to the Waldorf School

Wiki has a lot of misinformation within it's pages, all that information is put up by people using the internet not by librarians or historians.
 
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Lee Kochel wrote:I am extremely interested in this forum entry.  I have some additional questions.  Would any source of manure work or does it have to come from a herbivore?  Are you suggesting that spraying a dilute aqueous solution of DE on the garden would give a lot of the advantages of using these horn preparations?  Also, you reference the similarity of your concepts with Elaine Ingham's; yet you seem to imply that the effect of these horn preparations is to significantly increase the bacteria in the soil, whereas, Elaine constantly references having a significant quantity (often about =) of fungi AND an adequate supply of predators of these microorganisms.  So, did you mean bacteria or were you using bacteria as shorthand for the other critters as well?  If you meant to say just bacteria, how do you explain the significantly increased plant results?  Do you think that  you could get the same results by adding garden soil to the mixture and then just burying the combined mixture in a cardboard container in a slow compost pile?   Thanks. 
One more question.  You suggest that one of the preparations  produces a lot of humus.  Another prominent agriculturist, John Kempf, strongly asserts that humus is the result of the repeated digestion of fats by fungi until it cannot be digested any more.  Do you see any evidence for this or would you posit another mechanism?  Thanks again. 



I have used Cow, Horse, Donkey, Goat and Hog manures both separately and as a blend, the Horse, Donkey and Hog manures do seem to be lacking something for full bio activity to become present but they do work fairly well, the blend did quite well when compared to pure cow manure.
This is probably because there was some cow dung, providing the microorganisms that were missing from the non ruminant manures (goat manure works very well since it is ruminant manure).
When I said bacteria I meant the entirety of microorgansims, there are some times when all you want to grow are the fungi, this sort of preparation works best if there is some woody material to provide lignin for the fungi to eat.
For general soil health improvement you want a ratio that is slanted towards the fungi, especially when you are going to have trees and other woody plants growing in the space you are treating.
For most vegetables and non-woody plants you optimally would have an even mix of bacteria and fungi along with around 10 percent of the other organisms for your starting treatments.

Redhawk
 
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Late to the game, but another scientist who's investigated paramagnetic rocks, insect communication, etc., etc. is Philip S. Callahan...written a few books, including "Ancient Mysteries, Modern Visions: The Magnetic Life of Agriculture." 
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Nancy,
I am familiar with Philip's work.
One of the most interesting things to me about science is that science as a whole, really has no clue as to why many things happen and or work the way they do simply because they have to take out our bodies natural ability to sense things happening.
When this is left out so that the scientific method will work, we have excluded the ability to fully understand our world. Philip got onto something big and ways to actually measure a few of these "anomalies".
I suspect that it will not be much longer before we have a scientific paper on the origins of what is currently known as magic but is actually just taking and arranging what has always been here and used to be understood by a few.

edhawk
 
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OK, Bryant, you made the 'mistake' of replying, so I'll add more :)  I love Rupert Sheldrake, another bona fide scientist who is heroically plugging away at the 'anomalies'.  And a recent book, 'Suggestible You', about science finally taking the astonishing power of 'suggestion, expectation and belief', i.e., the placebo/nocebo effect, seriously.  I love mysteries, so I love science, because taking them on is supposed to be its business!  And, it is also in the business of always disproving itself :)  "There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophies, Horatio!"
'
(PS, I think the hubris of 'scientism' will be the downfall of legit research (along with selling out)... maybe the 'replication crisis' will lead to it's rehabilitation :)

Oh, and back on topic, a truly brilliant man (read Thomas Aquinas in original Latin, for pleasure ;) I worked for also had organic acreage, and used Biodynamic 'ashing' protocol to greatly reduce a weed ... I think it was knappweed or some thistle.  It seemed to work for him. 
 
Bryant RedHawk
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"The more we learn, the more we realize how much we don't know"

"Acquiring knowledge is not for the faint of heart, it can create a feeling of supreme inadequacy"

and my favorite quote "We has met the enemy and he is US"
 
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Nancy, Boral in Australia had some mines with paramagnetic I think it was basalt, which they used to sell in agriculture. Unfortunaltey they gave up on it.
Briant, there was another thread with the reprint of a book " compost the quitck return method" it works with prparations, and the lady who invented it simplified the preparations just like you do - did you try this method or anyone else?
 
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I believe you are referring to "Common Sense Compost making by the Quick Return Method" written by Maye E. Bruce.
Maye took Steiner's directions of how to use his preparations to create a quick compost that was as good or better than most "normal" compost, she developed some methods of her own that worked in unison with Steiner's ideas from his book.
What she proved was that compost can be created in a short period of time using the preparations as Steiner described.  Her work was instrumental in compost making, much of what she described in her methods is used in commercial composting today.

When using preparations to create great compost for compost teas and direct application, methods are based on both Steiner and Bruce methods.
I use my own blend of methods taken from studying Steiner, Bruce and Ingham.

Redhawk
 
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yes I refer to that. I like that she does not turn, but proabably it would be even better with turning but we're not getting any younger.
 
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Hello Redhawk.

I was watching a video on making Korean Natural Farming IMO preparations/magnets/general soil biology loving...

And I thought to myself:
"hmm rice that makes sense, it's a staple crop where the gentleman Cho Ha-Kyu was developing his methods, but I wonder if other cereal crops would work. If there's a person who has experimented with that it's probably Bryant Redhawk on the permies forum."

My question to you is indeed, have you ever gotten curious about KNF and if so (and time willing) would you please share your experiments?
 
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hau Kamaar, KNF is not much different than the other all natural methods when we break down what is really going on.

KNF uses rice, which is a carbohydrate grain that also has a little protein. The difference is that this grain is constructed differently that wheat, corn, oats or barley, which are the other widely produced grains.
The rice wash that is used in KNF is starch, so if you don't have rice, you just need a different type of natural starch, such as corn starch (this also needs experimentation to determine the right mix ratios).
Then there is the way to make this rice wash, which is fermenting with lactobacillus for a period of 5 to 7 days. The method is to soak the rice grain in a bucket that has a loose lid so the bacillus can infiltrate and start growing.
The next step is to add a raw sugar (non refined) either a dark brown, or diluted molasses to provide food for the bacteria (you are going to end up with several different types of bacteria in this method of culturing.

The rice is used because it is the primary grain of the area where it was developed, in the western world the best grain to use for this method of lactobacillus growing is barley.
The rice bran layers are loosened and they then float to the surface of the liquid where they can be skimmed off (this material will sour the whole culture so it has to be discarded).
Barley reacts much the same in that the bran layers loosen and float where they can be skimmed and tossed once the fermentation has completed.
The same raw sugars are used in many culturing mediums for bacteria production, regardless of the method being used.

Hope that answers your question Kamaar.

Redhawk
 
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I thought it would be somewhat tangential to this thread.

Sounds to me, just as you said, more experimentation is needed. Excuse me while I go put on my googles, gloves and lab coat.

Thank you Redhawk.
 
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