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Redhawk's methods of making the biodynamic preparations  RSS feed

 
garden master
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Since I finished out my thread about Steiner's Methodology perhaps there are some folks that realize I didn't give out my method of making the preparations.

So, in this thread I will give directions to make them that don't take so long and don't require exact materials such as Steiner prescribed.

I will have to do this one preparation at a time due to my current schedule of research.

So I'll be back soon as possible and I'll go through the preparations one by one that I use on my own farm.

Redhawk
 
steward
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Awesome!  Thanks so much, and I do hope you get to put this all in a book some day.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Horn Manure,
This is where most people start their biodynamic journey and it takes 6 months to make per the “standard directions”.
What exactly happens to fresh cow manure when it is stuffed into a cow horn and then buried in “good soil”?
The first thing that happens is that it leaks moisture into the soil below it, this triggers bacteria to move into the dung in the horn where they multiply like crazy.
After a while the fungal hyphae in that “good soil” begin to move in to feast on the bacteria and do their own part in decomposition of the manure.
Thus we end up with a microorganism rich, decomposed cow manure, it is more humus than manure after the six months in the soil.
So can we create this without needing all that time and the efforts of finding cow horns, stuffing them with manure and doing the digging, burying, digging up and emptying?
Yes and we can shorten the time it takes as well. 

Any inert container can be used, (My personal favorite is glass mason jars) and instead of putting it underground to be naturally inoculated.
What this requires is that we have some bacteria and fungi growing in some soil somewhere that we can dig and use a few spoons full to get our horn manure working.
If you live near some woods, that soil around the biggest trees is going to be really good for this purpose.
So now we can do the inoculations ourselves, we can put these containers (right side up instead of inverted) in an insulated box of some sort (ice chest or hand built wooden box) and then regulate the temperature to a steady 70 degrees f or even as high as 75 f. (a 25 to 40 watt light bulb can do this easily).
This gives the microorganisms the temperature they love and that makes them grow like a wildfire in a high wind, and that means we get the end product in under half the time it would take to make this material per Steiner’s directions.
Just check the progress every week or two, it usually only takes between 6 to 9 weeks.

Now how do we use it?
Steiner says to use 35 g per 10 liters of water, stir to a vortex then let it settle, stir in the opposite direction to a vortex and repeat at least 4 times.
The reason for all this stirring is to get all the microorganisms and solids left over into solution so they can be sprayed on the soil.
If you have an electric drill with reverse and a paint stirring shaft, you can do this a lot faster and it will actually be a better solution than doing it by hand (the particulates won’t settle out as fast).
One of the reasons to do this step is the actual affect that vortex stirring has on the water molecules themselves.
The vortex imparts some electrical charge to the molecules of water and they then are able to hold onto the particulates better.
Once you have your sprayer loaded with the solution you spray it on the soil.
You want the soil dampened visually by the spray, which has now inoculated the soil with all the good microorganisms and the remaining microbe food from the horn manure preparation.
Bingo, you have started the microbiology of great soil and the more you do this application, the better (and faster) the soil becomes superior for plant growing.

And we are off to the soil races.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
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Thanks Redhawk. Are you going to be addressing benefits and drawbacks of different preparations for different situations?

-CK
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Chris, yes we can do that as well. At the end of the preparations I'll delve into the when, where, how and why uses for these preparations, as well as some alternatives that work just fine.

Redhawk
 
gardener
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Thank you, Redhawk, for this thread and all that you share with us.
 
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Wow THANK YOU RedHawk. I have wanted to try this preparation since I read about it in D. Heekin's book (biodynamics are it seems great for wineries) over a year ago, but sourcing a cow horn and the long wait were very offputting. Now it seems like an accessible and practical task that I can do and share results.

One thing, you say it takes 6-9 weeks. How do you know it's ready? Sight, smell, great taste?

Looking forward to your future posts, such as the preparations for horsetail, which will hopefully address my questions: how old should the horsetail be before harvest? How much/which parts of the plant do you use?
 
pollinator
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Thanks so much! Can you bury this container as well since I find it cumbersome filling our smallish house wit heat boxes. (Or I could try in winter beside the stove, that would actually be quite cool). If I would bury I guess you want something that lets the critters move through like cow's horn but easier.
Can you say something about the differences and different outcomes of the moethods be it Steiner or Yatam (I hope I remember that one right) or EM or compost tea, there are so many methods do they do all the same? Is it different?
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Fredy, when the horn manure is ready it will smell like fresh earth and it will look crumbly, even though it might hold together.

hau Angelika, yes you can  bury it To do that I would probably use a piece of cloth over the top of the jar (not necessary though). If you have something like the Milk jugs here in the US those work and you don't have to worry about the possibility of broken glass. I have used them with the top cut off right at the top of the built in handle and they do work very well, they hold a lot of manure too.

There are differences to most of the different methods, Steiner's preparations are meant to gather into themselves the naturally occurring bacteria and other micro critters that are already in the soil and those present in the actual materials. EM is similar but you are fermenting milk solids and other materials so the bacteria will be different species than the Steiner preps. Compost tea will depend on which type of compost you use and whether or not you did any preparations inoculations. I have (and do still use) EM and my preparations together but they are applied alternatingly, compost teas and extracts are used at the beginning of the growing season, mid season and at the end of the season. Usually our fruit trees get more of the teas/extracts than the vegetables.  Hope that helps.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 4183
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Cow Horn Silica: 
This one is supposed to be made of ground up quartz crystals, clear, points to be exact. 
Since these have to be purchased by anyone not living near enough to a source that they can go dig their own it is a rather impractical preparation.
If you know your soil needs Silica (you did have a full scope soil test done didn’t you?).
I like and prefer to simply use Food grade DE, sprinkled over the soil and watered in, this mineral will be utilized by the bacteria, fungi, nematodes, amoeba, springtails and worms so it will be in the soil, making the rounds in the soil food web for a long time once it is present.

You can also use DE as an additive to the cow manure when you are stuffing your container to make the cow horn manure.
You can dust the soil around each plant with DE before you use any of the preparation sprays too.

Redhawk


I am listing each preparation singly so that you can print these off should you want to make your own "recipe book" for reference.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Yarrow Preparation: 

Yarrow flowers placed in the Stags Bladder, hung in the sun during the summer and buried in rich soil during the next winter- this preparation stimulates the potassium, silica and selenium activating bacteria and helps combine sulphur with other substances.
That is the description Steiner uses in his book. 
If you don’t hunt deer or know someone who does, this would be a hard one to make per Steiner.
Instead, look for a butcher and ask if they have any cow, goat or sheep bladders if not, a stomach (tripe) will do and they are usually an easier part to acquire.
The way Steiner wants us to do this is rather odd to me; stuffing the flowers (dried) inside such a membrane organ then hanging it in the sun to dry.
To what purpose, especially since we are using dried flowers to start with.
Well the purpose appears to be the use of ammonia from the urine left on the bladder lining, this is about all the difference between using a stomach over using bladder that my experiments showed.
Once again there are other goodies going on, the yarrow flowers stuffed in the bladder and hung out to dry will draw multitudes of flies.

I devised a method that gives us all the goodness but without the possibility of rotting flesh smells and swarms of flies to deal with.
Once again we start with a mason jar, a 3 gal. bucket full of fresh picked yarrow flowers and one bagged, fresh tripe from the grocery store meat department.
Lay the flowers out on a table, move to a cutting board and slice 1/4 inch wide strips from the stretched out tripe, You also need a wooden "muddler"(like for making mojitos or just find a stick that fat enough to mash everything down into the jar), now we are ready to assemble.
Notice that we aren't waiting for the flowers to dry and that we aren't going to stuff our cow stomach lining.
Set your jar in front of you, I like to have flowers on one side and the tripe on the opposite for this step.
Stuff flowers into the jar until it is full then use your muddler stick to press the flowers until they don't bounce back.
Lay in enough of the strips of tripe to cover the layer of mashed up flowers, use the muddler stick to mash the tripe down.
Now stuff more flowers in to fill the jar again and we repeat the mash down till they don't bound back.
Repeat the covering with tripe and on we go until we can not get any more flowers or tripe in the jar, we want the last addition to be tripe.
Once we have our jar full to the rim we take four layers of cheese cloth and lay them over the top, using a rubber band (#64 works great) fasten the cheese cloth on the jar.
Set the jar outside in a sunny spot, on a table or somewhere out of your way but not near any window or door and let it "ripen" for 4 weeks before checking it.
It usually takes mine about 6 weeks to start looking like something other than dead stuff.
What is happening is the growing of bacteria and fungi, the glass jar is nice because we can see how the contents start to ferment, once there is no more fermentation going on, we can use the preparation.
Uses for this concoction are: 1. starter for a compost heap (1 of 5 compost addition preparations) 2. direct use by creating a tea where we make a tea bag with cheese cloth and suspend it in a vat of some type, fill with water and add an air stone for aeriation of the brew.
3. mixing with compost and spreading as a mulch around fruit trees then adding another layer of mulch on top of this layer.

My favorite method of using this preparation is to use it per Steiner's directions, poke a hole in the top of a compost heap (aprox. 3" round) and fill that hole with the preparation.
Any time you use the herbal preparations to kick start a compost heap, be sure to add at least another 6 inches of materials to the heap to cover the holes you filled with the preparations.
Then you wet the top of the heap (we will get to the valerian prep. that you are supposed to "seal" the heap with).

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Chamomile:
Chamomile flowers packed in the small intestines of the cow and buried in rich soil during the winter.
This preparation retains nitrogen and calcium in the compost heap, keeping them in the living realm and preventing losses to the atmosphere.

Once again we are looking at 6 months to make this preparation, while it does do some really grand things for our compost heaps and soil, I don't want to wait half a year to get to the second phase, which is using it to charge compost.
I have also found that most of the herbal preparations do better if the material(s) are macerated first, then packed into the container as tightly as possible (the good old mason jar).
So for this preparation we again use our go to container, the mason jar.
We gather up as many Chamomile flowers and trim off the stems so we have just the flower head and petals.
We go to the butcher and try to get non-cleaned intestines. Now most of us would have a really hard time finding intesines that were not cleaned and ready to use (they come in pails at the grocery meat counter and are usually labeled chitlins).
Fortunately it isn't all that necessary to get non clean intestine material.
I cut the chitlins into rings simply because it is faster to do it this way and I am not making the Chamomile sausage as Steiner says to.
Once again we are going to stuff alternating layers in our mason jar starting with the macerated Chamomile flowers then chitlin rings, packing every layer as tightly as we can (without breaking our mason jar), until our jar is full to just under the rim.
Now we want to get some really good soil from the forest floor and top our jar with this material then we want to cover it loosely with a lid so air can work its way in and out.
If we put it next to our Yarrow preparation it will do fine and be ready in about 6 weeks maybe 8 weeks.

This preparation does several things; it is a source of N and most importantly it will contain a large number of azotobacteria, one of the primary mineral converters, there will also be mycorrhizae and other fungi if you got a really good shovel of soil from the forest.

The primary reason most of Steiner's preparations were supposed to be buried was so they would pick up the microorganisms from the soil surrounding them.
It is easier to add some of the soil, that contains those organisms. Doing this also reduces the time period greatly.
Even when making "regular" compost, adding some forest floor soil to the heap will greatly increase the microbial density in the finished compost as well as helping it complete the composting cycle faster.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 4183
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Stinging Nettle:
Gather up about 3 gal. of nettle, I like to wait for their flowers to form then cut them off at 6 inches below those.
I fill my mason jar(s) to the rim then use my muddler stick to press them down until they don't spring back, repeating the process till the jar is nearly full.
I then add some of my forest soil on top, loosely fit a lid and I place this on a shelf in the workshop.
I watch this one for evidence of no liquid in the jar (around 6-8 weeks) then it is ready to use to charge compost heaps.
The three gal. makes 3 quart jars for me.

Oops, for got this part when I was typing this one.
The standard formula calls for the Nettles to be surrounded by peat.
Peat is acidic and pretty sterile when dug from a bog, there are mostly anaerobic bacteria present in peat but since when we build soil we are looking for aerobic bacteria, I did experiments with and without peat. The results were so similar that the new method is preferable.
If you prefer, you can mix peat with the Nettle, but it only makes the preparation more acidic.

Once again we are growing our bacteria, I usually find at least 4 different species when I check it under the microscope, sometimes I get really good soil and the species numbers go up.
Use this one along with the others to supercharge your compost heaps.
I have also tried mixing all the herbs together, made a decoction and tried that on an experimental heap, the results were ok but no where near as good as using the preparation style.

Redhawk
 
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I was pre-judgmental against the biggest charlatan of the 19. century and for that reason I wasn't reading any biodynamic books and actually had an argument with my permaculture teacher about it. His bee lessons by the way are complete bull fertilizer and do not recommend.

But now Redhawk is writing about the methods of biodynamics and I am ready to listen and learn. I am hearing from different sources that most methods were used for centuries by the Mesopotamian and European farmers.

THANK YOU REDHAWK


 
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Two weekend ago I got my husband to dig some holes for new tree seedlings. Despite what has been a wet summer, I was very disappointed when the post-hole digger churned up dry earth, hard and powdery and completely dry beyond the first few millimetres.

I have been preparing the holes as before, by throwing in various bits of organic material and topping with the excavated clay, mixed with some sandy soil from a heap I have. It is done quickly, as I don't have much spare time to give to gardening.

In all the holes I have thrown bits of wood, which I hope will form underground sponges. I also put in horse manure, because we have some. This time, after reading this thread, I was inspired to add more beneficial organisms. I had been troubled to read that it would be good to use a scoop from under the largest tree in a forest. Here, we don't have many forests: in Australia, is is called "the bush" because the trees are dotted sparsely. There is not a nice build-up of organic material. Apparently eucalypts suppress competitive species in two ways. Firstly, the eucalyptus oil is spread to surrounding soil when their leaves drop. Secondly, eucalyptus leaves droop vertically, allowing sunlight through to the ground around the trunk, heating the soil and making it inhospitable for other plants. Certainly quite a few Australian species seem to suppress the growth of other plants. I have never liked eucalypts for this reason, nor any other plant that has dead and dry-looking zones around its base.

So I was a bit cast down until I thought of my greenhouse. It was left behind by the previous owners, and has a collection of tropical plants smothered under lots of weeds. However, I have layered cardboard and sawdust over the paths in the last few years, and the soil there is black and crumbly, and full of life. You can actually see the little springtails leaping whenever you scrape some up.

So a good trowel-full has gone into each planting hole, and I mulch around the plant with cardboard. I work in an IT department and we get lots of stuff in boxes coming in. I am trying to bring most of it back for recycling, (into soil that is). It keeps down the vigorous grass that would swamp little seedlings if it had the choice. It looks ugly, but it works, and I'm reducing waste while getting a benefit.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Nicola,
I am so happy that you do have some good soil (I have friends that live in the Out Back), apparently the best soil in the bush is around billabongs(sp?), but then I imagine you have to worry about crocs and male platypus while gathering soil there.
I normally mention forest floor soil because I live in an oak/hickory forest. Most of my jars get 250g of soil, because that is all the room I leave at the top.
In my jar method I tamp this soil down snug but not "packed" then use a hand mister to dampen the soil, this makes sure the micro organisms are active when I place the cover on.

Redhawk

hau Gurkan,
I fully understand your feelings, 50 years ago I too felt that way.
Since that time I have done some research into the man and how he came up with his soil improvement strategy, discovering that there was ample science, done by noted scientist of the time available, and that he conferred with Richard Krzymowski,  Raoul Heinrich Francé, the foremost agricultural scientific minds of the time, and Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, the foremost microbiologist of the 1920's and through the 1950's.
So even though Steiner put his own spin on the knowledge, it was sound, scientific knowledge from the leading minds of the period.
That led me to seek shorter time methods for creating the preparations, once I determined what he was really doing, it was pretty straight forward to come up with my methods for making those preparations.

Redhawk
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 4183
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Oak Bark preparation:
This preparation is supposed to be shredded oak bark placed in a cow skull and sunken in water over the winter.
So let us take a look at what happens to the material over the soaking time.
One of the primary uses for oak bark is tanning leather by leaching out the tannins from the bark, this preparation would do the same thing.

Once again we can shorten the time period by doing things a bit differently.
Gather your bark (just about any species of Quercus will work even though the specific species (Quercus robur) is specified.
I use a hachet to remove the bark from a freshly felled tree trunk and chop these pieces into as fine bits as I can.
Next I get out an old blender and fill the jug about 3/4 full of bark bits, add water to cover and with the lid in place I work up to the puree setting until I have a nice slurry (about 3 minutes total).
This goes into a 5 gal. bucket and I repeat this process until the bucket is full. Next I strain the material from the water and the shredded bark goes back in the bucket for a second rinse this time with warm water.
Repeat the warm water rinse 10 times, letting each rinse sit until the water is cool to the touch, this will leach out most of the undesirable tannin. If you happen to tan leathers, save the supernate from all the rinses for soaking your hides to tan them.
After the last rinse, most of the tannin will be gone from the fibers and you can transfer it to mason jars, add some good soil and just let it sit open to the air.
The soil will become moist from the remaining water in the oak bark fibers, this will encourage bacterial and fungal growth. After a week or two you will visibly be able to see threads of hyphae growing and your preparation is ready to use in a compost heap.
Or you can simply add a small scoop around each of your fruit trees which will discourage diseases from gaining a foot hold.
Another way to use this material is to mix it with your soil at the time of planting.

Redhawk
 
Nicola Stachurski
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Hi RedHawk

Billabong is an Aboriginal word for swamp/pond. So that gets me thinking that there would be good soil in the low patches around here that keep moisture, or are next to a creek.

Happily, I am too far south for crocs. They are only in the Tropical parts of Australia, all along the north. I refuse to live anywhere that is hot but you can't swim!! They are huge, nasty creatures that lurk underneath muddy water, and now and again someone gets eaten when they swim across a river (alcohol is usually involved, unless they are tourists ignoring the signs.

I come from Melbourne, which is the capital city of the most southern  mainland state. (There is a further southern island called Tasmania.) Melbourne's climate is similar to maybe southern France. Temperate, cool, cloudy and drizzly. Cold miserable winters without ever getting cold enough to snow. Fantastic cafes, restaurants, clubs and cinemas, because it is an indoor lifestyle down there. Any of the gardening books from England are good, because you can grown the same plants.

12 hours' drive north, you get to Sydney. The state it is in, New South Wales, probably has the most beautiful climate in Australia. It is a big state, so it moves from warm temperate to subtropical at its northernmost. The weather is balmy and pleasant, and it gets good rainfall too. The beaches , as you move up the coast, often have that beautiful white sand that gives a lovely turquoise colour to the sea. In the north is Byron Bay, where the actor from Crocodile Dundee lives. This area has volcanic soil and incredible rainforests. There is a hippy vibe around there, as it is the best place in Australia if you want to grow your own food and live an alternative lifestyle. It is also a place that can leave its inhabitants with magical thoughts. This is a combination of the drugs in the lifestyle, and also the rainforest, which is half-jungle. When you go in, it wraps around you and swallows you up. You can't hear anything of human habitation, and the huge old trees, and swarming plant life, have an amazing effect. This northern area is where Iggy Azalea came from, and is only 2 hours south of my place.

Another 12 hours' drive from Sydney, you come to Brisbane, and I live half an hour away from the outskirts of this city. Lots of poincianas and jacarandas line the streets. It has an outdoor lifestyle, as about 85% of the time it is sunny. Clouds only come in the shape of afternoon storms, which can be violent, knocking over trees and lifting off roofs. On New Years Eve we had one that pushed over a tree and lifted the 8m plywood skate ramp my husband had built for our son, and snapped it in half. (I'll try and attach a photo.) By the coast, the climate is gentler, but inland, where I am, there can be a number of frosts in the winter, with daytime temperatures then moving up to t-shirt weather ( about 25 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit.) In summer, it stays around 80 -100 degrees. The hottest day was 45 degrees C, which is 113 Fahrenheit. Fruit bats dropped dead in their thousands after that heatwave.

Another 24 hours' drive will take you to the northernmost tip of Australia, so you can see it is a very big place. I am maybe 6 hours' drive from any croc area, and that is how I intend it to stay!

Platypus are small and very shy. I have never seen one in the wild. I don't think the venomous spurs on the males' back legs would ever be a danger unless you managed to find one and pick it up. The biggest danger in Australia is thirst, because in the Outback you could walk for days without ever seeing water. People always take water containers and satellite phones, at least if they have any common sense. However, unless you head towards the interior, the only real danger you will face is from snakes. We have some venomous ones, and 1 aggressive species. I have seen lots of snakes since I moved here, but our dogs mostly chase them off around our property.

 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:The reason for all this stirring is to get all the microorganisms and solids left over into solution so they can be sprayed on the soil.



Is that true? I get the impression that Steiner's underlying theory has nothing to do with microorganisms or solids reaching the soil, but is homeopathic in nature, with the stirring functioning to imbue the water with some kind of natural "subtle forces," enabling it to mediate terrestrial and cosmic energies into the soil. The stirring is therefore regarded as a vital process and should be prolonged--Steiner recommended an hour for suitable effectiveness. Success isn't dependent on any sort of nutrient factor in the preparations, but on their "vibratory" characteristics. Similarly, planting is done in conjunction with celestial phenomena, in order to align the plant with their influences.

Biodynamics is outside the paradigm of scientific materialism, since it claims to operate on levels which are immaterial and undetectable by the senses or any available instrumentation. People who practice it appear to believe in its efficacy, but that could be chalked up to confirmation bias. While there is no way to prove it helps, neither is there a way to prove it doesn't, and it's doubtful that it hurts. As for the preparations, there is no pretense that typical mechanisms like soil fertility or plant nutrition are being employed (although these are emphasized separately).
 
Angelika Maier
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Plant one bed with Steinery stirred preparation and the other were you use a pump or something similar.
 
Chris Kott
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My impression was that the purpose of this thread was to break down the scientific processes concerning Biodynamic applications, such that the unnecessary bits could be stripped away, leaving a scientific explanation of Biodynamic applications and streamlined procedures for producing the preparations faster and easier, and without hard-to-obtain bits that don't do anything, or needlessly long processes and wait times. I think Redhawk is holding up his end.

As mentioned in this thread, and the one that preceeded it, this is an outgrowth of Redhawk's first-hand experimentation and research. The deliberate point is to investigate biodynamics in the context of soil science.

This was a new one on me, but apparently stirring water into a vortex, and then counterspinning, will impart a charge to the water, suspending particulates better so that they don't settle out quickly, which means that the homogenaiety that has been encouraged by the vigourous mixing lasts longer, perhaps long enough to be sprayed through a sprayer where you want to apply it.

As mentioned above, Steiner was a spiritualist that also corresponded with some of the best minds in soil science of the day. So he couched it all in mysticism, likely so that his ideas would gain traction with the same crowd for whom that was en vogue.

This doesn't speak to what Steiner himself actually believed. I don't think his beliefs are relevant to the discussion. I think biodynamics stands on the work of those soil scientists whose work Steiner used.

I think the good that comes from his work is due to his relationships with the great minds of soil science of the day, and perhaps because of an ability to collate and interrelate diverse pieces of information into a singular comprehension.

I think that mysticism or religious mystery were much more useful tools before the scientific method permeated society. Now we seek the technical and quantifiable, and we seek to understand so that our interventions, whatever they are and wherever they happen, are replicable, can be tweaked for better results, and can be troubleshot.

This needn't negate belief. Science describing creation in detail doesn't demean or diminish it. Likewise, examining biodynamics in detail shouldn't diminish it, even if we find that descriptions of vibrational theory or cosmic energy apply in a much more abstract or figurative sense than in literal terms of effects on soil science.

-CK
 
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Hi Redhawk, there are plants I do not have... are there other plants that would be alternatives to some? I have nettle and camomilla. Butt Yarrow and valerian and oak, I do not have. I have chesnut for tannins...

I was also thinking that if bladder is used for urine, and if we use tripe, then why not add urine? This is quite easy to get from any shop isn-t it? ...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Xisca, There are some other plants that will work but there are also plants that have been tried as substitutes that didn't work under experimentation. Chestnut will work but you will not have the concentration of tannins to remove.

Yes indeed, you can add a little urine to tripe, be careful how much urine you add though, an emptied bladder would not have more than a half teaspoon of residual urine I wouldn't think.
I have tried a hog bladder against my method and there wasn't any real difference in the end.

Hau Victor, I take it you are not a scientist but rather a biodynamics purist?  This series is explaining things for those who prefer solid science for their explanations.
When you can show proof that there are other "subtle forces" then this thread will be open to your findings. Science is about physical world not spiritual world items. It is different than "belief" which is what your post is referring to.
So when you can give soild, reproducible in a laboratory evidence, I'll go more into that side of Steiner.

Redhawk
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Xisca, There are some other plants that will work but there are also plants that have been tried as substitutes that didn't work under experimentation. Chestnut will work but you will not have the concentration of tannins to remove.



I would be very curious to know about the plants that have been tried and the results. I also would like to know if what imports, in finding equivalents, is the mineral composition of the plant... Then a lab could be of good prediction!

About chesnut and not having to remove tannins, do I understand well that this is even an advantage of chesnut over oak?
 
Chris Kott
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Not if you're a tanner, I suspect.

But yes, Xisca, I think what is meant is that the composition is largely the same, but there are fewer tannins in the chestnut. So if you are just making the preparation, you don't have to leach as long as you would oak.

-CK
 
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This was a new one on me, but apparently stirring water into a vortex, and then counterspinning, will impart a charge to the water, suspending particulates better so that they don't settle out quickly, which means that the homogenaiety that has been encouraged by the vigourous mixing lasts longer, perhaps long enough to be sprayed through a sprayer where you want to apply it.



In several experiments (both just water and some with Steiner preparations and other compost tea suspensions) it was shown that electric charging will occur when water goes through a vortex or whirlpool and that there was also a secondary aligning of the molecules of both H2O and H3O2(formed within the vortex) to a crystalline like alignment. This does several things which include; adding a structural component that is otherwise not found in soil particles and solids suspension that hold in place for a much longer time due to weak bonding of the solids with the H3O2 molecules, this even occurred when tested with large chain  proteins.

For many of the effects and affects Steiner purports to his concoctions, we have scientific evidence that shows they do work, even if not because of his theories of "earth energies".
It should also be noted that there have been experiments, as purported "energy concentrator sites" that do show increased magnetic flows and differing electrical surges at certain times of the year.
Most think these are very similar to the pull of the moon's gravity effect on the tides.

Redhawk
 
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Dandelion:
This preparation calls for stuffing Dandelion flowers into a cow's mesentery (the meniscus that holds organs either together or to other organs) a very hard item to find unless you know people at a slaughter house since this is something normally discarded as the cow is gutted.
I proposed using tripe or even natural sausage casing as an easier to acquire tissue.
Once again we are looking at using a part of the cow for the purpose of introducing bacteria and proteins to the preparation item.

In 1969 we did several substitutions while making the Dandelion preparation and we didn't find any measurable difference in the compost subsequently created with all of our experimental preparations.

The Redhawk method is to take natural sausage casing and tying off one end then using a sausage stuffer you pack the casing with the fresh picked flowers, then tie off the other end with butcher's twine.
Stuff the "sausage" into a large mason jar (I use a 1/2 gal. mason jar for this one) and then fill the spaces with good, bio-rich soil, loosely lid and let sit on a shelf for the "standard" 6 to 8 weeks (instead of burying it in the fall and waiting to the spring equinox to unearth).
This preparation is for charging compost along with the other preparations but you can also use it for a stand alone spraying of your garden soil and plant stems and it will help prevent diseases from gaining a foot hold, it works in this manner for fruit trees as well.

The major way I use this prep is to charge my composting manure heaps. (most of my current compost heaps include manures since I have a lot of manures these days)
You can also use these preparations in my coffee ground preparation, which we will get to at the end of the Steiner preparations, since this one is my own concoction and has been tested several different ways for soil improvement for pastures, gardens and orchards.

Redhawk

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Valerian:
This one has ambiguity written all over it, some directions say it is a tincture while others call it a tea.
Problems arise when you know the differences between these two methods.
Tinctures are herbs extracted into alcohol, this means you use an eye dropper to measure them usually.
Teas are brews, so it became important to decide which is the correct method of extraction of the valerian.

I went back to the lectures and the book, the correct method is a tea where we take a kilogram of valerian and use 10 liters of water to boil, stirring occasionally, then we turn off the fire and let this cool naturally.
If you make a "tea bag" this is easy to strain since the tea bag will hold all the valerian, this is how I do this one, (I use unbleached muslin fabric for my tea bag, it can be washed after use so you can use it many times).

This is also one of the compost accelerator preparations but you use it not only in a hole poked into the heap but then you spray the remainder over the whole heap to "Seal the heap".
I have tried it per the instructions and I have tried it using the tincture method, You get best results with the tea.

I start with cold water over the kilo of valerian flowers and bring it to a rolling boil, I then turn off the heat and let it sit until the liquid is cooled completely, that is when I lift the bag and let it drain before I squeeze the bag as dry as I can make it.
This tea can be jarred up for storage in the fridge or you can go ahead and use it, jarring up any left over tea solution.

So now we have gone through the main preparations but there is one more, preparation that can be made and used for disease control and it works pretty well for me.

Casurina tea (horse tail tea):
This is made with Casuarina equisetifolia or Australian pine tree  and once again we have some schools that use the horse tail herb Equisetum instead.
When you start looking at the chemical make up of these two entirely different ingredients, they have similar makeup.
Both are silica rich, both have many of the same vitamins and minerals in the parts we want to use.
They are and can be used together or separately to make this preparation and you will get equal results with either.

You need 1 kg of either Casurina "leaves" or Equisetum leaves.
10 L of spring water or tap water that has had all the chlorine removed.
A large cooking vessel and a heat source.
This preparation is very much like the Valerian prep. you make a tea bag put in the pot, add the water and bring it to a boil.
For this preparation you want to boil the tea bag for at least 10 minutes before turning off the heat to let it cool to room temperature.
The liquid is diluted 10 to 1 (water to tea) and sprayed on the soil, plants, tree trunks and once again this is going to help control fungal diseases.
This one works on all the fruit trees. (if you have cedar rust this one will take care of the problem, especially if used while the disease is in the earlier stages).

Redhawk
 
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From a mineral content perspective can we substitute plants used in BD preparations?

After a bit of Googling:

502 uses Achilea millifolium but Vicia sp. is quite similar

503 uses Matricaria chamomilla but Pteridium aquilinum or Mentha piperita can be used

504 uses Urtica diocia but you can mix Symphytum officinale, Tussilago farfara, Chenopodium album can be mixed and used.

505 uses Quercus robur bark but banana skin and fig branches would do the same

506 uses Taraxacum officinale but Amaranthus retroflexus, Chamomilla recutita, Chenopodium album, Nasturtium offcinale, Rumex obtusifolias can be mixed in equal parts and used instead.

507 uses Valeriana officinalis but Borago officinalis or stems of oat can be used

508 uses Equisetum arvense but Taraxacum vulgare, Symphytum officinale and Plantago sp. used together with either Vicia sp. or Mentha piperita as an additional plant.

Of course I only looked at their mineral content. There are also things like phyto-chemicals, amino acids, vitamins etc.

What do you think?
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
In several experiments (both just water and some with Steiner preparations and other compost tea suspensions) it was shown that electric charging will occur when water goes through a vortex or whirlpool and that there was also a secondary aligning of the molecules of both H2O and H3O2(formed within the vortex) to a crystalline like alignment.



RedHawk, can you please point me to a paper where I can read this phenomena?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Gurkan,

Indeed you can substitute plants with similar compounds and you can mix them too.
Many herbs have others in the same genus or family that will grow where the "originally specified" don't grow, nature has a way of compensating humans so we have the medicines we need.
In the oak family (Quercus) there are many species and all will work, apparently there is a need for the material to contain tannin for the other, correct compounds to be present in sufficient quantities. Quercus species can be found over most of the planet.

I'll see if I can find the papers on vortex water, If they aren't available to the general public, I can use quotes from them here.

Redhawk
 
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At this point we need to talk a little about water.

From the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

"Water is indeed strange for a substance at neutral pH, midway
between the hazardous acid and alkali extremes. The atoms in a water
molecule—two hydrogen and one oxygen—are arranged at the
corners of an isosceles triangle. The asymmetrical shape of the
molecule occurs because the four electron pairs in the outermost shell
of oxygen tend to arrange themselves symmetrically at the vertices of
a tetrahedron around the oxygen nucleus. When water molecules are
close enough, each oxygen atom attracts the nearby hydrogen atoms
of two other water molecules, forming hydrogen bonds.

These hydrogen bonds are responsible for many properties of water, some
of which are unusual. For example, solids are usually the densest form
of a substance, followed by liquids and then gases. As temperature
increases, a substance’s density generally decreases. But pure water is
an exception to this rule—it is the only known substance that has its
highest density as a liquid. At low temperatures, water has a higher
density than ice, which is why ice floats.

Water has an unusually large heat capacity, requiring a lot of
energy to increase its temperature. This characteristic prevents Earth
from getting too hot or too cold, and it slows the temperature changes
in oceans, biological cells, and tissues, making conditions possible for
life. Water also has a high heat of vaporization, so a lot of energy from
the Sun is needed to turn liquid water into vapor. It takes four times as
much energy to heat a given mass of water by 1°C as it does to heat
the same mass of dry air.

Water’s dielectric constant—that is, its tendency to interact with
applied electric fields—and its ability to neutralize the attraction
between electric charges enables it to buffer or weaken the forces
between dissolved ions and molecules. Thus, water is a powerful
solvent and a medium for biochemical reactions.

Water is crucial for all life. Liquid water absorbs radiation
of all wavelengths, except a narrow window in the visible
(photochemical) waveband. This window is critical for photolysis
and directly or indirectly influences the development of all life on
Earth. Water’s high thermal conductivity speeds up heat redistribution
in living tissues, which helps protect the body from uneven heating
and cooling, whether such changes are caused by metabolic processes
or external mechanisms. In biochemical reactions, water plays a
passive role as a solvent for minerals, organic solutes, and gases, but
it can play an active role in such vital processes as photosynthesis
and respiration."

Sadly there are several folks that have involved themselves with the promotion of "pseudoscience" about water.
Even more sadly, their promotion of "Energised Water" masks the good science that has been going on for decades.

I mentioned earlier about creating vortex water and what it does do when we get to making solutions we can spray on the soil and plants.
what happens is rapid (measured in picoseconds) but significant non-the-less because without this effect nothing would suspend in solution.

When water is subjected to the gravitational pull found within a vortex what we find is a rapid series of breaking and reforming hydrogen bonds.
Particles that were held in suspension can then drop out of the water, water molecules can arrange into crystalline structures, no matter that this fleeting moment can happen 100,000 thousand times per blink of you eye.
The pseudoscience people want us to think these crystalline structures last, so that we can actually drink them or that we can use them.
If they could last that long, we would also be able to time travel.

What we are interested in most is how does this affect our preparations, after all Steiner made a huge deal about creating vortexes by stirring our preparations into water.
the answer is that vortexes help us create a longer lasting suspension of our preparation molecules.
This occurs because fast moving water (which forms the vortex) can buffet clumps of molecules into smaller bits and the smaller the bits of clumped molecules, the longer they will stay suspended in solution.
This means that when we pressurize our solution, the particles of our preparation will not simply drop to the bottom of the tank immediately, it will take a little longer for this to happen.

So, now we have the why do all that stirring answer. No you don't have to use a wooden spoon or paddle to do it, metal stirring rods attached to electric motors will not effect the preparation or the water makeup.
For now the science shows no measurable changes that last can be found. However, since water will most likely continue to be studied for at least another hundred years, who knows what we may eventually find out.

Redhawk
 
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Hau Redhawk,

Thank you so much for this information. Finally those esoteric preparations begin to make sense to me. Do you make your own EM with rice and milk?  I've been experimenting with bokashi using various inoculants like yogurt whey and extra kefir grains and also trying out more locally available substitutes for rice bran like buckwheat hulls and coffee chaff (too early to make any conclusions yet). Anyone else doing these things?

Anyhow, now I'm inspired to try your recipes! Thank you again.
 
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About the vortex stirring, this is what I am thinking.

Steiner wanted the solutions to be stirred well so that BD preps can be distributed homogenically through out the solution. As he was using the science available at his time, he used words like "electrical charging of water" etc. so the untrained masses can give some credit to his words.

It is like Mr. Spock talking about "ray generators and energy neutralizer" to mere humans of 21. century. Couple of scientific words (quackery or real) will make the masses believe in.

Water does not change from H2O to H3O3, nor crystalize, nor electrically charged or hold the suspended particles longer by vortex stirring. But longer stirring re-hydrates the prep, may be some particles will be hydrated to the point of being suspended in water, that's it. As you have said, a paint mixer with reverse mod does a better job as it will break the BD prep to smaller pieces.
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
Any inert container can be used, (My personal favorite is glass mason jars) and instead of putting it underground to be naturally inoculated.
What this requires is that we have some bacteria and fungi growing in some soil somewhere that we can dig and use a few spoons full to get our horn manure working.
If you live near some woods, that soil around the biggest trees is going to be really good for this purpose.
So now we can do the inoculations ourselves, we can put these containers (right side up instead of inverted) in an insulated box of some sort (ice chest or hand built wooden box) and then regulate the temperature to a steady 70 degrees f or even as high as 75 f. (a 25 to 40 watt light bulb can do this easily).
This gives the microorganisms the temperature they love and that makes them grow like a wildfire in a high wind, and that means we get the end product in under half the time it would take to make this material per Steiner’s directions.
Just check the progress every week or two, it usually only takes between 6 to 9 weeks.

Redhawk



I am having a little trouble understanding the set-up for the above. Would I take cow manure, put it in a container and then put the dug up soil on top, for example? Or would I work the dug up soil into the manure before setting it up under steadily warmer conditions?
Thank you, Redhawk, as always, for the incredible education!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Annie, the cow dun preparation can be done either buried or not buried. If you are going to use the mason jar in the same manner as you would with the "traditional" cow horn, you just dig your trench and  set it upside down as if the jar was a horn, then bury it for the required 6 months.
If you are going to use my "set it on a shelf" method, you need to make the rim (from the top edge of the jar (shoulder of the jar that is the start of the "mouth")) the soil fill area, that is, the manure is packed in to the shoulder then the remaining jar section is filled with rich soil and this is moistened before the lid is screwed on loosely. Then just set it on a  shelf (preferably out of the light, or as much as possible out of the light),  check it in 6 weeks but usually mine sits for 8 weeks before use. Hope that helps you out.

Redhawk
 
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Gurkan Yeniceri wrote:About the vortex stirring, this is what I am thinking.

Steiner wanted the solutions to be stirred well so that BD preps can be distributed homogenically through out the solution. As he was using the science available at his time, he used words like "electrical charging of water" etc. so the untrained masses can give some credit to his words.

It is like Mr. Spock talking about "ray generators and energy neutralizer" to mere humans of 21. century. Couple of scientific words (quackery or real) will make the masses believe in.

Water does not change from H2O to H3O3, nor crystalize, nor electrically charged or hold the suspended particles longer by vortex stirring. But longer stirring re-hydrates the prep, may be some particles will be hydrated to the point of being suspended in water, that's it. As you have said, a paint mixer with reverse mod does a better job as it will break the BD prep to smaller pieces.



Water does go through changes in a vortex, it is just that they are such fleeting moments that they are insignificant for our purposes. H2O will go to the H3O2 molecule which is how the crystalline formations occur, but once again these are forming and breaking and reforming at 1 million times per nanosecond, so littlerally of no significance for our purposes, but they do happen. This is where the idea of "living water" comes from. It is not that we are able to use these phenomena for any purpose but they are interesting properties of water, just like the spiraling at 4 way intersections in pipes.

There is a longer suspension time for vortex water, because the particulates are fine enough to take longer to settle out (think of the jar test for soil), the super fine clay particles are suspended for a much longer time than larger, heavier sand or even silt particles.

It needs to be noted that when Steiner gave his lectures, about half of the attendees were scientist and they didn't give his "energies of the earth" hypothesis much credence. They did however perform experiments that showed his preparations did do something to the soil in positive ways, making it more productive.

Redhawk
 
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Now we can delve into how to use these wonderful microorganism factories to our soil's best advantage.

First we have to understand that there are only two of these preparations that are intended to be used as a final product and even then one of them (Valerian) is a dual use product, being used both to infuse compost with the organisms of the micro world and as a spray for tree trunks and branches.
The other (Casurina tea) is strictly a preventative spray, used for things like peach curly leaf and cedar rust along with all the other fungal diseases of trees, shrubs and plants.

All the other preparations were intended to be used to infuse a compost heap with the fungi, bacteria and predator/prey critters of our soil food web.
The big deal is that without all of these organisms the plants only have the soluble minerals available to them for nutrients, with the soil organisms in full force, we will never need to add anything like fertilizer or find infestations of insects, hence no need for insecticides, ever.
Once we are using our "super compost" to make teas and extracts and we are applying these two liquids to our soil, the microbiosphere will become fully active, the exudates from our trees, bushes and plants will have plenty of "listeners" to act upon the called in food orders, and there will be plenty of predators to eat the bacteria and fungi hyphae to release those nutrients to the micro biome around the roots. All these organisms form a protective shield around our plant roots and that keeps them healthy and able to produce at their best for us.

Our super healthy soil will soak in water and hold it as well as allowing O2 to infiltrate, at the same time the structure of the soil will improve and that allows decompaction, higher animal (worms and others) to have happy homes as well.
In short the plants have everything they need to thrive, the pH of the soil will be adjusted to the range the plants really want and there will be less threat of draught or soggy soil conditions to affect our plants growth and production.
Contaminates will be broken down and moved out of the soil so they can't effect our health or our plants health.
plant roots will dig deep into the soil, taking the food web organisms along with them, this deepens the top soil layer and the longer we do our part, the deeper this rich soil will go.
This is the miracle of very healthy soil,

In addition to being able to make superior compost teas and extracts, we have the perfect compost mulch, that will only do good things for our soil, we also will have leachate effect, the nutrients will remain where we need them, around our plants root systems.
And with all this, we have also set into motion the beginning establishment of the microorganism internet, the fungi will stretch out tendrils of hyphae that will connect with other hyphae and the super highway system designed by nature all those millions or billions of years ago will form and nutrient travel will occur.
The more we use our sprays and water with extracts, the better these systems become, until we reach the point where even if we accidently do some minor damage, the system will recover quickly.
This is the point we all want and strive to achieve.

This is the point where we suddenly are growing nurturing foods for ourselves, foods that can heal us and keep our bodies functioning at their best level, fighting off diseases, anomalies in cell structure that can become deadly to us, viruses and bacteria have a hard time multiplying to make our bodies sick.
Once we have this going for us, the foods in the grocery stores will seem exactly what they are, shadows of what they should be.

When I lived in Sacramento California, where I lived was in the American River Flood Plain, our soil was considered top soil and was around 100 feet deep.
In truth it was Sandy Silt, not unlike the Nile River Delta area that was the bread basket of Egypt. When you took core samples and studied them under the microscope, there was only part of the food web present (at the time we moved into our place).
These methods that I am about to start explaining work.

Redhawk
 
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