Biodynamic vs Organic

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by baldcat, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

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    Ok so what is the difference.....
     
  2. forest

    forest Junior Member

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    from my limited understanding of these two principles biodynamics is a method of farming developed by a german man called Steiner. It involves cow poo being packed into corn horns and being buried during winter, when it's dug up, it's turned into a "miraculous" fertiliser called 500. Apparently it changes the microbes in the soil in some way. biodynamics also has a number of other numbered products that assist farming on a large scale.

    Organic to me means not using pesticides, herbicides or any chemical means to grow plants. Both are natural methods of producing food but apart from that, I have no real clue. I've been meaning to research biodynamics, I just haven't had time to do it.
     
  3. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

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    Ok , it a broad term.

    Biodynamics is the particular use of manure. By say inquibating (spelling MOD needed) under the ground, but doesn't nessasaraly mean chemicals aren't used...

    Organic, to me is fairly simply - NO artifial / man made ingrediants used. (this including Seed and soil)
     
  4. forest

    forest Junior Member

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    what chemicals are used in biodynamics?
     
  5. Ichsani

    Ichsani Junior Member

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    Hi Dan,

    Methodology and ideology, but both feilds seem to be reaching for the same outcomes in different ways...as far as I know, organics is what it says it is...organic inputs only (whatever they are deemed to be).....

    Biodynamics- developed 1924 by Rudolph Steiner, kind of like advanced organics they reckon, includes a range of 'biological activators' one of which appears to be a microbial application (BD500) to increase soil health...read put the life back in the soil, literally..gets pretty esoteric at times but I prefer to look at their outcomes as a judge of their practices.
    Some of the first understanding of soil health and structure to emerge, some interesting cultivation equipment aimed at restoring structure rather than destroying it.

    501 application, made from quartz crystals is meant to increase light to the plants, not sure how this one works

    502-507, varios applications of prepared compost and teas from specific plants

    Moon planting, various green manuring practices, composting practice

    They have a magazine out in Aust called 'Biodynamic Growing' (only about four issues out, twice yearly, you just reminded me to find the June 05 issue, thanks) which have some very nice before and after photos, up close and aerial, and some soil profile photos

    I recommend the mag actually, its easy to read and full of references

    Its remarkably like permaculture, but focused on soil health primarily, and is easier to apply to broadscale farming ventures than permaculture is, simply cause it deals with soil health more than systems.

    I think they make a very nice compliment to each other 8)

    Hope some of that helps :D

    Ichsani
     
  6. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

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    Ah I think there is a guy here in the Wimmera doing excatly that... Broad acre style, he is turning in compost and manure into his paddacks, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't use any chemicals. Has such a pretty farm also as he has planted tree around all the paddocks as wind breaks.

    Actually I think he is part of a newish group around here that are dedicated at a no tillage policy..
     
  7. Ichsani

    Ichsani Junior Member

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    Hi Dan,

    There are a few different camps of the no-till brigade, one of which is what biofarmag was talking about in the round-up post (not to bring that up again) and others that are more wholistic in their approach, which sounds like your neighbour. Good on him. The best place to learn about Bio-dynamics is probably to visit a farm that follows the practice, it much more impressive in situ than in a book :)

    Ichsani
     
  8. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

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    So ok, for me to pre-pare a biodynamic garden, I would say get a heap of chook shit, then cover it with top soil and compost.. Leave it sit there for a bit, then dig in and plant stuff ??
     
  9. forest

    forest Junior Member

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    it has to be cow poo and you have to pack it into cow horns before you bury it. It stays in over winter. You also have to use it when the moon is out. :oops:
     
  10. earthbound

    earthbound Junior Member

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    Ichsani, Your knowledge far surpasses your years...... :)
     
  11. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    I think another aspect of biodynamics not mentioned much in this discussion is that you are supposed to generate soil fertility from the soil itself. Large inputs from outside the system, even if organic are not encouraged, as they don't have quite the right life force for that land, or something. So, you can't just take any cow shit, it should be from a cow who has grazed on the land to be innoculated.
    Right?
    I think that putting manures straight onto garden beds isn't really considered de rigeour either, it all has to be composted first. At least that was one of the criteria I read about when researching Demeter certification...
    I think that BD is totally against using chemicals.
    I like a lot of the ideas in BD, but I could never really go in for following so much prescription.
    That said, it does work to raise soil health and grow healthy plants and people!
     
  12. Ichsani

    Ichsani Junior Member

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    ahh, Joel another secret holder!

    I was born into a permaculture system up north QLD in the middle of the bush, and didn't know anything but for 10yrs so its kind of in my blood, the knowledge bank is thanks to my father installing a voracious desire to understand how things work......and the love of a good debate, can't keep my mouth shut sometimes, its a wonder I don't catch more flies! :lol:

    There are alot of guidelines in bio-dynamics like Richard said....for the bd500, have a look at a book called 'organic growing with worms' (mentioned way back when in another thread by the same name) cause the principle is the same except worm castings are used as the starter culture for soil microbes instead of cow horns (and they'll be the same kinds really)......so one doesn't need to actually chant over the mixture to get it to work (but you can if you want to, can't hurt). There are many ways to skin the proverbial cat.......
     
  13. ~Tullymoor~

    ~Tullymoor~ Junior Member

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    earthbound (Angel) Joel, how didja know how old she is????? :? Huh?? Huh?? :shock: :?: :roll: :?
     
  14. earthbound

    earthbound Junior Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Ichy and I have known each other for years..... :lol: :lol:

    Not really... 8)

    Have you been missing out on some good fluff Tully....? It was probably in one of those serious threads that you keep skipping past, yet it became a bit fluffy towards the end.... :D :D
     
  15. ~Tullymoor~

    ~Tullymoor~ Junior Member

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    yeah, I try to skip all the threads with posts with words with more than three syllables and just trot in and have a look at the last few posts as the thing is dying and about to be relegated to the second page of the forum :lol:
    Musta missed the one you are speaking of :(
     
  16. Tamandco

    Tamandco Junior Member

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    See, this is what I was saying. The thread starts out using all sorts of complicated words that I just skip past, then evolves. :D

    I feel I can contribut now. 8)

    But back to the biodynamic stuff of which I'm not actually interested in, I went visited Telopea in Monbulk which I'm pretty sure embraces biodynamics, and remember something about putting the cow poo in the 44 and stirring so many times this way then so many times that way. Can someone confirm?

    Tam
     
  17. barely run

    barely run Junior Member

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    as said BD is based on the work of Rudolf Steiner....it does have an esoteric area and it can seem a bit weird putting cow horns in the ground but it works :lol: has to do with magnetic pull of moon and earth.
    Panting is also mainly directed by phases of the moon ....and no...you don't plant in the moonlight....but there are days more benifical to planting root rrops or leaf crops.
    There are not many (if any) chemicals allowed in BD farming and definetly not even diluted round up. Seaweed and fish emulsion are big on the menu along with compost, silica and rock dust.
    Works perfectly with permaculture and is suited to commercial production of crops and stock.
    Cathy
     
  18. Ichsani

    Ichsani Junior Member

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    Hi Tam and Tully,

    The cow poo (BD500) thing is sort of like this...(any BD people please excuse my lame attempt to explain :D , doing my best and welcome correction)

    1: get fresh cow horns (I've no idea weather they have to be scooped out or something, but they have to be empty)

    2: pack with fresh cow poo in Autumn sometime (special date or moon here)

    3: bury in a deep hole arranged in a nice concentric piled circle with the open end down (so they don't fill with water I imagine).....don't really know how deep, 1m..... I guess it depends on soil type

    4: wait until spring (special date or moon)

    5:Dig up and scoop out contents, should look like very nice worm castings/compost, and smell like a forest does after rain (no joke, its a microbe called actinomycetes, I've grown it in a plate culture and its just like sniffing a wet forest...you know that REALLY nice smell some places get after rain) :lol: ...yes I smell forests :lol: they smell nice

    next post..........
     
  19. Ichsani

    Ichsani Junior Member

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    continued.....

    Note tangent here: the stuff that comes out is dark and crumbly and good smelling (if its slimy then it hasn't worked, different bugs) and it is absolutely full of microbes, estimated at 10 000 000 000 per cm^2, alive fully kicking and responsible for chemical cycling of minerals to plant available form. the latest estimate of the microbial contribution in moneytary terms to the world from Nature (science publication) is $33trillion US per year....of that amount the largest parts are......
    climate regulation-US$2trillion p/year
    nutrient cycling- US$17trillion p/year
    waste treatment- US$2trillion p/year

    services carried out for free so to speak, so they are tiny little things but they pack a punch in terms of environment :naka: :lol: ,vital in stable soil formation, they actually fundamentally underpin pretty much everything, some of the ones in our guts synthesize vitamins and play a role in our immune system...(in part why they say to eat yoghurt after antibiotics), mammals raised without them (sterile rooms the sicko's :cyclopsani:) don't develop properly, ...lots of pretty cruel stuff to put an animal through.......

    ok drifting now back to the point... :oops:

    6:put the black crumbly soil stuff into a big drum (preferably not metal, as copper and aluminium act as a bactericide and kills the buggies, and don't know about plastic, but stainless steel & enamel is said to be best) fill with water (non-chlorinated (bactericide again) rainwater is best)

    7: here is where its stirred so many times one way so many times the other, naked, chanting, contemplating, for a period of time.......this is to put oxygen in it, so the bugs spread out, breed a bit, spore (this is like making beer, put yeast in (microbe) with sugar source (food)....bugs eat make alcohol as a by product of metabolism (like CO2 when we breath out) and humans ....... :drinkers: :partyman: :drinkers: do what humans do

    8: spray on plants, at a certain time (dusk me thinks) at a certain moon time again

    9: microbes breed move into the soil and the plant tissue (can't keep them out, shouldn't really want to, they're vital to healthy plants and are found everywhere) boost soil formation, and nutrient cycling, kick out alot of the bad microbes (plant pathogens......they love the conditions in a conventional farm, breed like mad)

    the microbe writing in this is mine, the original instructions are quite esoteric but there is an elegant sense to them

    so in short :lol: :roll: :lol: thats the practice of making BD500, developed in 1926, way before people really started to even study soil microbes (1990 is when the tech came out for it)


    all I can say is that Steiner was a genius to come up with the methods......all without a science lab, shows what can be done with obsevation and faith

    so, if you've gotten through all that, the fluff that you missed is still on the page........... :joker: :roll: :lol:

    Ichsani
     
  20. Tamandco

    Tamandco Junior Member

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    I think he must've fluked it with the cow horn thing. With all due respect, he's created the optimum environment for the microbes to flourish, how, completely by accident, or is there science to back it up and he's utilised the cow horns to replicate the conditions.

    How's that for a few big words, hey?

    Tam :D
     

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