biodynamics

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by bazman, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Is anyone on the forum using biodynamics from within their permaculture systems? Over the weekend I did a moon planting course which touched a little on biodynamics, I was wondering if anyone here is using it or has used it in the past?

    I still have so much to learn.
     
  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Bazman,

    Not (yet) using biodynamic principles myself, but Tony and Nada Smark of Woodbrook Farm (Harcourt, Vic) are. We visited their farm last year as part of our PDC. They have an integrated biodynamic/permaculture vineyard including orchard and poultry systems, and a timber forestry lot.

    This is a very impressive PC site, and the benefits of BD are pretty obvious when you compare the healthy vigour of crops growing on this site with those of the nieghboring properties.

    I'm sure Tony and Nada would be only too happy to provide you with all the information you might need. They are truly beautiful people.

    Tony and Nada Smark
    Woodbrook Farm
    Gaasch's Road
    Harcourt
    VIC

    03 5474 2131

    Cheerio,

    Mark.
     
  3. Rob6014

    Rob6014 Junior Member

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    My brother-in-law has transformed his dryland farm in the mallee country to an organic/biodynamic farm. He has just got his NASSA certification. This is a broad acre wheat farm which was once windswept sand. To see it now - well, it is nothing short of astonishing. Here on our own small block, we use the basic biodynamic principles but have not taken much notice of the moon-planting guide.
     
  4. lillypilly

    lillypilly Junior Member

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    we have been trying out biodynamic planting in our garden. this year we have been foolowing the moon path and planting the seeds for what is best to grow. The weather has been unbelivible. two warm days before planting then a wonderful shower. we are wanting to try these practices on my parents in laws farm and see how things go. its all a learn experance. this yearr i hope to join the biodymanic gardening group even though we dont have a group down here, im sure i will get a better understanding from it.
     
  5. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I like the idea of it, and will try introducing small steps to start, using antipodean astro calendar is helping and i'm keen on trying the Cow pat pit concentrate in the orchard.

    It's all quite complex and I have so much to learn, doing a weekend course which covers biodynamics would be good.
     
  6. mariet

    mariet Junior Member

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    biodynamics

    It's amazing isn't it how there is always so much more to learn. I really do intend to follow the moon planting for this year. I usually find that I'm not mindful enough at the time and end up planting out of sync because it's nearly too late for the season or just after a good rain.
    I just can't get my head around the total lack of logic about the stirring thing and the cow's horn. It all seems a bit hocus pocus for me but IT WORKS!! Everyone I've spoken to who has tried and followed the prescribed methods has been amazed at the results.
    I was reading the biodynamic magazine (very interesting) and was very interested to read an article about use of manure only to feed a green manure crop preceeding a food crop and not using manure directly on food crops. It will take some change on my part but I'm willing to give it a go. There's a day for beginners in Ballarat coming up soon, I'm looking forward to learning more.
     
  7. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    What they need to do is make a website which tells you what to do today, pull weeds, slash, don't plant seeds etc... drink beer watch TV. heh.

    The calendar is just scary, ahhh all those symbols. all those new words which I can't for the life of me pronounce.

    I could see a website or computer program which would help you in which days and times to do things, which shows the next few days, and where you could ask it when to plant seed next.
     
  8. danjo

    danjo Junior Member

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    Damn good idea, Bazman..........When will your new site be up?!!!
    i like to be told to drink beer too! :)
     
  9. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    There are a lot of people who pooh-pooh the biodynamic methods. And I do admit that it sounds like a lot of hocus-pocus. But more and more, I wonder if the problem is more with the "translation" than the method?

    I wonder if it is possible that Steiner found a method that works, but misinterpreted what he discovered? Like someone in the Dark Ages thinking that young plants growing in spring caused the rain to come?

    There seems to be too much of it that works to pass it all off as nonsense.

    For instance: the Biodynamic method says to pack manure into a cow horn and bury it point-up in the soil. Would you get the same results if you mixed powdered cow horn with manure and put it into a covered (but bottomless) container in the ground? And what if you didn't stir it, but had a pump hose laying on the bottom of the tank, that mixed it while you were off doing something else?

    I guess some people may be attracted by the mysteriousness of the method, while others are put off by it.

    I wonder where I could find some cow horns?

    Sue
     
  10. mariet

    mariet Junior Member

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    biodynamics

    Hey Bazman, I really like your idea of getting the checklist, could do it for your local area. And the idea of being instructed when to take a day off is brilliant. I could do with some of those. The beerdrinking I could take too. I must admit the rest does sound a bit like even more hard work. Now if we could take some of the hard out of the work.....
    And Sue, I think only the future will tell how the concepts will be modified to get the same results and demystify. I suppose you're right. Some love the sense of magical and others are just too practical.
     
  11. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

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    biodynamics

    I think the research being done into the soil-food web by Elaine Ingham hold some of the answers (perhaps). This “scientific” method explores the benefits of aeration, - maybe that is what Steiner was advocating, all the stirring is a way to aerate the brew.
    (Brew: Back to the beer!)
     
  12. mariet

    mariet Junior Member

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    biodynamics

    With all the :evil: blackbirds stirring around in my garden at present I should really be getting somewhere! Maybe they are actually all my little helpers!
     
  13. Fozzie

    Fozzie Junior Member

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    Just wanting to bump up this thread to find out how everyone is going with their biodynamic adaptations in their garden. (hopefully there's one or two people who are still members??). :)

    I'm hoping to incorporate some of the methods into my gardening, I'm *just* getting my head around moon planting and if I can find an extra few cow horns I'd like to start the process of making BD500 this Autumn.
     
  14. Dreamie

    Dreamie Junior Member

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    I always try to look at things from an engineers view point so the follow may be wrong but this is how I see it.

    There is logic in the moon plantings, in that the moon has an effect on the oceans and therefore has an effect on all bodies of water. Some plants have different levels of water and different ways of using water and therefore the moon would have an effect on the inner water of the plant. If you disturb a plant when the water is in a critical part of that plant you will have a huge effect on its ability to grow. This is why you will notice differences in planting different crops at different times.

    The cow’s horn is a store of beneficial bugs and insects that pass over from preparation to preparation. If you clean the bulls horn you will remove all the bugs etc and therefore increase the time required for the manure to turn into its beneficial product. When you place the cow’s horn in the ground it enables all forms of beneficial bacteria and animals to turn the manure into humus and castings. You then want to mix it so you are not adding to much air to the mix and then when you apply it make sure it stays in droplet form so that the bacteria is still intact (Similar to inoculant on seeds).

    Each of the preparations provide a certain nutrient to the soil or the plant. The preparations are listed below. Some good information here, each preparation is shown as well as the nutrient that is added to the soil.
    https://cityfoodgrowers.com.au/biody_prep.php?phpMyAdmin=Z,IJJ48cThaTKeB7RCzlHYx-gCf

    500 – Cow horn with manure
    501 – Crushed Quartz – Silica
    502 - Yarrow flowers matured in a stag’s bladder, hung up in a tree over summer; said to attract light forces and connect the soil to cosmic influences.
    503 - Chamomile flowers stuffed into cow’s intestines and buried over winter; said to help the breakdown of the compost.
    504 - Stinging nettle buried for a year; said to bring intelligence to the soil.
    505 - Oak bark buried in a sheep skull in a damp place over winter; helps attract earth forces to the soil.
    506 - Dandelion flowers buried over winter in a cow’s mesentery; said to bring life forces to the soil and the plants which grow in it.
    507 - A solution of valerian flowers, sprayed over the compost heap; said to bring warmth to the compost.
    508 - This is a solution of equisetum - horsetail - heavily diluted and sprayed on vines to bring a drying effect. Useful in a damp season, helpful in countering mould.
     
  15. Fozzie

    Fozzie Junior Member

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    Thanks Dreamie! Great post! :)

    For anyone who is wanting a book that really does explain the BD 500 preparation, including why it is stirred, why it is packed into a cow's horn etc... Organic Gardening with Worms demystifies it!

    I bought a book "Biodynamic Preparations" which is unfortunately all fluff and no logic.... doesn't do much to the Biodynamic "movement" if the books are too "fluffy" to read... makes it seem like a religious cult or the likes. Where as the worm book made me want to incorporate some of the biodynamic aspects into my garden. Although I'm not sure how I'd go about stuffing oak bark into a sheep's skull!
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Purple Pear is a biodynamic practitioner - PM him and I'm sure he'll give you the good oil on it.
     
  17. Dreamie

    Dreamie Junior Member

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    This is my feeling exactly. While biodynamics is a bit of fluff, it is hard for the main stream to test and accept it. If some real meat was put on the bones then it would start to get a bigger following. It needs to be translated into something that can be understood by the majority of farmers, unless this occurs it will be seen as alternative and therefore not accepted.
     
  18. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I don't think BD can be dumbed down for wide acceptance Dreamie. People need to come to an understanding that there is more in nature than what science has "seen/ proved and when that realization comes so to will an understanding of BD - in the mean time using the preps because it works and it don't cost much will give results and if it don't what have you really lost.
     
  19. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    I like BD good stuff,have seen great success with this,I have a mate who runs sheep with chickens in a organic banana farm using BD methods and controlling the whole lot with two big mareema dogs,thats function stacking!!!!.....he has been doing this for 10 years,light years ahead....on a side note if you would like a moon planting calendar,or mini daily planet charts
    please write to
    Thomas Zimmer
    Mount Cougal Road
    Tellebudgera Valley
    4228 Qld
    The calendars are $10 and planet charts $2 he will give you a discount for bulk orders include postage which can be sorted at the post office.
    Thomas and the many gifted people that live in and around this particular piece of paradise are some of the most gifted earth stewards I have ever known,so that's why I am giving him the plug.
    Best wishes Fernando
    To all the BD poo pooers(nice pun Fernando),It works,why because it does....Bob Marley says you cant argue about God.Why? because we don't know can't know we are only human,BD is a little like God and because we are mere mortals we can not compute such complexities.So we must reason them.Does BD increase soil fertility and yields?...yes...why?....how?.....who cares.
     
  20. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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