Recently Rahamim has explored some of the elements and practices of Biodynamics. We started by adding Biodynamic preparations to our compost heap. The purpose of these additions, amongst others, is to enhance the proper breakdown of materials, stabilise odours, temperature and to attract specific beneficial bacteria, fungi and other trace elements.
We applied our first spray of soil preparation 500 which, in the very least, adds beneficial biology to the soil, but on a more cosmological level, it adds energy attracted from all corners of the solar system and beyond, mixed with our own energy and hopes for the land. The spray is applied from mid-afternoon whilst Earth “breathes in”, pulling in with it all the goodies that exist within the spray.
I have been exploring and experimenting with Biodynamics on my own property for the last two years. The process is slow and evolving, but the results so far are best seen by looking at Google Earth images. From this January it shows a brown and parched farm, with a vividly green area in the places where the spray is applied around the house and the market garden. With the exception of the market garden, I do not irrigate these spaces, the only difference in management is the biodynamic spray.
We have also found that food grown using Biodynamics is sweeter, tastier, more colourful, has a better aroma and lasts much longer than conventionally grown food. The nutritional value of the food grown using biodynamics is generally much higher than any other method.
This Green patch on my property shows me that more plants are happily and actively growing. These plants are more resilient to the heat and lack of water falling from the sky. The more plants we can grow, and the longer the period they are growing – the more carbon we sequester into the soil. The more carbon we sequester into the soil – the more water is stored in the soil. The more carbon and water the soil can hold, the more plants we can grow.
What is involved?
For the first three years, monthly sprays of soil preparation 500 – this is the preparation created when cow manure is stuffed into cow horns and buried in a pit for 12 months. This preparation stimulates beneficial bacteria and fungi whilst creating a good soil structure, balancing pH and growing humus.
After this period, we add the spraying of preparation 501. This is to help with plant growth. This formula is made from the manure of lactating cows and clay – also buried in cow horns for a period in the ground. This spray encourages photosynthesis, concentrates nutrition in the plant, helps with resistance to pest and disease, increases the sugar content of the plant.
Planting and Harvesting by the moon
In Biodynamics we can get to understand the moon cycles to benefit from the pull of energy from the moon. There are four main cycles: waxing, full, waning and new moon. In Biodynamics the cycles can be referred to as Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter respectively. There are patterns and activities to watch out for in all moon seasons that stimulate focussed growth in leaf, fruit or roots. In the lunar winter it is suggested for us to make compost, prepare soil or do weeding.
Want to know more? There is so much more to learn!
Rahamim is hosting an introduction to biodynamics run by Charlie Arnott (Landcarer of the Year 2019) and Hamish Mackay (Biodynamics 2024) on 22 and 23 August. Check out Charlie’s website here for more details: https://www.charliearnott.com.au/training--events.html