Building carbon and nutrient rich humus into the soil is the common foundation of all good farming; increasing quality production through improved soil health and higher soil water retention, providing drought and flood tolerance. To achieve this biodynamic farmers work with soil and plants as living, dynamic manifestations of a relationship between two poles. The earth is the physical element, and the sun and cosmos is a non-material element extending to the farthest expanse of the universe, providing the energetic stimulus for life on earth. To enhance both these influences biodynamic farmers use two sprays, horn manure 500 as a soil spray, enhancing soil biology, plant vigour and rooting depth, and horn silica 501 as an atmospheric spray, increasing photosynthesis and improving quality. Small amounts are sprayed sparingly over the land, promoting more balanced plants less susceptible to insect and fungal attack. Insect, fungus and weed problems are viewed as symptoms, or messengers, of imbalances in soil and stress in plants. Biodynamic farmers find that addressing the stress proves more effective than shooting the messengers. Use of these two sprays quickly brings renewed life and character to the farm.
A second element to biodynamic growing is using the rhythmic energies of the Moon and planets. We all use the daily and annual Sun rhythms as a matter of course in our lives. It is well known that the moon is connected to the tides but less well known is that it also works with all fluid elements in soil and plants. Biodynamic farmers widen their observations and rhythmic practices, learning to include these extra terrestrial influences in farm work. They use astronomy, the physical stars in the sky, not astrology. These astronomical influences exist independent of our willingness to work with them; you may notice that some plantings germinate fast, some slow, some bolt to head while others remain inactive. Working with the rhythms of the Sun, Moon and planets can lead to understanding these variations in growth patterns. Farmers who plan their farm work to include these rhythms find great enjoyment and excellent results, lightening the work and optimising production.
Biodynamics may sound complex but it is remarkably easy and enjoyable to include in your farm work. More people have failed by being shy of starting than have failed through getting it wrong. The responses are truly rewarding, personally and environmentally.