In the first lecture of the Agriculture Course Steiner says “Plant life as we know it today can thrive only when these two forces – the forces of substances like lime and like silica – are in equilibrium and are working properly together”. The substance which helps establish this equilibrium and ensures that the lime and the silica (two very disparate materials in Steiner’s description of their nature) are indeed working together properly, is none other than clay which “mediates between them. Clay is closer to silica but it still mediates towards lime.”
Types of Horn Silica
Quartz Crystal Horn Silica (SiO2)
Hugh Courtney (Master Preparations Maker of over 30 years from Josephine Porter Institute of Applied Biodynamics in USA) recommends using this type of Horn Silica on biodynamic farms and gardens where soils are mainly heavy clay or containing a significant clay component.
Feldspar Horn Silica (Ka1Si2K8)
In his Agriculture Course Steiner said “Instead of quartz you could use orthoclase feldspar.” Orthoclase with its potassium and feldspar containing calcium would have a much more direct relationship to lime than that of a pure quartz crystal. For this reason Hugh Courtney suggests that soils containing a mostly sandy component could well have gained greater benefit from using Feldspar Horn Silica with its stronger relationship to the lime pole.
Biodynamic Agriculture Australia supplies both Feldspar and Quartz Horn Silica. If you wish to try the Feldspar Horn Silica please indicate this when ordering other wise we will send you the Quartz Horn Silica.
Uses of Horn Silica
In ‘Agriculture’ Steiner said “If you apply this (horn silica) as a fine spray on the plants themselves – especially on vegetables and things like that – you will soon notice how it compliments and supports the influence coming from the other side, from the soil as a result of the cow horn manure.” If we only use the biodynamic soil sprays and the compost preparations this will lead to the plant only partially expressing its full potential. Plants will become bulky, soft and prone to disease.
Another extremely important reason to use horn silica in these times is that our atmosphere has become extremely contaminate with man made forms of energetic pollution. As well as microwaves and other electromagnetic pollution there is our thought and emotional pollution – fear, hate, greed. Steiner has said that the horn silica allows plants to connect with the cosmos through the many layers of atmospheric pollution. This cosmic connection is vitally important for balance plant growth.
- Horn Silica should be sprayed out every time we use the biodynamic soil preparations – horn manure; combined soil preparation and soil activator. This can be monthly during the growing season under intensive regimes such as market gardening and vineyards. For extensive grazing and cropping enterprises both soil and atmospheric sprays should be used at least twice per year in Spring and Autumn.
- With vegetables; green manure crops; hay crops and grain use horn silica at the seedling or 2 leaf stage and again when the crop is growing vigorously and for those crops which need ripening – fruiting vegetables or grain spray Horn Silica two or three days before harvest – this will finish the ripening process, raise brix (sugar) levels, harden the skins for better storage and intensify flavours; oils and colour of your produce.
- With orchard fruits spray horn silica when the moon is in a fruit sign after the fruit has set and is the size of a pea. Spray out a second time midway through the season and a final spray a couple of days prior to harvest. Horn silica can be used to thin out fruit – contact the office for further information.
- When there has been an excess of moisture eg rain for a week – use Horn Silica with fresh equisetum tea to balance the effects of this excess moisture in the atmosphere and in the plants.
When Not to Use Horn Silica
- Do not use horn silica when plants are stressed due to lack of moisture – they will go straight to seed.
- Do not use horn silica when fruit trees are flowering – it will burn off the flowers = no crop! With vegetables and berries that are continuously flowering, one day’s crop is worth sacrificing for the benefits of flavour, colour, health and storability that horn silica endows.
- Do not use in the middle of the day – it will burn you and the crop.
Myths About Horn Silica
A myth exists that as horn silica works with light and Australia has such bright light, that it can be disregarded as unnecessary in biodynamic agriculture. Experience has shown that farms that do not use horn silica become unbalanced after a couple of years.
Biodynamic Atmospheric Sprays
Horn silica can be used on its own or stirred and sprayed out with summer horn clay and fresh equisetum or casuarina tea. The summer horn clay will help the flow of sap from the plant into the soil and the equisetum tea will balance the moisture in the atmosphere to minimise the effects of fungal attack on plants.