Experience indicates the biodynamic beginner has three challenges:
- Developing a sufficient conceptual framework to understand the basic principles of soil care and fertility.
- Understanding the practical physical requirements for applying the biodynamic preparations.
- Developing Confidence.
A check list for starting might include:
- Apply the biodynamic preparations – just get started.
- Assess the state of your soils. This can be through your own soil knowledge, inviting an experienced biodynamic farmer to visit or having a soil test done and analysed.
- Develop a soil plan to balance and enliven your soils and improve organic matter.
Other aspects to look at:
- Think of your farm or property as a biological entity, living inside its boundaries.
- Stir and spray boundaries, roads, paths, fences, gardens, cultivated fields and accessible land with Soil Activator to impart the effects of the preparations to this entity. Try to do this at least twice a year.
- Take comprehensive (Albrecht plus Totals) soil tests of different soil types on accessible land and work out a plan for addressing limiting deficiencies.
- Learn to make quality compost and liquid manures using the biodynamic composting preparations.
- Learn to maximize diversity, grow biomass and build stable carbon into the soil.
- Learn to control or use noxious weeds and pests. Find out what they indicate and learn to pepper them if necessary.
- Be observant and study nature with an eye to life processes. That is what biodynamics means—life processes.
- When you have done and are doing the above, the BAA Resource Manual may be helpful.
- Remember that intention and gratitude are extremely powerful forces.
A successful outcome will minimise weeds, pests and disease while building living soils.
Biodynamic Agriculture Australia holds one-day introductory workshops to assist individuals with getting started. Starting is always an individual process and it is recommended that you develop at a pace you feel comfortable with. This may mean selecting a smaller area to begin with and becoming familiar with processes and outcomes before expanding.
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