More about Biodynamics

A farmers story about Soil Activator

The story started 9 years ago when Sally and I brought our little farm. The paddock was full of onion weed which everyone knows it is a real pain to get rid of. So I contacted my local farm store thinking they will know what to do – Oh, how wrong was I! They sold me some spray to kill…

A Successful Beaudesert Qld Field Day

Rahane Field Day. Nearly 70 people converged on this busy and highly productive farm on Sunday 29th May. The property consists of 74ha rich alluvial soil along Rocky Creek and approximately 168ha rolling upland country, lightly timbered, with controlled rotational grazing on native pasture. The creek flats are used to grow irrigated pasture for their cattle fattening operation, and also…

Alleviate Frost Damage In Crops using Valerian (507)

With extreme weather changes becoming the norm these days, orchardists and vignerons often experience damaging late frosts at blossoming time which severely reduce fruit set. Biodynamic Farmers and Gardeners who wish to minimise damage from early Autumn or late Spring frosts on their gardens, orchards, vineyards or crops have a valuable tool in the Valerian Preparation (BD 507) for doing…

Autumn

Autumn is a transitional time for plant and soil life. Summer grasses are losing their vigour and winter grasses are gaining momentum. Dairy and beef farmers choose this time to broadcast out oat and rye seed to give their stock extra feed during the winter. Autumn is the optimal season to be putting out the Biodynamic Soil Sprays as they…

Autumn Fruit Tree Care

Autumn presents an ideal time for planting many fruit trees, as well as pruning and harvesting. The fruit tree crops you work with for each of these activities is dependent on your local climate. At present, in Bellingen, mangoes and white sapotes have just finished and we are now harvesting star fruit, cherry guavas, tahitian limes, persimmons, pomegranates and our…

Back-to-back Workshops at Bellingen

An Introduction to Biodynamics Workshop at the BAA office and an Orchard Workshop at Alan Johnstone’s farm Possumwood were held recently on consecutive days, 21st and 22nd July. Approximately thirty attended each day, from as far afield as southern Victoria and Chinchilla in Queensland. Weatherwise, Bellingen seldom experiences such contrasted days, the first wintry (cold and wet) the second sunny…

Bathurst Burrs

We were recently tweeted asking how to deal with the problem of bathurst burrs and two of our directors have suggested solutions and these can apply to any weed problem you might be experiencing. Director Shane Joyce suggests the following: This is the methodology I use for any weeds. Apply full biodynamic preparations ( soil activator) 3 times, each a…

Benefits of Biodynamics

Biodynamics is a regenerative agriculture, holistic in approach and practice, through which the farmer and gardener bring the substances and forces of nature into high quality sustainable production. Horn Manure Preparation (500) is used to enliven the soil, increasing the microflora and availability of nutrients and trace elements. Through it, the root growth in particular is strengthened in a balanced…

Best Biodynamic Wine in the World

More wonderful news for biodynamics and BAA members following on from Sam Statham of Rosnay Organic Wines of Australia’s win in the NSW Organic Pioneer Award. Barossa Valley biodynamic wine maker Kalleske Wines has been honoured in London where their 2011 Clarry’s GSM has picked up three awards at the 2012 International Wine Challenge. The International Wine Challenge hosts the…

Biodynamic Compost

All crops need soil that will maintain and sustain the humus content, microbiological life and earthworm activity. This can be achieved through: Sensible and careful cultivation avoiding use of the rotary hoe or cultivation in unsuitable weather Crop rotation, the use of green manure crops, planting of deep rooting permanent pasture and fallowing the land as appropriate Incorporation of quality…

Biodynamic Preparations and Drought

How certain notions arise and become entrenched is a bit of a mystery, especially when they are wrong. Yet they do get started and entrenched. One of these is the belief that when things dry up and little moisture is available we cannot put out biodynamic preparations—as if these were delicate microbial cultures that must have moist conditions to establish…

Biodynamics and Avocados

Biodynamic Management of Avocados Avocados need good biodynamic management. They are heavy feeders and need applications of at least 1 wheelbarrow compost under the canopy in Autumn each year and a good cover of carboniferous mulch – wood chips are ideal. During the growing season a green manure such as cow peas can be planted under the tree or grass…

Biodynamics and Viticulture

In a culture where wine is regarded as the epitome of taste and culture it is encouraging to see so many Biodynamic wines achieving recognition. It may be that the renewal of our environment will become a question of community taste. Here we have put together a series of information about growing grapes biodynamically, including a suggested spraying regime and…

Biodynamics and your Health

The following papers discuss the links between biodynamic and organically grown food and your health. We know many chemicals used in agriculture once thought to be harmless have proven to be toxic. We know the fresh food in our supermarkets today is far less nutritious than it was for previous generations. The technology being developed today seems to be concentrating…

Biodynamics: bring life to your soil

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,…

Blue-Green Algae is good for your Soil

I am exited we have had a great winter this year the crops are looking great. The earth is buzzing with life it can’t get any better than that or can it!! I was walking through one of my paddocks the other day and the ground was crunching under my feet like I was walking on egg shells. When I…

Combating Late Season Frosts

Put a Valerian Blanket on your Vineyard and Orchard this Winter. With more extreme weather events becoming the norm these days, orchardists and vignerons are often experiencing damaging late frosts at blossoming time which severely reduce fruit set. Hugh Williams, biodynamic orchardist from the Hudson Valley, New York State in USA was recently in Australia and described his use of…

Could it be Biodynamics actually works?

‘It’s dairying country. We don’t spray,’ the locals said. ‘It’s dairying country. No spray here’, the land agent said. And for 15 years the paddocks surrounding my home were not sprayed. But the bad management of Australia’s waterways caught up with us. There was no rain and the lower lakes began to dry up. My neighbour sold up. Lots of…

Cycle of the Moon

Ascension / Descension Cycle of the Moon (27.32 days) This is often confused with the waxing/waning Moon cycle ie; the phases of the moon from New Moon to Full Moon and back to New Moon. Ascending/Descending Moon is a mini-cycle of the Sun’s varying heights in the sky between Summer and Winter when in swings between the Tropics of Capricorn…

Exciting partnership with Cityfood Grower

Biodynamics and Backyard Gardening growing together How do you spread your message when you aren’t a large corporation with a substantial advertising budget and yet you know you have something that could help a lot of people and the environment? Join forces with similar minds. Cityfood Growers and Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Limited (BAA) have done just that. They’ve combined in…

Experimenting with Biodynamics in Rough Country

Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Ltd’s (BAA) Director, Shane Joyce has a lot of rough country on his farm that is inaccessible to tractors, therefore limiting his ability to spray out biodynamic preparations. Not willing to sit back and give up on this section of his farm, Shane developed a particularly innovative way to spread biodynamic preparations out and the results are…

Flood Problems

Many farms and gardens have been affected by flood waters in recent weeks. We’ve asked our experts what you could do to help the land recover and start producing for you again. Here’s what they had to say: A soil spray of Biodynamic Soil Activator along with fermented Equisetum (508) and 35% hydrogen peroxide dilution (one part per million) and…

Flowforms in Biodynamic

Thoughts behind the work with flow. DESIGN RESEARCH, EMERSON COLLEGE Invisible forces, evident within the workings of nature are increasingly the subject of serious research. We hardly need remind ourselves that energies with which we work today are becoming increasingly powerful in the affects upon our natural resources. Inevitably it is upon an harmonious and balanced nature that we rely…

Getting started in Biodynamics

There has been much written on biodynamics and, to be perfectly frank, to a beginner, it can all seem mind boggling! The truth of the matter is, getting started in biodynamics is simple – just add some preps! We’ve been working hard to make life a bit easier and for home gardeners in particular, our product, Soil Activator, can be…

Harnessing Water and Biodynamics Workshop

A Harnessing Water & Biodynamics Workshop hosted by Central West Landcare, was held on Thursday 15th August in Parkes. We started the day with an introduction to how water acts in our farm/garden environment. Included in this were a number of key points that effect rainfall infiltration rate into soils, & soil water holding capacities & how we can influence…

How Do I Start?

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…

Improving the Landscape and Production

A very successful Soils for Life Field Day was held on Biodynamic Agriculture Australia’s director Shane Joyces, Theodore organic beef farm, Dukes Plain, on 3 July. Around 50 farmers from near and far attended, with a number of participants driving up to 400km that morning to take part. Shane and Shan Joyce’s garden gazebo made a pleasant and intimate location…

Livestock Management with Biodynamics

We live in a land where WATER is usually the most limiting factor. Our enterprise is beef cattle breeding, fattening, backgrounding, & trading. Part of our herd is certified organic & part not certified. All stock are managed under organic principals. Our rainfall here is average 700 mm per year & ranges from around 300 mm up to 1400 mm. How…

Online Biodynamic Fundamentals Course

The Biodynamic Agricultural College has begun a distance learning course in biodynamic principles and practice to support students from all over the world in exploring, understanding and taking up biodynamic agriculture. This is not a course that can teach the practical aspects of agriculture (tractor driving is tricky to teach online), however for students who already have some practical experience,…

Permaculture meets Biodynamics

Beecher and Beth Larkin and Glenda Bellingham have been promoting biodynamics in their local area of Wamuran in Queensland. About 40 people (local members of BAA and their guests) attended a workshop at their Certified Organic farm on Saturday 8th June. Local permaculturalists attended an Introduction to Biodynamics morning on Sunday 9th June with Glenda, where Glenda introduced the biodynamic preparations;…

Soil Quality and Profitability

Biodynamic and conventional farming systems: A Review John P. Reganold   Abstract. Biodynamic and organic farming are similar in that both are ecologically oriented and do not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The main difference is that biodynamic farmers add eight specific amendments, called preparations, to their soils, crops, and composts. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in biodynamic…

Solutions for Invasive Perennial Weeds

Are you being invaded by St John’s Wort or other perennial weeds? We’ve talked specifically about St John’s Wort here, but these methods could be used for any invasive perennial weed. At the bottom you’ll find a collection of thoughts on blackberry control. St John’s Wort thrives in areas of overgrazing and compaction of the soil. It is an invasive…

Some Ruminations on Phosphorus and other Elements

I heard this morning on the radio that some university received an Eureka Award for their work on phosphorus. I have no idea what their findings were on how to address the dwindling phosphorus sources on the planet. I do remember some years ago there appeared a report that was based on Victorian dairy farms which stated that biodynamic farms…

Some thoughts on ‘Peppering’

Since coming across the concept of peppering back in the early 1970’s I have made some observations!!! Early on we were located on a farm on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast & watched as a plague of army worms turned the green landscape to brown as they advanced eating every green blade along the way. Now our farm was “neglected” in that…

Storing Biodynamic Preparations

Your biodynamic preparations should be used as soon as possible after receipt. They can be stored in their packaging for up to a week in a cool dry place away from electrical interference. After this time they need to be properly stored to retain their viability. Preparations for the soil and compost should be stored in a glass jar with…

The Myths of Safe Pesticides

THE MYTHS OF SAFE PESTICIDES Andre Leu, Chair – Organic Federation of Australia Conventional farming is dependent on synthetic biocides (pesticides, fungicides and herbicides). These poisons are used in food production to kill pests, diseases and weeds. More than 7200 registered biocide products are used in Australian agriculture.1 This is similar in the USA and Europe. Regulatory authorities assure us…

The Resilience of Biodynamic Properties to Heat and Drought

Australia is a land of extremes – drought and subsequent wildfires and flooding rains are common place. This Summer season is no exception. While we at Bellingen have not had the extremes experienced in other locations, we have had 40 C plus days followed by overcast and drizzly weather in the 20’s, which puts a lot of stress on plants….

The Scientific Basis of Biodynamics

Rudolf Steiner, in giving his 1924 Agriculture lecture series, which formed the foundation of Biodynamics, was insistent that all his suggestions for a renewal of agriculture be thoroughly scientifically tested. A rigorous scientific approach has been the basis of biodynamic development since then. Some scientists criticize Biodynamics on the basis that it is unscientific, or that it is based on…

Timing and Frequency of applying Biodynamic Preparations

The timing of the application of biodynamic soil and atmospheric preparations is something that develops for each individual practitioner as they get a feeling for their developing garden or farm and for the biodynamic method of agriculture. When putting out preparations for the first time, it is important to do so as soon as possible so that the biodynamic preparations…

Trees for Farm Balance

Trees for farm balance are very important Landholders throughout South Australia will soon be planting more than 530,000 Trees For Life native seedlings on their properties to encourage biodiversity, for windbreaks, to help combat soil erosion or salinity. Among those landholders are Liam and Madeleine Burns, who run their Triple B Biodynamic Beef company on two properties; the first near…

What are the Biodynamic Preparations?

We thought you might like to know what the biodynamic preparations are all about, and newcomers to biodynamics might also be wondering: what are these numbers I see in writings about biodynamics? They are simply the shorthand used by some biodynamic practitioners to describe the preparations. At BAA we prefer to use the name, however many practitioners still refer to…

What is Biodynamics?

Biodynamics, is derived from two Greek words, ‘bios’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘dynamos’ meaning ‘energy’. It is a sustainable method of farming based on natural processes, founded in 1924 by Dr Rudolf Steiner. This Austrian philosopher was asked to present a series of lectures to a group of farmers in Germany looking for alternative methods on how to strengthen the vitality…

What to do When Your Queen Abdicates

I started keeping a hive about 2 years ago after attending a bee workshop. A good friend also attended and we became enthused about being able to utilize the nectar from plants in our gardens and the neighbourhood. This was a really good idea as we share some of the equipment required, support one another in trying to learn more…

Why Biodynamics Works – Part 1

Conventional agriculture uses artificial water soluble fertilisers to feed plants through the soil water. Organic/Biodynamic agriculture use composts, manures (though never direct on food crops) and green manures with the addition of non-water soluble fertilisers when necessary, and aims to feed plants naturally through the soil humus. In addition, Biodynamic agriculture uses the Biodynamic preparations, which powerfully develop microbial activity,…

Why Biodynamics Works – Part 2

Sun and Air In discussing plant growth we tend to focus on soil factors, and forget that without sun and air there would be no plants at all. The sun provides the primal energy for photosynthesis, the only truly original manufacturing process on Earth. Air provides the carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis to occur, as well as nitrogen that is…