Duncan Ross has previously spoken to the class about biodynamic gardening principles. Leading us through the methods discovered by Rudolph Steiner's work on the subject, such as the principles of Tropical, Sidereal and Biodynamic gardening techniques.
Steiner's philosophy was that the sun, stars and moon have an effect on our lives personally, and also influence growth, health and productivity of all things surrounding us. This philosophy rings true with my own life style and choice of belief, as a spiritualist, my belief's are that we effect everything around us and in turn those things effect us too... for example, if we choose to be happy, then the things around us, the things effecting our lives will align so that our mood is maintained, and when something comes to challenge us, it is how we choose to handle it that can effect our lives.
Duncan Ross states, in his Grower's Guide to Herb Gardening 3, that:
"It is now generally well known that the use of a planting and sowing calendar helps the biodynamic grower to enhance germination (by sowing at the correct phase of the moon) increase the vigour of the plant, propagate at the right time of day, and harvest when the plants properties are at their most potent... the biodynamic approach can be a practical way of adding an extra 'dimension' to work on the land."
This shows that biodynamic approach has a base in ancient planting methods and in newer knowledge of the effects of the lunar and solar calendars. It encompasses the organic gardening principles, which focus on the health of the soil, and then also looks further by considering the nature of each plant, the biodiversity of the garden, associated organisms i.e. insects and animals, and how they will develop under the knowledge of the calendars.
In our student plots, a cow's horn was filled with fresh manure and buried 3 feet deep in the soil, to develop and mature. The idea is, that come March, we will dig up the horn, dilute the contents of the horn with water and share it across the newly dug plots.
"When we stir the horn manure and especially the silica for an hour in a way that mimics one of the rhythms of the infinite universe, we are potentially able to create the ability to attract some influences onto us, the earth and all around us."
For more information on biodynamic principles, http://www.biodynamic.org.uk/ is a great website. It states:
"A biodynamic farm is a complete system in which all the different components of the farm are seen as parts of a greater whole."