When we practice Biodynamic farming and gardening methods, it opens the Earth to the influences of the stars and planets and their spiritual formative forces. When we eat this food, these forces are available to us. Even if you are not a gardener, you might be able to find a Biodynamic farmer close by. The Biodynamic website has a list of Biodynamic regional groups.
What we eat not only effects our bodies and health but also how we feel and think. Good food gives us the energy to follow through on our thoughts. If we are meditating on the beauty and goodness of nature and ideas come through on how we might change our lifestyle to support Earth, then our biodynamic diet allows us to make those changes.
When we farm Biodynamically we are working with the energies of the beings that stand behind matter. This Earth is a reflection of the spiritual world and we can now co-create with spirit. In my gardens, I often see a difference in the plants the day after I have used the Biodynamic preparations.
There are four key concepts behind Biodynamic methods.
We try to create a self sustaining eco-system. This idea is more appropriate for a larger operation where there can be more diversity such as having animals to produce manure. If you have a back yard garden, you will probably bring in some animal manure to compost, to help raise the organic matter and fertility. However ideally we do not have to bring in outside inputs such as feed for animals or manures.
The second concept is that we use homeopathic herbal preparations that Rudolph Steiner developed in 1927. These help to open the Earth and plants to the cosmic forces that surround us all the time.
First, there are two preparations that are sprayed onto the fields. One is made from cow manure that is placed in a cow horn, buried for the winter and then sprayed on the earth to help with the root and vegetative growth of the plant. The other is made from ground silica that is sprayed on the plants to open them to the cosmic influences that help with the taste, aroma and “keeping” quality of the plants.
Second, we have five herbal preparations that we place in the compost pile. These help to bring in the planetary influences and when the compost is spread on the ground it is as if Earth is ready to become living and wanting to become plant-like.
The third concept is that we work with a planting calendar that is based on the moon going through the constellations of the zodiac. Each constellation comes under a different sign, earth, water, air, and fire. The energy coming to the earth via the moon is different under each sign. Therefore if you want an excellent lettuce, one would plant when the moon is in a leaf sign (the leaf is connected to water.)
The fourth and key concept is that we honor the nature spirits, as these unseen beings work tirelessly to keep everything growing and healthy. Even if we cannot consciously work with them, we can try to honor them and listen for their messages.
In my book, A Farmers Love, I have five chapters that describe Biodynamics in more detail. You can also go to A Farmer's Love, where I describe the preps in more detail.
If you are new to Biodynamics, I hope the above article whets your appetite to find out more. Biodynamic methods have really taken off now with the Biodynamic vineyards winning all the blind contests. Many of the award-wining wines are made with grapes that are grown Biodynamically, as the quality is so much better.