All organic farming methods start with the concept; if you have a healthy soil, it will produce healthy plants which in turn leads to healthy animals and healthy people. There are many ways to work and build soil fertility and biodynamic agriculture has several specific ways. On the 5th of October, the moon was in the right phase for a group of Ceres Organics staff to attend a biodynamic stir.
What is a biodynamic stir?
A biodynamic stir is taking a preparation and stirring it in water for an hour. Participants take turns to stir the mixture in one direction, then reversing it to break the vortex and start another. After an hour a liquid is created which can then be used to sprinkle over your garden. This preparation is the basis for promoting soil fertility in biodynamic gardening and farming.
About the preparation (500)
The preparation used in the biodynamic stir was a 500 manure concentrate which is the basis in biodynamic farming and gardening for soil fertility. It works for the soil in a similar fashion to how homeopathy works in the human body, stimulating the processes in the soil that increase fertility.
The concentrate consists of fresh cow manure which is buried in cow horns in fertile soil for Autumn and Winter. It is then transformed into a potent conditioner for soil and plants and applied in Spring and Autumn. As a living substance it helps build soil structure, stimulates microbial activity and the formation of humus, which greatly improves the absorption and retention of water in the soil. Used as part of a regular practice, it regulates acidity, stimulates the growth of root systems to greater depths and increases the germination rate of seeds.
This biodynamic stir took place at the Rudolf Steiner house, which has a wonderful biodynamic garden, our hosts were even kind enough to give us some strawberry plants for our Ceres Organics Garden!
The gathering was a wonderful social and educational event and has special relevance to some of us as the foundation of Ceres Organics as a co-op just over 40 years ago.