This is a guest post from our friend Loretta Allison from Spade and Seeds. Loretta produces organic vegetables and herb seedlings and is a wonderful person overall. Find her at the Altadena and Atwater Village Farmer’s Markets.
There are numerous practical ways to get this goodness going in your own garden. You can start first by setting up a Biodynamic compost heap in your backyard, given a little space and time. Adding a blend of specialized herbal preparations (yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion, valerian) help to stimulate soil microorganisms to break down biomass and create a powerful compost that is far superior to conventional bagged soil amendments. It’s quite easy- build the compost heap and add the preps. (BD Compost preps can be found online through the Josephine Porter Institute) Then wait for a gorgeous compost teeming with microorganisms and life energy, that is better than regular homemade compost and far superior to bagged. If space and time is an issue, try amending your soil with a bagged Biodynamic compost (I recommend Malibu Compost) that is available at specialty nurseries.
While your compost heap is decomposing (you can hardly wait, I know), start checking out a lunar planting guide and getting the knack of how it works. Use it as a general guide and do your own experiments. According to biodynamic principles, seeds are planted according to which zodiac sign the moon is passing through, and whether the crop is a leaf, root, fruiting or flowering crop. Many have found great success with this method and can truly see the difference in plant vigor and productivity.
Once seedlings are growing, they and the soil can be nourished with a Field Spray, Equisetum and as well as Silica. These sprays encourage a plant’s immunity to diseases, and ward off fungal diseases. The aim is to keep the ecosystem of the garden and farm balanced with itself as a whole entity. Biodiversity within the plant community increases this balance, and plants are “fertilized” by the compost the farm or garden created on the grounds, with plant and matter it has produced. Cover crops and crop rotation are also utilized. The farm or garden is it’s own, balanced ecosystem that works in tandem with cosmic and earthly energies.
The interest in Biodynamics has increased as wineries have embraced these practices along with many other farmers, home gardeners and agriculturalists. Whether you choose to venture into the rewarding world of biodynamics, or continue with your own organic gardening, the most important thing is to get inspired and get your hands in the dirt!