Re: Cowhorn, Comfrey Compost Tea
- Hi Denise,
As kate says, the underlying theory is biodynamics, from Rudolph Steiner's
lectures in the early 1920's.
Homeopathic preparations of mineral, plant and animal products (usually
fermented) are used to activate the soil and facilitate nutrient uptake,
biodiversity and humus building.
Check out the section on this page titled "The Biodynamic Preparations" ..
One of the basic principles of biodynamic agriculture is the view of the
whole farm as an organism (not unlike Gaia theory - check out James
Lovelock). This holistic view is also espoused in Permaculture (Mollison,
Holmgren et al.), and allows the designer to focus more broadly on the big
picture, rather than getting bogged down in single areas of management.
As Kate mentioned, Rudolph Steiner was certainly ecclectic (depending on
your worldview, you might call him genius, inspired, eccentric, odd, loopy,
or raving mad) - I say read his stuff and decide for yourself.
Another aspect of biodynamics is planting in tune with the natural rhythms
.. Cosmic influences from the sun, moon, planets and stars were some of the
factors Steiner pointed to as valid considerations in agriculture.
The Stella*Natura Calendar is a good place to look for an example of this
discipline.. each day aligns with a different aspect of nature.. Maria Thun
was a German Biodynamic farmer and discovered that when the moon passes in
front of a constellation bearing the qualities of a certain element, then
the corresponding plant aspect was enhanced. For example: the earth element
enhanced root growth, water for leaf, air for flowers and fire for fruit.
This would be particularly relevant when planting seeds of each plant type
(carrots, parsnips, for root correspondences, etc).
It should be noted that Stella Natura's authors state in no uncertain terms
that, "Attending to the lunar rhythms should refine and enhance one's
practices, never paralyze or unduly postpone one's work by waiting for only
the most perfect time."
I think that can be applied to most alternative techniques, as we must first
of all grow ourselves some food and go about our business in life. If we
can find something which helps us do that, then that's wonderful.
"Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower
scatter them in forest and meadow."
~from -The Prophet-
by Kahlil Gibran
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