Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. Biodynamic agriculture has been practiced for nearly a century, on every continent on Earth. Biodynamic principles and practices are based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, and have been developed through the collaboration of many farmers and researchers since the early 1920s. Today, the biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of regenerative gardens, farms, ranches, orchards, and vineyards, in a wide variety of climates, ecological contexts, and economic settings.
Different types of preparations and their usage
Horn silica preparation (No. 501):
The horn silica preparation is very finely ground crystal quartz. It is dynamised in water for an hour before spraying and has the effect of giving harmony to the plant by promoting leaf, flower and fruit development.
Horn manure preparation (No. 500):
The horn manure preparation works on plant root development, plant form and its vitality, promotes plant growth, the soil micro-life which is active in the humus fraction and the Ego component of our cultivated plants. The one hour stirring rounds out the 500 making process and it becomes active as it is spread on the land.
Before the horn manure and horn silica preparations are spread, the small amounts necessary for a given area are stirred for an hour in water. This dynamised water is sprayed on the soil and the plants and works in a fashion similar to homoeopathic medicines – as an energiser rather than an addition of matter.
Compost preparations (No. 502 - No. 507):
The compost preparations have the task of promoting humus development by drawing in ordering forces from the cosmos. They also promote soil life which is responsible for breaking down all organic materials, and in connection with the mineral clay substances build up the clay-humus complex in the soil. They do this by combining the elements of dead organic materials, soil, soil life and water into vital humus. The cow pat pit (cow pat compost) shows their capacities clearly in its final form.
The compost preparations consist of herbs such as chamomile, nettle, oak bark, yarrow or valerian, most of which are filled into particular animal organs, hung in the summer sun or placed in the soil for some months where they collect cosmic forces during this time. If the animal sheath is omitted or replaced by a plant form during production of the preparation, the resulting preparation does not fulfil the requirements.
Both the field spray preparations and the compost preparations must be spread at least once a year at an appropriate time, and plant growth stage, for an ‘in conversion to Demeter’ or Demeter certification to be issued.