Biodynamics, combination of science and spirituality
Science of agriculture
Science or spirituality? Soil tillage, animal and plant cultivation has with time reached an enchanted circle. To ensure high yield, farmers need more chemical products. Due to the chemical products usage, soil becomes contaminated. But, high yield does not ensure high quality of the final product. This usual, industrial way of agriculture carries along the whole bunch of consequences that seriously harm ecological surroundings. Soil, crops, animals and the final consumer, human being are all being influenced. Heavy metals and other chemicals settle in soil, reach the groundwater, and contaminate them, making them useful. Producing these chemical supplements requires lot of energy.
Rudolf Steiner, father of biodynamics
Rudolf Steiner offered solution to this problem long time ago. In 1924, he held a lecture to the group of intellectuals and farmers and presented principles of new agriculture – biodynamics. Modern ecological agriculture lies on exactly these principles.
Steiner was born in 1861, in Donji Kraljevec (than part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy), Croatia.
He studied natural sciences in Wien and listened to philosophy, literature, psychology and medicine. Indeed he was an all-around genius who left his mark not only in science, but also architecture, education and literature. Rudolf Steiner founded Anthroposophy – a human oriented spiritual philosophy.
Anthroposophy reflects and speaks to the basic spiritual questions of humanity, to our basic artistic needs. It speeks to our need to develop a relation to the world in complete freedom and based on completely individual judgments and decisions.
It is Steiner who founded the first Waldorf school, based on spiritual science, and biodynamics, agricultural principles combining science and spirituality.
His intention is a concrete observation of the spirit and the spiritual in the material. He observed the influence that spiritual has on material world, and establishing the laws that can be put in practice.
Steiner considered Earth to be a living organism that is being influenced by the forces and rhythms from the space. According to Steiner each agricultural estate needs to be holistic and self-sustainable organism.
Crop rotation and variety is necessary. Pests are being repelled using natural assets. Cattle needs to be cultivated in the open and the number of animals needs to be in line with size of the estate.
Cow horn manure
Asides form philosophical principles, biodynamics has developed various remedies and manures. One of the most popular is the cow horn manure. The specific mixture is being spread arround the soil after it has spent a winter burried undergorund in a cow horn.
It is believed it has high fetrilisation characteristics because forces of Earth and the forces of the Universe meet in the cow horn.
Some of the others biodynamic remedies are being made of oak bark, milfoil, dandelion, chamomille and nettle. Each plant represents different planet, and is used for a speciffic period in agriculture, e.g. chamomille represents Mercury and therfore is in charge for reproduction.
Lunar calendar is an ancient invention that more and more gardeners and farmers use nowadays. Steiner studied it, but Maria Thun did a big research based on Steiner’s teaching and figured out why same seeds in the same soil crop differently.
Thun started researching time – rhythms of planets and the Moon. As she continued she discovered more influence depending on 12 zodiac constellations. Constellations function through the Sun, the Moon and the planets, which then forward their strength to the plants through earth, water, light and warmth. So, soil tillage, planting and sowing are planned carefully.
Maybe you will find this story of agriculture combined with the forces of universe weird, but, basically that is what our ancestors did all along. They watched the nature and it’c cycles, followed them and carried the knowledge from generation to generation.