When Valentine’s day came we even began to plant peas and the other spring veggies, right into the ground. This year we are going to start the conversion to BD, no that’s not a disease. Bio-Dynamics is a method of farming/gardening that incorporates the spiritual into working the land. It’s new to us, and another aspect of Steiner’s (creator of the Waldorf methods) research. We have just started learning this past year so are by no means experts, but I will attempt to explain what I understand.
We’re starting to get the bees ready for Spring. Pollen patties and sugar water have been added to the hives, the new hives have been ordered while the old ones have been cleaned up. It’s weird to think that in February Spring is here, but nature knows best. The bees are always the first sign. If you sit by a hive for a little while on a warm day you will see them bring in pollen. In early February they will drink sugar water like crazy and roll around in pollen–they will go for any food source you offer them. Once the first trees (in our case the red maple) start to bloom, they hardly touch anything we give them. This is my favorite time of year because now we know spring has arrived.
If you look up into the sky at night you will see a host of stars, if its clear anyhow. These stars form constellations and are made of planets too. Each planet, just like the moon and the sun, reflect certain cosmic forces down onto the earth at very specific times. So, when a certain planet aligns with or against the moon or sun certain forces are reflected strongly towards the earth.
These forces can be broken up into a few different days. In no particular order they are leaf, root, flower, and fruit. So, depending on when and where the planets, moon, sun and constellations are you plant certain things. Example: if you want good tomatoes, you plant them on a fruit day. Ever had a really good tomato crop one year and the next year did everything exactly the same but had a bad crop? It could be that you planted the tomatoes the second year on different kind of day. That is one part.
This book is fantastic for learning/explaining the processes
The other part, the part that has really attracted us to this method of gardening, is the idea that there is more to the earth than dirt. That just because you cant see something does not mean it does not exist. The earth–the ‘dirt’, has a spiritual element to it. This element needs to be acknowledged and respected, just as we work the physical soil we also need to work with the spiritual realm of the garden/farm to help heal the earth. When we can restore the right balance in the soil and plants we will be able to once again have produce that restores our bodies and the planet more effectively. The produce will have spiritual nourishment along with the physical.
Of course, we apply our faith to our life in a very physical way (what we eat/don’t eat, what we wear, when we celebrate, etc). All of this connects us very spiritually to our faith, and in turn our understanding of nature has come to incorporate. In learning about Rudolf Steiner, while some of his particular word choice is different than ours may be, it rings of the same theme–we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual place. There is a Creator who has breathed life into this planet and if we recognize our connection to it, we’ll in another sense realize more fully our connection to Him.
So, to take on Biodynamics in our own garden there is quite a bit that needs to be done. First with planting times, then with composting and other additives. We are going to try and document all this change this spring. Any advice or questions would be greatly appreciated!
One more thing: we’d love to see what’s going on in your gardens! We’re hoping that you’ll share with us, perhaps every Sunday. If you’d like to participate by sharing a link to your recent garden update, please post a linkie here! (& reference it on your blog, if possible).