Biodynamic agriculture is largely based on agricultural practices in use for centuries, which are part of the farming tradition, many also belong to the organic method, such as crop rotations, associations between different plants, green manure.
But there are gods get ready whose use is peculiarity of the biodynamic method: specifically, these are 6 heap and 2 spray preparations. These biodynamic preparations do not exist in nature, but are made as a synthesis from natural materials and using natural forces.
What are the preparations
Biodynamic preparations must be considered like drugs that go to care for the environment, especially the soil. We could compare them to homeopathic medicine, given that very small doses of substance are enough to reactivate energy and direct the agricultural organism to health. For example, silica corn is distributed in doses of 2/3 grams per hectare.
What are biodynamic preparations
Biodynamic spray preparations:
- Preparation 500: cornoletame, made from cow manure.
- Preparation 501: silica corn, made from quartz powder.
Biodynamic preparations from heap:
- Preparation 502: yarrow.
- Preparation 503: chamomile.
- Preparation 504: nettle.
- Preparation 505: oak bark.
- Preparation 506: dandelion.
- Preparation 507: valerian.
The preparation of the preparations
For the preparation of biodynamic preparations flowers and leaves of medicinal plants are used, these substances are buried inside a containers of animal origin, such as gut, mesentery, cow horns, and then buried in a soil that must be alive and rich in humus.
Both the container and the soil are an integral part of the preparation process. The terrain has the task of rand feel the forces and convey them in the preparation. The container it is combined with medicinal herbs through common elements, for example, the cow skull is used as a container for oak bark, both have a strong connection with calcium, so calcium is the common element between plant and animal substances.
In addition to the proceedings it is the period is also important in which to bury the substances, some will remain underground for six months, others such as nettle a year: most of the preparations are buried in September and removed from the ground in April there are special days in which to do it, such as Easter and San Michele , 501 is buried around June.
Once the substance has finished its period in the soil, it is removed from the ground and is no longer recognizable: the biodynamic preparation has the appearance of a dark, humic, colloidal mass that smells of undergrowth.
Preservation of preparations
The substance obtained through the process we have seen has a effective duration of one year, as long as you keep it in the right way. Biodynamic preparations must be stored in copper, glass or enamelled terracotta containers. Copper appears to be the best container due to the inherent living heat. The containers of the various preparations must in turn be kept in wooden crates, lined by 15 centimeters of peat on each side, in order to prevent them from running out quickly, given their radiant action.
The cornosilica is an exception, being a mineral preparation: it is kept in a clear glass container that is kept in the sun, its effectiveness lasts two years.
For a correct conservation the preparations must be at constant humidity and controlled temperature. It is necessary to constantly check, at least twice a month, and possibly intervene to keep them moist, a condition favorable to life. In fact, the preparations are not only homeopathic substances but they are living matter, contain useful microbes that would die if there was no water.
How the preparations work
When we go to distribute biodynamic preparations we are fielding something alive, one substance rich in microorganisms. The action of these microorganisms is an integral and indispensable part of the treatment. The preparation placed on the heap gives therapeutic capabilities and makes the soil capable of a balance between chemical and physical elements, managing the natural forces of earth and light and fixing nitrogen correctly. This is the ideal condition for a healthy and fertile environment, where you can grow plants with natural methods, avoiding them from getting sick.
Note: this text, like all those relating to biodynamic agriculture, was written thanks to the contribution of Michele Baio, consultant, trainer and grower. Michele made his knowledge available for free, making it possible to write this article.
Article by Matteo Cereda, written with the technical advice of Michele Baio, biodynamic farmer and trainer.