Biodynamics is the practice of gardening by directing earth energies and a growing trend in today's finest vineyards. The practice was devised a century ago by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner and is becoming the next big fad in viticulture.
Although the methods seem far from scientific, one can't deny the results - biodynamic procedures are used in France's most prestigious vineyards including Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy whose wines sells for around $1000 US a bottle.
Biodynamics, however wasn't always for wine. Rudolf Steiner had developed the system for his own gardening pursuits. The most popular treatment seems to be a concoction called “preparation 500".
In this practice, cow horns are hollowed and filled with cow manure. They are then buried, on the fall equinox, in places around the property where astral energy lines cross. On the spring equinox, they are dug up and the contents diluted in rainwater.
This mixture is then stirred, by hand, in alternate directions for an hour to “dynamize" it. Using only about a handful for every acre, the mixture is then watered down and sprayed on plants and the ground. Preparation 500 is believed to transfer the life giving force of the earth to the plants.
A little less romantic, and a little more sadistic is a recipe for biodynamic pesticide. You must first capture some offending insects and char them in a wood stove. Then, grind the charred remains in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle the ashes around the garden.
All of this must be done when the moon is in Scorpio. I hate to see any creature killed, but if it does work, I suppose it's better than spraying the earth full of chemicals and killing them all anyway. What's the life of a few to save the lives of many, maybe?
I have no personal experience with biodynamics and have no idea whether or not I should believe the claims. Mind you, the fall equinox is coming and my garden could always use a little help - anyone have a cow horn I could borrow?
Ivy Mills has been researching chemical sensitivity and natural alternatives for over five years and has brought her knowledge to the marketplace in her company, Valhalla Essences . Her personal experiences have fed a passion to help others with the same problem. Ivy welcomes others to share their stories and experiences on her blog, Peaceful Power .