What are the biodynamic preparations or “preps”?
The biodynamic preparations act to improve the quality of soil and plant life. Three of the preps are applied as sprays and each has a different job. They stimulate activity of earthworms and other soil life in order to support and enhance plant vitality and structure, thus protecting from fungal and insect attack.
The remaining six preps assist the composting process by stimulating fermentation, rotting and breakdown.
Prep ingredients include manure, quartz crystals and common herbs such as dandelion, chamomile and yarrow. Most of these ingredients are fermented inside certain body parts of specific animals (cows, sheep and deer). The chemical and microbial processes resulting from this interaction demonstrate the potency of the preps.
How does biodynamics use the moon and stars?
Biodynamics is the living study of how cosmic influences affect life here on earth. The most obvious sources of cosmic influence on our planet are the sun and moon. Steiner taught that the planets in our solar system and even the stars can also affect conditions for growth and vitality. Some of these influences are subtle; others are more pronounced.
The Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Calendar contains a wealth of information about the various phases and rhythms of the moon, the influences of the planets and their relationships with the earth, and what these all mean in relation to plant growth and animal health.
How important is it to do everything at exactly the right time?
The biodynamic calendar is a valuable guide to optimal times for sowing, planting, harvesting and fertilising but other factors (weather, availability, other responsibilities) will also influence what can be done and when. There’s a saying in biodynamic circles: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Doing what you can, when you can, is far better than doing nothing at all. And you’ll still get a result.
What does biodynamics have to do with astrology?
Biodynamic teaching and observations are based on scientific astronomical data. This is quite different from the usual astrological sun signs published in magazines and newspapers.
Is biodynamics a religion?
Do you have to believe or accept everything about biodynamics for it to work?
No. Some people become interested in exploring Steiner’s teachings at a deeper level through their experiences with biodynamics; others don’t. Biodynamic methods are developed by the people who do that exploration but they’re available for all to use.
What courses do you run?
We are currently piloting a six-week course in Hawke’s Bay that combines practical workshops with online learning. See our Nourish to Flourish page.
We’re hoping to roll this course out to other parts of New Zealand in 2018.
Our partner organisation Taruna College will be running short courses in biodynamics in 2018.
How do I get started or learn more?
Contact your regional representative and let them know you’re interested in learning more about biodynamics. Become a member to access our library and publications (these include Harvests magazine and the biodynamic calendar). Like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s happening around the country.