What is Biodynamic Gardening?

SUBHEAD: Every biodynamic farm or garden I visit is invariably a lush, bountiful paradise full of delicious food. By Sami Grover on 28 January 2011 for Treehugger - (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/01/what-is-biodynamic-gardening.php) Image above: Taro growing at Spirit of the Earth biodybamic farm on Kauai. Photo by Juan Wilson.

When I asked how vegetarians can avoid animal-based fertilizers, I noted that some people suggested exploring biodynamics instead of organics. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Biodynamic agriculture and gardening rely on a whole host of animal-based products, from manure to bull's horns. But that's just one aspect of biodynamics. From herbal extracts to cosmological planting charts, this method of growing is definitely a little outside the mainstream. A new DVD sets out to explain what it is all about.

Alchemy for the Soil I must admit, as a natural cynic (and someone who very much enjoyed the dressing down of James Delingpole for his attacks on peer-reviewed climate science), I have always had more than a hint of skepticism about biodynamics. I've yet to be confronted with a convincing scientific explanation for why filling the horn of a cow with manure, burying it in the ground over winter, extracting it in Spring, stirring a teaspoon of the contents into water, and then swirling it clockwise and counter-clockwise every second minute makes the slightest bit of difference as a plant feed.

If it Works for Some, Don't Knock It This skepticism has only been somewhat dampened by the fact that every biodynamic farm or garden I visit is invariably a lush, bountiful paradise full of delicious food. Whether you can put this abundance down to the specific methods used, or the enthusiasm and care of the people using them, hardly seems to matter. But if you do want to learn more, get hold of a copy of Biodynamic Gardening: The Tools and Techniques to Nurture Your Garden.

If you have experience of this stuff working, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. If you have an understanding of why it works I'd be even more delighted!

Video above: "Biodynamic Gardening". From (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gHU3KeGlrGY).

See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai Organic Farm Tour 1/18/09 (includes Marie Mauger of The Spirit of the Earth biodynamic farm)


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