Biodynamic Gardening

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You have probably seen Biodynamic wines and produce in markets and stores. Biodynamic Agriculture was conceived by Rudolf Steiner and the Anthroposophical Society he created. (See blog on anthroposophical cleanse) . Steiner’s Biodynamic Agriculture is based on Homeopathic principles. Homeopathy reconnects us to nature in every way possible. Through homeopathy, we enter into a deeply harmonious relationship with insects, plants and the earth.
Every gardener experiences the impact of insects on their garden. In our ignorance, we blame the insects. But insects are drawn to plants via ultraviolet signals that the plants emit – plants ask the bugs to eat them when the plants do not have sufficient strength and nutrients to complete their growth.
Homeopathy does not kill insects. Homeopathy is a way to communicate with the earth and with our plants in a healing way. In Biodynamic farming homeopathic preparations are used to stimulate the vital forces of the soil surrounding the plant, using a specific vibration that will resonate with the plant’s specific area of challenge. The strengthened plant will better resist disease, pests and insects, and will not attract them. In biodynamic philosophy, direct intervention on insects is of the last recourse.
The founder of homeopathy, Dr. Hahnemann advised that we always treat the cause, not the symptom. Is the insect invasion or other imbalance due to the soil or the plant itself? The tendency to add chemical nutrients into the soil for the plant without sustaining and nourishing the soil itself, is often the cause of disequilibrium in plant growth. Compost water, manure teas, and comfrey or nettle ferments that nourish the soil will ultimately and quickly aid weakened plants in regaining their life force.
Plants can also benefit from direct treatment with homeopathic remedies. A renowned homeopath trained by Dr. Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, noted that the excess or leftover homeopathic remedies he threw into his plant pots were having a positive effect on his plants. Charles Darwin, after his miraculous cure with homeopathy also wrote of the startling effects that potentised remedies had on plants. His own experiments on insectivorous plants using homeopathic doses of ammonia salts surprised him with their significant biological effect. Darwin expressed that he wanted to publish these results. Two of Darwin’s sons confirmed the results of his experiments. Since then, many people have investigated the effects of remedies on soil and plants.

Applying the Law of Similars of Homeopathy to Agriculture

Dutch homeopath Vaikunthanath das Kaviraj is known for curing sick apple trees with a simple dose of Belladonna, and turning arid desert into moist, arable land as well as eliminating snails from hundreds of Perth, Australia backyards without chemicals are among his successes.
The apple trees, which were covered in bright red spots resembling rust, were unusually thirsty and were producing sour-tasting fruit at a time when they should have been ripe for picking. The first one had developed the spots three days earlier after which, one by one, all of them caught it. It reminded Vaikunthanath of the rapid onset of scarlet fever in children. A diagnosis needs three legs to stand on. He had my three legs – the speed at which the disease spread, the spots, and the thirst. They all pointed to the remedy, Belladonna. A few days after treating each tree with the Belladonna remedy the spots had disappeared and the apples were sweet and juicy again.
However his results with Silicea terra were even more significant. After just six weeks of treatment a 100 hectare area of desert retained enough water under its surface that crops were grown where they would have previously perished.
“Silicea changes the osmosis of the soil particles so that instead of rejecting the water, the soil absorbs it. Any seed that is in there can then germinate.”
Here are a few tips that might help you explore this for yourself in your own garden.
Homeopathic remedies emit a signal that interacts energetically with soil and plants. They do not harm the environment, and their effect can last up to four months from just one dose, even after downpours.

Storage

Remember to store your remedies away from light, moisture, and high temperatures (normal household temperatures are fine). Because they are signals themselves, close range mobile phone and microwave oven emissions may affect homeopathic remedies, so do not keep them close to these devices.

Instructions

Here is how you apply the remedies. One vial of 100 pills makes 20 litres of remedy. If you are using liquid remedies, then 10 drops in 200 ml is sufficient.

  1. Put 20 drops of a 6X or 6CH or 6C potency in a litre of water. Succuss (rhythmically shake) the bottle 50 times. Put this litre in the watering can, fill it up with 19 litres of tap water and stir. If the watering can is smaller, the amount of remedy put in must be proportionally smaller. Thus a 10 litre can needs only 1 ⁄ 2 litre and just 10 drops of the remedy. Apply the contents of the watering can to the roots of the plants to be treated. If using pills, add one 6X or 6CH or 6C potency pill to 200 ml of water, shake or stir vigorously. The pill does not have to be fully dissolved.
  2. Spray on the soil just above the plant’s roots. You may also try spraying the leaves, but that may be less effective.
  3. One dose (spray or water) is all that is normally needed to protect your plant for up to four months. If the plant begins to be bothered by the pest again, then repeat the treatment once more. Don’t overdose. Only repeat the treatment when absolutely needed, otherwise you can encourage the opposite effect. This is an important rule in homeopathic practice: Always apply the minimum dose necessary.

Hints for Homeopathic Gardening Some important remedies for the Garden

Arnica:
  • Used for all sorts of trauma or shock
  • For Fresh flowers to make them last longer
  • For avoiding bruising tomatoes (Spray one day before harvesting)
  • For transplanting: In the spring we remove plants from their pots to plant them, and in the fall, we often uproot some flowers and plants to bring them indoors causing root shock.
Aconite:
  • For frost in the Spring or Fall
  • Sudden cold weather
  • All types of Shock if Arnica doesn’t work
Calendula (Wound Healer):
  • To treat Parasites, fungus and bacteria which enter the plant through wounds.
  • To stop infections and infestations, water first thing in spring(Just once).
Sulphur- End of Season
  • To prevent infestation for next year (anti-psoric/ goes deeper).
Silicea terra

Perhaps the most important remedy in agricultural homeopathy is Silicea terra. It not only reduces the shock of transplantation, it strengthens weak and spindly plants. It is also known to:

  • Improve germination of seeds
  • Increase vigour and resistance of plants to pests, moulds, and mildew
  • Increase water retention in plants growing on arid soils. Change the ionisation of soil particles so that water-repellent soil readily absorbs moisture
  •  Stimulate flower growth, both in number and size.
  • Assist in seed generation and development.
  • Improve fruit-setting when applied after flowering.
  • Stimulate premature flowering and prevents seed formation when applied in overdose to weeds.

Homeopathy for Specific Garden Applications

ANTS attacking Bee hives:  Camphora 30CH

Beekeepers use camphora for infestations of ants in beehives, but it also discourages ants from building their nests in garden beds and under garden slabs.

SPIDER MITES: Petroleum 30CH

Also useful for outdoor plants that are weakened by crackling after frost and/or severe cold, and houseplants after poor overwintering and insufficient light.

SNAILS AND SLUGS: Helix Tosta

A homeopathic remedy made from toasted snail shells has been used in folk medicine to treat the symptoms of tuberculosis. When homeopaths potentised the snail, turning it into a homeopathic remedy, they found it helped TB sufferers, sometimes offering a cure. Just as TB is a disease that destroys the respiratory organs (lungs) of the human body, the snail destroys the respiratory organ of the plant (its leaves). This similarity across symptoms is quite possibly a reason why it stimulates a positive response in both humans and plants.
Only spray or water Helix tosta onto the plants you want to keep but not onto the weeds. That way, Snails will eat your weeds before moving on to your plants. To test if the remedy is working, place some snails directly on the plant to see if they eat it or not.

BLACK APHIDS

Aphids pierce and suck the young shoots and buds of plants, feeding on the sap and stunting growth. Aphids, unlike our Helix tosta example, cannot be repelled by potentised aphid. So here are other suggestions:

  • Cimicifuga:

    Often used in the 30ch potency rather than the lower 6ch, studies show that one spray can make an enormous difference.

  • Coccinella septempunctata (Ladybug, Ladybeetle):

           It was discovered that a potentised aphid predator, the ladybird, was an effective deterrent.                     Good and prolonged results are usually obtained with just one dose – occasionally a second                   dose is required, but care should be taken not to apply it more often than is needed as                             unnecessary applications will have the opposite effect and encourage aphid infestations.

CATERPILLARS: Bombyx processiona

A remedy prepared from the Procession Caterpillar. This remedy deters most types of caterpillar infestations on the farm or in the garden. The remedy triggers a healthy response from the plant that causes it to emit signals that repel rather than attract pests. It is effective both as a spray and in the trickle system.

References: 
  1. Camilla Sherr Homeopathy
  2. Homeopathy for Plants by Christiane Maute:  A practical guide for indoor, balcony and garden plants with tips on dosage, use and choice of potency for Helix tosta and many other homeopathic remedies. http://www.nature-reveals.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=homeopathy+for+plants

  3. Homeopathy for Farm and Garden

    http://www.amazon.com/Homeopathy-Farm-Garden-Vaikunthanath-Kaviraj/dp/3941706470
    or
    http://www.narayana-verlag.com/Homeopathy-for-Farm-and-Garden-Vaikunthanath-Das-Kaviraj/b8241

Related Links: 
  1. Biodynamic Farming: www.considera.org

  2. Research article
    Homeopathic preparations to control the rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea Pass.). ScientificWorldJournal. 2010 Jan 8;10:38-48. doi: 10.1100/tsw.2010.12. Wyss E1, Tamm L, Siebenwirth J, Baumgartner S.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20062949

  3. Homeopathy Research
    http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/homeopathic-and-other-natural-solutions-to-plant-and-crop-pests/

  4. An Anthroposophical Spring Cleanse   This blog links to a book written by a MICH graduate on Anthroposophy

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