The past month has seen us busy planting our summer crops into the soil here at Warrah Biodynamic Farm – tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplants, among others. Everyone has been enjoying the lovely spring weather and customers of our Farm Shop have been eagerly purchasing seedlings for their veggie patches, along with their regular organic produce and grocery shopping.
Biodynamic farmers view the farm as a living entity in its own right. Healthy soil is teaming with microorganisms. So rather than applying artificial chemical fertilisers to the soil, we endeavour to truly enliven the soil with the application of natural fertilisers and biodynamic preparations. In addition to a focus on the earth, we also optimise the potential for growth by paying heed to the natural rhythms of the cosmos. Everyone has probably heard experienced veggie gardeners talk about growing according to the phases of the moon. Below is an adapted extract from Grasping the Nettle written by Peter Proctor, which explains this concept from the biodynamic farming and gardening perspective:
“We see the moon moving in an arc from east to west. When we see these arcs getting higher every day, the moon is ascending and when we see them getting lower every day the moon is descending. So as the moon takes 27.3 days to complete this cycle, each ascending and descending period lasts about two weeks. [During an ascending period] growth forces and saps flow upwards more strongly and fill the plant with vitality.” Seed germination is also part of this upward striving, and so this is a good time to sow. During the descending period the earth “draws growth forces back down below the soil surface. The lower parts of the plants, especially the roots, are activated.” This is a good time for composting, applying biodynamic 500 cow horn preparation and for transplanting seedlings.
If you have not done this before, why not experiment with managing your plantings in your own veggie patch on the basis of these cycles and track the results? Warrah Farm Shop sells a large range of organic seeds and also regularly has veggie and herb seedlings available for purchase.