Small concentrations of biodynamic preparations applied at specified stages of the lunar cycle promote soil fertility. These are the biodynamic preparations that we use and why:
- 500 ~ A horn taken from a lactating female cow is filled with cow manure and buried during the autumn equinox. Before the summer solstice, six months after burial, the horn manure preparation is unearthed. This is then mixed in a flowform and sprayed onto the soil, ideally late in the afternoon from 3pm onwards when the rhythm of the earth is said to be 'breathing in' and the moon is in a descending phase. 500 helps to promote soil fertility by developing humus and structure. It also attracts earthworms and soil micro-organisms we call 'tiny helpers' and helps build a healthy food web.
- 501 ~ is made from ground quartz crystals and brings in the silica activity. 501 is applied in a fine mist upwards at sunrise as the earth is 'breathing out' and must be finished by 10.00am. Only a tiny amount is used to take the light forces into the roots and to aid photosynthesis. It also helps uptake the minerals and trace elements in the soil and increase brix. The sugar content of plant sap increases and extra sap is sent to the roots to feed the micro-organisms. This increases resistance to insect attack and fungal diseases. 501 brings in light and raises brix levels.
- 502 ~ Yarrow buried in a stag’s bladder (S, K, Se)
- 503 ~ Chamomile buried in cow intestine (Soothing calcium)
- 504 ~ Stinging nettle buried in the ground (soil structure and minerality)
- 505 ~ Oak bark buried in an animal skull (calcium)
- 506 ~ Dandelion buried in mesentery of cow (silica)
- 507 ~ Valerian, the only preparation that is not buried and is a liquid (seals in beneficial forces)
Most of the organisms thriving in our vineyard aren’t easy to spy. Look out for the fungi that attach nitrogen to the vine roots, the earthworms that aerate the soil and compost organic matter, the bacteria that control soil diseases and the ladybirds that help to control aphids and other pests!