Bart's Biodynamic Blog


biodynamics

There is an interesting commercial being broadcast on the radio about auto headlights. The advertisement presents two similar scenarios where a vehicle encounters a deer on the road. The first driver has to swerve around the deer because he didnít see it until the last minute. The other driver, who had a new pair of headlights, saw the deer in plenty of time to avoid it. The message of the commercial was to change your headlights regularly to avoid danger on the road. This reminded me of how grape growers deal with fungal problems in the vineyard.

 

Conventional farmers are like the driver with poor headlights. They wait until a problem is upon them, then they swerve out of the way of the problem with a barrage of chemical treatments. When fungal diseases appear, spraying is the only answer.

 
Biodynamic growers, on the other hand, can foresee problems before they occur, and deal with them in a more natural fashion. As described by Rudolph Steiner in his lectures on Agriculture, fungal diseases originate from the water element, and are seen as a rising up of the level of the soil. Like the driver with a good pair of headlights, the biodynamic grower can avoid the problem before it starts. What causes the water element to rise up above the level of the soil usually has much to do with the lunar element. A biodynamic grower can anticipate the rising moon, as well as the ascending moon and perigee, all of which can influence the rising up of the water element. As rain can also be a contributing factor, the weather report is also important to pay attention to. To combat fungal diseases, such as mildew and gray rot, preventive measures such as the application of horn silica to the leaves, as well as nettle tea, willow tea and horsetail decoction, can ward off the water element before it develops into a problem. Good canopy management, that provides air flow through the leaves, also helps stem the effects of  water and humidity. Being prepared for a potential problem is far better than fighting it off after it has already begun.

 

Such are the ways of biodynamic growers, as they have a clearer understanding of their vineyards and the forces that affect them. It's like driving with a good pair of headlights!

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