Biodynamics is a management system which relies on inputs, or preparations, made from a range of commonly found farm by-products, minerals and herbs. The processes by which these materials are transformed are simple and non-invasive – the end-products are pure, clean, odourless, living and 100% natural. These preparations are usually made by the local group or available from Biodynamic Agriculture Australia. Some farmers love to get involved with making their own preparations and we have demonstrations and Master Preparation makers workshops run annually. We run Biodynamic Basics days during the year to show you how to work with the BD Preparations. See Events Calendar or contact us by email.
- Horn Manure (Prep 500) is made from cow manure, buried in cow horns in the soil over winter. The resultant Horn Manure is used to bring in the calcium activity, bringing in the earthly forces to the soil and helping the soil to develop humus and structure and to attract earthworms and soil micro-organisms. Preparation 500 (35g per acre) is stirred for one hour and applied to the whole farm or garden monthly when getting started, in droplet form, late afternoon.
- Horn Silica Prep 501, made from ground up quartz crystal, brings in the silica activity, and is buried in the soil in the cow horns over summer. A tiny amount, 1/4 teaspoon per acre is used to take the light forces into the roots to aid photosynthesis and the uptake of minerals and trace elements from the soil, as well as increase dry fibre content and sweetness of the fruit or grass. It also increases the sugar content of plant sap, sends extra sap to the soil to feed the micro organisms and helps develop resistance to insect attack and fungal diseases. Stir for one hour and apply early morning, as a fine mist, to all crops and pastures over spring and summer.
- Biodynamic Compost Preparations – 502-508
All these preparations aid in the proper fermentation and breakdown of matter in the compost heap or liquid compost teas and keep everything in the living state. They act as bio-stimulants to activate specific bacterial processes in the soil. They help to organise and sensitise the farming or gardening entity. The Biodynamic farmer or gardener would place the set of 1g Compost preparations for every 3 tonnes or 12 cubic metres in the compost heap, or in a 200 litre liquid manure or tea such as fish emulsion, seaweed tea, comfrey tea or tea made from a problem weed on the property.
- Yarrow Preparation (502): Yarrow flowers placed in stag bladder stimulates the potassium, silica, selenium activating bacteria and helps combine sulphur with other substances. Remedies weaknesses in flowering and fruiting and strengthens the plant against insect attack. Remedies weakness in the astrality. The Yarrow Preparation connects the soil to the planetary rhythms.
- Chamomile Preparation (503): Chamomile flowers in small intestines of the cow – retains nitrogen and calcium, keeping them in the living realm and prevents loss to the atmosphere. Strengthens the plant’s regenerative life activity and reunites this with the physical. This preparation stimulates manganese and boron, as well as azotobacter activity, the best bacteria for nitrogen fixation in the soil.
- Stinging Nettle Preparation (504): Stinging nettle conveys intelligence to the soil; helps proper decomposition, aids chlorophyll formation and stimulates iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur activity in the soil.
- Oak Bark Preparation (505): Oak bark is placed in a cow skull and left in water over winter. It helps pull the earthly forces back into the soil, when the water activity is working too strongly, such as after too much rain or at Full Moon. It also helps protect against fungal diseases. It helps the vegetation maintain its true archetypal form. It aids calcium and phosphorus penetration into the earth in a living form.
- Dandelion Preparation (506): Dandelion in the cow’s mesentery – stimulates the potassium/silica bacteria in the soil to enable it to work more effectively with the growth forces. Silica makes the plants more sensitive. It can help increase flowering and filling out of fruit eg cucumbers. It brings substance to our foods to nourish us. It also stimulates the magnesium, boron and selenium soil activity.
- Valerian Preparation (507): Tincture made of valerian flowers – stimulates the phosphorus process and mobilises the phosphorus-activating bacteria in the soil, as well as selenium and magnesium. It prevents the flowering process from becoming excessive. It forms an atmosphere of warmth around the compost heap. If sprayed onto blossoms in spring can provide protection against late frost.
- Equisetum Preparation (508). This tea can be used fresh to work with water balance and to balance the water in the plant to protect against fungal and mildew infections. Used as a fresh tea it is applied in the air as a foliar spray, can be mixed with 501 –Horn Silica.When this tea has been fermented for at least 4 days it can be used in the soil spray or separately as a way of increasing large healthy fungi and their hyphae in the soils. See later notes for preparation details. In Australia we also use Casuarina (She-oak) as a substitute as it has similar silica qualities**.
- New preparations:
Horn Clay Preparation: made from clay mixed to a slurry and placed in a cow horn for spring to autumn, (summer horn clay) or autumn to spring (winter horn clay) or the whole year. 10g per hectare is stirred for one hour and either spread out in droplet form, as you do the Horn Manure (500) on the soil or it can be mixed with the Horn Manure and sprayed out together. Some farmers mix the Horn Clay with the Horn Manure and store them together.
Use: Horn Clay acts as a mediator, taking the Earthly forces into the Earth and aiding the cosmic forces. Winter horn clay Improves ebb of sap in the zylem Good for potatoes and root crops to come up from the Earth. Summer Horn Clay Improves ebb and flow of sap between roots and fruit connects the actions of the Horn Manure and Horn Silica.
- Ways to apply the Biodynamic preparations
- The soil sprays:
- Horn Manure 500,
- CPP /Manure Concentrate,
- Winter Horn Clay
- Fermented Equisetum 508 (or fermented Casuarina)
For broad acreage and large areas it is more economical timewise to mix all these soil preparations together in one stir and put out late afternoon.
- Atmospheric sprays:
- Horn Silica 501
- Fresh Equisetum 508 or Fresh Casuarina Tea
- Summer Horn Clay
These can also be stirred one hour and sprayed out together This lot is put out early am, at sunrise and sprayed as a mist to the air above the trees and crops.
**Prep 508, in Europe made from and known as Equisetum, is made locally from a decoction of casuarina leaves. It is sprayed out diluted to aid fluid balance in the soil and air and strengthen against fungal disease.
All these preparations aid in the proper fermentation and breakdown of matter in the compost heap or liquid compost teas and keep everything in the living state. They act as bio-stimulants to activate specific bacterial processes in the soil. They help to organise and sensitise the farming or gardening entity.
The Biodynamic farmer or gardener would place the set of 1 g Compost preparations in the compost heap, or in a liquid manure or tea such as fish emulsion, seaweed tea, comfrey tea or tea made from a problem weed on the property.
Ensuring Success: Manure Concentrate, or Cow Pat Pit (CPP), is another great way of getting the BD compost preps onto the land. It brings in the cow manure influence, plus basalt and calcium, in a form able to be utilised by the soil and plants, aiding fertility. CPP makes a great compost tea, bringing bacteria and fungal activity, humus plus trace elements, and attracts a large variety of soil life. It can be applied weekly or monthly with the other soil preps – horn manure (500) and horn clay. CPP is also known as Barrel Compost or Barrel Compound.
The Biodynamic Preparations are living substances and therefore need to be used and stored with care. Preparations need to be used within a few days of receiving them and must not be stored too tightly or allowed to dry out before use. They should be kept in a cool place, away from contaminants such as electricity.
BDFNQ, as a group, conducts preparation making days, generally in April and September, using locally grown and obtained resources to ensure the best possible result for our conditions.
Members are able to receive advice and purchase these preps by sending an email to email@example.com. We also bring Home Gardeners Kits and basic preps to monthly field days. For reference purposes, please consult the list of available preps below. For Commercial quantities please contact Adam Collins, Master Prepmaker firstname.lastname@example.org
502 – 507
12 cubic metres
24 cubic metres
Cow Pat Pit
*Home Gardeners Kit contains
1) Soil Spray: Prep 500, CPP, Winter Horn Clay, Fermented 508
2) Atmospheric Spray: Horn Silica 501,Summer Horn Clay, Fresh 508.
(Sprays contains enough for 1 acre or can split in two for home gardens)
3) 1 small set of Compost preparations
Enough for 1 1/2 metres wide and high x 3 metres long compost heap or 2 x 200 litres drums Seaweed tea.
Instructions for use included.
If you cannot collect at Field Days, postage is $15 (up to 500gr).
We ship with Express Post Satchel to ensure fast delivery and to keep energetic disturbance of Preparations as low as possible.