Location: Angelic Organics in Caledonia, Illinois
Featuring: Ben and Farmer John
This compost contains cow manure, straw, a bit of horse manure and vegetables seconds mixed with the following biodynamic compost preparations:
prep 502: yarrow supports general growth processes
prep 503: chamomile guides calcium and potassium processes
prep 504: stinging nettles imbues compost with sensitive intelligence
prep 505: oak bark combats plant “disease” conditions
prep 506: dandelion helps plants access what they need
prep 507: valerian enhances relationship to warmth
The living forces carried by these preparations are all produced without leaving the realm of the living, and play an important role in the composting process.
Rudolph Steiner first outlined the principles of biodynamics, a system of organic agriculture, in 1924. He gave recipes for nine preparations. When added to compost or sprayed directly on soil and plants during the growing year, they stimulate and enhance biological activity on the farm.
John says, "chemical fertilizers instill soil with an imposter vitality, a bit like plastic surgery. They rely on synthetic nitrogen, which provides energy that looks and feels (extra) real, but it’s not sustainable. Chemical fertilizers are like drugs for plants. But drug addicts consume themselves, and inevitably they burn out. That’s why we work with real soil. For us, a very important consideration is the carbon to nitrogen ratio; compost should be 25-30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. This requires having the right amount of straw (carbon) in relation to manure (nitrogen). Using cover crops also increases soil fertility.”