In a lengthy letter to the the Stroud News and Journal this week Bernard Jarman, one of the regular Steiner correspondents, invited us to find out more about biodynamics by reading books, or going on one of his courses at Hawkwood, or by looking at the Demeter website. (Martin Large also mentioned Demeter last week.)
In a remarkable feat of misinformation Mr Jarman tells us biodynamics “enhances health and vitality”. I have asked him how the skulls and entrails and bladders do this, and apparently it seems to be to do with the cosmic forces.
It is difficult for many people to even imagine that there would be a farming method with a religion at its core, so for those for whom life is too short to read about biodynamics straight from Steiner sources, I have selected some snippets of detail from Demeter;
First they explain that it is no good trying to do biodynamics without the animal parts;
The compost preparations consist of herbs such as chamomile, nettle, oak bark, yarrow or valerian, most of which are filled into particular animal organs, hung in the summer sun or placed in the soil for some months where they collect cosmic forces during this time. If the animal sheath is omitted or replaced by a plant form during production of the preparation, the resulting preparation does not fulfil the requirements.
They stress the importance of one hour of stirring for the “preparations”;
Before the horn manure and horn silica preparations are spread, the small amounts necessary for a given area are stirred for an hour in water. This dynamised water is sprayed on the soil and the plants and works in a fashion similar to homoeopathic medicines – as an energiser rather than an addition of matter…
The one hour stirring rounds out the 500 making process and it becomes active as it is spread on the land
Is “rounding out” a technical term?
So yes indeed, you need your bladders, skulls and entrails as directed by Rudolf Steiner, otherwise Demeter will not certify the produce as biodynamic. And don’t even think about cutting down on the stirring time…
It helps if you believe in Steiner’s hideous version of reincarnation in order to see the point of all this. You probably need to have had a Steiner education to really get into it. Either that or you could stumble on BD in your search for local food. Either will work, it seems.
Mr Jarman also carries on the narrative that Rudolf Steiner “inspired the growing biodynamic movement” as though it was already in existence and the mystic guru just happened along afterwards.
Are these apologists for anthroposophy deluded or dishonest? Difficult to tell.