Phillip and Gustavo spent the day yesterday importing fresh manure from Charter Oaks Farm to AmByth, to begin the process of manure maturing into a beautiful compost for next Fall. We bring in about 50 tons of cow manure a year, but this year we mixed in less than 5% horse manure as well. We keep our pile under the Oaks, this way it never dries out and stays nice and moist to age perfectly. We will wait until we have more rain before inserting the Biodynamic preps into the pile, and then cover the pile with hay.
The compost pile is an integral part of Biodynamic farming. You may think to yourself that organic farming utilizes compost as well, and you are right. The major difference between the two is the insertion of the preps into the pile. Steiner was very forthright in how to apply the preps, the amount of preps per square foot, the spacing and the importance of their overall role in the pile. Here is a very basic description of the individual preps placed into the pile:
  • BD #502 / Yarrow–permits plants to attract trace elements in extremely diluted quantities for their best nutrition
  • BD #503 / Chamomile–stabilizes nitrogen within the compost and increses soil life
  • BD #504 / Stinging Nettle–stimulates soil health, enlivens the soil
  • BD # 505 / Oak Bark–provides healing forces to combat harmful plant diseases
  • BD #506 / Dandelion–stimulates relation between Silica and Potassium so that Silica can attract cosmic forces to the soil
  • BD #507 / Valerian–stimulates compost so that phosphorus components will be properly used by the soil

This week has also brought about changes around the house. I’ve planted so many lettuce, chard, kale, beet, cilantro seeds–all certified Biodynamic from Turtle Tree Seed Company. It’s exciting to put each seed out, to see the different shapes and colors, and then to anticipate the first growths. We also planted 4 citrus trees: lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. We’ll see how those like this growing area. Many say Paso isn’t good for citrus, but we don’t get regular frost near the house, so I think they’ll be just fine. Our landscaping is in!! Albeit, nothing fancy…just good ole California natives from Las Palitas Nursery in Santa Margarita. I’m thankful and relieved it’s in, another item I can cross off the list and mentally be “done with”. I’ve ordered over 30 fruit and nut trees to plant this January, all heirloom varities from an excellent source right here in Paso Robles, Trees of Antiquity. Next on the list, bees!