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I’ve been interested in food production for maximum health for many years and since 2001 have been growing herbs for medicine and practising as a medical herbalist. I came across Biodynamics in 1994 reading the book ‘Secrets of the Soil’ by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. The Biodynamic method of treating the soil and plants originated from a series of lectures on Agriculture given by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 to farmers who were worried about the loss of soil fertility and the decreasing viability of their seeds. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher, scientist and clairvoyant and so Biodynamic Agriculture comes with a spiritual dimension, it includes influences from the cosmos and goes beyond what can be perceived with the senses.

At first I thought ‘who in their right mind would accept Rudolf Steiner’s advice and do as he suggested since it is so strange and time consuming’ and then I decided that it must be worth the effort if people actually bother to do it and the only way to find out if it really works is by experience. It is interesting to note that biodynamic agriculture is very popular in Australia where growing conditions can be challenging.

Since deciding to garden biodynamically, my life has been lived in moon-time, or that’s how it feels. Apart from using the Biodynamic sprays on the land and the herb preparations in the compost, I use Maria Thun’s planting and sowing calendar to grow and harvest medicinal herbs from my garden and from the fields and forest around. Maria Thun lives in Germany and has done extensive and meticulous trials over 56 years, her calendar has been published since 1963. Through her trials she has found that the moon exerts a huge effect on plant growth, so also do the planets, and the constellations of the zodiac, and I have found that a herb harvested at the perfect time on the perfect day according to Maria Thun’s calendar makes the best tincture in the world (this is assessed purely by taste). Of course it is not possible to achieve this every year because of the weather and other commitments.

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