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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Biodynamite

I have been watching Country Calendar Goes Green, a DVD of organic episodes. Every Saturday evening since TV began Channel One has been showing Country Calendar. City slickers/suburbanites like me watch in awe as farmers talk about stock levels, 4 AM milkings, pasture, drenching and dreaded drought over acres of land 100 times more than I  can ever dream of owning.

But I thought maybe I can learn something from the farmers. So I have been taking notes.   In these episodes a small handful of farmers farm the organic way and talk about the challenges and triumphs of going organic. A few even say they farm biodynamically, which the presenter tells us is 'organics plus'.

Conventional farming is basically reliant on chemicals - fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides.
However biodynamic organic farming, seen as 'fringe' for many, is not only the absence of these harmful synthetic poisons, but involves quite labour intensive practices like - following moon cycles, spraying with preparations of cow horns and manure, homeopathic remedies, letting weeds grow for animals to graze, burning harmful weeds and spreading ashes, diversifying, mulching, and marketing.

I'm not sure if biodynamics is just a fancy fertility cult worshippers are prepared to pay a higher price for and and farmers are jumping on the bandwagon, but maybe there is something in Rudolph Steiner's mysticism. I once tried to read a book of Steiner's philosophies but could make neither head nor tail of it. Something about anthroposophy and earth energies and potentising.

Surely permaculture is not this way out wacky. Because on the surface it seems like the two are similar. If we end up doing downward dogs exercises and corpsing and putting decapitated Buddha heads in our gardens because it balances the Feng Shui then maybe I might think twice about completing the APW.

Which is this Saturday! I am thinking of Permaculture Principle number 6. Produce No Waste
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

And with that I am taking Karyn's free fish guts to this evening's  Woodside garden meeting where she will show me what to do with them.  Did you know a box of worms cost $45? Organic gardening can be pricy for the masses. I was thinking that's why Prince Charles can afford to do it but the rest of us underling subjects can't. I tried putting in a request for a worm share on Neighbourly and again, nobody had any worms to share. So my old toilet basin is still sitting empty waiting for worm workers for the day I miraculously find a job to pay for their wages.