A Biodynamic Manual
Practical Instructions for Farmers and Gardeners
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This book is one that many of us have been hoping for many years that someone would write. It answers just about every question I've ever had regarding biodynamic gardening and farming, and goes on to provide practical instruction for much, much more. It is a gold mine of guidance and information.
This manual, fully illustrated with explanatory diagrams and photographs, provides the answers. The book covers:
- All aspects of making and using biodynamic preparations and composts
- Managing the health of plants
- Weed control
- Parasite control
- Issues of mixed cultivation
- Animal care
- Specialized crops and planting such as fruit trees and vines
The author exhaustively covers technical aspects of biodynamic growing, as well as the human qualities needed for this kind of holistic agriculture to succeed.
Biodynamic Gardening for Health and Taste
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What a beautiful, useful, mouthwatering book this is! This is one of the most well-presented gardening books ever to have been printed, and the very clearest explanation of how to garden biodynamically that has ever been written. Truly, this is the book that, whether they know it or not, gardeners all over the world have been waiting for.
What captures my heart the most about Hilary Wright's book is that she writes engagingly about biodynamics, the earth's rhythms, gardens, gardening, compost, and while holding your attention as if you were reading a page-turner, she weaves a picture of all of this (and more) being one thing, a whole. She does this in a way that is not just immediately comprehensible (it is most certainly that), it is also crystal clear that gardening within the unity of nature and using biodynamic methods is just not difficult. It's not difficult to make compost (she shows you several ways). It's not difficult to use the preps you need (i.e., the homeopathic preparations used in biodynamics), it's not hard to tend your garden and protect it in wholesome ways, and it's absolutely no problem finding ways to enjoy eating what you grow.
In other words, in addition to pulling it all together and making it clear, Hilary Wright has made biodynamics do-able by any gardener who wants to garden.
So grab your spade and digging fork, your seed packets and trog baskets, and head out into the world of nature that is your garden, no matter how big or small, whether in the soil itself of containers. The harvest you reap will be so much more than the wonderful vegetables you can grow.
Gardening for Health & Nutrition
An Introduction to the Method of Biodynamic Gardening
John and Helen Philbrick
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A simple, down-to-earth introduction to the method of biodynamic gardening written especially for the backyard gardener - this was the first book I ever read about Biodynamics, way back when. Since that time, I have often returned to it, just so that I could remember clearly how simple gardening can be, and how much I love it.
The Philbricks introduce the gardener to an obvious, often forgotten principle: gardening is about living things.
Gardening for Health and Nutrition is a simple and practical guide for the beginning gardener. It deals with planning a vegetable garden: how, when, and where to plant seeds and tools and compost making raised beds crop rotation, mulching, and companion plants harvesting, cooking, and preserving. There are also sections on flowers, lawns, and home orchards.
Gardening for Health & Nutrition concludes with a useful chapter on "most frequently asked questions." If you are planning a garden—or need a few tips for the one you have, this is a book you'll want.
What Is Biodynamics?
A Way to Heal and Revitalize the Earth
Seven Lectures and an introduction by Hugh J. Courtney
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In 1924—in response to questions about the depletion of soils and a general deterioration of crops and livestock—Rudolf Steiner gave eight lectures on “the spiritual foundations for a renewal of agriculture.” Based on his suggestions and spiritual science, generations of farmers, gardeners, viticulturist, and researchers developed biodynamics as a healing, nurturing, holistic, ecological, organic, and spiritual approach to a sustainable care of the Earth.
Biodynamic methods consider the farm or garden to be a self-contained organism, embedded in the living landscape of the Earth, which is in turn part of a living, dynamic cosmos of vital, spiritual energies. The aim is to increase the health and vitality of the whole, including the farmer or gardener. The biodynamic practitioner follows an alchemical, transformative path of working with the Earth through the nine “homeopathic” preparations created by Steiner.
What Is Biodynamics? collects seven seminal lectures—four on developing a spiritual perception of nature and three from his Agriculture Course, dealing with the preparations. Hugh Courtney of the Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Biodynamics contributes an informative, passionate, and visionary introduction.
Whether you are concerned with the quality of agriculture and gardening in particular or have a broader interest in the ecological crises facing us today, this book offers a transformative approach that can truly change the way we live together on Earth.
The Biodynamic Year
Increasing yield, quality and flavour
100 helpful tips for the gardener or smallholder
Compiled and edited by Angelika Throll-Keller
$32.00Add a review
In The Biodynamic Year, Maria Thun invites us all into her garden and takes us on a planter's journey through the year. At each point, she shows us how she thinks about her garden, and what she does to make it the verdent paradise that it is.
The book is organized in a one-tip-at-a-time fashion (thank you, Angelika Throll-Keller!), and in so doing, it is amazing the clarity that has been achieved. Between the hundreds of photos and clear drawings and Maria's text, I found that questions I'd been carrying for years about how or when exactly to do a variety of things were answered fully and completely.
A single reading of The Biodynamic Year has taught me more about gardening than any one book since my first reading of How to Grow More Vegetables way back in the 1970s. Needless to say, I will be going back again and again - it is one of those resources that, now that I have it, I never again want to be without. For that reason, I am also very grateful that the publisher chose to produce the book in a hard binding - I think it might well wear out if softbound.
Clearly, I can't recommend The Biodynamic Year highly enough. Combine it with Maria Thun's planting calendar (below), and your garden will grow as never before.
The Biodynamic Orchard Book
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer and Michael Maltas
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This book brings together the best advice for cultivating fruit trees, berries, and shrubs, using biodynamic methods with the aim of harvesting healthy fruit free of pesticides.
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, a pioneer of biodynamics in North America, discusses the principles of tree biology before describing the measures that can be taken to develop a pest-free orchard without the use of chemicals. He discusses soil preparation, the selection of trees for planting, issues of transplanting and pruning, the application of pastes, green cover crops, and pest control, before describing the key biodynamic preparations and how to spray them with greatest effectiveness.
Michael Maltas ran fruit tree experiments on his biodynamic farm in Missouri for four years. The results are recorded in a highly practical annual spraying schedule for orchards, which is reproduced in this book. A month-by-month calendar gives information on specific methods and controls, based on Maltas’s extensive experience.
This is an invaluable book with practical advice on all aspects of planning and maintaining a healthy orchard.
This volume combines a thoroughly revised and updated edition of Biodynamic Treatment of Fruit Trees, Berries and Shrubs by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer and Orchard Pest Management and Spray Schedule by Michael Maltas.
Pfeiffer's Introduction to Biodynamics
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Ehrenfried Pfeiffer was a pioneer of biodynamics in North America. This short but comprehensive book is a masterful collection of three key articles introducing the concepts, principles and practice of the biodynamic method, as well as an overview of its early history.
Pfeiffer’s Introduction to Biodynamics was previously published by the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association as Biodynamics: Three Introductory Articles. Both Bob and I are thrilled to see these articles back in print - they are as alive today as they were when they were written in the 1940s and 1950s.
$19.50Add a review
This course is the founding impulse of biodynamic agriculture and gardening. In it, Steiner gave instructions and explanations for tending to the needs of the Earth in a way that weaves together the forces of our Living Earth, human beings, and the spiritual world. What can arise from working with these methods is a restored Earth and a bountiful harvest.
Steiner mentions the origins of this course, and to me they speak so eloquently of the role of the individual that I am including his account here:
"I must confess, however, that it was not easy for Count and Countess Keyserlingk to get this course off the ground. It had been promised for a long time, but I did not manage to get there until Count Keyserlingk's nephew came to the Christmas Conference in Dornach with strict instructions not to return home without a firm commitment from me to conduct the course within the next six months. So when this nephew, who has a knack for making the most unlikely things happen, showed up here under those auspices, he was so persuasive that I told him the course would take place at the first possible moment. This turned out to be a Whitsun. And so it was a lovely Whitsun celebration, a truly anthroposophical Whitsun festival."
Sometimes, simple determination can change the world.
Carrots Love Tomatoes
Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
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Louise Riotte first published Carrots Love Tomatoes in 1979 - and thus taught generations of gardeners how to see their gardens and the plants in them in a new way. Since then, Carrots Love Tomatoes has been revised, expanded, updated and has become even more widely known and beloved than ever.
Riotte's understanding of companion planting, and her practical experience with it exceeds anything else we have seen - including Philbrick and Gregg's Companion Plants and How to Use Them (which is prominently featured in her Biblography). Her familiarity with Biodynamics and Philbrick and Gregg's book simply leaps off the page just as her independent, deepened work with companion planting carries this work forward and has made it available and useful to many who have never heard of either of her predecessors.
I should add that we have used companion planting for years with great success and that Louise Riotte's book is both a rigorous resource and a delightful "read": she's warm, funny, and interesting in all kinds of ways. In fact, you may want to read it before you use it - once you put it in your garden shed (where, if you're like us, you'll go back to it time and again as you plant) it's likely that it will take on a patina of soil that will make it less than welcomed in your home.
Developing Biodynamic Agriculture
Reflections on Early Research
Adalbert Count Keyserlingk
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There is a growing public concern over the safety of the food on our tables. As a result, there is a growing interest in organic farming and gardening. Biodynamic agriculture is an extension of hte organic approach that uses homepathic agricultural preparations to enrich the soil by working in harmony with cosmic and earthly forces.
Biodynamic agriculture was launched by Rudolf Steiner at a conference on the Koberwitz estate in Germany. Adalbert Count Keyserlingk, the son of the hosts, was present, and this book reflects his life-long absorption in biodynamic methods. It presents a wide range ofmaterial, including the count's personal experiences of Steiner at work, his reflections on practical research and experimentaiton, and descriptions of biodynamic preparations. More than anything else, this book conveys the enthusiasm and the power of initiative that arose from Rudolf Steiner's work to develop a method of farming that provides nutritious, safe food for the future.
$9.95Add a review
Biodynamic Agriculture is another outstanding introduction in the excellent "Rudolf Steiner's Ideas in Practice" series. It offers a concise and fully illustrated introduction to the principles and practice of biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamics is an internationally recognized approach to organic agriculture in which the farmer or gardener respects and works with the spiritual dimension of hte earth's environment, enabling the life processes and ecological interconnections of plants and animals to function at their best.
In a world where conventional agricultural methods severely threaten the environment, biodynamic farms and gardens are designed to have a sound ecological balance. Research reveals increasing evidence that biodynamic crops put down deeper roots, show strong resistance to disease and have better keeping qualities than conventionally produced crops.
Outstanding and highly recommended!
The Earth Moved
On the Remarkable Acheivements of Earthworms
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The most important lesson that gardening has taught both Bob and myself (separately and at different times and places) is that the only way to create vibrant, healthy soil is to make a good environment for earthworms. Everything else is theory - some of it good, even brilliant theory, but theory nonetheless. Earthworms are fact, and an ever-increasing population of earthworms in your garden is the only sure sign that fertility and vitality are increasing. Amy Stewart's book tells us why this is so as she sings the praises of those simple creatures who are perhaps the most helpful beings on our dear planet.
In witty, offbeat style, Amy Stewart takes us on a subterranean adventure and introduces us to our planet’s most important gatekeeper: the humble earthworm. It’s true that the earthworm is small, spineless, and blind, but its effect on the ecosystem is profound, moving Charles Darwin to devote his last years to studying its remarkable attributes and achievements.
With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the earthworm’s astonishing realm, talks to oligochaetologists who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex web of life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden.
If you don't already love earthworms, after reading The Earth Moved, you'll not only discover a new-found warmth in your heart for these little creatures, but find that every time you see one, a desire to help it along its way will arise. And, as you'll by then know, there's no better way to help the Earth than by helping earthworms get on with their lives.
Secrets of the Soil
New Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird
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Secrets of the Soil tells the fascinating story of the innovative, nontraditional, often surprising things that certain scientists, farmers, and mystics are doing to save our planet from self-destruction -- such as using the techniques of Rudolf Steiner's biodynamic agriculture with its reliance on ethereal forces from the planets, Dan Carlson's growth stimulating Sonic Bloom, and rock dust fertilizer to revitalize depleted soils. Secrets of the Soil devotes the bulk of its more than 400 pages to describing the techniques and results of biodynamic agriculture - complete with dozens of photographs. This is a wonderful resource and an ideal place to begin your own hands-on work toward restoring our planet.
A How-to Guide
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This is a most welcome addition to the newly-expanding "how-to" literature on biodynamic gardening. This hour-long video features Joe Tooker, a master biodynamic gardener with over 25 years experience, explaining in at an easy and enjoyable pace how you can transform even the most unpromising setting into a beautiful, living and productive gardening. The biodynmic method rejuvenates the soil as it restores health to our Earth - and results in some of the best-tasting fruits and vegetables that will ever grace your table. This video offers an inspiring introduction to these methods and their results - so inspiring, you'll be inclined to get started the minute the tape comes to an end!
The Metamorphosis of Plants
Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe
Translation revised by Anne E. Marshall and Heinz Grotzke from the British Journal of Botany (1863)
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Goethe & Palladio
Goethe's study of the relationship between art and nature, leading through architecture to the discovery of the metamorphosis of plants
David Lowe/Simon Sharp
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The poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had to wait many years before he was able to travel south to Italy, "the land where the lemon trees bloom." He had gained success in several fields, but he had a sense of being trapped and confined and felt a need for light. Italy would give this to him in a number of ways.
Taking as their basis Goethe’s Italian Journey, the authors of this fascinating and unusual study explore how Goethe’s experience of Palladio’s architecture influenced his view of the relationship between art and nature in general and, in particular, helped him form his understanding of metamorphosis, leading to his discovery of the “archetypal plant.”
In his carefully written account of his travels, Goethe seems to oscillate between experiences of architecture and experiences of nature. In nature, he searched for the "archetypal plant," the essential form whose metamorphosis through time would produce the plant we see in its cycle from seed to fruit. In the art and architecture of antiquity and in Palladio’s classical reformulation of it, he tried to understand the purpose and function of artistic creation.
Until now, no one has put these two together. David Lowe and Simon Sharp show for the first time how these seemingly unrelated subjects are related—how the living geometries and volumes of harmoniously proportioned buildings, the “great idea” of architecture, can lead to the intuition of similar principles in nature.
David Lowe and Simon Sharp have worked together for twenty-one years. One of their first projects was the recreation of Goethe’s Italian Journey. They have given numerous workshops and presentations on the subject in the U.S. and U.K., including The British Museum, the German Embassy, and the Edinburgh Festival.
This is must-reading for anyone interested in Goethe's ideas on plants and metamorphosis.
The Living World of Plants
A Book for Children and Students of Nature
Dr. Gerbert Grohmann
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This book can be thought of as a distillation of Grohmann's extensive two-volume study, The Plant. Here, the material is presented in a way that will engage both younger students and the adults who teach them. I find that in many ways, The Living World of Plants, is much more powerful in its capacity to evoke awe at the truly amazing world of plants than his more detailed presentation in The Plant. If you are not conversant with the plant world, but would like to be, this is the book for you. An excellent source book for teachers of all grade levels, whether in school or at home. Can be useful as a reader for children grades 5 and up.