Biodynamic cultivators stimulate plant growth and enlive compost and manure heaps with "activated ferments" of select plants: Oak bark, Dandelion, Yarrow, Stinging Nettle, and Valerian.
Biodynamic Activated Ferments
The preparation of these activated ferments may seem bizarre, yet they are very potent and virtually magical in effect when concocted correctly and applied in homeopathic dilution as described elsewhere in this article.
Activated Oak Bark ~
Obtain the skull of any domestic animal. The skull must be new and undamaged. Remove the brain through the occipital foramen of the cranium with a small stick, then immediately fill the skull with pulverized oak bark. Close the opening with a piece of bone, and bury the skull in a wet place during winter. The skull can be buried in a leaky barrel filled with compost. The activated oak bark will be ready by spring. It is to be diluted by homeopathic potentization and applied as a spray to the soil, copost pile or manure heap. The activated oak bark influences the calcium process in plants.
Activated Dandelion ~
Dandelion ferment affects the relationships of silicic acid and potassium in the plant organism. Collect young dandelion flowers, dry them, and fill the mesentery of an ox with them. Keep this in a cool, dry place covered with peat moss until October, then bury it in the soil during winter. By Easter it will be ready for use in the compost heap. The dandelion ferment is applied at a rate of one or two grams in 10-20- ml water per 2 cubic meters of compost.
Chamomile Preparation ~
Collect the flowers in May or June, dry them carefully, and store them in glass jars until autumn. Then obtain a large, fresh piece of cow intestine, cut it into 12-inch sections, and stuff them with the flowers to form sausages. Bury them in good soil during the winter, and dig them up in the spring. Use one or two grams of ferment per three cubic meters of compost.
Activated Yarrow ~
Obtain the fresh bladder from a stag and fill it with yarrow, then dew the hole. Hand the bladder in the sunlight during the summer. It must be protected from birds by a cloth-covered wooden frame. During the autumn and winter it must be buried in the earth until spring. Keep the finished preparation in the bladder, and use one or two grams to enliven manure or compost heaps by sulfur processes.
Stinging Nettle Preparation ~
Collect as many young nettles as you can, let them fade a little, then bury them in the ground. Isolate the plants from the soil with a layer of peat moss above and below. They must remain buried for one winter and summer. They are to be added in small amounts to the compost pile, Activated nettles affect silica processes in their sphere of influence.
Activate Valerian ~
This plant is prepared in a simple manner: collect its flowers, moisten them with lukewarm rain water, and keep them in a loosely stoppered jar for several days. Then squeeze the juice from the flowers, and preserve this tincture. Prepare a 7x or 8x potency solution of this tincture and apply it as a spray.
Silica Preparation ~
Fill a cow’s horn with a paste of fine mesh silica gel. Bury the horn about 3 feet deep in good soil, leave it for the summer, and dig it up in the autumn. Keep it intact until it is needed. Use one gram of this silica preparation dissolved in one liter of lukewarm rain water. The silica must be very well stirred for at least two hours. Then dilute the solution with an additional 9 liters of rainwater. Spray the plants at the rate of 10 liters per acre. Silica applied in this manner protects plants from insects, and gives seeds greater resistance to harsh weather.
Homeopathic Potentization ~
Biodynamic farmers apply the activated ferments in extremely dilute solutions, called "homeopathic potencies", to stimulate plant growth and the fermentation of compost.
Homeopathic preparations work by virtue of the specific "vital essence" of a substance, liberated from the material form by the process of "potentization" (dilution and vibration). The quintessence permeates the compost, soil and plants like astral perfume, and affects plant growth with subtle yet powerful forces of the cosmos.
Homeopathic formulas are prepared by grinding the substance into fine powder; one part of this powder is mixed by grinding with nine parts of lactose (milk sugar), thus forming a "1x potency". The grinding process is called "trituration". By another method of preparation, the substance is diluted with nine parts of water or alcohol. The solution must be stirred vigorously, and/or stimulated with select frequencies by a signal generator. This treatment with vibrations is called "succussion".
Homeopathic remedies are prepared in successive dilutions on a decimal scale. A 1:9 dilution is a 1x potency; 1:100 is 2x; 1:1000 is 3x, and so on. Each time the next higher potency is prepared, one part of the preceding potency is diluted with 9 parts of water or lactose. Some triturated powders can be prepared in a lapidary tumbler, using steel balls to do the grinding. A blender also can be used to prepare both triturations and successions.
From a chemical standpoint, the quantity of the triturated substance in a homeopathic dose of 6x or higher is negligible, being scarcely a trace, yet the effects are clearly pronounced. Homeopathic theory posits that the mechanical energy applied by trituration and succussion distends the molecules of the original substance, thus altering the fundamental nature and releasing its essential energy.