Joyfirst
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Steiner or biodynamic compost?

I am interested in biodynamic compost, and I am wondering, how is it different from regular compost, does it have specific ingredient formula or something else?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Steiner or biodynamic compost?

"The six compost preparations are made from specific herbs: yarrow flowers, chamomile blossoms, the whole areal portion of the stinging nettle while in flower, oak bark, dandelion blossoms and valerian flowers. Four of these six preparations are enveloped in sheaths of animal organs. All are made with a sensitivity to the rhythms of the sun and zodiac. All but one are buried in the ground for a specified period of time. When the preparations are finished, they have the appearance of well-ripened compost, with the exception of the valerian preparation, which is in a liquid form. " https://www.biodynamics.com/content/bio ... eparations

Then they make 6 holes in a compost pile that has been piled up all at once (i.e. have all the ingredients ready and build the pile). Put one of the "preparations" in each hole. Close the holes and spray the whole pile with the valerian infusion. Supposedly helps the compost pile work more steadily and give a better finished product. "The effect of the compost preparations continues when the compost is spread on the soil, making the soil more sensitive to cosmic rhythms (especially those of the planets and the moon). They also work in a myriad of ways to help balance life processes, especially in the way that fertility is made available to the plants." From the same article as above, where there is more info.

Here's a relatively recent thread we had about biodynamics

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 11&t=58310

in it I said "So yes the basics of biodynamics are very much what I do with very diversified plantings, closed loop composting, no synthetics. But once they get out into that "subtle influences of the wider cosmos" stuff, it goes all woo-woo and loses me. " same applies to above cosmic rhythms etc. Mumbo-jumbo to me.

How did you get interested in biodynamic composting?
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Steiner or biodynamic compost?

So inside of three hours of posting, you got a reply which was specific to your question and thorough, with quotes and my opinions/ conclusions about them and an invitation to continue the conversation.

Did it answer your question? Was I too judgmental? It occurred to me that if you are a believer in biodynamics, it might have sounded harsh.

Tell us more about why you asked and what your take on it is....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

toxcrusadr
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Re: Steiner or biodynamic compost?

I have not heard of this myself. I'm always interested in the scientific basis for such things. I wonder what basis they have for using these very specific recipes, wrapped in animal organs? Has anyone done controlled studies of the fertility of this compost in comparison to other ways of making compost?
Tox

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Steiner or biodynamic compost?

I thought that was an interesting question, so I did a search on "scientific studies of biodynamic composting" and turned up several, plus more studies of biodynamic agriculture generally.

Here's one:

https://www.demeter-usa.org/downloads/De ... ons%20.pdf

They did a controlled study of biodynamic compost with all the herbal preparations compared to regular compost pile with the same ingredients and ratios. Biodynamic compost apparently calls for adding soil and a lot of water to the pile, so they did the same to the control pile, just not the herbal preparations. They said the BD treated compost maintained an average 3.4 deg C higher temp through the 8 wk active composting period. After that they took final samples. The BD samples gave off less CO2 and had an "increased ratio of dehydrogenase enzyme activity to CO2 production" [in case that tells you something} and the BD samples had 65% more nitrate than the control samples.

So apparently at least in this one small scale study (from 2000, done at Washington State U), those "herbal preparations" make some kind of difference.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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