Biodynamic farming is, as we know, organic farming taken to a higher state of woo.
Field preparations, for stimulating humus formation:
- 500: (horn-manure) a humus mixture prepared by filling the horn of a cow with cow manure and burying it in the ground (40–60 cm below the surface) in the autumn. It is left to decompose during the winter and recovered for use the following spring.
- 501: Crushed powdered quartz prepared by stuffing it into a horn of a cow and buried into the ground in spring and taken out in autumn. It can be mixed with 500 but usually prepared on its own (mixture of 1 tablespoon of quartz powder to 250 liters of water) The mixture is sprayed under very low pressure over the crop during the wet season, in an attempt to prevent fungal diseases. It should be sprayed on an overcast day or early in the morning to prevent burning of the leaves.
Both 500 and 501 are used on fields by stirring about one teaspoon of the contents of a horn in 40–60 liters of water for an hour and whirling it in different directions every second minute. Although some biodynamic beliefs refer to buried quartz \”fermenting\”, a 2004 review commented that it is unclear what this actually means, as rock does not ferment.
For centuries, farmers in Austria shot consecrated guns at storms in attempts to dispel them. Some guns were loaded with nails, ostensibly to kill the witches riding in the clouds; others were fired with powder alone through open empty barrels to make a great noise — perhaps, some said, to disrupt the electrical balance of the storm.
Yes, Mr. Steiner was indeed Austrian and this is the farming tradition upon which he was building.
Fermenting shit in cow horns sounds almost normal as against trying to kill Granny Weatherwax to stop the rains.