Thursday, November 1, 2007

Preparation 502

In practising biodynamics, we use a range of 8 different preparations to help balance and enrich our soils, plants and composts.

Preparations 502 - 507 are used in combination to enhance the availability of soil minerals to plants and this week we continued to prepare some 502. Comprising yarrow flowers and a stag's bladder, 502 enhances the activities of sulphur, nitrogen, potassium and trace elements. Pictured here, dried after hanging in the open for about 2 weeks, the stag's bladder is stuffed with yarrow flowers and left to hang in a tree over the summer and then buried in a clay pipe over winter. The remaining material is then incorporated into our cow-pat-pits, composts and seaweed teas.

Why a stag's bladder? Practically, the dried stag's bladder makes an excellent container and is fully natural and biodegradable - an example of traditional, self-sufficient agriculture using the full resources of the farm. It is also interesting to see the structure of the yarrow flower strongly resembles a stag's antlers.

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