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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Biodynamics is Medicine For Mother Earth

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a Biodynamic Prep making day at the Zinniker Family Farm. When I arrived, bucket of empty cow horns in tow, folks were already starting to begin making the preps. There was a group stirring a pile of manure for BD prep 500X and two other groups working with making the chamomile and dandelion preps, 503 and 506 respectively. I jumped in and began helping others stuff chamomile into cow intestines; we ended up with sausage looking creations while the other group was using the mesentery to encase tidy packages of dandelions – both of these compost preps are buried in the fall and dug up again in the spring.

Then the task of filling cow horns with manure. If you have never seen 20 to 30 people stuffing cow manure into cow horns, you haven’t lived. The community aspect is simply beautiful. We all have buckets of manure, spoons, and a supply of cow horns. We gather closely, sitting on hay bales as makeshift chairs, and begin the methodical tap-tap-tap, tap-tap-tap – the sound of filling the horns with the manure and the sound of tapping the horns on the ground to eliminate any air bubbles. Everyone is chattering and jovial; the kids are getting a kick out of putting manure onto a spoon, as are the young at heart.

With all preps assembled, we bring them to their winter home in the ground. We bury the chamomile “sausages,” the dandelion packages; we also have yarrow stuffed into deer bladders (BD prep 502) that have been hanging in the barn yard, and our manure in cow horns. Into the ground in separate holes, they all go for the duration of the winter.

I bring our own cow horns back and bury them, with the help from the girls, in our vegetable garden. There they will sit for the duration of the winter, absorbing the etheric and astral forces from the soil and transforming into something entirely different and magical. A good friend told me once that, “Biodynamics is medicine for Mother Earth.” I love that saying and am already thinking of the transformation that will happen to our manure filled cow horns. It feels good to know that we will unearth the ferment in the spring and be able to contribute to the organism of the farm by stirring the prep in water and apply it to our lands; stimulating the soil micro-life and promoting beneficial bacteria as we go.