Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Biodynamic Gardening

Do you garden? Don't you love it? If you don't, well, there's your problem! Gardening should be fulfilling, inspiring, blissful. If you love your garden, at the end of the day when you are filthy dirty and bone tired you should still be able to smile. I would love to hear about your garden...

I never get tired of talking about mine. We reserve Wednesday afternoons for visits and tours (call for appointment)...it gives me a chance to talk about Rocky Creek to my hearts content while giving folks an idea of how we do things.

This is especially a great time of year because we are beginning to harvest a few things. We don't have a high tunnel, so there are a lot of farmers out there ahead of us as we saw at the Farmers Expo, but I still love bringing the produce in, cleaning it and eating away!

This year I tried a new system: Biodynamic gardening. My daughter gave me some books and a planting calendar; after reading all about it I was determined to give it a try. It was started by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 and perfected by Maria Thun. It is a fascinating story and a good read.

Some folks plant by the Farmers Almanac; Biodynamic takes this concept and runs with it. It takes commitment and a lot of planning and there were times when I wondered if it would truly be worth it. Especially when I had to wait, sometimes not so patiently, for the proper day to plant certain items.

Back in January when I planted my raised beds I made every other row biodynamic. I faithfully planted LEAF crops on leaf days, etc. Same environment and same seeds so I would be able to tell if it made a difference.

Here is a picture of my New Zealand Spinach. You can see the TALL rows and the short row.

THE SHORT ROW IS THE NON-BIODYNAMIC. The tall rows were planted according to the biodynamic calendar; Spinach is a LEAF crop so I planted it on a LEAF day. The short rows were planted on a root day.

Here you can see the biodynamic row is 10 inches high.

And, here the non-biodynamic row is 4 inches.

WOW! I could tell there was going to be a definite difference, but this just makes me grin. All that planning and sticking to the calendar is going to pay off. The biodynamic system also has its own fertilizer which I have not used. I just stick to my own organic routine; maybe next year I will branch out into their fertilizers but for now I want to use raw milk, comfrey and compost. More about those on another blog.

Here is my cilantro...the non-biodynamic rows were so poor I've already troughed them under and replanted...biodynamically, of course.

Have any of you tried Biodynamic? I would love to hear from you. I have one biodynamic book in my Amazon box to the right if you want to check it out; and no it's not $999! Don't know what that's about! There are several books by Mari Thun...I think you will enjoy them.

Happy gardening; and have a monumental day. :) e

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Belle Can't Fly

I was standing in the kitchen sipping tea looking out the back window. The barn is in full view with the forested hill behind it; the goats and Rocky wander around munching and enjoying themselves; goats eating the trees new leaves and Rocky (guard dog) pulling and eating cleavers! I love to watch them. It's peaceful and fulfilling and gets me in tune with my bliss.

Yesterday, as I stood there feeling good about life, taking a garden break, talking on the cell and hearing every fourth word being said, Belle my beautiful sweet little Boar goat was on top the hay stack playing Queen of the World. All of a sudden she fell off, did a flip and landed on her back on the ground. I was stunned as they never, ever fall off that hay.

She lay there unmoving. I yelled something into the phone and headed out the back door, FarmBoy Gary close behind. I kept my eye on her as I ran; no movement. Across the yard. Through the open gate. Across the barn lot. Through the locked gate. Still no movement. My heart raced and I just knew her neck was broken as I could see she lay at an odd angle, her little legs sticking up in the air.

I knelt beside her, no sound, laying perfectly still. I reached for her head calling her name softly. As I raised her head up I realized her little horns were stuck straight down into the ground. She was pinned! As I pulled her head up and her horns out of the ground, she came to life, jumped up, wiggled her tail and nuzzled me for a treat! I examined her head to toe--perfect.

I felt exultant! Not only was she alive, she was not injured. Belle, you silly. You cannot fly.

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