[NAFEX] OT: biodynamic winery

Kieran &/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Sep 3 00:21:33 EDT 2009

Since BD methods tend to produce high brix produce, a winery ought to do just fine with it.  There is someone in our area using BD preps to farm, and Tennessee Alternative Growers Assn (now defunct) used to meet at his place every year, so I was exposed to a good bit about it.  I thought BD was downright spooky when I first heard about it, and was relieved to hear that Steiner was a Christian mystic whose followers were persecuted by the Nazis.  The Nazis were into some weird mystical stuff themselves, and if you put any stock in any of that stuff, then their enemies are probably good guys.  All mystical weirdness aside, I began to realize that Steiner's BD preps sounded like recipes to grow specific cultures.   The clue is in his follower's recipe, Maria Thunn's barrel compost.  Wash an oak barrel with a strong tea of chamomile and leave it out in the weather till it develops a violet fungus.  (This is a pretty common fungus in oak I notice, hollow stumps and branches in really rainy weather.)  Now some 100 years later, modern science is catching on that fungal symbiosis is important to plants.  
    I guess I have to admit that some mystical weirdness is going on though.  When we visited Jeff's one time, my husband hadn't had his ear operation yet and couldn't hear anything Jeff was saying on the farm tour. Jeff said, "Reach down in that barrel there, get a handful and see if you can figure out what it is."  We're all standing there with something that looks like coffee grounds and I handed some to my husband.  About 3 minutes later he asked, What IS this stuff???  I feel like I've just had about 3 cups of strong coffee!  Later on that day Jeff heard about this and took him down in the basement to try holding some other samples.  Kieran could tell him what they did, like stimulate bone growth, etc.  Jeff was just delighted, verified everything he said.  It would be fun to get hold of some preps now that Kieran has had a lot more practice with feeling energy.  The BD food Jeff served made ours seem tasteless.  We know a guy from Poland who says that for the first 2 years he lived here, he could only tell what he was eating by shape and color.  He says American food has no taste.  I said he needed to grow a garden, he said he'd tried that and it wasn't any better.  If what makes fruits and veggies taste good is the chemicals they synthesize using trace minerals, then surely mycorrhizal fungi would give us a chance to grow better tasting food.  And the long "incubation" time to make the preps, usually underground, implies that fungi is what is being produced.     Donna 
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