Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rudolf Steiner College

October 17, 2009 - I'll try anything! If there's an organic method for increasing yield and growing healthier plants, I'm interested in knowing more about it. I took a class at the Rudolf Steiner College to learn about biodynamic preparations. I'd already experimented with planting flowers according to lunar cycles. If the moon affects tides, it affects soil water too. There's a gravitational pull. In any case, the Stella Natura calendar is a really helpful tool for planning the month's work.

During class, I learned what the perfect cow pat looks like. I filled a cow horn with manure and buried it, stirred a bucket of rainwater for an hour with BD500 in it (a biodynamic preparation), flicked the BD500 solution on bare soil across the Raphael Garden with fellow attendees - mostly Napa Valley wine growers - and wondered who I was, where I was going and whether I'd gone completely off my rocker. I bought some books on biodynamic farming, had weird dreams and left happy the next day for Santa Cruz. On the way, I played The Stranglers music really loud and was struck by the track "Strange Little Girl."

I hadn't planned the next part of this trip at all. I was hoping to meet Woody Tasch (Slow Money) to see what he thought about urban farming as a viable small business option but he's a busy man, so that couldn't happen. I ended up driving to Santa Cruz to visit the 2-acre Alan Chadwick Garden and the 25-acre farm on the UCSC Campus. Harald Hoven, the biodynamics teacher back at the Rudolf Steiner College, had recommended I check it out.

I walked around the Alan Chadwick Garden at UCSC and fell in love with savoy cabbage.

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