I’ve been interested in biodynamic gardening ever since I visited Thornage Hall which is about half an hour’s drive north of Norwich.
It’s a farm which is one of many Camphill communities – inspired by the teachings of Karl Konig and Rudolf Steiner.
They are quite rigorous about their biodynamic practice and use many of the preparations that are made from various herbs, flowers, cow horns and manure.
You can buy these from the Biodynamic Association if making them from scratch seems too much trouble.
I must admit I haven’t gone that far but I have experimented with QR activator – which is a biodynamic type preparation to enhance the composting process and it worked very well.
Thornage Hall also sow, plant, prune and harvest according to the biodynamic astrological calendar.
I’ve downloaded an app this year to tell me which days are root, flower, leaf or fruit days – and I’ve started using the calendar as a motivational tool to get me out into the garden.
The first part of today was good for planting out or sowing root vegetables. It ran out at 12 noon so I pushed myself to get my three week old radish and turnip seedlings in.
I am having real difficulty bending or squatting so I used a little stool I bought from Olly Brunton at Strumpshaw Tree Fair a couple of years ago to sit on.
I use quite a long dibber to make the holes and wiggle it a bit to make sure they’re wide enough to take the multi sown module of seedlings.
I then watered them in.
A robin sang to me from its perch right at the top of a tall white birch overlooking the veg garden accompanied by various tits, chiff chaffs and goldfinches.
The farmer was spraying in the field next door – but luckily we have a hedge or two between us which I think stops most of the poison from straying onto my fruit and veg – at least I hope it does!
The last couple of days have seen temperatures into the late teens early twenties celsius so I have removed some of the fleece covering the broad beans and salad leaves – fingers crossed the pheasants and pigeons leave well alone!
After I did this I noticed yet more self sown delights – loads of lettuce seedlings have popped up amongst the beans – nature seems to be giving me a helping hand!
We also picked our first asparagus today and shared some salad leaves and flat leaved parsley with next door – thrown through the kitchen window onto their hedge.
We’re practising isolation of sorts – but can’t resist the odd swap or two.
Mark and Lesley have run the occasional errand for us and the day before yesterday they left some warm homemade scones on the doorstep.