As discussed in more detail in my previous posts, BD500 or Horn Manure is a key biodynamic preparation used to stimulate calcium and nitrogen to enhance soil balance.
Back in the autumn we prepared our BD500 preparation as described here
With spring’s arrival we were excited to see how the preparation has transformed from a raw manure to a dark coloured humus with a sweet earthy smell reminiscent of a forest floor. The texture is almost clay-like and sticks together when rolled in one’s hand. White fungal growth called mycelium is a sign of good microbial life. If this is not present, or the preparation still smells of manure, the horns can be returned to the pit, covered and left a little while longer.
The clay-like mixture can then be placed in an old barrel, lined with moist peat for protection, and stored until needed.
Most conventional producers presume that biodynamic preparations need to be used in large quantities like commercial chemical products, but this is quite untrue. Only a very small amount, roughly 40gms per hectare will be needed to ensure healthy vibrant soil.
When the BD500 preparation is to be used, it must be dynamised. I have covered this in a previous blog post, but to summarise briefly, a small handful of the preparation is put into a barrel of water and using one’s hand, is stirred until a spinning vortex is created. After waiting for the vortex to start to slow down, the water is then stirred vigorously in the opposite direction. This continues for around an hour imparting energies and rhythms.
The dynamising process and the concentration of the vortex can be clearly seen in this video, taken at Avondale earlier this year.
The preparation is then ready to be sprayed onto the soil to enhance the natural rhythms.