There are two aspects of biodynamics to be considered.
One is the importance of maintaining soil fertility. (hyperlink)
The other is the relationship between the growing environment and the cosmos; the phases of the moon, the planets and the stars. We track these cycles using Brian Keats’ Antipodean Astro Calendar as well as going outside and gazing at the sky.
We use the waxing and waning of the moon as a guide to moisture and humidity levels in the atmosphere. This knowledge is a guide to timing for preps, sprays and planting seeds.
Waxing moon activities
Apply liquid manures
Check and control fungal disease and insects
Avoid sowing seed
Ascending and Descending moon
Every month the moon goes through an ascending phase and a descending phase; each one taking around two weeks. You can track this by watching where the moon rises at night; in the ascending phase, it will be more northerly in position.
Ascending phase is more like spring or summer with the earth ‘breathing out’ and growth activity is above the soil with sap flowing upwards more strongly.
Interestingly we have observed in wet years, the rain will stop during the ascending moon.
This phase is good for:
Sowing seeds and nourishing plants
Harvesting above ground crops
Descending period conversely is the autumn/winter phase with activity below ground. The earth is ‘breathing in’ and drawing growth forces down to the roots. Ideal for:
Composting and planting
Harvesting below ground crops
MOON AND PLANETS IN RELATION TO STAR CONSTELLATIONS
A key to biodynamics is tracking the influences of the constellations; fire(warmth), earth, air and water. These elements change every two to three days. They influence plant growth by connecting the soil to the rhythms of the cosmos, which is further focused by the moon. This is similar to the ‘pull of the tides’.
The calendar also details which days are best for expression and growth of plants organs; flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves and roots.
At Henschke we check the calendar for these fruit/ flower and leaf/root days before wine tasting as there are definite differences in the same wine depending on the type of day.