“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I Love Biodynamics!
Last year we started switching our garden over from the traditional rows to a biodynamic garden. It was hard work double digging all those wide beds, adding more material and compost. I have to say though that it was worth it and this year the rest of the garden will be converted. Usually, it takes me a month to get the garden back in order and ready to plant. This year it has taken me a week to get everything that was turned to biodynamics not only ready, but most of the spring seeds planted. That is a big difference in labor time. This year I am looking forward to more companion planting that I used last year. The beds are gorgeous and the soil is to die for rich and teaming with life. I won't ever go back to row gardening again. Now, I know many are asking what is biodynamic gardening? Many have heard about square foot gardening and lasagna gardening which both employ some degree of the principles of biodynamics. However, biodynamics is much more than raised beds. The french are probably the best known for their biodynamic or french intensive way of gardening. It is about digging deep, interplanting vegetables with herbs and flowers that all benefit each other, and packing it all in to form a living mulch which conserves water. Biodynamic beds are dug 2 feet deep and loaded with compost mixed into the soil. Then the beds are rounded off with gentling sloping sides. This allows even the sides of the beds to be planted and utilized. Walkways are narrow and beds are wide and never ever walked on. The depth of the beds allows the roots of the plants to grow deep rather than shallow and out which means that you water less often. The plants are planted closer together than traditional space recommendations so that the leaves of one plant touch the leaves of the other plants. Tall plants are intermingled with short plants and fast growers are intermingled with slow growers. All of this allowing for more production per square foot of space, continuous harvest, and a beautiful sense of organized chaos. Plants are grouped together so as to benefit each other. Whether that be flavor, pest control or growth needs...it works. Like I said the initial preparation is hard work and not for the faint of heart, but in my opinion it is well worth the effort. Blessings on your gardening year.