Using the Biodynamic Preparations
Garden and Field Sprays:
BD #500 or Horn Manure Preparation – BD 500 enlivens the soil, promotes root activity and stimulates seed germination. It should be applied twice during the growing season: once, in the spring after the ground has thawed and before significant vegetative growth begins; and a second time in the fall, when you are putting your garden to bed. We strive to stir and apply BD500 on a Root Day (according to the biodynamic calendar).
How to Use: Mix 1 unit (volume of 2 ounces) per acre (or less) in 3 gallons of non-chlorinated water (e.g., for a 10 acre field use 10 units and 30 gallons of water). Stir vigorously making a vortex almost to the bottom of the barrel. Reverse your stir. (See the stirring video on this page.) Stir continuously for 60 minutes. See the stirring video on this page. For smaller amounts you can stir with your hand or a stick in a five gallon bucket. Broadcast your stirred 500 solution on your garden or field when the soil is thawed and exposed, in the spring and in the fall. A large masonry brush or an evergreen bough work well. See the spreading video on this page. BD 500 should be stirred in the late afternoon and applied ideally within 2 hours of stirring and on a windless day.
Biodynamic Compound Preparation or Barrel Compost or BC – This Preparation is often used when there is not enough biodynamic compost to cover your garden or field, as it brings the energetic, enlivening qualities of the Biodynamic Compost preparations to your garden/fields. Please note that BC is not a substitute for your fertility program, rather it enhances it.
How to Use: Mix 1 unit (volume of 2 ounces) per acre (or less) in 3 gallons of non-chlorinated water. Stir vigorously making a vortex almost to the bottom of the barrel. Reverse your stir. Stir continuously for 20 minutes. See the stirring video on this page. Broadcast on your garden or field when the soil is thawed and exposed, in the spring and in the fall, on a windless day, using a large masonry brush or an evergreen bough. See the spreading video on this page. Note: We add our BC during the final 20 minutes of our Horn Manure Preparation stir, thereby getting both preparations onto our fields with one stirring and spreading.
BD #501 or Horn Silica Preparation– BD 501 enhances photosynthesis and the vitality and keeping qualities of your vegetables, fruits and other crops. Apply often during the summer after the plants are off to a strong start. Because it requires a one hour stir, you will likely not use it as often as would be ideal. We tend to use it once the garden is strongly growing and then again about a week before specific harvests. The day on which you would spread it (according to the biodynamic calendar) is in relation to the aspect of the plant you are interested in enhancing (Leaf, Root, Fruit or Flower). Some practitioners are experimenting with spraying BD501 in the late afternoon for root crops. Experimentation is encouraged.
How to Use: Mix 1 unit (1/2 teaspoon) per acre (or less) in 3 gallons of non-chlorinated water. Stir vigorously making a vortex almost to the bottom of the bucket or barrel. Reverse your stir. Stir continuously for 60 minutes. See the stirring video on this page. Apply as a fine mist with a backpack sprayer or a commercial sprayer. BD #501 should be applied in the early morning soon after sun rise. Caution: dry Silica Preparation should be handled with gloves and a face mask; its fine, sharp particles can be dangerous to mucous membranes if inhaled or ingested.
Equisetum – Equisetum is used when you are experiencing fungal problems in your garden. We recommend stirring and applying it on a day that corresponds to the fungal issues, generally that is a Leaf Day (according to the biodynamic calendar).
How to Use: Boil 1 quart of non-chlorinated water. Add one unit of equisetum per acre (or less) and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Add to 3 gallons of non-chlorinated water. Stir for 15 minutes creating vortex. See the stirring video on this page. Spray as a fine mist, a backpack sprayer works well. Covers about one acre.
NOTE FOR STIRRING LARGE QUANTITIES: For large quantities we stir in a 55 gallon drum with a wooden canoe paddle. A pole suspended from above will also work. See the stirring video on this page.
Biodynamic Compost Preparations:
A Compost Preparations Set is enough for a compost pile approximately 20 feet by 6 feet by 4 feet. The Biodynamic Compost Preparations enhance the quality of your compost, and therefore the vitality of your plants, and ultimate your own health if you are growing food. See more details about each compost preparation in the Compost Set write-up in on our Shop page.
How to Use: Insert BD #502 – BD #506 into the pile as follows: take the handle end of a shovel, or other long-handled garden tool and make six holes approximately one to two feet deep into top/side of the pile at equal intervals around the entire pile. Pour each Preparation 502 – 506 into a different hole (using five holes). Then take BD #507, the valerian preparation, and pour it into a gallon of water. Stir the water with your hand making a vortex, then reversing the vortex, back and forth for 10 minutes. Pour approximately one third of the solution into the sixth whole and then with a masonry brush or an evergreen bough, sprinkle the rest of the valerian solution onto the pile. There is no need to turn the compost pile at any point after “prepping” it. However, if you do choose to turn your pile, it is advantageous to “re-prep” it after turning.
Storing the Biodynamic Preparations:
The Preparations are stored in earthen vessels. Each Preparation has its own vessel surrounded by peat in a wooden box that resides in our cool, moist cellar. When you place your order we package your Preparations in a compostable pouch, then put this pouch in a “pillow” box that is filled with peat moss; then we mail them to you. Please order the Preparations shortly before you are ready to use them. Or indicate on your order what date you would like us to ship them, if you want shipping to be delayed until use.
If you must wait to use your Preparations, place them in a dark, cool place.
Stirring for Beginners
Stirring Larger Quantities
Spreading the Preparations
Putting the Preparations in your Compost Pile
Compost Preparations Set