Biodynamic Compost Preparations Info

All the below information was researched and compiled by Jennifer Plewka. I am simply delivering it to those who asked for the information. I hope you enjoy. If you have any questions or comments I encourage you to comment on the Smiling Hogshead Ranch Facebook page or in the comment section below. I will do my best to convey things to Jennie and solicit her responses for you. This info was delivered during our biodynamic, hugelkulture, memorial windrow build on November 23rd 2014

a couple other resources:

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Biodynamic compost piles are known as “windrows” They are built upon alternating layers of brown organic matter such as dead leaves which provides carbon and green plant matter that provides N. The BD preparations 502-507 are placed 5-7 feet apart in strategically placed holes at around 20 inches deep in the pile.  BD preparation 507 or liquid valerian is poured into one hole and applied all over the outside by spraying, or hand watering.  The windrow is then scattered with a few handfuls of soil, covered with straw and left to decompose for six months to one year. Organic residues break down into smaller particles and are then re-synthesised into complex humic substances.  Bioactivators are organic (living) materials that help break down other materials. In the case of compost piles and garden waste, bioactivators trigger the biological process of decomposition. If they’re abundant in the soil, they do several things. First, they break down the remains of plants into their chemical components, which makes them available in a form plants can use in the garden. By breaking down plant material, they also enhance the soil structure. They can also be added to existing compost piles if the pile isn’t decomposing quickly to trigger the natural process of decomposition.

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The following Biodynamic compost preparations were added to the biodynamic windrow at Smiling Hogshead Ranch on 11-23-14.

Preparation 502: Yarrow flowers are harvested at peak bloom, dried and sewn into a deer’s bladder. The bladder is hung for the summer with direct exposure to the sun. In fall the bladder is buried in the soil for the winter. The following spring, the yarrow is removed from the bladder and immediately inserted into the compost pile. Yarrow influences plant reproduction and growth by stimulating sulfur and potassium intake.
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Preparation 503: Chamomile flowers are harvested at peak bloom, dried and stuffed into cow intestines, which are buried in the soil over the winter and then inserted into the compost pile the following spring. Chamomile influences plant reproduction and growth by stabilizing nitrogen within the compost while influencing the calcium and potassium content of the compost.

Preparation 504: Stinging nettle leaves are harvested in early summer and buried in the soil with a layer of peat moss until the following spring when removed and inserted into the compost pile. Stinging nettle is thought to “enliven” the soil by influencing sulfur, potassium, calcium and iron content.
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Preparation 505: The bark of an oak tree is chopped up and stuffed into an animal skull in the fall. The skull is buried for the winter in a place where water or rainwater will wash over it. In spring, the oak bark is removed from the skull and inserted into the compost pile. Oak bark is thought to provide healing forces by increasing calcium intake and combatting harmful plant diseases.
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Preparation 506: Dandelion flowers are harvested in peak bloom, pressed together and sewn up in a cow mesentery. The mesentery is buried for the winter and inserted into the compost pile in the spring. Dandelion influences silicic acid content and is thought to attract cosmic forces to the soil.
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Preparation 507: Valerian flowers are harvested in peak bloom and pressed to make a high dilution juice. The dilution is dynamically stirred for ten minutes in one gallon of water. Half of the liquid prep is inserted into the compost pile while the remaining half is sprayed over the compost pile. Valerian stimulates the compost so phosphorus can be properly used by the soil.

To distribute this tincture, we made a broom out of a stick and tied a large hand full of dead grasses to it. Dipped the broom into the bucket of BD507 and sprinkled the tincture over the windrow instead of spraying.
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