Greetings. If there is any difficulty in audibility, please signal violently. May I please read 2 short statements that will lead into our subject? Mrs. Lindsay Robb, in a lecture which she gave on Alteus Sigheus Logus(?), “Eve has lost that essential unity with the soil. The break in the relationship is first indicated in the disregard for spiritual values and sense of obligation and obedience to the creative powers of the universe.” Mrs. Robert Graves, in a lecture entitled, at the Mass. Institute, In Defense of Human Culture, “The decline of a true taste for food is the beginning of a decline in a national culture as a whole. When people have lost their authentic personal taste, they lose their personality and become the instruments of other people’s wills.”
Bio Dynamics was a word invented by Rudolph Steiner and covers the whole focus of the science of living with the entire laws of nature. It would be impossible to lecture on such a subject – nobody ever has. But the application of B.D. into the whole sphere of horticulture and agriculture is what we are going to touch on with pleasure tonight – that is, the fine art of Agriculture – there is no difference between the two whatever – there cannot be a difference. They are both concerned with the whole laws of nature which imply the method of all things that grow. A person who can manage perfectly to manipulate one acre (known as Horticulture) may then verge into 20 or 100 or 1000 acres (known as Agriculture). But it is not good sense, nor is it natural,to attempt to manipulate 100 acres when you are not competent… (pause) Exactly. (Laughter) You will perceive from this that the gardener does not make a garden, nor does the farmer make a farm. Indeed, the garden makes gardeners and the farm makes farmers. For the law is situated there in the whole law of nature – the whole revolution of the stars; the ordination of the planets, are the whole matter of life and death, of birth, and of the manipulation of the soil and all the plants and the birds and the insects and the animals, all coordinated in an enormous mathematics, totally invisible, which is (is it not?) the law of God. And any connivances of man’s thinkings are temporary. The law of nature is eternal. In this, one points out from the B.D. vision and approach the aspect, enormity and importance today, in particular, of the invisibles. The play of the intermediaries, which is earth, fire, air and water, to bring to life the invisible. But the whole enormous totality of eternity is to us invisible, and we are much inclined today to be entirely related to the visible only – the word utility. All Horticulture and all Agriculture is indeed a craft, and all craft is art. And no Horticulture and no Agriculture have ever been an industry and never will be. It is a magic. It is a magic that contains eternal invisibility, and every man who occupies it must remember his reverence and his obedience. We cannot dictate to the land and to nature, and the whole ordinance of which Copernicus spoke in his Revolutionabus describes how all the planets revolve, how the implication of the whole and the living of the land lives by this implication of this Revolutionabus – of Saturn revolving, of Jupiter, of Mars, of Venus, of Mercury, of the Sun, of the Moon and of the Earth. Indeed, you must know that the intervals of those planets just mentioned are the basis of music. That is, the tones, by Pythagoras. All music is written upon the intervals of those planets, and those planets are the source of the spirit of all color in the world. And the inference of all of those planets in their revolvings around each other governed entirely by the emanation of the Sun are the whole of our procedure of living. The revolving of the diurnal revolvement of the Earth-day and night; of the Moon – 27 to 29 days, making the month. The words are inconceivable – they mean nothing. It is the revolvement of the moon that is the month. The 365 days which are the revolving of the Sun is the year. And the implementation of the other planets that revolve around the sun outside the orbit of the Moon and the Earth, except for Mercury and Venus, Mars going outside, being the first one on the outside – every one of these have their implementation of the mathematics of the season. How is it that somebody suddenly says, “Oh, last year was a wonderful year for tomatoes. The year before was very good for wheat but last year was bad.” What is this talk? There are no accidents in nature. It’s a huge, incomprehensible, mathematical law, indefatigable and discernable. Those revolvements are the whole reason why forests come into being, sometimes only once in 60 years, sometimes only once in 200 years. For, as you know, that the outer radiance of the stars which are actually invisible and of which there are a whole radius of starts outside all the visible start, are all revolving. They take thousands of years to make one revolution, but they are all revolving. This is all true and real. And it is the whole essence of every single thing that lives, and not only every single thing that lives, but every single thing that we have in this world. The roof, the electric light, the clothes the walls, the carpet. Every thing is a gift from that incredible mathematics which governs everything. And there is no mathematics but that. The bee has been building his comb for over a million years in exactly the same way, on the same mathematics that he builds, or they, or she, as one should say, for they are females – except for the drones. And this has not changed, neither has any computer scientist, algebraist, geometrician or mathematician found any mathematical connivance to equal it. Neither can we improve upon this math of the beehive. And this is implemented in the feathers of birds, the webs of spiders, and all the things that belong in creation – that are the manufacture of soil. All soil in the whole world is beautiful soil. It is not soil that grows plants – it is the word fertility. Fertility is a marriage of all the creative matters together – of moistures, of soils, of life into death, of decomposing things, of the wings of birds, the bones of students, of the shells of snails, and the tiny little molecules of ants and dust and flowers and pollen. They are all part of soil. Soil is a total living matter with a spirit, as every mountain is a family with children. And every bud on a tree is not a tree, for every bud that is on a tree is a whole family of children living in the skin of that total tree.
Just as our hair and the balls of our eyes and our lips are not really ours; we don’t make them grow. And they are replacing all the tine and we don’t do it. You can have a tooth out, and you can still live and eat. And your hair falls out, and more hair grows. And so, this whole matter that you discover by this Revolutionabus of the planets that nothing, nothing whatsoever, is static. The forests are changing, the animals change, and we change, and surely education is growing and changing. It must, for education belongs to the knowledge and the living and the experience of man.
Soil is, in our minds, a matter in which plants grow. Soil is the skin of the world. It is as delicate as delicate. It is more easily bruised, more sensitive than the most sensitive plants. It should never be misconceived. If you walk upon it when it is moist with dew, you will bruise it. You may damage your soil so that it may take you a year to restore that damage. Likewise, by your observation and your sensitivity, you can manipulate it and magnify its performances. The word fertility is the matter that horticulturalists and agriculturalists are really seeking to deal with: how to bring about fertility. And the only way to understand and bring about fertility, by man, is through the image – the inner conception of what this is. Now in the whole interplay of that Revolutionabus that Copernicus describes to us and that we still accept as probably the most prominent of understandings of today, you come to realize that within the word Bio Dynamics is the word relationship and disrelationship. Now in the whole sphere of nature there is that which likes that, and that which does not like that at all. Just like when you meet people, you come to meet somebody and you say, “Oh, what a wonderful person, I can’t live without him. I want to hear him, I want to watch him, I want to be with him all the time!” And suddenly you’re introduced to somebody else and you say, “Oh no, I couldn’t, please no!” And this is related to this Revolutionabus. And in this sphere, man is most ordinary. In the whole sphere of insects, birds, plants, animals, soils, waters, moisture, clouds, this sense is generally speaking, much, much more acute. There are plenty of insects that adore certain plants and cannot tolerate others at any price whatever. There are certain plants which love to be with other plants, and other plants which would absolutely destroy other plants. Likewise, there are seeds and flowers and plants that absolutely welcome birds, and there are other plants that will tell the birds to get away. For instance, just as a sample, if you carry with you Matricaria, which is known as chamomile, no bees will wish to come near you. So, if you go near beehives or are frightened of bees (rather stupidly), that’s what you should carry. But on the contrary, if you carry Melissa – Melissa officianale, which is Bee Balm, Balm – the bees will simply tear to you, and will adore you. And this is the whole attitude when you approach bees that you must have. You must have the attitude of Melissa. Now the reason that they don’t like Anthemis and Matricaria is simply because Anthemis and Matricaria are absolutely governed by the sun, and so are bees. The queen bee, as a princess when she mates, has to fly straight up to the sun and it is in this heavenly flight of which she goes twice the pace to any other of the drones who are following her desperately, that she keeps accelerating and tearing straight up to the sun, and it is only in that position that her wedding can take place. It is indeed only in that position that they could go to the toilet. They’re absolutely governed by the sun.
Here you will discover the two words astronomy and astrology. All of the limbs of human beings are related by governance to this Revolutionabus – the planets and the stars. They have their influence on your kidney, your liver, your heart, your brain, your ear, and likewise they naturally have their influence upon the whole of the insect world, the animal world, the bird world and the plant world… and the chemical world if you like. They have their governance. They come into power, and they govern. Monday is the day of the moon, Sunday is the day of the sun, Tuesday is the day of Mars, Wednesday is the day of Mercury, Thursday the day of Jupiter, Friday is the day of Venus, and Saturday is the day of Saturn. They are the days in which those planets are in governance. And every hour they change in rotation after dawn in the governance of the following planets. We needn’t go into all that. There’s no need to. Why is there no need to? Because the whole living of the plants relates to that very matter. It is governed by that mathematics completely – its life and its death – and it reflects. And the whole of our passage in living is between the stars and the flowers, which are an avenue for man to travel to find again that garden which he vacated.
All of those plants are related to man through that planetary influence to those parts of his body. That is why Digitalis will put your heart correct. That is why Angelica archangelica will restore your memory and your powers of thinking. Melissa affects your brain in clearness. And so on and on through endless, endless plants.
Plants -all plants are weeds. There are no flowers, there are no herbs, there are no weeds – they’re all plants. The cauliflower – it so happens you don’t put it in the herbaceous border or the annual bed – I don’t know why because I think it’s very attractive – you boil it alive! (laugh) And the Asparagus officianalis which the Greek word means “hit him on the head”, which they used in the Senate for those who spoke too long, for the wand of an Asparagus with a hit on the head when it weighs a pound which it does when it grows in the Aegean, keeps a person quiet for quite a while. It so happens that if you eat asparagus, it will very much upset your eyesight. You know the curious effect that asparagus has on you the next day -that also affects your eyesight. If you eat the seeds of pumpkin, or pumpkin with the use of asparagus, or the water from the water of cooked pumpkin, you will overcome that upset on the sight. Just as Euphrasia, used as a tisane inward and outward as an eyebath, will restore the sight of people who have very frequently worn glasses for 20 years. They have restored millions of people’s sight, and there are other herbs such as Passiflora incarnata, the Passion Flower, which restores your balances and gives you delicious sleep with clear conscience, without destroying your senses at all. Well, you see, there’s no point in my going through a list, because it would take us 6 hours to begin. But all of the herbs are plants, and all weeds are herbs. Now the interesting point in this is that all herbs are much more invective in their origin. That is, if you want to recover by lying on a bed of Anthemis, which was a quite practical habit in every beautiful garden. They had a couch made of Anthemis, and the sweet damsels would lie upon it and restore themselves by lying upon it – the effect of which would restore their strengths. Just as Borago for 10 minutes in any drink will stop you from getting drunk and will give you good spirits; Symphytum will have the same effect but will continue after 10 minutes for several days and will give you sound bones and teeth and fingernails and will restore the bones to all the decadent animals of today – Symphytum.
So you begin to perceive that when talking about this relationship and disrelationship, that in the whole balance of creation there comes through the Rotundibus of the planets a law and a mathematic which is conceivable. And that this is the beginning of the word Bio Dynamic vision. That you will perceive that you cannot have a garden, or a farm, of masses of something and nothing else, for you’re going to have masses of trouble. And nature has the answers. And in that nature, how exacting is the depth that goes into invisibility. For you see, one of the very interesting experiments that began the whole of the laboratory procedure, shall we say, of scientific chemicalization, began by a professor, a Dr. Bunge – who operated at Bausch – he was a German – a great scientist. And he kept white mice upon milk and they did very well – they were very grateful to him and were very happy and lived exceedingly well upon milk. So, Dr. Bunge at that time said, “Right – now – we’re going to do something in the world”. And so he said “Out with milk, and we will now give the mice what milk is made of”. So he gave them casein, fat, sugar and salt, which by its right appropriations, became what was the dissected emolument of milk. And the scientists agreed that his projections of mathematics were right. Whereupon, of course, as you might expect, all the mice died. He fed them upon this mixture and they died. And he gave them the mixture again, and they died. So they called each other together and they sat down and they said, “What’s wrong? This is what milk is made of”. And the scientists proved it in the test tube. And it was correct. And suddenly one of them sat up and said, “Of course! We’ve forgotten something.” And what do you think it was? Why, it’s exactly what everybody’s chasing today and they’ve been right through the alphabet and now they’re starting to back around another way, and that is vitamins. Vitamins was the thing they’d left out. And you see, they still haven’t found out which vitamin it is. And of course, they’re not going to, as you can see. There is a point at which visibility goes through the intermediaries into invisibility, and that you can’t talk about any more, because language is a guttural noise in the throat. And that, believe it or not, is now a huge attic full of rubbish in most people’s heads. It starts first thing in the morning with the newspapers, the telephone, letters and a whole gyration of rubbish, and it goes on until the sun sets, and they fall down on a bed in a state of collapse. Please understand, one is not for one moment opposing and being negative about any systems or methods of living at all. I am trying to open to you, and put the keys on the table in front of you, of what is the vision, the approach of Bio Dynamics. It is a positive. It is not a “don’t do this, don’t do that”. It is, if you will, “Look, this is beautiful. It grows, it works. It is incredible.” The children are happy. They hold the hands of their parents. They begin to perceive the magic that is in nature, and they live and breathe of God’s laws, and they become obedient and reverent of them. And that is the basis of Bio Dynamics. Will you proceed on the systematic techniques of this, of which I would hope to give you a little bit of statistic information, which becomes extremely boring very quickly. Nevertheless, you will see that you don’t have to sit down with a pencil and paper with a lot of secretaries and work out your profits that if you buy an acre and you put so much down for seed and so much down for implements, you will eventually get so much profit that you can put in the bank so that you can retire and die. Life is an incredible journey forever. And that is the vision. The vision of this matter is that everything that we have is given to us. What is the price of a banana? Nothing. It has never been anything. It’s only what we pretend to make it. It’s the same with a tomato, and you may have a tomato, and take 500 seeds from it, and have 500 pounds of tomatoes, ad lib. And the whole world of the planets will produce them, and they will be magical. Now in this relationship and disrelationship is also the whole source of what we have come through the laboratory and science to talk about as minerals and chemicals. Now there are plants that have sulfur -there are plants that have iron- there are plans that produce magnesium – you can go on an on. And I could give 50 words that aren’t thought of – poo-poo and loo-loo and foo-foo and fo-fo and all that. And they’re going to invent them, don’t worry. They break them up nearly 5 times every year. Now all of those names and a thousand others which you will never know about, because they’re in the plants, and they are ‘vitamins’ if you like – they are the magic creation of fertility – that when you work the whole of an area of nature with that approach and vision, that approach has brought about an emanation of the family of the farmer and his wife and the children, of an approach of goodness, if you like, that is in line with the whole law of creation. And that there is then no stopping the cornucopia of nature which is endless. You will get balances most unexpected. You will not be cured instantly of a headache but you won’t get headaches in the long run. That all of this is gentle – it is smooth – and it is brought about within periods. And in that bringing about of that magical intermarriage of the fertility, that wonderful thing happens in the farm. And that is that each year with the new cycle, when an entirely new year begins – for there is no year that follows another year – no year has any resemblance to another year whatever. It is life going on forever. There is no such thing as a day, a week, a month, a year. It is life ad infinitum. And this is growth and this is change. And that with that magical happening, every cycle that recommences a new cycle, new life comes into your area through your approach – your approach of fertility – of wanting beautiful creation – of wanting good flavors, good nutrition, good scent, beautiful color, the happiness of the birds, the animals, the insects, of your livestock and of your nature in your garden. For your whole garden is not for you at all – it is for the whole of nature. It belongs around your oikos – your house – as a whole environment and emanation of goodness, of obedience to law, and it belongs in the total lap of the environment and meets it, and is married into it, and does not make war against it. And whole changes take place, and they take place in man himself to such a degree that the re-establishment of each cycle in the farm and the garden, you suddenly discover new weeds, and with the new weeds, new seeds, new plants, flowers – and that with those come new butterflies, new spiders. Who could possibly run a garden or a farm without 50 million spiders? You can’t do it. It’s a huge failure. It’s a huge disease and illness. It’s like feeding a poor child upon loaves and loaves of white bread. It’s never fed, just goes on eating white bread like a silly idiot. And when the insects try to eat vegetables grown on chemicals, it’s exactly the same, and they have to breed like lunatics. It’s the only thing they’ve got left to do. Nobody can measure the nutrition that is actually in the juices of plants. You can’t do it. They will pretend that you can, but you can’t do it. And as you will probably know, that if you take, to use a statistical, if you take the lactucaria – which means the juice – which is in the wild lettuce, -you will get somewhere roundabout 56 grams. If you will take the garden lettuce, you will get 11-16. You see, the whole ordinance of man is to some degree a selfishness. “I want this for me.” And at the moment you do that, that approach alone alters the stature of the plant. That is why you must never culture herbs. Herbs are a whole ideal uplift. They are the warmth of the uplift of the sun and can never be replaced by artificial flavors and artificially made matters. They can’t be replaced at all. Therefore, when you want the true value of herbs, you must go to wild nature, or, better still, you must do this incredible thing – you must have an herb garden that is in a sense uncultured. You must not greatly fertilize or cosset or muck about with your herbs. You must give them their natural implementation and the friendlinesses and disfriendlinesses that sent them; whereupon you will have them in their origin. And you see the importance of this in the whole of the orchard – that man will take this ridiculous Red Delicious apple – rather like a red turnip. Now somebody invented the Red Delicious apple by saving some seeds and they got one tree that was a Red Delicious. So, they said “This is a jolly good market thing – it fruits like mad – it never goes wrong – and so and so and so – so it will fetch a good price if we grow a lot of it.” So they took all the scions from it, and they grafted it and grafted it and grafted it. That’s where all the Red Delicious came from – one apple pip. And that’s where all apples and fruit come from. So, what they do, they have to wait 8-12 years to get a crop by putting that culture of man, that image of man – that scion – onto one of God’s origin roots that knows the totality. That is a crab, or one of the origin stocks that are not far removed from a crab – a cider apple, for instance. That root is so strong and so understanding of how to live in the totality, that ever after the whole of that little scion – every fruit from the tree – will be what that apple was – a Red Delicious. But every seed in the Red Delicious is not a Red Delicious. It belongs to the root. And you see, they can’t wait for 8-12 years, so what do they do? They plant scion onto man’s culture – man’s weakness – man’s self – and what do you get? Disease, illness and the word “pest” enters. And that’s what it comes from. Now all of that, disease, illness and pest by this incredible Revolutionabus, the whole law of nature, can be eradicated by using the relationships and disrelationships. If, when your stone fruits gum, as apricots and peaches and nectarines are so prone to, you will do what Lorette taught me in France – to take the acid of sorrel or Allelllllllllulya(??) which is the little wood sorrel which is twirly-whirly oxalis, if you will take the plant oxalis or sorrel and rub it in your hand, you will get what is called scientifically the stupid name oxalic acid. And if you will rub that on, after you have cleaned the wound of the gumming, you will never again get gumming. It will stop that forever. Now you see what I am saying, and a number of people will say, “oh how stupid – I don’t believe it for a moment.” But that’s the whole point. You see, anything in reality – in everything that is classical – it is so simple we can’t believe it.
Do you know that when first started in England somewhere roundabout 1600, they sold fennel. Now fennel was sold at a very big price because it was imported – it went with fish, and it became a very considerable herb, and it was imported a two and sixpence – now it’s a few cents – and people paid an incredible price for it. Suddenly some people found it on the outskirts of London – that was 400 years ago or more – and the moment it was found there, nobody could get two and sixpence a ton – they said, “this is silly – it’s a weed”. So, nobody would buy it. And they all went without – and they suffered. That’s the whole sample and it’s the whole history of the simplicity of this matter.
Now there are incredible procedures in the whole law of nature. And, you see, when you enter the approach in this manner – when a father and a mother and a family work in this way and new weeds come – new insects – new birds – will all come. And suddenly some enormous uplift has happened. The whole farm and the whole garden is better produce – is more lush – and more beautiful and less troubles. And with it, the whole magic instantly takes place – the very image which is the seed of man inside his head – his thinking – is uplifted – and through that uplift, he ascends a ladder and begins to uplift his land – and his vision is lifted, and he sees further towards where he came from. And so, you get a culture. The poetry enters life again – the beauty of which words really are formed.
Everything becomes poetic. Music is a creation of the happiness of man living in the land in ordinance – in marriage – and using the tones of the planets. And so enters architecture and the making of beautiful furniture and the building of wonderful homes and so comes the birth of children and the invect, the incredible invect of goodness into the individual. The personality that becomes lifted by this vision in the most simplest of ways.
In the relationship and disrelationship are endless variations on themes. Do you understand that when it comes to cultivation, a great many people would say, “How can I possibly make my soil breathe? I cannot cultivate below 3 feet, but Bio Dynamically, of course you can. You can cultivate to 60 feet if you want to. The seed of Lucerne with roots 60 feet down – its roots will go 60 feet into the soil. When Lucerne has gone 60 feet into the soil, to the moistures, at that period only can worms travel through the crust which they cannot enter but go into dormancy. They go down the roots and delight in deep-rooteds. So now I’m talking about shallow-rooteds and deep-rooteds – relationships and disrelationships in every form. That if you want to stop mice in your house and rats – Mentha aquatica- they can’t tolerate it – they won’t come near it. If you want to kill all the flies in your kitchen – merely boil a little Sambucus – which you would know as elderberry. Elderberry nigra – if you will boil that, or rather just simmer it, and pour it into some milk, all flies will die in the can of milk.
Well, I won’t go on, for these are endless and today we’ve given them up because we’re not interested. But they’re all there. They’re all active. Every plant has a relationship, every bird has a relationship and every insect has a relationship. And you cannot run a garden or a farm without it because they are participants and a part of the whole world and they were not made by us. And we have to learn how to behave and when we do behave, life is incredible and wonderful.
“Do you think it is of any value to talk to plants?”
Yes, I do, because I think you talk to yourself when you talk to the plants, and a conversation of that kind definitely makes an emanation. I’m sure that many people are aware that if you talk to the birds in your own way without a lot of rather stupid words, they do respond. In other words, if you sing to them, they appreciate this relationship. It’s far better than running them over with motorcars.
“Where can one obtain more information about Bio Dynamic horticulture?”
There is not a great deal written upon this subject. For one thing, people have been interested for 50 years in synthetics and have not been interested in realities. If you want any of the classic books today of real crafts, they’re very difficult to come by. The information that you refer to in this question is hardly writable in a book. Probably all art, and the art which is the law of nature being the real one, can only be handed, as it were, from a master to a student. It then becomes far more tangible and real. However, the Steiner Library – he did issue something like 6000 essays and several of them on agriculture and bees are of the most indescribable truth and wonder, and the Steiner Library is approachable and you can always get these scripts when you want them.
How do you stop birds from eating strawberries, lettuce, other things that you are raising for yourself?
There are several ways about this. The principal which I recommend is to grow those kind of plants that produce seeds and fruit that the birds love – mulberries, for instance, are more loved by birds than strawberries are. Also, the blossom of Senecio and Sonchus – producing seed add-lib – that these seeds delight the birds, as indeed does the seed of one particular plant known as Hawkweed (Hieracium). The birds go ecstatic over this just as all aphids – that is the green aphid, the grey aphid and the black aphid – go ecstatic over Nicotiana affinis, and the moment they alight on Nicotiana, the Nicotiana eats the aphid. So you get relationship and disrelationship. Other than that, there is a manipulation today known as Scalaweb. It’s made by a firm – and if anybody particularly wants the name of the firm (I’m not here to advertise, naturally) but I would give it them. But Scalaweb is a substance which you can spread in the air which falls over the plants like a temporary netting and lasts for about 3 months. And birds naturally get kind of their feet entangled slightly, and then don’t come again. The next best one if you only have a small strawberry bed, of course, is the old trick of black cotton. Black cotton spread on sticks about the strawberries and the birds come down and can’t see the black cotton and invariably touch it and get alarmed and fly off. It’s a very good old-fashioned trick. There are, of course, dozens of others. But the one thing that you really should think of in this is how to feed birds who need food. And you can’t have enough birds.
How do we repel an excess of gophers?
Endless means of dealing with them without any trouble at all. The whole family of Euphorbia is known throughout ancient California – that is whatever ancientness it has – that Euphorbia is a plant which if you grow it, or if you take the seed and scatter it in the holes of the gophers – they will not ever venture again – they can’t tolerate it. The Ricinus, the annual Ricinus – likewise; they cannot tolerate it . Snakes, of course. The gopher snakes are invaluable, and they’re very charming and you can pick them up with greatest delight and ease and take them to bed. There’s another one – I can’t think of it at the moment – my brain is not really an attic.
Snails and slugs?
There are any amount of relationship plants concerning snails and slugs. One of the important features in this matter is the use of lime in the dormancy period of fall when your crops are finished. If you had a bad infestation of slug and snail, you may dress with live lime on your surface, leave it for 3 days and then turn it in, and that will destroy the slug embryo. If, on the contrary, you don’t like doing that and you prefer a more natural inter-relationship, the use of ducks or geese or chickens upon the land within pens will get rid of the matter. Other than that, the relationship and disrelationship plants are endless. Slugs cannot tolerate, neither can snails, lavender, rosemary, chives, any of the Alliums, leeks and Anthemis nobilis, Anthemis cotula, Matricaria – they will enter near. You do know, do you not, that all the old-fashioned herb gardens and knot gardens were surrounded by lines of certain herbs. You see these in drawings. Those lines of certain herbs were planted to prevent certain animals and insects from trespassing. Thereby you do not destroy the entire nature in order to preserve what you want for yourself.
After what I have attempted to say tonight, I have nothing to say upon that – I will say something in an entirely different avenue. Emerson said, “A weed is a plant that man has not yet discovered the virtue of.” That what is called the problem of food is the lack of diligence, of good labors, of leadership of parents, and reverence and obedience in nature, our love of the whole of nature. If this goes out of our lives, and our enjoyment of it and our reality in it, I cannot see any point in discussing the Green Revolution.
How much land under the best Bio Dynamic conditions would be needed to provide 2 people with enough food year-round?
Anything you like to think of between 2 acres and 20. In the whole vision of Bio Dynamics, it has been impossible tonight to cover any area of this really well at all. But you understand that it does include an enormous aspect of what is called lay. Lay means having trees, hedges, banks, in which insects, hedgehogs, even mice live, where they should live, and having their relationship. Therefore, you have to think that your area that you wish to provide for yourself must also provide for a lot of nature. For instead of driving the plants and the birds and animals out of the whole area where man lives, we must, in this vision, invite them in.
Are greenhouses used or relevant to Bio Dynamics and if so, couldn’t they reduce the land area that you just commented on?
Yes, indeed they do and are invaluable. There is an area in which you have to survey where is man ordained by the Revolutionabus to live. Where is it adjustable for him to live? Where is it adjustable for certain of nature to live where man does not interfere? Those things have got to be taken into account. But the use of greenhouses – the use of what is called in France bell and cloche, and cold frames and hot frames are invaluable. You could live, if I may dare say so, in Northern California, in the regions of the ice, just as you would in Los Angeles if you have glass houses and frames. The cold frames are in a sense a better production than glass houses are. They are more natural and produce better quality of flowers and vegetables and out of season matters. Nevertheless, I add to that statement that where people might think of growing all the year round – strawberries, for instance, under glass, or carrots, or lettuce, you must also remember that a system of clamping, which means storing your vegetables in mounds, is an excellent way of having fresh vegetables the whole year round instead of freezing or tinning, which is extremely unreal and very unsatisfying.
This is not my business. Mr. Rodale’s son is carrying on. He did unquestionably bring to the United States of America the vision of a new approach – the approach of consideration of nature. The version of ordinary organic growing is not the vision of Bio Dynamic, but they are completely in line, and as far as I understand, both the publication of Rodale’s magazine and the work is being carried on most adroitly and expertly. They have even carried it to China and Japan recently, I understand.
You say that they are in line but they’re not exactly the same vision. Could you expand on that?
The expansion on that must cover the areas that I have spoken of tonight. The enormous consideration of the immensity of the planetary system Now ordinarily, a farmers’ almanac will tell you when to sow seeds and when not to sow seeds. But the whole vision into the planets will even tell you when you can plant a forest with success and when you cannot. And when to do this and when to do that – absolutely to a detail. Apart from that, this whole view of relationship and disrelationship and the aspect, the enormous aspect – of the importance of herbs and origins. And again the aspect of the production of seed, which is a Bio Dynamic view, and beyond all of it, the most important of them all, which does not enter into ordinary organic growing at all, is that known in the Bio Dynamic as Claire-voyee – which means that whatever you do in the garden or farm, you build an avenue whereby for all the beauty of the plants and the animals and insects, the birds that you have – your vision is led by this Claire-voyee, this planning – to carry your eyes out of your surroundings – over the hedge, through the fields, over the forests, over the mountains, into the starts – forever – for vision. That is something that is not dealt with in any other horticultural procedure. Without vision, we can fall into all the pitfalls of which we are at the moment practically buried.
I do not for a moment make any statement about being unnecessary as regards to fertilization. The thought about plant food is ridiculous. Plants live by breathing warm moist gasses, both through the atmosphere and through the roots. Plants have roots in the air and leaves in the soil. And with the ratio of the planetary system cycle, plants live sometimes all the time, sometimes they sleep at night when the moon is declining, and when the sun is declining and the moon is declining, they sleep altogether and go into declination. They do not live as we do and do not eat as we do. The word that I used earlier was the word fertility, and fertility is a combination of cultivation, fertilization, propagation, air, moisture, and the four elements intermarried in the proper degree with the whole of the skin of the soil protected as a thermal control. That is part of the French Intensive system.
Sources for standard fruit trees, not hybrid?
Yes, there are, because they exist in nature and must ever be. I would recommend – one is reticent about publicity in such a thing as a lecture of this sort – but I myself know a Swiss who has been growing perfect fruit trees on Long Island at M? His name is Duttart. He grows a perfect stock with all the beautiful cultures of apples and pears that have practically ever been known – that constitutes probably 500 varieties of great, great perfection. Also, of course, there are nurseries in Europe and other places which do produce classic fruit trees, but you have to get permits, but you can get them. And the nursery in Europe can, with your request, give the necessary procedures into the hands of the ministries to pay for the shipment – possibly by air.
The project came about through Freya, Countess von Moltke, the Chancellor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, who both believed that this particular system of Bio Dynamics was something that would be an uplift in the view of their education procedure – either – it might not have been education, it might have been procedure – it might have been a form of excited happiness. This project was brought to life – I was brought to the University and found it enchanting and agreed to do it. And we created a garden at the University which a majority of the student children came to really love and adore and find great pleasure in. They often trod on the plants. They often pulled them up, and they did very monstrous things, and they did very magical and beautiful things. And within themselves, they found an affinity between their very souls and the soul which is in the creation in gardens, and a magic took place and I think that many of those students, for one meets them almost every day, and they express their happiness and are productive and have beautiful produce and home gardens.
This project is now at Covelo and apprentices come there – there are neither fees nor salaries and they come there and study this procedure of horticulture. Added to it are all of the arts and crafts being added slowly that are part of man’s life – things that he actually makes with his hands – which include also such things as music, painting, even mime and dance and deportment and voice therapy. Almost all things including weaving, basket making, furniture making, and house building. Many of these have not even yet, of course, been anywhere near begun. Most of them haven’t. We’ve only been operating at the new farm for 6 months. It is a vison and it is open, but we have limitations at the moment because we have not got sufficient land or tutors, but it is all supported and proceeding and the members that are there are excellent and very sincere, and it is really backed and looked over by a Mr. Richard Wilson, who is a very great environmental political worker and a land owner/farmer, and he believes that this project is probably the answer that he’s looking for to a classic form of agriculture.