Ryan Collins
 
March 5, 2012 | Viticulture & Sustainability | Ryan Collins

Biodynamic Farming: following the moon

What most of us may not notice is that like the sun, the moon has a similar pattern when traveling through the night sky. The difference between the sun and the moon is that the moon’s cycle is only 27.3 days instead of one year. When the moon is progressively getting higher in the sky, we say the moon is ‘ascending’ and when it is getting lower in the sky we call this ‘descending.’ We believe these rhythms are akin to the seasons. For example, the ascending period is like spring & summer and the descending is like fall & winter. During the ascending period, we believe there is a subtle shift of the energy to what is above the ground. During the descending period, the energy is shifted inward to the soil and roots. By altering certain practices to work with these lunar rhythms, we are trying to work with the rhythms of life and reinforce these rhythms to the organisms on the farm.

Some examples of how we work in the vineyard with these rhythms are:
Descending moon  (energy directed inward to soil and roots)
1.    Pruning  the vines
2.    Planting dormant vines
3.    Making and spreading compost
4.    Cultivating
5.    Spraying preparation 500 and barrel compost*
Ascending moon (energy directed above the ground)
1.    Spraying preparation 501*
2.    Harvesting fruits, vegetables and flowers
3.    Sowing seeds – Although germination happens below the ground, there is an upward striving in the plant

*Biodynamic Preparations

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