This morning was a particulary early start, with an opportunity to spray the 501 preparation (horn silica). Finely ground quartz that has spent the summer months buried underground in a cow horn is stirred for one hour in the same way as for the other spray preparations. Using rain water we stir vigorously in opposing directions creating a vortex by which the forces and influences from the heavens can penetrate. We use the horn silica spray mainly in the spring and summer months. It helps to enhance the qualities of growth and especially during the maturing and later fruiting processes. It is believed that the use of 501 improves the quality of vegetables, fruit and grass by enhancing sugar content and dry matter. Not only does this help with the keeping qualities, but we believe that the flavours are enriched enourmously.
Silica is the main constituent of the Earth’s crust (47%). The atmosphere also contains finely dispersed amounts. The fact that silica is found in sense organs (skin, eyes, nerves) makes us aware of its relationship to light. Industrial uses of quartz are in glass, optical instruments and for information technology. Very finely ground quartz has a large light-reflecting surface area. For use in Biodynamics, this finely ground quartz is placed into Cow horns, which are then buried in the soil to expose the silica to the light and warmth of summer. Once the horns are dug up from the ground in the Autumn, small amounts of the quartz are then stirred in water for one hour and sprayed onto the plants. This preparation (501) conveys light qualities that have been transformed by the summer processes in the soil. This light energy promotes and organises plant metabolism.
We apply the spray in the early mornings whilst the dew is still present. A good bright morning is ideal as this helps to enchance the influence of light and gives the plant an oppurtunity to benefit fully from the spray. The prepartion is applied in a fine mist over the plants and the soil around them. As we do this in the early morning before many folk have risen from their beds, we are sure that the odd passer by must wonder what we are doing and may think that we are up and about spraying nasties before anyone can see us! Not the case.
The application of the 501 is an essential part of our certification as Biodynamic growers.
Talking of fruiting processes, we have lots of delicious sweet and beautiful looking strawberries for sale this week. Raspberries are in late flower and should be ripe in a month or so. New poatoes are also about a month away, so for the time being we will be selling Jersey Royals bought from our wholesaler. Lettuce again this week fro Fern Verrow. Fresh onions, radish and salad bags. More peas and broad beans also.
This week we have bacon and gammon joints for sale and some sliced cooked ham. I have ordered another of the outstanding lamb that we had from Model Farm for NEXT week. We are very impressed by the sweet texture and flavour of this lamb, and believe this is due to the fact that the lambs have only been fed on mohers milk and spring grass. This proves to us that meat too is seasonal.