Bio Dynamics and Permaculture By Govind Kumar
After seeing the negative effects of industrial agricultural methods, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren developed Permaculture, which can be defined as agro ecological culture or alternate agriculture. The industrial agri methods were reducing biodiversity, poisoning water and land and removing billions of tonnes of topsoil from previously fertile landscapes. The solution is Permaculture, with emphasis on ecosystems and organic bio farming.
Based on ecological and biological principles, using natural patterns to minimise work and maximise results, Permaculture is sustainable use of land design.
Permaculture was first practised by the Austrian farmer, Sepp Holzer and later this theory was scientifically developed by the Australian farmers, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. In Permaculture, the eco processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, weather cycles and climatic factors are used. “Wastes” become resources, work is minimised and yields and productivity increase. For instance, the farmers in India use the Vedic Astronomic Calender for planting seeds. This is using the Weather Cycles. Using Jnattuvelas or Sun’s ingresses into the constellations, seeds are planted. There is a time to sow and a time to reap and why not use Astrology for planting seeds ? ( For instance, today, the 25th of May, is the beginning of the Rohini Jnattuvela, when the Sun enters the constellation of Rohini. It rained yesternight. It also rained in the afternoon. Using the Vedic Astrologic Calender, the weather cycles can be known. The next Jnattuvela, Makiryam Jnattuvela, will be fiercer, as far as rains are concerned. It will be raining cats and dogs during Thiruvathira Jnattuvela. Such indications are given by the Astrologic Calender ).
The aim of Permaculture is to increase yields and productivty, without damaging the ecosystems.
Biodynamics is part of Anthroposophy, the system developed by Rudolf Steiner. According to this method of Organic Farming, all farms are individual organisms. BD emphasises balancing the interrelationship of plants, animals, soil etc with its holistic development as a self nourishing system, sans external inputs.
BD is practised in 50 countries worldwide today. BD developed as a result of 8 lectures given by the founder of Anthroposophy, R Steiner. Steiner prescribed nine different preparations to aid fertilisation. He believed that these preparations transferred celestial and terrestrial forces into the soil The first two are used for preparing fields and the other seven for making compost. Field preparations included buring cow dung into the soil.
Astronomic Planting Calendar
The farmers of India use the Calendar for planting seedlings. For instance, normally the planting of seeds is done on Vishu 8, when the Sun enters the 8th degree of sidereal Aries. The phases of the Moon and other celestial influences on soil and plant development are considered.
The Vedic Calendar is sidereal and is based on the twelve months starting from Mesha ( Aries ) to Meena ( Pisces).The farmers of Kerala say that if you dont water the plants during the summer months of Capricorn, Aquarius & Pisces, you will get no agri product in Gemini and Cancer. Aries is chosen for planting because it marks the end of summer and the beginning of the rainy season in Kerala. As the Sun stops his Northern progress ( Uttarayana ) and starts his Southern progress ( Dakshinayana ), the cold winds from the Indian Ocean hit the Himalayas and orographically enhanced precipitation occurs. Actually the winds are south easterly, but because of the Coriolic Force, produced by the rotation of the earth, the winds become south westerly. The six months from Makara ( Capricorn ) are Uttarayana ( Sun's declination north ) and six months from Kataka ( Cancer ) is his Dakshinayana ( Sun's declination south ).
The word monsoon is derived from the Sanskrit "masam" and the Hindi "mausam". From the 15th of Edavam ( Taurus ), on May 29th, as the South West Moonsoon hits coastal Kerala first, Kerala gets plenty of rains and when rains subside in September, Thula Varsham or the North East Monsoon steps in with rains again and the farmers of Kerala do not have to water their plants till Dhanus ( Sagittarius ). Only during the five months, from Dhanus ( Sagittarius ) to Mesha ( Aries), the plants need water, as during these months, rainfalls are almost nil. and the farmer can relax in the next seven months ! Blessed are Keralites due to the South West and the North East Monsoons !