By The Light of the Moon

Did anyone happen to catch a glimpse of the Super Blood Wolf Moon last week? We caught it as it neared fullness last Sunday evening, before it took on its red hue (needless to say we didn’t fancy getting up at 5am to see it in its full bloody splendour!), but even then it was pretty astonishing.

If you’ve been following us on Instagram lately, you’ll know that we’re lucky enough to witness the most incredible sunrises from our new home, as it faces eastwards. The same can be said of the moonrise, and last week’s full moon was particularly spectacular. Rather thrillingly, my brother bought us a telescope for Christmas, so we got it out last Sunday and faffed around with the lenses until we got a decent view. I took the above picture by placing the camera lens of my phone over the viewfinder on the telescope and snapping away. I’m sure there are more professional methods to get a full moon close-up, but I was quite happy with how it turned out!

Staring at the moon got me thinking about biodynamic planting – has anyone ever tried it? It sounds rather intriguing. It involves (among many other things), sowing and harvesting crops according to the phases of the moon as, much like the power it wields over the tides, the moon is also thought to exert an influence over the water in the soil and inside plants. By working with the moon phases, it is believed that crop yields will improve. It may sound a little bit like hippy claptrap (and Ade has raised a doubtful eyebrow whenever I’ve mentioned it previously), but those who do garden using biodynamic methods swear by it. It’s also nothing new. Farmers have planted according to the phases of the moon for thousands of years.

There are many other elements to biodynamic gardening; the position of the planets are also thought to have an effect, and certain preparations are used to enliven the soil. It’s one step on from organic gardening, where the gardener treats the garden as a whole, integrated, living organism, made up of many elements (plants, soil, animals, etc.), and it is thought that by harmonising these elements in a holistic way, you can support the health and vitality of the whole.

Although we haven’t even built our new vegetable garden yet (and Ade is beside himself, desperate to make a start!), I’m keen to run some experiments later in the year, to see if there really are any benefits to biodynamic methods.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear if you’ve tried it!




6 thoughts on “By The Light of the Moon

  1. No, I’ve not tried biodynamic gardening, just read about it. There does seem to be some logic in its philosophy, although it could turn out to be something like homeopathy. However, no harm in giving it a whirl and reporting back.

    As for the moon last week, I was totally amazed by its size. Didn’t see its red colouring but my daughter did on the way to school.

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  2. Although I do not do biodynamic gardening, I remember planting according to phases of the moon, only because that was what the schedule was based on. I would use the modern calendar now, just because it is what I am familiar with. I suppose it would be easier to go back to a lunar calendar nowadays, with so much more available online.

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  3. I remember a visit to Ryton where one of the GO gardener’s swore it made a difference. I have, I confess recently purchased a book on Biodynamic Gardening and am currently reading up about it!

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  4. I’m not sufficiently tuned into the phases of the moon to make a success of this but love the sound of it. Sowing and harvesting guided by the planets is just one aspect of biodynamic growing – a friend told me of Steiner’s ideas many years ago. Have you read Plot 29 by Allan Jenkins? He and Howard Sooley have a shared allotment and swear by biodynamic principles – even going to the plot to stir up a mix of cow manure fertiliser on a cold January day! Good luck with it, I say! 😀

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