Happy Equinox and Kicking Aphids to the Curb

Biodynamic Gardening Report 44—March 20-26, 2015

biodynamic cow horn preparation

cow horn awaits the Vernal Equinox & filling with quartz crystals

Happy Vernal Equinox! The days now have enough sunshine for the successful planting of summer veg such as beans and basil. We met out at Jrjohnson Biodynamic Farms to record this episode because that’s where farmer Ralph keeps the tools to grind up the quartz crystals for the cow horn biodynamic preparation that he do at his field each year at the precise moment of the equinox. Had to grind up enough quartz in the pole pounder to fill up the cow horn we’re going to bury at the Spice house soon after the equinox. Do I feel like a witch? No, but it definitely seems unusual to assemble these natural preparations that promise improvements in the health and efficiency of our wanna-be-permaculture yard. We’ll see what happens: stay tuned!

Hot tip: smudging with dried sage smoke one’s not especially well ventilated greenhouse is a great accompaniment to spraying aphid-susceptible plants with neem oil. Easiest control of aphids in our greenhouse ever!



The week starts out with the moon being new and in Aries on Friday and Saturday. It’s a fire sign which is dry and barren. No planting on this day.

Sunday and Monday, the moon is in Taurus. It’s a earth sign which is moist and productive. Good days to plant most above ground crops.

Tuesday and Wednesday the moon is in Gemini. It’s an air sign which is dry and barren. Work ground, get rid of weeds and pests. Melons respond well  to this sign.

On Thursday, the moon is in Cancer. It’s a water sign which is moist and very fruitful. Best day to plant and transplant above ground crops. Great for leafy greens, peas, and beans.

—Ralph Johnson

Biodynamic gardening principles—some of the most ancient agricultural practices on the planet—require the farmer’s attention to moon phases and constellations to pursue the most effective gardening and farming practices on any given day in the month. San Luis Obispo County farmer Ralph Johnson of Jrjohnson Biodynamic Farms provides insight into how the moon’s phases affect gardening success.


—photo: Ralph Johnson

—music: “Badfish” by Sublime

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