Welcome to the Biodynamic Gardening Report

BGR_logo_final_strokeWelcome to the Biodynamic Gardening Report: it’s like the surf report but for gardening by the moon. If we could ask them, agricultural practitioners over the centuries would confirm that certain parts of the monthly moon cycle consistently appear to be some of the very best days for edible plant production, like when the moon is in the part of the sky with the constellations Cancer or Scorpio.

If you’re a new gardener, you owe it to yourself to pay attention to the biodynamic growing cycles and make sure you schedule time to plant in the garden on these most fruitful days. It makes garden success easier to achieve by directing you to the ideal tasks to pursue on the most advantageous days across the month. It’s also important to avoid working in the garden on barren days. With the waxing and waning power of the moon’s gravitational pull, edible garden practitioners who follow the lunar calendar recognize the connection of the moon’s location and phase to better and worse days for cultivating in terms of plant health and hardiness.

In the first iteration of the Biodynamic Gardening Report with farmer Ralph Johnson of San Luis Obispo County starting in 2014, we modeled curiosity and openness about what frankly sounded like a rather flaky approach to agriculture, such as burying in your yard, farm, or vineyard a cow horn filled with fresh cow manure and then digging it up six months later. This is actually a natural way to produce mycorrhizae, which helps plant roots better absorb nutrients, resulting in stronger plants.  We learned a lot about getting the garden in balance from this experience and have been using these principles over the past five years. This approach to gardening works, as you will see and hear in future episodes and posts.

In this new project, we’ll revisit highlights from the original podcast and feature fresh insights, including interviews with biodynamic vineyard managers and winemakers, biodynamic compost producers, and biodynamic hemp farmers, among others. Going forward, new episodes of the Biodynamic Gardening Report will present our plant successes (and inevitable failures) as well as guidance about what we’ve found that works for growing food in cooperation with nature and without agricultural poisons.

Biodynamic Gardening Report for June 20-30, 2020

>> New Moon on June 20 initiates the Waxing Crescent phase, which lasts until June 27. Moonlight increases in this lunar phase and the gravitational pull is the strongest. It’s a good time for cultivating aboveground plants, especially leafy greens.

June 20th
Not a good day for planting.
{Moon in Gemini June 20}
June 21st – 22nd
Excellent day for planting flowers, grains, herbs, cucumbers, and leafy greens.
*Most fruitful days* {Moon in Cancer June 21-23}
June 23rd – 26th
Not good days for planting.
{Moon in Leo June 23-25 and in Virgo June 25-26}
June 27th – 28th
Good day for planting flowers, grains, herbs, cucumbers, and leafy greens.
{Moon in Libra June 27-29}
>> First Quarter on June 28 initiates the Waxing Gibbous phase, which lasts until July 4. Moonlight becomes stronger in this lunar phase and the gravitational energy has reduced pull. It’s a good time for cultivating aboveground plants.
June 29th – 30th
Excellent day for planting aboveground crops
*Most fruitful days* {Moon in Scorpio June 29-July 1}

At the Ecological Farming Association Conference in Pacific Grove in January 2020, we were powerfully impressed by the message from Black activist farmer and author Leah Penniman. Please take some time to listen to her compelling keynote presentation explaining the many innovations African farmers developed for growing food in deep connection with the earth that have been adopted by people around the world and across the centuries. We owe such a debt to these Ur African farmers for developing an array of foundational agricultural practices for a healthy and nurturing approach to growing food. 

On the weekend we remember Juneteenth, which marks the date when the news about the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached the last remaining enslaved people in Texas (two years after its passage), let’s recenter Leah Penniman’s message and her amazing book Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land. This beautiful and resource-filled guide includes information on Ms. Penniman’s personal and collective journey as a co-founder of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York. Her author note describes this farm as “a people-of-color-led project that works to dismantle racism in the food system through a low-cost fresh-food delivery service for people living under food apartheid.” Soul Fire Farm also offers “training programs for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous aspiring farmer activists, Uprooting Racism training for food justice leaders, and regional-national-international coalition building between farmers of color advocating for policy shifts and reparations.” Those of us who believe in the possibility of a more fair food system and are looking for tools can find answers in this revolutionary book.

Growing your own food, even if it’s just a box of lettuce and a few tomato plants, is a type of liberation from our broken food system. Edible gardening puts power back into your own hands, in so many ways. “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley from South Los Angeles explains in his famous TED Talk how “growing your own food is like printing your own money.” He’s offering a MasterClass that provides the tools for anyone with commitment and creativity to learn how to garden and print your own money, er… grow some of your own food. Edible gardening is as good for your mental health as it can be for your home economics. Our podcast channels this positive energy from activist gardeners like Ron Finley and activist farmers like Leah Penniman to provide helpful tools for changing the world from your own garden plot and from within yourself. It’s possible: let’s make it so.


Not strict dogma, the Biodynamic Gardening Report highlights the best days for working in the garden and the times of the month to focus on maintenance tasks but do no planting. Want to figure this out on your own? It’s an artsy science and, ultimately, a predictable schedule for edible gardening.

  1. Determine the phase of the moon for select date so as to identify the types of plants that do best in which phase—leafy greens and other aboveground crops that develop seeds outside the fruit after the New Moon, fruiting plants and aboveground crops that develop seeds inside the fruit after the Second Quarter, and root vegetables after the Full Moon. It’s recommended to let the garden rest in the Fourth Quarter
  2. Determine the constellation through which the moon moves over a course of 2-3 days so you can determine the relative productivity of the day based on this information. For example, Scorpio, Taurus, Cancer, and Pisces are some of the most productive days to plant, transplant, and work in the garden.
  3. Consult the Farmer’s Almanac to learn whether it’s a good day or not for working in the garden, field or vineyard.

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