What is Demeter Biodynamic Certification?

Biodynamic Gardening Report 36—Jan. 23-29, 2015

EcoFarmLogoFarmer Ralph Johnson and I sported MEDIA badges at this year’s EcoFarm, an ecological farming conference at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove. Coastal Pacific Grove and this lovely center—designed by architect Julia Morgan—perches on the rocky shoulder of the Northern Central Coast just west of Monterey. We always enjoy returning to Ed Ricketts country. Thanks EcoFarm for the media passes!

Demeter-Green-125x200On the last day of this outstanding conference and networking event, we recorded a short interview with Elizabeth Candelario, Co-Director of the Demeter USA biodynamic certification program and President of Stellar Certification Services. Ralph discussed with her how Jrjohnson Biodynamic Farms can become certified biodynamic through Demeter. At EcoFarm, Ralph secured all the preparations required to get his farm certified biodynamic, which he plans to do by next year’s conference.

  • Scroll for photos of the polyculture at Quivira Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County where Elizabeth Candelario was first inspired with the rich philosophy and practice of biodynamic agriculture.

We hope you enjoy this extra special interview. Thanks Elizabeth!


Central Coast Foodie and farmer Ralph Johnson in Pacific Grove

The week begins with the moon in Pisces this Friday. Pisces, a water sign, is a moist and productive sign. It’s the second best for planting and transplanting. As it is right after a new moon, it’s is a great time to plant leafy greens. Pisces is good for most crops.

JRJO_logoOn Saturday and Sunday the moon is in Aries. It is dry and barren so no planting. Rather, you should work ground and/or get rid of pests.  On Monday and Tuesday the moon is in Taurus, an earth sign which is moist and productive.

Taurus is another second best day for planting and transplanting: it’s good for most crops.

Ending the week, on Wednesday and Thursday the moon is in Gemini. It is dry and barren. If you want you seeds to rot, plant on these days.

—Ralph Johnson

herb spiral at Quivira Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
polyculture is key—raised beds and row crops add diversity to vineyards
the tasting room August 2009
Quivira grows herbs and vegetables for local restaurants

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.


—music: “Badfish” by Sublime

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