Sunday, January 8, 2012

cosmic gardening :: burying the seeds

No, I haven't tried to sow my seeds in January in New Hampshire.  But you may remember that I'm taking a class on Biodynamic gardening, and it it common practice to bury your seeds in the middle of winter.

According to Rudolf Steiner, humans, plants and animals are all subject to planetary forces that work within us.  If you have ever felt anxious about heading into winter in September, or an inner sense of stillness in midwinter, or dreamy and unfocused in late spring or early summer, you have experienced these forces in your soul.  You can work to understand these forces by meditating on the weekly verses Steiner presents in the Calendar of the Soul.

In agriculture and gardening, these forces are also evident.  The Moon, Mercury and Venus forces work with the Sun to influence all that happens in plant life above the surface of the Earth.  Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, on the other hand, reign underground.  Supposedly their forces are particularly strong the two weeks after the Winter Solstice, and seeds buried about a foot underground (in a natural, watertight container), benefit from these forces and produce healthier, stronger plants.

As part of my biodynamics training, I am doing a project wherein I promised to bury seeds over the holidays and plant them along with a control group to see how they compare.

So as my children, my sister and her husband were comfortably snuggling into the sofa in front of the woodstove following a sumptious dinner on Christmas Eve, my dear husband (bless him) and I put on our coats and headlamps (we may have remembered this taks a little late in the day- ahem!) and headed outside with a jar of carefully covered seeds.  Luckily I had dug a bed in the fall and it wasn't too, too cold, so the ground was not frozen.  The soil was soft and loose, so it was an easier job than I anticipated.  Just as we were finishing up, it began to snow.

I picked two different kind of lettuce seeds in hopes they may mature by June

Two labeled envelopes in a small jar securely taped

The seeds stayed in the ground from December 24 until January 6.  Last Friday began sunny and surprisingly warm (in the 40's), though when I began to dig later in the afternoon, the ground was fairly solidly frozen.

Always mark where you bury things!

There it is (the little white circle)! Note the bricks on the sides to protect the jar from breaking while being dug up.

I love how the picture shows the ice crystals in the top 4-6 inches of soil.  Underneath it was loose and soft.

I will share my findings with you here after the seeds are planted.  On my way back to the shed I found these little lovelies smiling at me:

Have a great week!

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