Re: Re: re. "proving" biodynamic techniques

In article , jhaskett@asrr.arsusda.gov writes:

> Citations for the biodynamic research would be very helpful. 
> Why should the biodynamic techniques only work in the context
> of the whole farm. Does this mean that they are not applicable
> or loose their efficacy if applied at a smaller, say, garden
> scale? If so, why should this be? If the technique like designation
> 502 has a benefit for some portion of a field why shouldn't a 
> viable experimental plot size be determinable? Then setting up
> a randomized block design that takes into account potential 
> edge effects if relatively easy. What features of the rest of
> the farm are necessary in this context for designation 502 to
> work, and why couldn't they be included in the experiment?
> Cheers,
> Jonathan Haskett
You're doing a really great job of keeping us focussed on BD - not 
easy in these discussions.  The point about the whole farm is that the 
preps will work to a certain extent but it is the 'whole picture' 
approach that probably defines or distinguishes bd in the wider 
context of sustainable or organic farming.  Pfeiffer published Three 
Introductory Articles which detailed the bacterial activity in each of 
the preparations starting with the unprepared plant or mineral 
material and comparing it with the end product and eventually I 
believe with treated composts - still looking for the reference!
But like many environmentalists/ecologists and even health 
professionals the BD farmer emphasises the farm as a whole comprising 
innumerable individual components.  Over emphasise or neglect one link 
and the trickle down effect can be very deleterious.  As other 
correspondents have pointed out - people more qualified than I - this 
is where the need for longterm research lies, but that very time frame 
is often one of the off-putting factors.  Day to day living and market 
requirements call for quick fix solutions.
It's not to say the preps for instance don't work in a limited 
condition, but that any one aspect is not the criterion of bd.  The 
healthy and nutritionally balanced soil grows unstressed nutritional 
plants that in turn provide unstressed healthy animals, including 
human beings.  Unstressed and nutritionally balanced plants and 
animals are more able to withstand pests and disease.  This is a 
recognised factor in animal and human health.
Pfeiffer's research, early thought it was, showed that the 
preparations brought in microbial activity directly related to 
particular 'nutrients' (my word for lack of a better one) along with a 
very wide range of trace elements.  Don't forget that at this stage - 
late 40s/early 50s ? - zinc and selenium deficiencies in livestock, 
for instance, had not been identified.
There is some research being conducted here at Massey University 
comparing dairy farms conventionally managed with bd dairy farms.  I'm 
not sure of the exact parameters and whether they would meet your 
Regards, Valerie