Biodynamic Terminology


Dynamic Practices influence both the biological and metaphysical aspects of the farm by increasing the vital life forces and adapting the farm to the natural rhythms of the cosmos.

Anthroposophy: The study of man and his spiritual relationship with the universe.

Ashing: Along with incorporating biological practices, such as cultivating and cover cropping to control weeds, Marian Farms uses the dynamic practice of ashing. This homeopathic technique is considered a weed remedy. The practice involves gathering the seeds or roots of the problematic weed and burning them when the moon is in a fire sign, preferably Leo. The ashes are then  ground in a mortar and pestle. We dilute the concentrated material with water and spray the infected area. According to the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, ashing prevents the Moon from exerting its full influence on the weeds.

Cosmic rhythms: The movement and presence of the sun, moon, planets and stars contribute to the life, growth and form of the plant. The movement or rhythm of each cosmic force can be incorporated in the timing of ground preparation, sowing, cultivation and harvest of a crop.

Herbal compost preparations: Developed to help regulate biological processes as well as enhance and strengthen the life forces on the farm. Steiner came up with nine preparations for the purpose of enhancing soil quality and stimulating plant life. They consist of mineral, plant, or animal extracts; some are aged or fermented and applied in small proportions to compost piles, soil, or directly onto plants. An example of a homeopathic remedy for fungal diseases in plants is preparation 508, which is prepared from silica-rich horsetail (Equisetum arvense). This is one of many examples of biodynamic herbal preparations which replace toxic synthetic chemicals.

Homeopathic field sprays: A small amount of biodynamic preparations is diluted and used as a soil or foliar spray. An example of a field spray would be biodynamic preparations 500 or 501. Preparation 501 — horn silica — is made from powdered quartz and cow horn; it is diluted into water and applied as a foliar spray. Water is the carrier, therefore the energy which comes from the preparation is released when it is stirred into a water solution. This preparation stimulates and regulates plant growth.

Planetary rhythms: Lunar and astrological cycles play a key role in timing biodynamic practices, such as the making of biodynamic preparations and planting and cultivation schedules. Recognition of celestial influences on plant growth are part of the biodynamic consciousness which recognizes that subtle energy forces affect biological systems. The most prominently known biodynamic agricultural calendar in the United States is Stella Natura. It contains daily and monthly astrological details, and lists suggested times for planting root, leaf, flowering, and fruiting crops.

Whole farm organism: An agricultural philosophy and practice which limits the amount of materials imported onto the farm by creating all nutrient inputs on the farm. For example, growing medicinal herbs for homeopathic applications, and maintaining livestock on the farm to supply manure for compost.


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Demeter Certified

Certified by the Demeter Association. This certification exceeds the standards of the U.S. National Organic Program

Biodynamic Raisins

Marian Farms raisins are made from the very grapes that make their Biodynamic table grapes so popular – the delicious, juicy Thompson Seedless grapes.

Artisan Distillation

We practice the old-world technique of artisan, small-batch distillation in a copper pot still.