Pest and Weed 'Peppers' Revisited
IPM, Mice, Rotting Seeds, Pathogen Vectors and Microcosmic Images of Eclipses
Voiceover available below
Anything we try to do in biodynamics already exists as a process in Nature. Likewise, anything that is internalized by any organism through the process of evolution already pre-existed as a possibility in the greater world. When we handle pest "peppers,"1 we should consider what macrocosmic process this might replicate from nature. It may be helpful to begin with Rudolf Steiner’s image of a wet winter and a wet spring in the Agriculture Course.
In winter, the Sun’s effect above ground tends to be relatively muted and the earth has a tendency to refill with water. As the absence of yang suggests an increase of yin energy, the withdrawal of the Sun enhances the opposite qualities, which one might refer to as “lunar” in an alchemical sense.2 But if a wet winter is followed by a wet spring, this one-sided surplus of “moon forces” stimulates all sorts of so-called “fire” diseases (e.g., fire blight and corn smut). Rotten seeds may result.
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In Steiner’s words: “[L]et us suppose that the lunar influence, is too strong — that the earth is too powerfully vitalised — then the forces working upwards become too strong, and what should happen in the seed formation occurs earlier.”3 The sort of seed chaos that should occur up in the seed arises down below instead in the form of diseases. The seed itself never reaches its balanced completion. If there is a superabundance of “moon” forces, the seed-forming process is compromised in our mild garden plants and we see abundant growth of weeds.
Excessively wet conditions are a throwback to an earlier time of earth evolution, where plants thrived in fog and water, and produced primitive precursors of seeds (spores) on their leaves the way primitive plants like ferns still do today.4 This is to say, the seed potential arose on the leaves themselves and had not yet fully differentiated itself as we see in our garden plants today. To mute the effects of this holdover from an earlier watery epoch, we must reach into the future with fire.5
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