The biodynamic compost preparations which we treat our compost heaps with are unusual to say the least. None more so than the dandelion ‘prep’ or BD506 as it is otherwise known. The reason dandelion is used is because of the sensitivity that it is able to imbue to compost after the flowers have spent the winter underground wrapped in the mesentery of a cow . It aids the workings of two of the key elements required for healthy soil and strong plant growth – silica and potassium.
The plant is closely associated with the planet Jupiter (think of the shape of the dandelion seed clock). The other plants that are used to treat compost are yarrow, chamomile, oak bark, nettle and valerian. These too have planetary connections. Indeed biodynamics is primarily about connections between our earth and the surrounding cosmos and the way in which we can find closer connections between the two for the benefit of plants, soil and therefore us.
Right now at the end of April the dandelion is ready to pick. It is dried and then placed into the mesentery, which acts as a kind of conduit for this sensitivity, and buried underground for the winter at the Autumn Equinox. It is then dug up at the Spring Equinox and is ready for use.
The flowers are ready to pick when the centres remain closed as in the image i.e. before pollination has taken place. They should be dried out of direct sun, but in the warm, and stored in a kilner jar once they are fully dry. The joining with the mesentery does not happen until burial time.
If there is any way to try and grasp how our earthly planet fits in to the heavens, it is surely through the practice of biodynamics. Pure joy.