Water is fundamental to Biodynamics, as it is to all life. In biodynamics, Water is used to dilute biodynamic spray preparations, teas, liquid manures and decoctions. Three of the nine so-called “Biodynamic preparations” are used as vineyard sprays – horn manure ‘500’ on the soil, horn silica ‘501’ for the atmosphere, and common horsetail or Equisetum arvense ‘508′ for disease prevention. A fourth spray, made from valerian flowers, is poured into a hole in the Biodynamic compost pile, but it may also be sprayed directly on vineyard soil to limit potential damage from frost.
Water is also required for other plant-based teas (stinging nettle, chamomile, yarrow, dandelion and many others), decoctions (oak bark, willow, stinging nettle) and liquid fertilisers (seaweed, comfrey, stinging nettle).
Tap or mains water is deemed unsuitable, being too hard (alkaline) and because it contains (added) fluoride and chlorine, as well as nitrate (fertilizer) and pesticide residues from agricultural run-off. Although these cannot be removed, chlorine levels can at least be reduced by aerating the water either by passing it through a hose with a sprinkler head or splashing it into a container which is left uncovered.
Water from a fresh chalk stream (like the one above in the water meadows at St Cross, Winchester, England) is ideal for Biodynamics, although some wine growers slightly lower (acidify) the pH of alkaline spring or river water with cider or vine vinegar before using it.
Water carries the beneficial ‘etheric formative forces’ the biodynamic preparations contain onto the land and into the crops growing there, and thus into us when we eat those crops, helping our physical and mental well-bearing.
The majority of our bodies consists of water, and without it we die. Water is key to a healthy organism, be it a human one or a self-sustaining living organism, Biodynamic-speak for a healthy farm, or vineyard.