The summer has been long, hot and dry as well as and busy with harvests and keeping the water up to the trees. Preparations for a new covered orchard, mainly for our own use is underway but Autumn heralds our 30th chestnut harvest. Every morning we start picking up the fallen chestnuts which are then graded and put into the cold room. After a short maturation, where the starches start turning to sugars, they are available direct from our farm shop and then to keep you warm , roasted in Stirling an weekends .
Another very important event happens here in Autumn. Members of the Adelaide Hills Biodynamic Group come together to make the preparations that underpin the Biodynamic method of farming and gardening. This is an important day as old hands share their wisdom with new members.The day started with the filling of the cow horns with manure to make horn manure or 500. The horns are then buried and spend winter underground while the earth is most active. By Spring the manure has been transformed into a humus rich substance ready to be stirred and spread on the land.
Next job is to make 5 of the 6 compost preparations. 502 Yarrow, has been hanging in the walnut tree over summer and now has been placed in the soil for winter. 503 chamomile , 504 nettle, 505 oak bark and 506 dandelion where all prepared and buried.
After lunch we then mixed 2 buckets of cow manure with some ground egg shells and rock dust to make a barrel compost. After mixing it was put in the container , compost preparations where added and its now busy creating a rich humus material that can impart the compost processes on the land.
After a little more rain it will be time to spread the 500 on the damp earth to renew the positive humus developing processes that are most important to successful work the land in a sustainable and creative way.