Farmers and gardeners who practice the Demeter BD method use a combination of materials and techniques to create beneficial humus levels, soil activity and structure.
There are three main types of BD preparation:
A sweet smelling pure colloidal humus, 500 is a very powerful soil builder.
When correctly liquified, stirred and sprayed over moist soil, it fosters microbial activity, humus formation and root growth – leading to better soil structure and richer, deeper, darker soils.
500 is transformed cow manure – which has been buried in cow horns, in well drained fertile soil, over winter.
A pure crystalline powder, 501 greatly enhances the light-driven metabolism in plants.
It is stirred the same way as 500, then sprayed as a very fine mist over plants on a sunny morning. 501 is used when plants have excess water or fertility (e.g. due to heavy rains) – plants grow more upright, become crisper, have enhanced flavour, are sweeter, keep better and are more resistant to fungus and diseases.
501 is created from finely-ground clear quartz, which is made into a paste, put into cow horns and buried over summer.
The six preparations – 502 to 507 – are made from specially treated plant materials and are added to compost heaps. They help produce 100% colloidal humus compost – the perfect plant food.
The compost preps can also be added to 500 and stirred to produce ‘prepared 500’ – in this way the soil-building benefits of these preps can be applied over broad areas without having to resort to large-scale compost distribution.
It is important to use cultivation techniques that will not adversely affect the quality of the BD soil structure. BD growers are careful to select equipment that will conserve and further develop this soil structure.
Thin tynes are much better than broad blades. For example, gardeners use forks to dig with rather than spades, and farmers prefer chisel plows over discs.
Rotary hoes can cause cause serious damage to soil structure and growers are discouraged from using them.
BD gardeners and farmers follow a sowing chart that is the result of many years of scientific research.
This research showed that seed is best sown when the moon is waxing (growing larger).
It was also found that plants can be influenced to grow more leaves, roots, flowers or fruit depending on the relative position of the moon, sun, stars and planets.
The chart also lists the best times for transplanting, pruning, grafting, cultivation, spraying preparations, cutting hay, etc – all supported by careful research.
BD growers use a variety of other ways to improve their soil and crops, including:
- green manures
- companion planting
- rotational grazing
- seed saving.