The Cow Horn – A biodynamic preparation at the heart of biodynamic farming


Published by Bianca Wilshin - 14th Jan 2020

Winemaker Derek Hooper from Obelisk Wines is here to talk about the Cow Horn, one of the nine biodynamic preparations at the heart of biodynamic farming/gardening.

Biodynamic preparations form the nucleus of the biodynamic concept. Their aim is to enrich and balance the farm/garden organism by uniting cosmic and terrestrial forces. The applications occur in homeopathic dilutions and are not substitutes for compost and nutrient management.

The first that comes to mind and everyone asks about is…the cow horns!
So, here’s a brief debunking of the mystery of Biodynamics in relation to the cow horns!

Preparation 500 – fresh cow dung placed in cow horns buried in autumn.

Fill medium-sized cow horn (not bullhorns) with fresh dung. Best from local lactating cows. Bury horns (tips pointing up) in well-drained, frost-free fertile topsoil in autumn. Leave in-ground for six months. Lift in spring.
At least 2 times a year over growing season especially Spring & Autumn, (only a pinch per acre is required) stir mixture into alternating clockwise and then anti-clockwise vortices for 1 hour by hand with a wooden stirrer. Change direction as soon as the vortex reaches the bottom of the pail. Sprinkle droplets with a brush around the garden or spray unit in vineyards. At Obelisk wines, we use water that has been heated naturally (gas) and use a flow form to re energise the water and to mix the preparation thoroughly.

Best time: late afternoon, early evening on moist (no heavy rain) days.

What does it do?
500 Stimulates humus development and root growth on physical and metaphysical levels. During the burial, the highly active cow manure is turned into humus colloids rich in growth forces expressed as enzymes, natural hormones, bacteria, fungi & digestive juices.

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