Our subject this morning is total. Biodynamics and the garden: controls, relators, relationships and disrelationships. We have to go fast because this is an enormous area to cover. For a few moments let us look at what we are dealing with. There isn’t such yet, horticulturally, that one knows of in the world, except probably in very natural places, where you might say native people still run small holdings with their life. The reason that one says that is, that this matter of relationship and disrelationship relates not only climatically, also to area, also to Sun warmth and moistures and water warmth and water coldth. But it also enormously concerns the way people live, what they want with their living, and what they will accept with their living, and what they out of connivance think they require.
Today, nobody can live without three motorcars. You see, if you want three motorcars, are you ever going to get that out of an attitude of the garden? The word ‘economy,’ oikos- nomia: I don’t need to talk, or we don’t need to dwell upon that, because it must be assessed by each person. What is life? What is good requirement? It is very interesting that the moment that you begin to be supplied with what you think you need and require, you become avaricious at once. Do you remember the story of the Seer and the Merchant?
So let us leave that there. But let us assess that this matter of the garden regarding the family and the families as an interplay of requirements; while one person is good at producing within a farm, another person might not be, and that this sharing of a commodity in an area is a sharing. You understand that the old apothecaries, alchemists, you see they were in their village, they were in their area, but that they combined in circles outside their areas and shared their herbs and their knowledges. And that this sharing was very important, for what one apothecary did not know, and didn’t know about numerous plants, and didn’t even plant, probably didn’t grow enough in that particular area, but another area close to was grown. And that this sharing was very very important, because also, an individual cannot contain more than a certain amount of comprehension, of knowledge. The same applies to the farm, and the farmings.
This attitude regarding relationship and disrelationship then, you cannot nominate this stoically; you cannot make a statistic of it. If you take the subject of mustard, you eat mustard with certain matters, and you relish it. And you use mustard, and one says sometimes, “Oh yes, I use mustard with this; I use mustard with that.” You know exactly what you use it with. And you undoubtedly use it as a poultice, and you use it in the bath when you have rheumatism, arthritis.
It is excellent. Why is it used in all those things? We come down to statistics again. And those statistics are always utterly dangerous and must be discarded to come back to truths.
So taking mustard, nigra and alba, which we principally use for the purpose, out of some sixty-odd, observe, that during the growth of that plant, it does not contain any of the quality for which we use it at all. The growing plant, the flowering plant, does not contain any of what happens. It happens only in the seed, and not even when the seed is there, only on a certain moment concerning the planetary system and what is called the ripening of the seed. The matter of the word, statistically, is ‘sulfur.’ Sulfur suddenly appears in the seed. It is not in the plant; it is not in the flower. Acutely. Nor could it be extracted from it. It occurs in the seed only when the seed has developed its outer skins and its veneers that are going to secure that seed against the penetrations of winter. It is climatic in other words, just like iodine is connected between the ocean and the air, when there is a gale, when spume forms. It is similar to that.
Therefore you cannot find the content of what we call ‘mustard’ which is in the plant, except at that given moment in the seed. Now when you want to make strong mustard, all those strong mustards are made by mustards using the shells and husks upon it. When you want to make supremely gentle mustard, you take off the husks and shells. Do you see, the great deal of the content of what people call sulfur is indeed in those shells, between the very shells themselves, not exactly in the seed? There it sits. Very indefinable.
The laboratory scientists will tell you that they can…extract it. Well, you must take that for where you will. The reason that when you apply it- with meat, with certain vegetables, with certain seasonings, in salad, in a dressing- the reason is the heat of the sulfur. It’s connected with the Sun. Obviously. That it is excellent as a poultice, and indeed it does ease the limbs from their rheumatisms and arthritis. Therefore you see it is only at a given moment that that is applicable, and is intangible in where it sits.
A very interesting matter concerning truffles- you all have heard of truffles, you know what they are- they almost grow upon the roots of oak trees. They literally do. Science or botany wouldn’t admit to it, but there they are, they do proceed a certain life from the result of oak trees, and mostly the Robur of course. It is very interesting that human beings that so adore, so adore the truffle- and you realize it is a most beautiful delicacy of flavour, and yet, the human being, potent as that truffle is, cannot discern where the truffle sits. On the contrary a pig in particu lar can, certain dogs can, but highly trained dogs can’t. Very interesting. Practically all pigs can, but it is mostly only a sow about to whelp- or whatever you might call whatever sows do when they do that thing with piglets- it is principally a sow that is going to have piglets that can tell best where the truffles are.
You see it’s something like the sulphur in the mustard; it happens at certain times because of want and desire, and requirement. All of these matters are the same. You see there you must apply that requirement into our living. Our requirements of living must be connected with exuberant childishness, an exuberant simplicity, an adoration of the great depths of simplicity, in Nature. Then our requirements are quite different.
When the pig has led the peasant to where the truffle is- it of course, as you know, wears a collar around its snout- so that as soon as it begins to dig, the peasant takes the pig and leads it away somewhere else, gives it a little corn to appease it for having found the truffles, and lets it go to hunt again, and digs up the truffle for himself. Very interesting matter that where people are economical, that is they use things assiduously for their purposes, that if you place a truffle amongst what the apprentices here are gathering daily- the eggs from the birds laying, in the shells- and you apply that truffle in the basket mixed up with the eggs when they collect them, when you cook those eggs- boil them or turn them into an omelet- they will have the complete flavour of the truffle. It’s gone through the shell into the egg. You see that is why you must apply certain herbs- certain herbs– either for protections or with the food when their stored. Why you must place Pariataria with your cereals when they’re stored to stop the weevils from eating them.
It is very essential to realize that what is applicable exactly in one area is not exactly applicable in another area. So therefore the statistic that concerns laboratory science means that you bring everything down to the…what is the great thing in America…democracy?… to a democratic level, the lowest of the low. You see this is extremely utterly destructive; you see the turning of all soils into six-six-six all over the world. How can it possibly work when it is absolutely various with different climactic in different areas and the way people live, the way animals live? It is completely different. The colour of certain plants, of certain flowers, the flavour of certain fruits in different areas. You realize that all the apples of the east, of America, those very apples, those very same trees brought and planted in the west, are bound to be totally different and will not have the qualities and the flavours at all. And don’t. And indeed this happens frequently when they are imported. And this is what happens with the herbs taken from South America and Mexico when it was said to be discovered by Mr. and Mrs. Columbus who brought them to Europe and Spain and of course when they took them there they didn’t possess the qualities at all that those plants were said to possess which they found that they had in Europe.
So, I bring this matter of relationship and disrelationship that it is applicable to area, and not only to area but to climactic of that area and all the adjacents. Therefore everything in the world is relative and disrelative.
I mention quickly, for the very serious matter here which is so prevalent in illness here: phlegm. One of the most important removers of the impossible phlegm, what is known as hard phlegm is Campanula rapunculoides.
There is a matter concerning, somebody recently has been bringing fleas into the place apparently- or taking fleas out of the place, and they want to know about the methods to eradicate, principally from dogs. There are many. One of the principals, which is infallible: Veratrum album, white hellebore. You must handle it carefully, the juice, and the synergist is milk. That rubbed- onto yourself or onto the dog- and gone. Also, the use of Geranium Robertianum, Herb Robert, the stinking geranium, will also refute the flea coming back. Others for the same purpose would be pyrethrum- dangerous, be careful how you use it; it must be very much reduced- Matricaria, Ruta graveolens, also must take care because they can produce blister. Mentha aquatica, a weak one, and a very intense one, Amianthum muscaetoxicum, which I’ll tell you a little more about later. It’s a north American bulb, lily, of extreme anti-insect properties. Extremely easy to grow. Very easy to grow.
That brings us right to the point and very much what we have to talk about this morning.
What we haven’t done. And we haven’t done it because we have not been able to bring about a staff. Because we have not got, within the place, oikos-nomia. Without being able to live in the garden, and to make establishment, to make happiness for a staff, to have beautiful home, beautiful life, art and craft and the garden, you cannot have the garden. The garden exists with the gardeners. And must be made, held and maintained. And the students must be taught by the staff, and as the staff become knowledgeable by the year, they must hand on that information to the coming staff.
That is something you must look at because it is very important in this relationship. That when you have attained what is called knowledge, discovery, it is part of the blossoming and fruiting of that discovery to give it to others. That is education on a certain parallel. And that certain ages of discovery- not ages of persons- certain ages of discovery are fresh, and are at that time valid to be handed to the oncoming of undiscovered. That a greatly acquired sense of knowledges becomes too stoic, too skeletonized, too dry for an established antiquated person to hand to the subtleness of youth. They haven’t the means of purveying it; the water is not fresh. I don’t know whether you quite follow what I mean, but it has become very established in my discoveries, in working here, with you with the garden, that this has to be.
It not only applies of course to this; it applies to the handing of everything. It is of course in art also. I know a great deal about certain sides in art, about painting, about singing and matters, and I’m far too old and skeletonized to be able to give it to somebody who is too subtle and unestablished. And the annoyance of their not attaining to that flow becomes a vehemence, and they can’t tolerate the vehemence. Whereas from a young person who has just discovered the knowledge that is only a step up the ladder- not the top of the ladder- the step to the bottom step, is the first hand accurately required. It’s useless for a person half way up or at the top of a ladder to try and get the person to enter the ladder from below because they would shun and buzz off and say, “I’m not going up that thing for the love of Mike!”
Orchards. Now we’ll come to some of these desirable things that you are really seeking for only: statistics. The orchard must grow in its own realm of fruitions. During the early period the tree must establish so as to make growth and fruit spur for a whole future, like a child. Therefore, the growths of the plants must change around it. Therefore, if I give you, principally, the names of those matters that concern that growth, where you want to produce sulphur in the ground you would use mustard, mullein, pimpernel, Urtica, fennel, and Plantago, Plantago major invicta. There are, of course, scores of others, but that will give you a lead in as regards the important plants that you would plant in the half way stage of the development of the trees when they would be beginning to come into fruition. To produce phosphorus: marigolds, Melissa, Stellaria media, and the Spirea family. To produce the very essential of this particular county, state, California, the potassiums: Symphytum, fennel, oak bark, the flowers of Anthemis, Achilleas, Borago, Leontodon, and all of the Urticas. That potassium, of course, you would apply in great quantity of those plants- where your trees were- well, depending where they, of course…there again, you see, that the relationship and disrelationship, that the cordons, you want to apply the potassiums at the third year onward, and then more. And, of course, with the vase, the French goblet, you would want to consider the sixth and the seventh year. And for espalier and fans, the seventh to eighth, for standards about the tenth. To produce the magnesiums: the flaxes, toad flax in particular, mullein, Spirea, Salix, Salix nigra in particular, particularly the bark, the plant known as Wrest Harrow, and very emphatically, the leaves, only, of carrot. For such matter as the protein containers: particularly alfalfa, Sonchus, Soya, and fava. And, of course, for the- what do we call fungus on roots? Bacteria? Bacteria. Root bacteria are of course, the clovers, the vetches, certain of the beans, and the annual lupines in particular. Vetches, a plus. Most of all, the fava, contains the greatest quantity of all. And for nitrogens, I don’t mention them at all because of course; you realize that they are just endless. Almost any green matter is nitrogenous. However, amongst them such matters as Chenopodium, Sonchus, of extra, extra, extra import. But those we will deal with in separate studies with a separate focus.
One of the principles of phosphorus is within Stellaria media. There is a little plant today that has been eradicated in hate, and an utter angel. Stellaria media, one of the most important plants of the whole garden. Livestock, rabbits, chickens, magic, protector of the soil, grows at the worst time of year, compost, and for orchards in particular. Fennel also, tremendously important. It was no accident that this was the plant by which Prometheus brought fire to the earth. And when you look upon that subject which baffles everybody today- nobody can even look at it- it’s become beyond mythology, that it was in this plant, in this stem that Prometheus hid fire and brought it to Earth because he was the god of man, of his regard for man, and for this reason, as you realize, he was fastened to the rocks forever by Zeus. Now the whole of that needs great looking into to comprehend it. During this study I’m going to diverge endlessly.
Lest you should think that the Allium ascalonicum is essentially the shallot, you must undo the mistake. There has been a huge mistake driven into this matter. Today in America the ascalonicum is owned by a syndicate. That’s why you have to pay something like a dollar for about eight bulbs. When indeed, you should have eight hundred bulbs and no price attached to it because it is extremely propagative, grows with the utmost ease, in the worst climates, and almost can’t go wrong, and is a most beautiful culinary vegetable which of course, is also medicinal. When I mention that, do you realize that in this relationship and disrelationship we are taken back to the golden age where man, food, and medicine are one. When something has gone wrong with the balance of approach to food and man’s connivance of the mind, medicine enters the scene as a separation. And later, of course, the specialists and surgery enter the scene as all separations. They can’t be. Apply that to the soil, apply that to the plants and the livestock and you’ve got the correct amalgamation. Health is the balance in the living performance, not in extracts. That’s what this is aiming at, aiming at. It’s got to go up the ladder.
The Allium ascalonicum principally came originally from Palestine. And the true Allium ascalonicum very seldom, if ever, very, very seldom, indeed, flowers. So whenever you see shallots flowering you know something. And that something I will tell you, is that a whole bunch of those things known as shallots are onions. There is only one true shallot, the Allium ascalonicum. It is pale gray, keeps superbly, is pear shaped, and never round. It’s elongated. You’ve got it here, but you’ve also got some of the onion family in the shallots also. Whenever you see them rounded, or of a bronze color, you have got something connected with the onion, if they have been crossed with a shallot, of course, the true shallot. But it is still of the onion family and does not contain that magical matter that the true ascalonicum does.
The Petite Hâtive de Bagnolet is the small, and has many, and is true. The Grosse du Noisy is rather pig-like. It has a very tough skin. You’ve noticed it. And of course this climate makes it timber-like. And there is a Russian and there is an English of the true. But all of the other- which connect with the onions are really under a bunch called the ‘Jerseys,’ or ‘false shallots’. They do flower and they do seed and they are much rounder and broader than long.
The true are long and not broad or round. I merely tell you that just for your information.
Now, really what we’re dealing with at the moment, this relationship and disrelationship, you must not put it in: “What do I grow with this to stop aphid?” or “What do I grow with that?” or “What do I put in the pot, to put the flavour in the soup?”
No. Do you see we’re looking at the timbers in the fire? We’re looking at the timber that is going to make a particularly wonderful table. In particular, that is going to make a violin. In which Charlie Chaplin was indeed as great as Stradivarius. And such matter. Indeed we are looking at a carpet- I mean a real carpet- the wools, you see we spoke of Thymus, that when a sheep eats Thymus, the wool is quite different. Here we are also talking about the materials of our clothes. When one talks about Urtica- an extremely important plant in the garden- that when a frog gets into Urtica it must die, but when you place it in the soil it make the most beautiful soil.
There are other matters concerning Urtica, not known today. It makes one of the most beautiful linen flannels that are imaginable. It takes a lot of craft. It takes a constitution of technical handling. It’s not profitable. It doesn’t fit the connivance of today’s necessity, which is all connected with money. But the stem of the Urtica dioica is one of the most beautiful manufactures of a flannel linen that has a whole effect when you wear it of warmth in the winter, and coolth in the summer, as many of the thatches do. Certain reeds will produce on the roof warmth in the winter and coolth in the summer. So, do you understand that I’m trying to expose to you, the biodynamic view is not how do we feed the millions, or what do we need, or what is going to be worthwhile doing? It is often what is not worthwhile that is going to be worth our doing.
The relationships of trees, we have begun to talk about. Those that give warmth and dryth, and those that give warmth and moist, those that give coolth and dryth. And those that give coolth and moist. They’re all various. There are those trees that actually create moisture in the ground, and those that will draw it out and use it up out of the ground. The alder and ash are two. The ash will take the moisture away from the ground and the alder will bring it. Do you understand that the whole family of the eucalyptus? Do you understand the word eucalyptos? Eu, a well, or a vase, or goblet; kalyptos, a lid. If you will look at a seedpod of a eucalyptus, you will see it is a lid, which lifts off a most exquisite little goblet, and in that goblet are the seeds. And the lid is a little cap. And there’s a certain time when those seeds are performed and full of their oils, that cap lifts off perfectly, and does always. That is where its name comes from. Therefore, eucalyptus, the camphoras, and particularly your local tree, which has been hopelessly overlooked, the Umbelluleria, known as California bay laurel- all nonsense because of course it is not a bay at all. They are three enormous disrelators to what we would call the verdant growth of succulents in horticulture. It brings about the dryth plants. Certain plants love to grow under those trees.
Now, lantana also is a most important plant from that point of view. It doesn’t, of course, grow in areas like this because it can’t take any frost at all. But, for instance, in Australia, where you do not get freezings in some places, lantana has always grown. Now, Australia very much lacks soil, as you must know. There are very few soils in Australia at all. And yet, this plant grows most lasciviously and makes wonderful hedges, so thick that no animals can get through. Therefore, they are an invaluable hedge plant for livestock. The interesting part is that where you have made a hedge for ten or twenty years of lantana and it has made itself, and all you have to do is keep chopping it, and it grows thicker, and thicker, and thicker, you will find underneath that you can take that soil, which is a most exuberant loam and grow the most wonderful plants in it, and never have what you would call pest or disease. It is extremely disinfectant, as indeed is Pteris, and is indeed of the Urtica family. And you get these disinfectants in plants to an extraordinary degree.
The astonishing thing is that of course, as you might expect, the ministry of agriculture, which has become demoralized in Australia completely- I suppose I will go to prison for that-has ordered that it is the most pernicious weed because it is so exuberant in its growth that it seeds and grows all over the place wherever it can. It’s fulfilling its angelic duty. So they have demanded that it be eradicated and burned. And it is one of the oldest soil manufacturers of Australia, and a most important hedge instead of which, of course, they make the farmers buy their barbed wire, because the government makes a lot of money, as they do by the chemicals, in selling it. And the government holds the monopoly on it. Those are the kinds of things that I’m referring to as tricks of connivance of necessity in our living. And have caused a total disrupt of oikos-nomia.
The Camphor Laurel, Camphora, the Camphor Tree- the oleander, in particular the
Sambucus, the whole family of Euphorbias that run into trees, shrubs, ad infinitum, and the lantana, are most important violent disrelators. I must jump about it a little bit. If you want to do beautiful thatchings on a roof, that want to last for ages and ages, you must have discovered that the date palm, the numerous palms, bring new leaves every year, and like the bamboo, at the end of the second year, those leaves become decadent, and are even best cut off and removed. And that if they are cut off during the second year, at the end of the second year, before they become utterly decadent, they retain those qualities of certain oils and veneers whereby their life becomes enormously contained. And as thatchings, as indeed all what you would call aboriginal people- natives- know the use of. They use them, of course, for their housings, for their huts. Likewise, is the Dracaenas. The whole family of the dracaenas do the same thing. But they grow up instead of down. Dracaena: as you know, the Dracaenas, you often get them now in these terrible expressways, between the two, because they will grow, with all the fumes in the world, in nothing but dead bottles. And, you know, the remains of motorcar tires that you see bursting into them. And they still have that angelic-satanic power of survival. The Dracaena will produce you enough roofing for a village over a period of ten years, and would last you for a hundred years. As indeed of course does Latifolia typha, and all of those reeds and the Juncus family.
And that they all contain also astonishing matters of disinfectant. Whereby insects will not breed in the roof, and in some cases even birds will not nest. I mean I’m talking of sparrows- house sparrows- that become really a great menace when you use thatch. Erica likewise. Many
of the Ericas will give you fifty to a hundred year life as a thatch. And most of those will form a warmth in winter and coolth in summer.
In talking of synergists with these matters concerning controls and discontrols in the garden, you must look to some of the unexpecteds. The concerns of oils. Now you realize that olive oil is the one, only true oil that does not enter the skin, does not penetrate. Whereas nut oils penetrate, and certain bean and seed oils penetrate completely. Now that’s a very easy matter because one is inclined to think of oil as oil. Some oils penetrate utterly, some oils do not penetrate at all, and that is olive oil. Now unknown in horticulture today, of course smoke is one of the most enormous. Also, force is not looked upon; the spray of water and the spray of either cold or hot air are huge balances of usage. Milk is a great synergist indeed, and will often carry the juices of certain plants or flowers or seeds where nothing else will as a synergist, and as an extract. You understand that the children, the only way which you can really get honey to work for very older people, which is bad for their bloodstream, or honey to young children, which is not particularly good for their bloodstream, is the synergist of milk. And with children, warm milk and with elderly people, cold milk.
Likewise, one of the great synergists, unappropriated, is the use of egg. You see the whole of the bridges of Venice and Florence are built with thousands of eggs, as were the aqueducts of the Romans. Nobody knows today how they made that wonderful plaster cement that was not made with destructive material as today’s cement is. But it was egg. And it was this that Leonardo and Raphael discovered. And it was that Leonardo discovered this wonderful synergist of fig juice to bring about the- I mustn’t tell you some of these things because they really ought to be paid for by the hundreds of dollars- but the fig juice is the great producer of sfumato. You can marry two colors with fig juice and egg and impasto underneath. You can marry them so that they blend utterly and do not run into each other at all. Well that’s a huge art. Do you understand those people are studying voice and mien deportment, that you use caesura, and that you do not slur, that you have perfect prismatic difference, but that they blend perfectly. There’s a whole approach in that, the way a star sits in the sky at night.
Another matter concerning synergists that is not looked at is produced by the blossoming of the catapultation of seed. You will have noticed that when seeds do their migration they produce extraordinary methods to produce it to travel. The wisteria- which, by the way, as you may know comes from the name Caspar Wistar1, a German. Many people think that wisteria came from China thousands of years ago. It was only discovered and created as a plant, a tiny plant, in the garden very recently by this German Caspar Wistar. And sent to China, who then claimed it- as the Americans always do with great artists. The wisteria produces a seed in a pod, which I would tell you that I have taken the seed of as I did on Long Island in propagating millionaire’s estates there, and quite rightly nearly destroyed their homes with. That I placed the seed of the wisteria in a tin of- what is the beautiful Italian coffee that you used to be able to buy in a tin?- well it doesn’t matter- well it is a tin that has a lid, as do most coffee tins, which fits ecstatically tightly so as not to allow air in. Well I put these wisteria seeds in their pods in this tin in the fall. And of course were left there in the winter. And one day when I was in my office, in these magnificent palaces that they have over there- or that’s what they call them- I was typing out the seed list to send, and very busily engaged, and- blown off my chair onto the floor, and a hole in the ceiling, from a tin lid. The wisteria had exploded, as it does. Well, it is meant to do this. It holds until a certain moment of the revolutionibus, and then, it is like gunpowder. And that blows those seeds for thousands and thousands of yards, sometimes up into air currents where they would be traveled. It’s an extraordinary way of explosion of migration.
Many seeds, however, do something totally different. The floration that comes from the migrated blossoming, which we might call thistle down- you can call it anything you like- it becomes a component of Earthly manufacture which becomes lighter than the air of that particular day. That the day before or the day after would not happen again. And that the component within the air of that manufacture of catapultation makes the whole of that propulsion lighter than the air is. And so it takes the little seed, and carries it right up until the air changes, into a different confabulation. And it is then wafted on a whole strata of current, and will travel across continents, and sometimes across oceans. It is frequently that these seeds, from France, for instance, come out of the south coast of England at those periods. And butterflies travel in those same stratas. That that catapultation then, you would realize, can be a great menace. You must have noticed how that catapultation collects on certain plants, with holes, and becomes a complete coverage and would menace things like caterpillars, earwigs, and particularly crawlers.
It is something completely overlooked.
The usage then of that catapultation is extravagant, and is a huge balance that we don’t look at. There are things given to us- shown us- by the plants: “Look, gardener. Gardener! They are too busy, you see, they’re growing radish. Well, we’ll do it ourselves.” And they will cover all the plants, and the caterpillars: “Oh, ack! We’ll all have to go off somewhere else.” Well, they
are lessons for us. That’s the only way, of course, that we discover anything to be of use.
Likewise there are certain veneers that happen. Sugarations. There was a madwoman on Long Island that I told you about she ran the post office, and anybody she didn’t like, she wouldn’t allow them in the post office, she wouldn’t sell the stamps. “You see I’m busy. I’m talking. It’s my post office.” I said, “It belongs to the government.” She said, “This is my post office!” I once posted two letters outside in the post-box that were to go to different parts of the world. And two years later I got a letter to say that they had received them. I discovered that she emptied this letterbox once a year. It was her post office. You had to post them inside, in her blouse.
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Winter was very cold up there and becomes too severe. The geese would all come over there and come down in the marshes to spend their migratory period. And, of course, the terrible, extravagant millionaires, and the mad peasants there, sit in trenches all night long with their
guns, waiting for these honking geese which are so beautiful in coming over in these great arrowheads. And, of course, she was, indeed, what is known as an organic gardener, and she looked it. And so, she would go out when these people entrenched, and she could hear the geese honking at night, she would get all the sheets from her husband’s bed and her bed, and the children’s bed, and she would rush out with the children- the husband wouldn’t- and she would rush out in front of these trenches where the men with the guns waiting, and she’d wave those sheets, and she’d leap and yell, “Fire! Go away! Go away!” She chased all these geese off. And they’d go off to the distant marshes and the guns, of course, would have to fire at sheets. She had a wonderful trick of using flour and sugar on her plants, and it really worked. But this, again, was one of these synergists that I’m talking of, that whenever she had a severe attack of any particular insect, caterpillars, or aphids, she would go and smother it all with white flour, which she always said nobody should eat anyway, and she would work a certain amount of sugar into that which would marry it to the plant, you know, with its juiciness. And thereby, she found that she eradicated it. But that’s something of what I’m referring to about this catapultation.
You also have to look at what is a spiders. I suppose the most particular one, which has almost vanished from the hedgerows, because there aren’t any hedgerows, principally, fields, and around ponds and things where they live: spiders. Spiders used to be everywhere. You see, particularly panes, the old potting sheds and all of the things connected with the garden with the summer houses, and the ghastly places with all these cobwebs. And, you realize, the whole cobweb thing tells you all about your climate. You’ve only to watch them at night, when they’ve done their duty. According to the length of the webs of the certain spiders, you can’t go wrong, they know their weather two weeks ahead, even in Covelo they might know it. They do go wrong sometimes, I’ve noticed. That’s because they’re a little bit wrong in the head themselves. But, the length of the spider’s webs will always tell you what has happened. As they shorten, the rains are coming, and as they lengthen, the fine weathers are coming. And you will see these every morning if you look, because they make them overnight. And you will notice those that stretch that way like salmon nets, there are those that stretch that way. And they will tell you different things. You must have often looked at the fields on a particular morning in the spring when the dews are very heavy, and you will suddenly see that every blade of grass is connected with an incredible hammock of webs! And that all the spiders know exactly what’s on them, climatically. You must also realize that a certain procedure of that is not spiders at all, but is cosmic.
These matters, then, of all these insects and creeping things are a whole propagation of this thing today that we’ve madly eradicated because of our machines. Particularly banks, hedges, little copses, shrubberies that are not to be interfered with, you see. Particularly blackberry hedges, on the banks of rivers, as they should be, these numerous things that grow.
And the whole propagation of frogs and tadpoles connect in this matter. That the numerous plants that grow in water, that purify water and take away stagnation. So do plants in the s oil do likewise, take away stagnation, take away lack of drainage, and induce it by their breathings. They must all be looked at.
We must again look into the area of synergists in the word ‘ashes.’ Now, it is well known that the ashes of the burning of the Helios, particularly the Helianthus gigantica, contain something that you cannot describe in chemistry. Both as a soil fertilizer and a balancer of acute disinfectant. Likewise, you understand, that clove and cinnamon are two of the most violent disinfectants that exist in the world, even greater than prussic acid. You would use less to produce the same result that you would have to use of prussic acid with those two. That the ashes of Sambucus, that the ashes of Artemisia, particularly the carbuncle of the Artemisia root, into ashes, are tremendous disrelators. But when you have begun this in the soils, you have gotten what we were talking about in our education of passing from one to the other. That you have begun a procedure- and this is what you’ve got to look at in what we’re talking about in disrelationship and disrelationships- which is so utterly and totally important. That it is not like a hypodermic syringe, which completely eradicates that thing on the spot and gets you two other diseases! It is not that at all. It’s a procedure of fertility approach. It is something which is going to increase and is going to enliven your image of discovery. Out of that approach of that relationship and disrelationship is going to come something that you never thought of. That is not connived, and that happens out of the angelic forces of Nature by the arrival being made possible of the wonder given to the student. You’ve got a new birth coming that you didn’t account for. And it fits the area that you didn’t connive or perceive what that area contained or its climatic. That is what brings about the perfection of fertility of man’s marriage with the relationship of biodynamic in the garden.
It is, of course, in the early stages as the girl student who sat there and said, “I want to know what works with this.” Well, yes, but we’ve got to get up on the first ladder step, on the first step. So, we will look at all these names, we will look at these relators and disrelators that we know of. But, for heaven’s sake, don’t, don’t take them as static. Don’t go and take them as the legitimate education, write it down in a book, hand it to all the children, make them learn it, and repeat it. It’s not going to work. There is nothing static in the flow of Nature. The whole forest is changing. All the mountains are changing. The very content of water in the river and in the ocean is, naturally, changing. We are told by the great scientists that something about the salt is changing in the ocean. Well, they’re probably right, they’re very clever.
Some of the lilies produce extraordinary disrelationships, like Amianthum muscaetoxicum. It is a member of Zigadenus and the Camases. It is an American plant, northeastern America. It’s a woodland and it’s bulbous, has three styles to the stigma, grows in woodland soil, grows all the way from Long Island to south Ar-kan-sas. It’s very little known. The foliage, and the bulb, and the seed are all utter, total fly and insect poison. Muscaetoxicum, fly killer. Not experimented with, usage not focused upon. You see, a little plot, grow Amianthum muscaetoxicum. Somebody goes down the side of America and bring back some bulbs. Right. Yes, I found some. Plant them, propagate them. Produce our still in the stillroom. Get the oil out of it. Doesn’t matter about the blooming old garbage heap and the principle production of Covelo garbage. Doesn’t matter. Get rid of it.
This is what I’m pointing at that we have not accomplished and that we need to accomplish. These what you would call beds, the experimentations of the plants, the herbs, the relationships, the disrelationships, that the students must come here to learn the basics in the first year, but it is during the second year and the third year that people must belong to this project- who can and will- to begin to focus and manage these areas under a direction of the staff of the horticultural procedure here. And that all of these are labeled, they are logged; they have an office, all of the greatest simplicity that is possible. But, it has got to be! It is not at Kew; it is not in Russia; it is not in Germany; it is not at Versailles; it is not at Padua. They take separate entities. The herb garden at Padua – even that has gone. They only now have eight thousand instead of eighteen thousand. And they’re badly looked after, most of them. And so Kew is principally, “the charm of horticultural plants.” You go there if you’re a gardener, but not if you’re a philosopher, nor if you’re a religionist, nor if you’re a real live person.
And Wisley is much more accommodating. It has its huge naturalistic side with the lakes and all the trees and the rhododendrons, which is lovely. And then, it’s focusing on: “How well can we grow fruit today! How well can we grow some peas today!” But you see, that’s all a horticultural aspect as a separation. So, the whole purport of this place is something that hasn’t happened. Well, that’s not true. It must have happened in Eden. But it is not happening generalistically.
So do you see we’ve got to have for this that I’m talking about- this concerns us, all of us- we have got to have an area, that is either not a peak of a mountain or a bottom of a valley or a blithering destruction of a summer or a blithering destruction of a winter. We’ve got to have a maritime climate. We’ve got to be somewhere, what you would call, not on the equator and not on the North Pole or the South Pole, or in the desert, or in the middle of a river. We’ve got to have a horticultural capacity. And likewise we’ve got to have the various; there’s got to be slopes. There’s got to be the capacity of forestation, of woodlands, of copses of hedges of livestock of fields, of ley, of cereals. They’re all combined in it; we’ve got to be able to grow reeds for the thatch. We’ve got to be able to grow mistletoe to know about Freya2, Frieda, the Venus of the north.
So this is what I am trying to expose this morning that we’ve been missing the bus about a great deal. And that this is a part of the view of oikos-nomia. Now out of this center- this is the axle- you see that herb garden is supposed to be the axle of the whole of this biodynamic garden. It’s the very seat because it’s the moral. Herbs are moral forces. And it is the moral of the whole garden. That it is in its origin conditions and not to be interfered with by man’s connivance. The herb garden grown for the pot for the scent for the bath, that’s part of man’s infusion of connivance. But that is an obedience to the angelic plant world. That other is an obed ience with man with that.
Therefore, what one is exposing here- and you must look at this please- is this matter that this is a center of the discovery of education of horticulture, of the angelic forces of the plant world. That when you want with your family to live, you will not be concerned with the whole of that, and you can go into indiscriminate area. You can go and live in a desert, in the mountains, up north down south, and you will maneuver what will you require, but you won’t have the totality of this great biodynamic horticultural school that is a component of generalization. A total coverage, which is essential, but must be a center point of focus, such as the great Ptolemy3 and such people became aware of. Do you understand that?
Such plants such as Mentha aquatica, an eradicator of rats, voles and mice. Now the whole enormous family of Euphorbias: there are certain Euphorbias that will cure almost any complaint of the eye. And there are Euphorbias that grow on many of the subtropical islands, that when the great period of collection of the hardwood, of the great, great greenwoods and hardwoods, by the exploiters of merchandise traveling with ships, that they use all of the seamen for collecting the timber and take it to the ship. Many of them went blind, from getting the timber. They didn’t know, that when they were chopping that timber they had both got Euphorbia trees and sometimes cutting Euphorbia climbers up the trees, and they didn’t know that they were Euphorbia, and they didn’t know that the very juice would instantly blind them. And yet the Greek used the same Euphorbia to cure the eye. They knew the quantity. “Virtue itself turns vice being misapplied and vice sometimes by action dignified.”
The whole of the Euphorbia tribe has these capacities. Some of them are extremely medicinal. Euphorbia pulcherrima plenissima which is known as the red Christmas flower, poinsettia, is indeed a Euphorbia, for the moment that you cut it as a cut flower you notice white juice run down it. And it is extremely dangerous. And yet, anyone having warts, the Euphorbias will cure those warts like that. But you’re only to apply almost any of that Euphorbia juice to the eye with your finger, and you could, you can go completely blind. Children have been killed with sucking the juice. There is something of it in the Ricinus.
For insects, with the synergist of smoke, Pulicaria dysenterica. Pulicaria, a very simple bog plant, grows so high, yellow flowers a most terrible obnoxious smell, filthy smell, like stinking chamomile. Grows luxuriously in the riverside swamps, pastures. Grows with the utmost ease. We should be growing it here, but you couldn’t grow it here, you see. You’ve got to have something of an equilibrium to grow the majority of these things, something of an equilibrium.
For weevils, the eradication of all weevils, the borer beetles that go into roses, raspberries, sugar cane and into the grain into the granary: Pellitory-of-the-Wall. Parietaria officinalis. Worked in. Will keep them completely away. It grows in San Francisco Park. They have a quantity. We have not done it. It’s a wall plant, grows best in walls.
For cockroaches, an infallible: Verbascum blattaria. For all insects: Anthemis cotula, Erigeron, Sambucus, Artemisia. That the seed of the Daphnid Mezerum, this was how they eradicated all the wolves of Europe, literally. They placed a seed of Daphne in a little piece of meat, threw it to the wolf. Any animal that eats that will perish.
Melia Azedarac, the tree: it grows principally in America from Virginia southwards down through Florida. It is connected with the shrub Pride of India, Pride of China, Pride of Nincompoop. Extremely hard. The berry is used in the Church of Rome for the rosary. Any of the plant, the skin of the root, the skin of the shrub, the leaves the flower, the seeds- any of it- can be used. It is one of the most diabolical and total insect disrelators. It will even prevent I think what you call armyworms. Armyworms, which are, in a sense, the daddy long legs larvae with the what you call leather jackets. It will even prevent those from eating of plants. And it only has to be spread. You use the fruit for that purpose as a swash and spread on the ground and it will completely prevent them. An enormous plant, utterly today not looked at at all, Melia Azedarac.Pyrethrum, the African Pyrethrums as used, must be enormously reduced. It will destroy any insect at all. It will destroy everything in the ground, even to six inches down. You’ve got to be careful because it will destroy worms also. The Pyrethrum, the Greek word, ‘fire,’ pyr, fire root; it burns.
Now, the Chenopodium anthelminticum, which is very much in line with the olidum, the stinking Chenopodium, the stinking goosefoot. Now we’ve got it complete there, haven’t we? Do you see here very much we will have to take it as a subject? Did we take Chenopodiums? Look, well we will. Do you see in the whole of that family there is one olidum, which is bewildering? It stinks; it stinks, terrible. If you ever have discovered, as I once did in the South of England, a whale that had washed up three months before, it’s an incredible smell. Fish has the most extraordinary smell when it decays. This plant, without decay, has exactly the same smell. And more bewildering, it contains exactly the same matters that fish do. Do you see, an enormous propensity here in compost? For fish is a huge compost. And seaweed is one of the greatest of all nitrogenous disinfectants for soil manufacture. There is almost no more perfect, you may grow many plants upon purely seaweed compost and you will never have what you would call pests. They won’t penetrate because it comes up out of the soil into the plant and strengthens the flow
of the juices of the plant with disinfectant. That’s what you’ve got to look at in these relationships and disrelationships, that it is an approach; it’s a wave, it is not a static. This
Chenopodium olidum would, in science, be said to contain ammonia, which is what the stinking fish contains. And the Chenopodium olidum contains endless quantity of ammonia. Can you not imagine then, that you go to your beautiful little lady in the galley, ‘Gallelia,’ and you take her two or three leaves of this chenopodium and she would put it in the bouillabaisse, the fish soup, and you have the flavor of oysters at once. And everybody says, “Oh, Gallelia, you put oysters in the soup, how wonderful!” And she’d say, “No, I haven’t.” And she would have three guesses
and she would win a hundred dollars. However, to put you right in the proper picture, and where
you really want to be, the word that we’re talking about there is trimethilamine. You’ve got it?
Yes, of course you know what it is. But that is what it is, that’s what it contains, trimethilamine.
Don’t forget it.
I’ll give you a little list of some of the numerous herbs, trees, and plants that concern this relationship. Nicotiana you know something about already. Do you see how important it is that we have all things here who have managed to grow Nicotiana affinis in certain ways that nobody else is actually able to grow it, that it blooms here even in the middle of winter. We haven’t made a single extract. We’re certainly missing in the matter. We’ve got brilliant and wonderful people here, so we’ve got to bring that about. The Hellebores, Veratrum alba, which I’ve spoken of, and viridae, both of those complete, violent anti-insect. If you burn it, particularly with milk, an extract, will cure any insect disease whatever. Quasia amara eradicates completely even the one that nobody can deal with which concerns carrot and turnip, the sawfly. Once you get it into the soil, mixed in the soil, into the juice of the plant, they become eradicant to the pest, as you would call it.
Certain Viburnums contain exceptional matter from the bark of the tree. I’m growing Viburnum in the border. It’s one of the most beautiful herbaceous shrubs imaginable. It hangs just like wisteria, only yellow.
Cytisus also makes what is called in science today, and they use it in many of the ‘harmless’- there are few harmless chemicals today- a thing called Ryanodine; they make it from
Ryannia. Most of these are sub-tropicals or rather more southernly plants and trees that grow in the forest and that indeed, could not be grown here, and probably even in some horticultural places would only be grown under glass. In Padova, where they took this small area of this wonderful herb garden, it’s very astonishing because you think, “Oh yes, well there you go, Padua, Italy, wonderful place, wonderful climate, you see, and they’re all sitting outdoors with candles and painting and they have Michelangelo sculpturing all the year ‘round out of alabaster, sitting on the mountain.” Rubbish! Padua is practically all under glass. Even the Padova almost all under glass, partly because of protection, of being able to handle the matter.
Pteris is a repellant for all the beetle, caterpillar, aphid, and is the producer of the commercial thing known as rotenone. Pteris, pteris aquilinum. For red spider there is nothing to touch Carduus benedictus. Carduus benedictus gives off an extraordinary sticky syrup. Is a total, a total disrelator to red spider and mite. They are two of today’s diseases as you might say, pests, which they have nothing to handle except, utter destructors which, of course, destroy the plants as well. You realize that that, of course, is what is going on enormously.
Pine oil, pine resin, pine gum, and the shellacs from many of those fir trees are superb synergists. They will hold on matters of extractions from seeds, blossoms, powders, pollens, and are extremely important. The gumming, of Prunus and peaches, of which so many people complain, you must realize that this is one of the gifts to the world; there are a certain variety of origin peaches and Prunus, the gum like lunatics. They are meant to. That gum, in some instances, has kept people who lived in a village surrounded by the walls of a castle that were being attacked, in some cases have kept for four months the entire village population in food, the gum from the prunus alone. The food value in protein- a stupid word when you apply it to Prunus gum, do you see- is sufficient food to keep a whole village alive for four months. The prevention of that gumming then, of course, you want to prevent it in an orchard, and here is the perfect synergist that Lorette taught me, for we grew peach trees there just the same as we grew pears.
You simply take the Hallelujah. Does that mean anything to you? (People sing it?) Yes, quite, and that’s why they sang it, because of the plant. It became a ritual that when this plant was in growth, the Hallelujah, it is the little woodland sorrel. There is a Mexican sorrel, the pink one out here, the yellow one is a garden sorrel, and the white one is a wood sorrel. It contains an acatalectic acid4. But you understand that perfectly, don’t you? That acid is unique. There are certain birds, that at certain times of the year must have it, and they eat it, and they love it. If you will take that acatalectic acid of that sorrel, or if you would take even some of the garden sorrels, such as we grow in that bed out there, which is the extremely astringent one, which is beautiful for fish sauces. You must tell Gallelia about it. And it makes a beautiful sauce when you want the bite of an astringent in that sauce, much the same as lemon. Oh goodness! Take this plant, the foliage and rub it in your hands, into a ball, and wherever this tree, any of your peach trees have gum, take your pruning knife, clean away the gum- use it, of course- it’s also most imperative in oil painting, a beautiful gum used as a medium. And having cleaned the wound completely, rub the matter that you have made into this ball of green acatalectic acid, rub it all over the wound thoroughly. It will never, never recur. It is the perfect cure.
The oil of fennel seed is a most violent and important ovicide. It is also a great cure of headache, and a great curer of tricky eyesight.
You must know, and be observant, of how much the American Indians used certain plants, nuts, and seeds for dizzying the fish. It was one of their principle ways of catching them, when they didn’t have hooks and lines or nets, and the manufacture of nets is a b ig item. They always, as you know, caught their fish, seemed to catch their fish, with the greatest of ease, and it was nearly always by dizzying them, by letting loose certain herbs, in the waters above, into a pool. And then those fish, gaa-gaa, came to the top, and they threw them out. As a matter of fact, the Euphorbia hyberna is one of the principles that they used for stupefying the fish. It is the Euphorbia helioscopia that is used entirely for the cure of warts.
The Capsella bursa, which you would call Shepherd’s Purse: a very important plant in the pasturage. It is one of those that brings up capillary. It is a most important herb extract – the oil of the root in particular, and of the plant, just before it blooms, to prevent either external or internal bleeding. One of the most important.
For vitamin C, where everybody goes to the rugosa, Rosa rugosa, or Rosa canina, there is nothing to touch Cochlearia officinalis. And it was in this way discovered, as you know, that when the seamen in the early days, when they used to make the bread, or take the flour to sea, long before they took the wheat, they would either make the bread before and dry it all, or they would take the flour, and flour does not keep, you see. You can’t grind flour and keep it; wheat can keep. It loses it qualities, of course. When they took the wheat in bins and made the fryers of flour and the bread on the way, they had got rid of a great deal of scurvy. But in the early days they all got scurvy very badly. And it was in this way that some sailors were once sitting, having arrived at port very sickly, were sitting up on the cliffs, and yakking, as they will. Sitting there, yak, yak, yak, gazing out to sea, yak, yak, yet picking these blades, and sucking them, and spitting. And the next day, none of them had scurvy. They were eating Cochlearia officinalis, since which has been called scurvy grass.
Little is realized of the importance of Sphagnum cymbidifolium, sphagnum grass, sphagnum moss as a container for wound dressings, and particularly for poultices. It has an extraordinary way of drawing, and of protecting. Also it is not realized what a remarkable matter this is: when it’s really dry you cannot wet it; when it is really wet you cannot dry it. It’s like cedar, you see. It’s a magical plant for that matter. When it’s really dry you cannot get it moist. It won’t take it. And when it’s moist you simply cannot dry it. It takes ages. Therefore as you would imagine as an insulation, it is unique. Also as a poultry house thatch, and most particularly in very bad areas such as this where you really should not keep bees, for packing the bees in the winter it is superlative, and even for protecting them in the summer in the roof.
Are you getting tired?
One could not possibly paint a big enough canvas, a picture of the importance of the whole family of Urticas. Which also includes, interestingly enough, Cannabis, hemp, the whole family of hemp is connected here. Now you understand when I mentioned about the Urtica making that wonderful flannel linen, which was made up until one hundred and fifty years ago- I used it myself and had the most wonderful shirts made of it- and it has a beautiful scent to it, a lovely, wonderful, soft articulate breathing. It is very important that all of our clothes should be utter to the revolutionibus as the berries. We don’t think of this today. As long as we stop the wind from getting to us. We’re quite prepared to stop the revolutionibus from getting to us. It’s best to go naked, forgive me. But: Cannabis, hemp, also the oil of that plant, for birds.
Now I look quickly to a matter that what you grow in your pastures for your animals for their fur. It’s extremely important, you see. It’s extremely important to give them Symphytum because Symphytum brings about what is lost today. All animals are having solid bones and they break. The whole thing about bones, the reason why birds are so wonderful in the air is of course that they’ve hardly got bones at all, they’re all empty, the bones, they’re hollow. You see Symphytum restores hollow bones. You realize that you cannot bend a pipe that is hollow, yet a solid iron bar you can bend with the utmost ease.
The oil in hemp is extremely important as a sealant for birds, for their feathers. Such as the sunflower seed contains oils that are so wonderful for the eye, as a food. That when you eat sunflower seeds you are improving your eyesight without question, or maintaining it if you like. And that is also why the pumpkin seed will restore your sight after eating asparagus, which removes it. So does this Cannabis. Likewise you realize that all beautiful linens used to be made from hemp. And many of the beautiful parchments and writing papers were made from hemp 5. It is from this very word Cannabis, that out of the numerous words it is indeed Persian, comes eventually the word ‘assassin.’ Because so potent is the very seed itself, of oil, that when you make a concoction of it, it is a complete narcotic, and not only drives you stupid and insane, but even to delirium and total tremens of death.
Do you see you can carry any of these things to the full extent? And you see the absurdity
today of this nonsense that is going on about druggism. It’s a falsity. It’s merely that people are misbehaved. There’s nothing wrong with the plants.
Well, I’m about one third of the way through what I’ve prepared since one o’clock this morning, but I mustn’t overfeed you.
Just merely to repeat. That the whole principle within this garden must focus into its next epoch, through those members who will, having studied here and learned the rudiments of horticultural how to prepare the soil with the atmosphere with the waters, must now begin to enter this scene and take on this management and appropriation. For it is only in this way that the staff, in a direction, can simply say, “Please, you take this area and you take that area.” And then it must exchange around. But it’s so important that the whole concept of this becomes a participant with us, with us. Nobody is ever going to give the knowledge to somebody else. Nobody can tell anybody anything about God. It has to come from within.
I went to visit this monk, the other day, as you know, and this very matter was the one thing which he predominantly kind of held the key out and said, “You must tell them always that everybody has got to be a monk. Everybody has got to go and hide in the forest.” As he did for two or three years. And shut up. And discover.
And more and more, all of this, then, will become exponent in symbol, in performance in the garden, in the living, out of the axle of this school. This is what I’m pointing to that we need desperately to bring about. We must not venture into the affair of: “We’ve got to grow raspberries and we will make jam to make money.” Oh we will. There’s nothing better. It will work wonders there. But the focus of what we’re at has got to be the same as is the view as the clairevoyer.
Do you want to talk about it?