Horsetail can be found all over the world. The Horsetail that is commonly used in Biodynamic farming is field horsetail or “equisetum arvense.” The plant contains silica, potassium, and calcium. All of these properties make it an excellent treatment for fungus in the garden. Fungus is most prevalent during high humidity and long spells of rain. The silica in the horsetail eliminates large amounts of water around the plants making it difficult to spread fungus. To prevent fungus follow this recipe below.
Recipe for Horsetail or “equisetum” spray #508 in biodynamics.
1 Unit Horsetail Herb (can find at Josephine Porter Institute online)
1 Quart water + 4 Gallons
1 Pot with lid
1 Garbage Can/Bucket that can hold 4+ gallons
Backpack sprayer (preferably used for biodynamics only)
1-2 hours time
First, combine in a pot, 1 unit horsetail and 1 quart water. Place the pot on stove, cover with a lid and turn heat to low. “Cook” the mixture for 20 minutes. Next, remove pot from the stove. Fill garbage can with 4 gallons of water. Add the mixture from the pot into the garbage can. This dilutes the mixture to the right consistency for the garden.
Now, set a timer for 15 minutes. It is now time to create a vortex and mix. Using one arm stir the water into a vortex. Once it has reached a vortex switch directions and create another vortex. Repeat for 15 minutes. When the stirring is complete strain contents into the backpack sprayer.
Now its time to apply our #508 spray to the garden. Target plants that are most susceptible to fungus (tomatoes, squash, swiss chard, potatoes, to name a few) If there are affected areas of the plants make sure indefinitely to spray those areas! Cover the entire plant as a preventative and to eliminate fungal growing conditions.
1 Unit will cover 1-acre of land. (Adjust quantity as needed) This can be applied daily during outbreaks of fungus. Otherwise, apply every 5-7 days.
Enjoy! And always remember to rest your arm after 15 minutes of stirring!
I’ll admit, July snuck up on me this year. Its one of our busiest months as farmers. Garlic gets pulled, fall crops get seeded, and lots of summer crops are harvested…and the weeds take over!!!
We started the month on time with the harvest of our 50 lbs of garlic in Amagansett and 30 lbs planted in Sag Harbor. While the weeds did get the best of some of our bulbs the harvest was a success. It is now curing in the barn ready to be eaten in the next week or two!
Our cherry tomatoes are ripening up nicely. Fingers crossed we’ll have enough for CSA this week! What I’m also proud and excited about is our broccoli and cabbage this year! We have successfully grown heads of broccoli and cabbage. (last year was a complete disaster) I am looking forward to the first harvest and sharing it with our members and farmers market customers.
Happy July to all those veggie lovers, gardeners, and stressed out farmers!!!
photos by Sunset Beach Farm
Check out The Good Bowl’s Contributors, Karin Bellemare and Jon Wagner (Sunset Beach Farm) on the cover of the low summer edition of Edible East End ! edibleeastend.com
Yesterday Jon applied our Field & Garden biodynamic preparation. The preparation required 12 hours of activation. We placed the contents of two packages into water and formed a paste. We let this paste sit overnight for 12 hours. Early the next morning we packed our biodynamic sprayer and headed to Amagansett. We diluted the paste with water and mixed it into our sprayer. Next, Jon walked up and down the rows or our field and sprayed the preparation. With the full moon last night it was perfect timing. The field and garden spray is a combination of preps, 500, 502, 503, 504, 505,506, and 507. Using this preparation assists in forming soil humus and creating beneficial organisms in the soil. For more information on using biodynamic preparations in your own garden please visit: http://www.jpibiodynamics.org/
I was unable to attend the full spraying of the preparation so there are no pictures to document. I did take some at the Amagansett Farmers Market, Jon harvesting, and activating the preparation. Enjoy!
This week has been a busy one! My body can tell that the season has officially started. The moment I hit my pillow at night I’m fast asleep! This week we started in Sag Harbor where we transplanted our first round of heirloom tomatoes. What a rainy Monday it was! Next we’re transplanting our summer squash and winter squash in Amagansett. Everything looks beautiful on both properties we couldn’t be more pleased. We also seeded heirloom corn in between our squash–our attempt at the “three sisters.” We will be spraying our biodynamic preparation 500 sometime in the next couple of days. This will enliven the soil and create a healthy living environment for our plants. Stay tuned for photos of this event!
I’ve been lucky in life. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful child and a very supportive family. I’ve also had the privilege of living on the island of Maui for two years. Despite the way this sounds, it was hard for me. A fierce contrast from the New York I was accustomed to, it took some time before I was truly able to embrace the island life. It helped that when we first arrived we were lucky enough to live with friends. We would often dine together and share chores. The year was 2000 and it was then that I had my first experience with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.
Our friends were members of a local farm and, in return for a membership fee, they received a weekly “share” of that week’s harvest. We lived Upcountry in Kula, a village on the hillside of Haleakala, Maui’s dormant volcano. Stunningly beautiful, the land there is not what you think of when you picture Hawai’i though. It’s more like the rugged, emerald, rolling terrain of Ireland. The island’s unique volcanic, nutrient-rich soil produces spectacular vegetables, citrus, and the famous Maui onion. Each Friday we’d return home from a long day and eagerly scamper to see what delights awaited us inside the basket.
CSA programs are win-win for the farmers and for members. It provides the farm with financial support at the beginning of each season for seeds, plants and materials. For members it ensures the freshest, seasonal produce one can find for about 22 weeks. I love it because the shares often include herbs or vegetables that fall outside of my comfort-zone, forcing me to expand my horizons and experiment.
Fast-forward 11 years and I’ve finally discovered a local farm that has a CSA program close to our home on the mainland. Sunset Beach Farm is located in the village of North Haven, New York and is owned and operated by Karin Bellemare and Jon Wagner. They are dedicated farmers and lovely human beings. Karin and Jon write about their farm on their website. I will also chronicle this season’s CSA and include ideas for how to enjoy it all. Happy Memorial Day!
To find a CSA program in your area visit localharvest.org