|Written by Jeff Poppens|
|Tuesday, April 30, 2013|
Steiner begins the second lecture by giving an overview of the whole agriculture course. We will spend the first lectures gathering knowledge so as to recognize the conditions on which the prosperity of agriculture depends and observing hoe agriculture lives in the totality of the Universe. In the later lectures we will draw the practical conclusions, but for now we must gather, recognize and observe.
Notice the Goethenistic approach. We are not starting with a problem and hypothesis, as in Newtonian Science. Instead, we are looking for information, conditions, and how something (agriculture) lives. There are no boundaries to where we will look. Because of their diversity, I will number the various items of knowledge.
Steiner insists from the start that a farm needs livestock, and then explains why. “It is not a matter of indifference whether we get our cow-dung from the neighbor or from our own farm.” What makes our farm’s cow-dung different? The humus content of a soil, with specific microbes, is formed in a large part by the animals on it. They eat the plants growing on the farm, digesting and transforming the microbiology in their stomachs. A cycle of rejunevation happens as it’s returned back to the soil and new plants grow there.
He justifies this need for a farm’s own livestock by considering the Earth and the influences from the Universe beyond. That means calcium forces in the manure and silica forces communicating intelligence from afar. This will be considered from various standpoints, and now we will begin with the soil.
In chapter one we were introduced to calcium and silica, and their relationship to the inner and distant planets, respectively. Now we have their locales. Again, we are still just gathering various items of knowledge. Notice that both sets of planets work with the sun. inner planets supplement and modify, while the outer planets simply assist.
What is drawn in from the Universe by the way of silicon and the root-nature, “head” beneath the soil, is able to be led upward through the plant by the clayey substances in the soil. Clay is the carrier of the upward stream of silica’s activity beneath the soil.
All that is above the soil in this kind of digestive process must be drawn downward into the soil. Limestone in the soil and in homeopathic doses in the air is there to carry into the soil the earthly process of digestion. Farmers spread lime on top of their fields, knowing it will work its way downward.
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