• The Secret To Effortless, Inexpensive Biodynamic Gardening: Wood Chips

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    Although logs can be stored and transported conveniently when stacked, and the ease of air passage through a log pile allows good drying, they may not always be the most convenient form for automated handling and feeding.  Also, the relatively small surface area to volume ratio is not ideal for efficient combustion or gasification. Wood chips can form a much more uniform fuel that can flow and can be fed to a boiler, gasifier or other conversion system as a steady flow using an auger feed or a conveyor.  With a large surface area to volume ratio they can also be burned very efficiently. Wood chips may have a bulk energy density of about 50% of that of the solid wood. Wood chips for energy applications should meet an appropriate quality standard if they are to be used reliably in combustion equipment, especially small scale and domestic equipment.  Physical parameters, such as maximum size and absence of slivers or fines (sawdust), and maximum moisture content are important to allow reliable operation and prevent feed blockages. Also levels of contaminants and ash content will have an impact on emissions and maintenance schedules.

    As biodynamic gardening reaches new audience levels the question arises as to how it is possible to apply its principles and techniques on a home garden/small space basis, particularly if one is starting out for the first time. Where does one start with biodynamics on such a scale? When I first began as a biodynamic novice, my neighbour Jeremy Weiss, (veteran of these pages, Waldorf-educated and a Demeter symbol holder to boot) told me that biodynamics was a lot to do with intent. I know from my own experiences of life that holding an intention around something is a very powerful tool and over the last few years he has been proved right, the more you put in the more you get out.

    If you’re passionate about your health, you ultimately will reach the conclusion that the quality of the food you eat in large part determines your health. You need nutrient-dense, non-GMO or non-glyphosate contaminated foods to stay healthy.

    You can purchase organic from the store but this is typically shipped long- distance, and in many cases from a different country. You can purchase from local organic farmers but you still have logistical challenges and it may have been picked several days prior to your eating it.

    Fortunately, regardless of your income, it is possible to nearly effortlessly grow your own food right in the comfort and convenience of your own backyard and virtually eliminate the time from harvesting to eating.

    Paul Gautschi has been a personal inspiration to me, and his garden is a testament to the fact that growing large amounts of healthy food can be very simple, and doesn’t require a lot …

    It should come naturally for gardeners to save their own seed. It happens in nature and it is easy to save the larger seeds such as potatoes, beans, peas and shallots. Failing that try and use biodynamic seeds that have been produced in an environment where the biodynamic measures are in use.

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