One of the methods unique to biodynamic agriculture is the use of the biodynamic preparations.  Horns filled with manure? Grinding up quartz crystals?  It can be hard to know where to start. 

This course covers everything from the basics of what the biodynamic preparations are, how to make and use them all the way through to research, both quantitative and qualitative, that explore their effectiveness.

This self-study course is designed for anyone who is interested in the preparations, for farms, gardens, or allotments.  All that is required is interest, a decent internet connection and some self-motivation. 

Course Structure

  • Readings – some of these have been written specifically for the course and some are collections of other written resources.

  • Activities – designed to further your engagement and understanding of the subject.

  • Interviews – that present the relationship of a biodynamic farmer or grower with the preparations.

  • Further reading and references – if you want to find out more, we've put together lots of resources and links to research and other resources.

  • Live Q&A with experts – every 4 to 6 weeks we'll hold a live webinar with experts to answer your questions. Recordings of past Q&A sessions are also available to all participants.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to Biodynamic Preparations

    • Welcome

    • Working with the Biodynamic Preparations (questionnaire)

    • Initial Thoughts on the Preparations (discussion)

  • 2

    Introduction and Initial Thoughts

    • Introduction, overview and initial principles

    • What is science (discussion)

    • Interview with Timothy Brink

  • 3

    Spray Preparations

    • Horns and hooves

    • Making the Spray Preparations

    • Using the Spray Preparations

    • Earthly Rhythms

    • On Manure and Quartz

    • Summary of the Spray Preparations

    • The Role of the Cow, by Timothy Brink

    • Why Cows Have Horns

    • Silica: Substance and Process by Dennis Klocek

    • Stirring Exercise

    • Horsetail Preparation 508

  • 4

    Compost Preparations

    • Preparation Plants, Research Exercise

    • Compost Preparations Introduction

    • Yarrow (502)

    • Chamomile (503)

    • Nettle (504)

    • Oak bark (505)

    • Dandelion (506)

    • Valerian (507)

    • Using the Compost Preparations

    • Karl Koning on Sheaths

    • Jeanne Malherbe on the Preparations

  • 5

    Research, Innovations and Personal Approaches

    • Research Papers on the Preparations

    • Innovations

    • Dennis Klocek interview

    • Considera website

    • DOK Experiment: Long-term study on bio-dynamic, bio-organic and conventional farming systems

    • Discussion: Making the Preparations in Different Contexts

    • Robin Snowdon interview

    • Personal experience and relationship with the preparations

  • 6

    Question and Answer Sessions

    • Periodic Q&A Webinars

  • 7

    Further Reading

    • Threefoldness in Mammals by Schad

    • Dennis Klocek on Stirring

    • Steiner on mechanised stirring

    • Why Cows Have Horns

    • Biodynamic Preparations: Good Practice Manual by Biodynamic Federation Demeter International

    • The effect of horn manure preparation on enzymes activity and nutrient contents in soil as well as great pumpkin yield

    • Effect of biodynamic preparations on the soil biological and agrochemical properties and coloured potato tubers quality

    • Biodynamic preparations greater root growth and health stress resistance and soil organic matter increases are linked

    • Influence of biodynamic preparations on compost development and resultant compost extracts on wheat seedling growth

    • Biodynamic Preparations by Pierre Masson

Registration gives you access to materials for six months.