These observations are for April, May and June 2019 however let me just take you back a few months. What exciting times in November last year we had a massive heatwave. We broke records at Biboohra with 46 C˚ on the 26th and we had 11 days sitting on 40 C˚+ and at time of writing this article it seems the heatwave has returned.
In December Biboohra had a mini tornado on the 3rd rubbish bins flying everywhere. We had cyclone Owen active from the 2nd to 5th returning 14th and 15th. We had a nice lot of rain all up 360mm at our place. On the 31st we had 120 bush fires in Queensland along the coast from just north of Cairns to the Gold Coast.
Further afield in Indonesia the Krakatau volcano erupted on the 22nd right on Winter solstice. 400 people dead and 40.000 displaced. This eruption created a tsunami in Sundra Strait. Peder and I visited Krakatau in 1988. It was a fantastic experience to walk on this rather active and puffing volcano. Lucky it didn’t erupt then. In Sicilia Mt. Etna erupted on the 26th. It was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake providing 1.000 aftershocks in 3 days.
January and back home Tropical Cyclone Penny made land fall near Weipa she was active from the 2nd to 7th. The landfall at 3.30pm coincided with a high tide which was also the highest astronomical tide of the year. What is an astronomical high tide? I asked myself! Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun on the Earth. These high tides are considered to be astronomically highs. They occur when the Earth, the Sun and the Moon are in line. Wow great news indeed! Our dam was full on the 1st ready for swimming.
From 24th to 27th Tropical cyclone Riley was building up off the coast of WA between Broome and Onslow which is such an adorable area. Put it on your bucket list! Daintree River flooded with 12.6m on the 26th record high in 118 years. 500mm of rain in 24 hours followed up by 300mm in three hours. No need to say that Townsville broke records with their flooding late January and early February. In February Ross River Dam flood gates were opened on the 3rd letting out two million litres of water per second would have been scary stuff flowing past your fence pole. Paluma had 2.5 metres of rain in eight days and Bluewater had 1200mm in two days with one downpour delivering 203mm in an hour. At time of writing this article (20.02.10.30am) we still have Tropical cyclone Oma hanging around and she could cross the southern QLD coast. She is currently of New Caledonia about 1,120 km north-east of Brisbane. My garden was too wet for any planting and sowing. There is plenty of greens and herbs going berserk. I added minerals and compost with BD compost preparations to the soil and mulched heavily and let the soil rest until weather and soil dries up.
The vegetable garden was still too wet to work in March but I did I transplant a few things like Brazil Spinach, Lemongrass, Mouse Melon, Spring Onions and some Mushroom plants. The plants were not too happy as we were sitting on high temperatures such as 40 C ˚+ for two weeks. A few herbs such as Sweet Basil, Winter Tarragon, Sweet leaf and Cranberry bushes went berserk and needed a serious pruning. Swamp Bloodwood (Eucalyptus ptychocarpa) is flowering. Beautiful pink flowers and this girl just love anything pink! Custard Apple, Longans, Oranges and Jack fruit are ready to pick. Then we had Tropical Cyclone Trevor which made landfall at Lochart River on the 18th as a category 3. Trevor weakened over land and picked up again over sea and made landfall again as a severe T C on the 23rd near Robinson River in NT as a category 4 bringing lots of high winds, lots of rain and m high floods. Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica made landfall at the Pilbara coast WA on the 24th. One must say plenty of action in one month around the Super Moon as I predicted in my previous “Weather Forecasting and Nature Observations”.
During our wet season which officially continues to 1st of April but don’t be fooled we can still get a fair bit of rain in April as our cyclone season officially ends 1st May so we might continue to have a lot of fungal activities. Your devoted traveller should have added this information in the last issue of Who Flung Dung (= our great Biodynamic newsletter) for you to prepare for the wet season but she was so excited about going to New Zealand and completely forgot to. However here it is and now you just have to remember this piece of information for the next wet season as well.
Apply 505 Oak Bark preparation which helps pull the too strong earthly forces back into the soil, when the water activity is working too strongly, such as after lots of rain or at Full Moon. 505 Oak Bark preparation will balance the energies helping to protect against fungal diseases and to take fungal activities back in soil. 505 Oak Bark lowers the salt level to lessen fungal activities.
Apply 508 Equisetum preparation (Horsetail) Equisetum is not native to Australia so we use Casuarinas which has been found to be an effective alternative. It will help balance fluid in soil and air and strengthen against fungal disease as it strengthens the cells.
Apply 501 Horn Silica preparation this will help to develop resistance to insect attack and fungal diseases amongst others and it also strengthens the cells.
Maybe one could apply “The Three Kings” preparation. This preparation is used before and after chaos. “The Three Kings” consists of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. It creates a protective bubble over the farm. If you like to read up on this and many other preparations get hold of “Hugo Erbe’s New Bio-Dynamic Preparations” written by Hugo Erbe who lived from 1885-1965. Interesting stuff indeed!
If you like to know more about Biodynamic practises please read Weather Forecasting and Nature Observations.
Moon opposite Saturn is a very important time practising Biodynamic farming. This is the time of the month where we put out Horn Manure Preparation 500, Winter Horn Clay, Cow Pat Pit (CPP) and a fermented Casuarina 508 Preparation tea two days before Moon opposite Saturn. You can start stirring at 3pm and put out after 4pm. Put out Horn Silica Preparation 501, Summer Horn Clay with a fresh Casuarina 508 Preparation tea the next morning start stirring one hour before sunrise and put out at sunrise. Moon opposite Saturn times over the next three months: 13th April, 10th May and 6th June. If you for some reason could not get the preparations out during above dates you can put out the Horn Manure Preparation 500, Winter Horn Clay, Cow Pat Pit and a fermented Casuarina 508 Preparation tea on a descending moon and the atmospheric Horn Silica Preparation 501, Summer Horn Clay with a fresh Casuarina 508 Preparation tea on an ascending Moon on a leaf day. Most important is that you put the preparations out.
At times of Equatorial crossings we are very likely to experience unsettled weather and sometimes rather wild weather depending what all the planets are doing. Moon Equatorial crossings dates: 5th and 18th April, 2nd, 15th /16th, and 30th May, 12th and 26th June. Also be aware of other planets Equatorial crossings.
Moon nodes: Please remember that when the Moon is crossing the ecliptic, the Sun’s annual path, the Moon is blocking the energy of the Sun and this influence can be negative. The points where they cross the ecliptic are called nodes. Have a look at your calendar and remember that we don’t do any garden/farm work 2-3 hours before and after the Moon node. We have in general two Moon nodes in a month but sometime three (March, July and November).
Full Moon 19th April, 19th May and 17th June. Time of Full Moon is very important to me. This is the time I recharge and cleanse my crystals. Crystals do get tired and pick up negative energy especially if they work hard on healing and helping out in other demanding situations. Letting the crystals sit in the energy and rays of the Full Moon recharge them and cleanse their energy from negative to positive. I have a small white circular/oblong cloth which represents the Full Moon. I put it out in the garden in a beautiful spot where no one usually walks. I place a big Abalone shell in the middle of the cloth and fill it with small clear crystals. I place four cone shaped shells pointing outwards with even distance. Around the Abalone I place all the crystals I want to recharge in a pattern following my intuition. You can place whatever you feel like on the cloth I usually also put out some coral and Moonstone. The shells represent water and the Moon Goddess. If there are any flowers falling off the trees I add them to my circle. In the grass outside the cloth I place 4 white feathers pointing in the direction of East, North, South and West.
April and what a great time it is and officially we have entered the dry season which should last until October with average temperature of 24˚ C and low rainfall and humidity. However as I wrote earlier we are still in cyclone season and in 2006 on the 19th Tropical Cyclone Monica made landfall at Lockhart River. She dumped so much water that it was not funny. Cairns was flooded, Kuranda Range, Gillis Range and Rex Range were closed. In 2014 Tropical cyclone Ita made landfall at Cape Flattery on the 12th. Broad leaf paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) is flowering exposing beautiful pale yellow and red flowers.
We have new Moon on the 5th Sun and Moon in Pisces and Moon crossing Equator. I am just wondering if this could create some interesting energies. On the 11th Jupiter begins retrograde motion. Perigee on the 17th. Moon crossing equator 18th and Full Moon 19th in Libra. 22nd Mercury crosses Equator going north. 24th Venus crosses Equator going north. 25th Pluto begins retrograde motion. 30th Saturn begins retrograde motion. I would say that this could be a rather difficult time. Please be aware of the energy surrounding yourself and your property. Check what the garden spirits are doing during this period. The name of this full Moon is called Full Pink Moon/ Sprouting Grass Moon/Egg Moon and the Fish Moon according to Native American tribes.
In 2010 fruit orchards in our local area were hammered by the Fruit-sucking Moth. Lots of growers lost their entire crop. The moths are large with a wing span of 5-6cm. The wings are dark brown with beautiful distinctive orange markings. The moths pierce the skin of pawpaws, tomatoes, citrus, persimmons, bananas and other fruit, and then suck out the liquid contents. A black spot remains at the point of entry, with flesh around this either becoming soft and pulpy or dry and pithy, depending on the fruit attacked. Peppering could have come in handy in this situation. Then the Bean sucking bug attacked and sucked the beans dry. Forget all about seed saving!
May and the Akee trees is laden with fruits and I get stuck in them. After app. an hour I was not feeling well. My vision was blurred and I felt pale and my balance was not ok. I read about the fruit later in the day that the immature and over-ripe fruit is poisonous. Never use fruit that has fallen from the tree. Care should be taken to remove the pink material that connects the aril to the seeds as this also causes illness. Well obviously it pays to know a little bit about what you eat! I learn every day! The Arial potatoes were doing well and we harvested the roots. We cooked them and they were not the best eating! Another learning curve!
We have another interesting New Moon on the 5th with Sun, Moon, Mercury and Uranus in Aries. That is a lot of planets in a fire sign within a short time. Take time to feel this energy. Full Moon 19th in Scorpio the name of this full Moon according to North American tribes is Full Flower Moon/ Corn planting Moon or Milk Moon.
The Whistling Ducks arrive telling us that winter is just around the corner. They perform the most wonderful concert. I love the sound of them especially when they fly over. Also we welcome the Ibis and one year I saw them picking up Cane Toads and bashing the life out of them and then swallowing them. Well done. Ibis don’t sing much but have a strange sound when it wants you to pay a bit of attention to it. It pokes its long curved bill into the ground to shake up insects to eat and by doing this it is airing the soil. Ibis is a good mate in the garden. Honey Bee Eaters have arrived diving from the sky catching insects.
Black Sapote is booming and Peder is making his Famous Black Sapote Bread: 4 tab sp stone ground wheatmeal, 2 tab sp oat bran, 2 tab sp rolled oats, 2 tab sp millet flakes, salt. 1 big ripe Black Sapote, 2 tsp dry yeast, 1 egg. Add plain flour, enough to have the right consistency. Bake at 200˚ C for 25-30 minutes or until the bread has a hollow sound when tapping it.
The Jack fruit is green and it is time to make Peder’s Green Jack Fruit Curry dish. Gosh Peder is busy in his outdoor kitchen getting a sun tan. Pick a green Jack fruit. Peel Jack fruit and cut into pieces. Curry sauce: Coconut cream, Onions and Carrots. Fresh Basil, Fresh Oregano, Fresh Tarragon, Fresh Turmeric, Fresh Ginger, Fresh Lemongrass. Bird Eye Chilli, Salt, Black Pepper, Coriander seeds, Fennel seeds, Anise seeds, Cloves, Mustard seeds, Old spice and Caraway seeds.
Chop and fry onions, carrots and all fresh ingredients in coconut oil. Ground all dry ingredients in mortar. Put all above ingredients in coconut cream and simmer for 20 minutes. Add some of your old beef or vegan stock.
Add the Jack fruit to curry sauce and simmer till tender. If the seeds in the Jack fruit have formed already the seed coat should be removed as this is a pain to chew as it is hard and sharp in your mouth. Serve with rice or whatever you fancy.
Somebody wrote once upon a time that “the inside of Jackfruit looks like sheep intestine turned inside out like stuffed tribe”. I guess that is quite true. When you harvest the Jackfruit and cut it open grease your hands with oil as the fruit is covered in milky sticky flesh sap which is like glue.
We are getting out our solar oven as the days are sunny and hot ideal weather for cooking with a solar oven producing yummy food. You should make one yourself. It is easy – have a look at my article, Cooking with the Sun.
White Sapote is flowering with millions of Native bees humming and I wonder in awe how many different species we have on this amassing continent? The last crocodile eggs will hatch this month. Go up to Daintree River for a boat cruise and spot some of them. The baby crocodiles are so cute but don’t have much of a chance to grow up even to become a teenager. Jabiru Blacked-necked Stork breeding season is from March to May and the nestling period is 115 days. You can work out for yourself when we get to see the young ones. You can watch Dwarf Minke Whale from May to September in our backyard on the Great Barrier Reef out of Cairns or Port Douglas. Why not go snorkelling with them let down your hair and have some serious fun!
May is also the month where BDFNQ (Biodynamics Far North Queensland) have their annual Horn Burial. We stuff horns with fresh cow manure from lactating cows. We dig a pit and bury the horns in the soil over winter. The cow manure ferments in the horn in the pit and transform into what we call Horn Manure preparation 500. This preparation is used to bring in the calcium activity and the earthly forces to the soil and helps the soil to develop humus and structure and to attract earthworms and soil micro-organisms, increases phosphate solubilising bacteria and the ability to hold moisture. Apply 4-6 times a year in spring, summer, autumn and winter or every month if needed. Use 30 g per acre in 13 l water or 85 g per Ha in 30l water. Spray large droplets onto soil. You can mix the Horn Manure 500 with Horn clay, CCP (Cow Pat Pit), Seaweed or fish Emulsion and fermented Casuarina tea. Years ago I took part in a Horn Burial in New Zealand.
Read the article I wrote called “My Cow Horn Mandala” which is related to the Horn Burial.
June It is time to do some soil testing for ph value and also check what the minerals are doing at your plot. The soil is already drying up at the speed of a rocket going berserk in an orbit of lunar star dust. It is time to apply the seaweed brew with whatever weeds (I call them wild flora and I think it is a much better name for such beautiful plants) you got growing in big amounts. Add 502 Yarrow, 503 Chamomile, 504 Stinging Nettle, 505 Oak Bark, 506 Dandelion and 507 Valerian preparations to the brew. Apply to soil then add compost and a good layer of mulch. By the way somebody said that one function of weed is to improve the soil.
On the 3rd we have New Moon with Sun and Moon in front of Taurus. On the 17th Jupiter is square Neptune and Full Moon in Capricorn. This full Moon was called Full Strawberry Moon/Rose Moon or the Hot Moon by North American tribes. I think it is a brilliant idea to name the moons. I am going to do just that. Solstice Sun peak North on the 22nd and Neptune begins Retrograde motion. Brian Keats (the maker of Antipodean Astro Calendar) says: “Jupiter is square Neptune on the 17th; they will be 90 apart from each other. This is a relatively slow moving event which would influence the whole month at least”. Now I am wondering what influence this constellation has as Brian did not mention anything. So we wait and see.
Lots of Mouse Melon and I can’t remember when I planted them! It is the most funny and little looking veggie I have come across. It tastes like cucumber and it is lovely to eat raw straight off the wine or pickled. They are delicious both ways. If you want a good laugh while gardening I suggest you grow Mouse Melon. Sunbird started building a nest and my hot mustard grew big and very tasty.
Black Cockatoo hanging out in tops of the eucalyptus trees. Most water lilies in the dam finished flowering at the end of the month. Oranges, mandarins and passion fruits are in season. Kaffir lime has got aphids and ants are on their toes milking them. Talk about insect farming! The cute Platypus mate between June and October. They are around two years when they do so. Then lay 1-2 eggs which will hatch after 10 days. They nurse the young ones for four months. I hope I have inspired you all to do and enjoy your own nature observations!