QUESTION: In speaking of the bladder of a wild deer do you mean
that of the male deer (stag)?
ANSWER: Yes, I meant the male deer.
QUESTION: Did you mean the annual or the perennial nettle?
ANSWER: Uritica dioica.
QUESTION: Is it advisable to roof in the manure yard in
districts where there is a great deal of rain?
ANSWER: The manure should be able to stand the normal amount of
rain. On the other hand, to be completely without rain
does it no good, and to be soaked in it is equally harmful. One
cannot make any general pronouncement on this matter. On
the whole rainwater is good for the manure.
QUESTION: Should one not have roofed-in sheds for manure in
order not to lose the liquid manure?
ANSWER: In a certain sense rainwater is necessary to the
manure. It might possibly be good to keep the rain off by
spreading peat-moss over it. But there is no object in keeping
the rain off completely. The manure would only suffer.
QUESTION: Does this method of manuring stimulate the growth of
useful plants and of weeds to the same degrees and must
special methods be adopted to destroy the weeds?
ANSWER: This question is a very reasonable one. I shall be
speaking of weeds and ways of attacking them during the next
few days. The method of manuring I have described is favourable
to plant growth in general and will not help to remove weeds.
But the plants that have benefited by it are better able to
resist parasites and pests, being supplied, as it were, with a
remedy against them. Weed control has not been covered by what
we have been discussing so far. The weed shares in the general
growth of plants. We shall have more to say about this later.
All these things are so connected that it is not good to take
any one of them separately.
QUESTION: What is your view of Captain Krantz's method? By
piling up the manure in loose layers and thus causing it to
produce its own warmth he has succeeded in making it
ANSWER: I have purposely abstained from speaking of methods
which have been developed on rational lines. I preferred to
relate what Spiritual Science can give as an improvement of
such methods. The method you mention certainly has a
great many advantages. But it is relatively new, it has not
been tried for long, and I think one may suspect that it is one
of those methods which are a great success at first, but which
in the course of time are found to be not so practical as had
been expected. At first, while the soil still has its
“tradition” so to speak, anything can serve
to freshen it up. But if you go on too long, the same thing
happens as with medical remedies. Any remedy, even the most
unlikely, may help the first time it enters an organism! but
after a time it ceases to work. With such a method, also it
takes some time before one discovers that it does not work so
well as one had originally believed it would. The important
thing is the generation of heat in the manure, for the activity
thus called into play is highly beneficial to the manure. The
loose piling up of the manure may prove a drawback to the
method, and — well; I am not convinced that it really
loses its smell. If it does it would be a good system. But the
method has not been tried out over a period of many years.
QUESTION: Is it not better to store the manure above ground
rather than sink it into the earth?
ANSWER: In principle, it is right that the manure heap should
be placed as high as possible. But the place chosen should not
be too high, because the manure must remain in the appropriate
relation to the forces that are under the earth. The manure
should not be placed on a hillock; but if it be piled up at the
earth-level, that will be the most satisfactory position.
QUESTION: Can the same compost methods be applied to the vine
which has suffered so much recently?
ANSWER: It can, with a few modifications. When I come to speak
of fruit and vine cultivation I shall mention these. But
what I have said today holds good in general as an improvement
of any kind of manuring. I shall' deal later on with the
special cases of meadow, pasture, or cereals and fruit and vine
QUESTION: Should the foundation of the manure heap be
ANSWER: If we go by what we know of the whole structure
of the earth and of its relation to manure, we do
mischief if we pave the manure area. If we do so we ought
really to limit the paving to a: ring outside the manure area,
so as to allow for the interaction between the earth and the
manure. We spoil the manure if we separate it from the
QUESTION: Does it make any difference whether the soil
underneath is 3and or clay? Often people put a ground layer of
clay where the manure is to be, so as to make the ground
ANSWER: It is quite true that different kinds of soil have a
definite influence which proceeds from the particular
qualities of the soil in question. A sandy soil does not retain
water; it is therefore necessary to put some clay with it
before laying the manure on it. If, on the other hand, you
have a clay soil, you should break it up and strew sand over
it. A middle course would be to have alternate layers of sand
and clay. Then you have the earth consistency as well as the
watery influences. Without this combination of the two
kinds of soil the water will percolate away. For the same
reason, loose soil should certainly not be used as a foundation
for the manure heap as it would have no value for the
manure placed over it| in this case it is better to make your
QUESTION: With regard to the growing of the remedial plants you
have mentioned, is it possible to introduce a plant into a
district where it did not previously grow, simply by sowing? In
cattle-farming the Greenland Society have generally supposed
that yarrow and dandelion were dangerous to cattle and the
Society do their best to keep their pasture-land free from
them. We are engaged upon this very task at the moment. And the
same with the thistle. Should we now sow them round our arable
fields but not on our meadows and pasture land?
ANSWER: (Question by Dr. Steiner) Well — in what way did
you suppose these plants to be harmful to cattle?
ANSWER: (Count Keyserlingk): Yarrow is said to contain
poisonous substances, and dandelion to be unsuitable for cattle
ANSWER: (Dr. Steiner): This should be watched. In the open
field, you will not find an animal eating what is harmful.
COUNT LERCHENFELD: With us the reverse is the case. The
dandelion is looked upon &ä an excellent
ANSWER: These views are very often only the prevailing
opinions and nothing more. Nobody knows whether they have been
tried out. It is possible for there to be
something harmful among the hay, but I believe that in that
case the animal would leave the hay untouched. An animal will
not eat what is not good for it.
QUESTION: Has not yarrow been largely removed by large doses of
lime? It surely requires a moist and acid soil?
ANSWER: If you want to have yarrow growing wild then a very
small quantity properly spread out will suffice for a large
farm. This is the sort of homeopathic use I meant. If we had a
little yarrow growing wild in the garden here there would be
enough for the whole estate.
QUESTION: I have noticed that on my meadows the cattle enjoy
eating the dandelion shortly before it flowers, but cease
taking it once it had begun to flower.
ANSWER: You must remember the following: this is the general
rule. You must remember that an animal has an exceptionally
fine instinct for what is good for it and may be trusted not to
eat dandelions if they will do it harm. There is also another
thing to remember. When preparing a product for a particular
purpose we often use an ingredient which we would not eat
by itself. For example, we use yeast to bake our bread for
daily consumption. But no one would dream of eating yeast every
day. What can even act as a poison when consumed in large doses
can in other circumstances have the most beneficial effects.
After all, medicines are usually poisonous. The important thing
is the process not the substance. I think we may take it that
the view that dandelions are harmful to animals can readily be
dismissed. These contradictory opinions are strange. It is a
curious thing to hear emphasis being laid upon the harmfulness
of the dandelion when at the same time, Count Lerchenfeld talks
of it as the best promoter of milk to be found. In districts
lying so close to one another, the effects cannot be so very
different. One of the two conflicting views must be wrong.
QUESTION: Perhaps the sub-soil is the decisive factor. My
statement was based on veterinary observations. Should one then
deliberately plant yarrow and dandelion in meadow and pasture
ANSWER: Quite a small area is sufficient.
QUESTION: Does it depend upon how long the preparations
should be kept with the -manure after they have been taken out
of the earth?
ANSWER: Once they are mixed with the manure it is meaningless
to ask how long they should be kept with it. But it should all
have been done before the manure is spread on the fields.
QUESTION: Should the various manure preparations (in cow-horn,
“sausage” etc.) be buried together, or each
ANSWER: A certain importance attaches to this because one
preparation should not disturb the other while this reciprocal
action is going on. If I were working a small farm, I should
look for the most widely separated points on its. boundaries
and bury the preparations at the greatest possible distances
from each other in order to prevent any one of them disturbing
the other. On a large estate, you can quite easily choose
QUESTION: Can the earth above the buried preparations be
allowed to grow anything?
ANSWER: The earth can do what it likes. As a matter of fact, it
is quite a good thing for something, even cultivated
plants, to be grown on the covering earth.
QUESTION: How should the preparations be administered to
a manure heap?
ANSWER: I recommend the following procedure:” where the
manure heap is a large one, bore a hole about ten inches deep
into it and place the preparation inside it so that the manure
closes around it. The exact measurement does not matter. The
important thing is that the preparation should be
completely shut in by the manure. The whole thing depends upon
radiation (see Diag. 20). If this is the manure heap and this
is a little of the preparation, then the radiations go so. If
it is too near the surface, it will not be so good. At the
surface the streams of force are deflected and take on a
particular curve. They do not leave the heap. A depth of 20
inches will do. If it is too near to the surface it will lose a
considerable part of the rays of force.
QUESTION: Should the holes be made close together at one place,
or should they be evenly spaced around the heap?
ANSWER: It is better to space them out, not to make all the
holes in one place. Otherwise the streams of force disturb each
QUESTION: Should all the preparations be put into the manure
heap at the same time?
ANSWER: When the preparations are being put into a manure heap
they can be placed side by side. They do not influence each
other, but only the manure as such.
QUESTION: Can the preparations all be put into one hole?
ANSWER: Theoretically it ought to be possible to do this
without their disturbing each other. I could not, however,
guarantee beforehand that no disturbance would take place. I
would therefore suggest that the preparations be placed
in proximity to each other but not actually in one
QUESTION: What kind of oak had you in mind?
ANSWER: Quercus robur.
QUESTION: Should the bark used be taken from a living
tree or from one that has been cut down?
ANSWER: If possible from a living tree, and even from one in
which the resin may be presumed to be still fairly active.
QUESTION: Should the whole of the bark be used?
ANSWER: Actually, only the upper layer, the part which crumbles
as one' picks it off.
QUESTION: In burying the manure-preparations should one go no
deeper than the cultivated spit or should the cow-horns be
ANSWER: It is best to leave them in the cultivated spit. There
is even reason to think that if put into the sub-soil the
material would not be so fruitful. It must also be considered
that should the cultivated spit extend further down than is
usual, that would provide the best possible conditions. Look,
therefore, for a place where the cultivated depth is as thick
as possible, but remember that below it no useful effect can
QUESTION: In the cultivated spit the preparation would always
be exposed to frost. Would this do any harm?
ANSWER: The time when it was exposed to frost would be the time
when the earth was exposed through this very frost, to the most
powerful cosmic influences.
QUESTION: How does one grind quartz and silica? In a small
hand-mill, or in a mortar?
ANSWER: The best method is first to grind it to a fine powder
in an iron mortar and you will need too, an iron pestle. In the
case of quartz, the process must be continued on a glass
surface. For the powder must be very fine, and this is
difficult to obtain with quartz.
QUESTION: The experience of farmers shows that when a beast is
well fed the substances which were lacking in its body
increase. There must therefore be a relation between
feeding and the intake of nourishment out of the
ANSWER: Remember what I said. I said: The essential thing
about nourishment is that forces should be developed in the
body. Whether the animal develops enough forces to enable it to
take in and transform the substances in the atmosphere depends
upon whether it absorbs its food in the right way. To
make a comparison. If you want to put on a close-fitting glove
you don't do it by squeezing your fingers into it. You first
enlarge the glove with a stretcher. In the same way, we must
bring elasticity into those forces which are to take out of the
atmosphere what is not produced by food. Through the food, the
organism is stretched and thereby enabled to take in more of
what it needs from the atmosphere. This may even lead to
hypertrophy if too much food is taken in. This has to be paid
for by a shortened life span. The middle course must be found
between the maximum and minimum.
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