The work carried out by the international research group to which we provided material and organizational collaboration, the results of which were then published at the following web address , takes on considerable value in the field of research in Biodynamic Agriculture. The results are of the highest level and mark a fundamental step worldwide on the road to understanding the functioning mechanisms of biodynamic preparations.
In particular, in this work we understand the evolution of the cow manure inside the buried horn. The gradual transformation that will lead the manure to become horn-manure preparation or preparation 500 was carefully followed during the classic burial period: approximately 6 months. The evidence is extraordinary and opens up a scientific vision of the method on a global level as never before.
Let’s give just a few details, the most important ones:
- The 500 is a true microbiological community composed of almost 149 bacterial genera and 72 fungal genera (approximately 2000 species of different microorganisms)
When the manure, collected from the pasture during the autumn-winter period, is placed in the horn it is mainly made up of fungal populations and very few bacteria. In particular, the mushroom of the Onygenales order is prevalent compared to the others
- The mushroom of the Onygenales order comes from the rumen of cattle. It is present there because in the rumen there are structures supporting peristaltic mastication made up of keratin. These structures allow a better breakdown of the fibrous structure of the grasses ingested by the cattle when they feed on the pasture. The mushroom of the order Onygenales (from the Greek “ onyx ” = “nail” = “keratin”) is a fungus that demolishes keratin by hydrolyzing it and therefore allows the linear microfiber keratin structures of the cytoskeleton present in perennial growth and renewal.
- When the mushroom of the Onygenales order enters the horn it immediately finds the substrate it prefers: the keratin that lines the inside of the bovine horn. The fungus begins to hydrolyse it and produces some metabolites of a protein nature (peptides, i.e. protein fragments, many of which are sulphur-based) which are real “activators-recall signals” or biostimulators for the bacteria which consequently begin to enter inside the horn from the surrounding soil.
- From this point on, the growth in terms of biodiversity of bacterial species and populations increases considerably until reaching the biodiversity mentioned above.
- The bacteria we find in the horn are useful bacteria known in agricultural microbiology for their positive role in terms of the formation and conservation of the vital structure of the soil: Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actynomicetales among the major protagonists capable of carrying out fundamental actions such as the decomposition of the substance organic growth, nutrient flow, biocontrol, promotion of root growth and even the removal of some pollutants from the soil.
- During the growth of the bacterial and fungal populations inside the horn and during the 6 months of transformation the preparation itself is enriched with many of these substances with a sulfur base and with the role of “activators-recall signals” i.e. biostimulators which will enter be part of the biodynamic preparation 500.
- Thanks to these biostimulators, the 500 will also have the ability to stimulate, once distributed in the field, microorganisms present in the soil but in an “inactive” state. The inactivity of many bacteria present in the soil is often due to adverse environmental conditions (lack of biological structure, constipation, pollution from herbicides, pesticides or insecticides)
So, what did Steiner intuit. He had understood that by recycling the bovine manure inside the horn itself it was possible to create a continuity due to the bond that unites the mushroom of the Onygenales order to the keratin present both in the rumen and inside the horn. This mushroom of the Onygenales order would thus become the pioneer for a vital climb that would lead the preparation to have such a strong biodiversity in terms of bacterial and fungal species useful for the construction and maintenance of the biological structure of the soil.
But not only!
Thanks to the accumulation of “activators-recall signals”, 500 also becomes in effect a prebiotic, stimulating and bringing back to work all those classes of microorganisms which, due to adverse conditions in the soil, had so to speak “silenced”. To date we know that 500 has a Probiotic and Prebiotic role and we understand better how this extraordinary tool can have those practical effects that all professional biodynamic farmers see happening before their eyes. Wonderful to think that almost 100 years ago Rudolf Steiner, without knowing anything about what he discovered thanks to this study, had thought of such a fine, precise and profoundly scientific mechanism. And today we thank him again.
Download the report at this link !