I spent an entire morning chasing after birds, hoping I could take their picture perched on bamboo. They were so beautiful flying from bamboo to bamboo and yet they were too fast to be captured on my lens. Instead, I was able to take photographs of our farm’s other tenants: the chickens, some cows, a ladybug and earthworms.
An essential principle of Biodynamic agriculture is biodiversity. As you treat the entire farm as a living system, you then protect and benefit from every creature in the farm, from the tiniest microbe to even the laziest cow. Every one lives in harmony with the other, and in fact, everyone pays the rent. Here are some of the creatures we house.
The flowers and shrubs become willing nests for our birds and insects. While the birds and insects pay their dues by terminating all the pests that would otherwise wreak havoc on our plants. Our farm enjoys playing host to bluebirds and kingfishers. These birds happily feast on the grubs and insects in our farm.
Then there’s the dependable chicken. They give back by eating pests too, and when they are done, fertilize our farm with chicken poop. We can even have some free range eggs for breakfast!
I have almost stepped on a little brown frog once. We have some resident frogs in our farm as well. They are hearty mosquito eaters. They live close to our paddies.
Ladybugs, Beetles and Butterflies
Now among our prettiest lady dweller is the ladybug. Dressed with her red polka dot dress, she’s the best at what she does- feeds abundantly in aphids! Some other tiny creatures we love are the lacewings and beetles. Read more about Integrated Pest Management and Beneficial Insects.
Spiders and Worms
On to the icky ones: spiders and worms. We can’t say no to our spider dwellers. The webs they meticulously create become traps for pests. And earthworms! No one can deny these are the magical workers of the soil.
Cows are among our most important tenants. We depend heavily on our cows for our compost and for the biodynamic preparations we use. They are among our highest paying tenants: cow dung is like gold to the farmer! Not only is it essential for a healthy soil, we use it to make preparation 500, which promotes the plants’ root activity and stimulates most microbe life in our soils. Not to mention milk and cheese!
Our farm is an eclectic mix of creatures. We have a thriving population of earthworms, birds, insects, chickens and cows. By ensuring healthy soils, cover cropping, and the proper planning of our plant beds, hedges and water reservoirs, we provide a habitat for wildlife and somehow increase biodiversity. Not only that, we are rewarded with birdsong, with butterflies, with handy workers that cultivate and fertilize our soil, with soldiers, and even with fresh milk and eggs.