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Peppering as a Method of Pest Control

Another method unique to Biodynamic farming is Peppering.  No, it’s not the use of pepper, but the use of ashes (produced after a method) that is sprinkled over affected areas in the farm like pepper.  Peppering reduces weeds, insects and rodents. Because peppering is quite powerful, we only use it as a last resort.  This is because it completely eradicated something from a treated area, and cannot establish or maintain a healthy balance, especially when what we aim for is a healthy, ecological and interdependent ecosystem.

What is peppering?

Peppering excludes a specific pest from the area you treat by getting the pest, burning it and putting it back to the soil.

How do you make the “pepper?”

Capture the pest and burn it to ash. The ash is then sprinkled like pepper around the perimeter of the affected area. The timing is specific to the type of pest and what planetary influences rule their reproduction:

Ÿ Animals – when the planet Venus is in the constellation of Scorpio.

Ÿ Winged insects – when the Sun is in Gemini, and the Moon is in a water sign.

Ÿ Hard shelled insects – when the Sun is in Taurus and the Moon is in Taurus.

Ÿ Snails and slugs – when the Sun is in Cancer and the Moon is in a water sign.

Ÿ Weed seeds – at full Moon or moon is in Leo.

Some tips:

  1. Collect the pest first.  If you are getting rid of small insects, you might need a lot of small insects.  If you are dealing with weeds, you need the ripe and viable seeds.
  2. Store it in cold temperature (freezer) until the proper burning time.
  3. Put in a tin and burn completely to a grey ash on a very hot fire. Sprinkle the ashes like pepper around the affected area. You can mix the ash with fine sand, wood ash or make into a homeopathic preparation which can be sprayed out.

Some additional tips from other farmers:

  1. Put out on three consecutive days.
  2. Apply at full Moon (associated with fertility).
  3. Avoid times when Mercury is retrograde.
  4. Use all stages of the life cycle of an insect (egg, pupae and adult).
  5. Repeat the application every six months or yearly.

Taken in part from http://backyardbiodynamics.com/