The (creation of the) Wynbrandt Farm and Wynbrandt Biodynamic Compost
***I invite you to read the writing below from top to bottom, or scanning the headers for various topics of interest, such as WYNBRANDT BIODYNAMIC COMPOST. Much of the information below is 1st mentioned in broader terms and then returned to in more depth under specific headers. ***

Find the album, "Best Of The WF" for the story of The WF in pictures.

RECENT PRESS:
www.latimes.com/features/home/la-lh-steven-wynbrandt-biod...

THE MISSION OF THE WYNBRANDT FARM is to (1) provide the most discerning gardeners and farmers with the finest Biodynamic compost in the world and (2) to inspire, educate and arm our local Los Angeles (and global) community to grow unprecedented quantities of the most nutrient-rich, healing quality foods with unparalleled results.

I am a Biodynamic compost maker, farmer, educator and consultant. I produce and distribute world-class, Biodynamic compost that I hand make in Los Angeles. It is regarded as the most vital, biologically and metaphysically alive compost available in L.A. and far beyond.

I am the youngest of a lineage of Biodynamic Composting Masters that dates back to Ruldolph Steiner, the father of Biodynamic agriculture. In the highest agricultural circles on earth, Biodynamics is regarded as the most advanced system of farming humanity has ever known.

I lecture and teach workshops on the methods and techniques I use including Biodynamic and Biointensive agriculture, as well as my journey and experience growing food. I consult for farms and other dedicated organizations wishing to implement advanced Biodynamic composting systems to grow for unparalleled results and abundance.


HISTORY OF THE WF

In March of 2009, I had an ambitious vision that, in my wildest dreams, would never have imagined would lead me to where I am today. Never having grown anything in my life, I began transforming the 3,000 sq. ft. backyard of my childhood home in West L.A. from a shaded field of weeds and 50 ft. trees, to a sun-soaked urban mini-farm. I wanted to... become more self-reliant, more self-sufficient, more of a producer and less of a consumer, understand how food is grown and where it comes from, know that I'm eating the most nutrient rich food available, take the "super" out of supermarket, create local economy and be the change I want to see in the food system - to name a few! Under the guidance of two extraordinary mentors, I was armed with rare wisdom, knowledge and techniques that I have followed relentlessly which (along with strong will, fiery passion, fierce determination and a culmination of other temperaments) reflect the quality and abundance of The WF's food and the vitality and results of my compost. The Wynbrandt farm continues to feed our family as well as seasonally supplying our local community, select restaurants and feeding folks in need.


WORLD-CLASS
BIODYNAMIC COMPOST
Made by hand in Los Angeles


Biodynamic Methods

UNFATHOMABLE
R E S U L T S


WYNBRANDT BD COMPOST...
-restores not only nutrients and microbiotic life, but trace minerals, elements and forces to the soil, enlivening its ecosystem
-increases the soil's vital humus content
-supports optimal root and foliar growth
-absorbs and retains moisture
-eliminates the need for any and all fertilizers


Steven Wynbrandt - Owner
*Biodynamic Compost Maker
*Farmer
*Educator
*Consultant

310.968.8071
StevenWynbrandt@hotmail.com
www.facebook.com/TheWynbrandtFarm
www.facebook.com/Wynbrandt.Farm


THIS SLIDESHOW tells the story (in reverse chronological order) in pictures of the transformation of the Wynbrandt residence's West L.A. backyard from a shaded field of weeds and 50 ft. trees, to a sun-soaked, Biodynamic Urban Mini-Farm - From March, 2009 to the present. Click the "play" icon in the upper right for the virtual tour. Enjoy!


* * * * * * * * *


BIODYNAMICS and
WYNBRANDT BIODYNAMIC COMPOST:

Rudolf Steiner is the founder of Anthroposophy, a practical philosophy which essentially merges science and spirituality. He is amongst the most notable luminaries in all of human history. In the highest agricultural circles in the world, Biodynamics (Anthroposophy's agriculture branch) is regarded as the most advanced system of farming, producing the most nutrient rich and sustainably grown food. Biodynamic compost is the cornerstone of the Biodynamic method. Made with exacting techniques and the finest ingredients, the compost is infused with homeopathic doses of specific fermented, medicinal plant preparations of extraordinary dynamism. They harness the forces of the earth and the cosmos (WHAT?!), aiding the transformation process in creating amongst the most vital, biologically and spiritually alive soil on earth - BIODYNAMIC COMPOST! This is truly a product of alchemy which holds profound answers to some of the most critical issues of our time. (More info on the ingredients below).

I make BD compost in smaller quantities (by the ton) on the land of The Wynbrandt Farm as well as in larger quantities in the coastal mountains of North Los Angeles county for the service of making it available to the Los Angeles community.

What makes Biodynamic compost Biodynamic is simply and profoundly - the fermented plant preparations and dairy cow manure - the supreme manure. What makes Wynbrandt Biodynamic Compost amongst the most distinguished and finest BD compost in the world is as follows. *The sacred ritual and the exacting technique with which this compost is created - this art - was passed down to me through a lineage of the greatest Biodynamic composting masters in the world. EVEN IN BIODYNAMIC CIRCLES few farmers know how to make THIS compost. The ones who do, don't often sell it. Why? It's far too valuable. *Along with dairy cow manure (nitrogen), alfalfa hay is the finest carbon ingredient known to my lineage to make compost (Much more on the ingredients below). There are thousands of ways to make compost. This method is the best way my lineage and I have ever seen. There are a plethora of carbon ingredient choices to make compost with (that could be used to make a biodynamic compost). Different ingredients produce very different quality composts. Alfalfa hay is the finest. There is no 2nd. *My lineage has never been concerned with making an "economical, profit-motivated" product for the shelf. Our passion, our purpose and our service is to make the absolute BEST compost we can possibly make. If EVERYTHING (a great number of factors) is not spot-on perfect, it's just a pile of $%^&* (STILL superior to what you find on the shelf, but a far cry from world-class compost). When it's made PERFECT, I believe it is the single greatest form of Tikkun Olam (healing the world) to heal the skin of our earth. ~The most important part of the entire process is having reverence for the smallest entity.~ *Finally, it's handmade with love and reverence right here in L.A.!


HARNESSING THE FORCES OF
THE COSMOS???!

Here's a simple introduction.

Although we can't "see" them, per se, we know through exact observation that gravity and magnetism exist. So, too, we observe that the cosmos - the moon, the near and far planets and the constellations - play a PROFOUND roll in the life of the earth's skin (the soil) and on how plants grow. We observe that when the moon is shining bright (full) there is a remarkable rate of foliar growth (the growth of leaves). When there is no moon light (during the phase of the new moon) these leaf crops are developing their roots (beneath the surface of the soil). Even this most basic observation has profound implications that lead us to work in the deepest harmony with nature. We are indeed harnessing astral (as well as ethereal - earth) energy to achieve working in the deepest harmony with nature. From our impressive crop yields, to their unsurpassed vitality and nutrient value, Biodynamic methods are a reflection of our results unparalleled results.

"Biodynamics, though not disparaging of common sense, is concerned essentially with consciousness-expansion in regards to plants, animals and soil. The attempt is made to look deeper into the spirit of nature. Out of this deeper awareness, based on exquisite observation of nature, the approach calls for NOT necessarily lettings run their natural course, but for intensifying certain natural processes (creating optimal animal populations, making special compost preparations, planting selected companion plants in relation to certain cosmic constellations). This method concentrates on aiding nature where she is weak after so many centuries of abuse and shortcomings with destructive processes." -Wolf Storl, Culture And Horticulture


RESOURCES
www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics
www.jpibiodynamics.org
www.organicconsumers.org/biodynamics.cfm
www.oregonbd.org/Class/class.htm


~THE SOIL DILEMMA~ *WHERE do we get quality soil and WHY it is absolutely essential to grow quality food*

INTRO

*I’m going to preface this section by saying that just about any ol’ soil and compost has the potential to be transformed by the magic and power of true Biodynamic compost – by its energy, its humic state, and its biological aliveness - the extraordinary amount of bacteria, enzymes, microbiotic life trace minerals. SO, don't be totally discouraged about the soil your vegetables are growing in, BUT do understand what it is and what it isn't. WE ARE WHAT OUR PLANTS EAT! And our plants are only as nutritious as the soil they're grown in. Beyond the looks and even the taste of our food, it's about education - understanding the nutritional components that are present in (or not in) our soil. Namely that the quality of our food depends on the quality - the vitality and the "aliveness" of the soil. And the quality of our health and wellness largely depend on the quality of our food.

Although there is an extremely vast and diverse array of practices under the umbrella of "organics," at best, it is a watered down, bare bones version of Biodynamics. Although eons beyond chemical ag., both "conventional chemical" and "organic" approaches to agriculture put substances (chemical requirements that can be met by this or that substance) in the soil. In chemical-based agriculture, nitrogen is brought to the soil via ammonia or urea, and in organic-based agriculture nitrogen is brought in the form of manure. For phosphorous the substance of choice is super-phosphate or rock phosphate. We are thinking in terms of chemical substances or NPK, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil. With Biodynamic agriculture and Biodynamic preparations, we think in terms of forces in addition to substances. This does not mean discarding all knowledge of soil chemistry; it means we go beyond solely the chemical point of view. Just as the effects of the force of gravity or the force of magnetism can be observed without actually being able to see these forces, so too can we recognize the forces that are released though Biodynamic preparations.


THE DILEMMA OF SOIL - (through my lens - in relation to my own journey, research, education and knowledge)

Throughout my (pre-Biodynamic compost) career growing food, I was reluctant to build raised bed gardens for others because in my heart I believed that there was nothing on the market that I felt was acceptable to fill the boxes. That's right - as I have been taught, and as I observe and understand it through exact observation - EVERYTHING on the retail market - in bags and from soil companies - is rubbish - conventional AND organic. When we really tune in and closely examining these products, we know this intuitively. They are mass produced, manufactured with machines by rote on an industrial scale. Just like other industries, these large-scale operations inherently sacrifice quality for quantity in every realm of the process. There's no way around it. Whether conventional or organic, a composting operation can only get so large-scale before it looses all resemblance to superior, timeless techniques that take their cues from from nature's intelligence. By (lack of) virtue of the industrialized process of "composting", the quality of the compost is lost. It has little, if any vitality. Furthermore, the attention, intention, presence and reverence which Biodynamics emphasizes as essential, has no part in industrially manufactured compost. One Biodynamic farmer, with the aid of a tractor with a front end loader (as an extension of her/his hands) can make 100 tons (in 10 ton piles, per se) of exquisite compost. More than a particular amount of material, it is the PROCESS - the technique - that makes ALL the difference. Industrial operations have no regard for (not to mention any real knowledge of) the process and technique of creating biologically alive, humus rich compost. It is not their business. Quantity - retail bags and bulk - is their business.

It is plain for discerning eyes to see that ALL "Compost" on the market is far from broken down - far from a truly composted state. Materials may be finely chopped but are not actually broken down in a state that is beneficial to the soil and plants. Then, a few quick release "nutrients" are put into them (whether in organic or chemical from). Although these nutrients are relied upon to make the plants grow, in no way do they make up for the remarkable spectrum of life and vitality that a a healthy soil ecosystem that plants need to thrive and to be nutritionally complete as food for humans. They don't actually feed the soil. They are depleted from the soil in a season or two.

These products sit in extraordinarily large piles and consequently heat up MUCH too hot (which kill most or all beneficial bacteria and microbiotic life). They are, for far too short of a period of time (for they must be moved quickly to turn a profit) almost always made with inferior, questionable and often even toxic, poisonous ingredients.

If it’s not obvious to see, it’s obvious to SMELL.True, quality compost should have only the faintest smell - the smell of freshly plowed soil, of soil found in the woods beneath trees, the smell of... mountain air, of rain... - next to no smell at all. All other smells are smells that don't belong in what your food is growing in. Some products smell like manure, and some of these manure-like smells don't even have manure in them! Others smell of ammonia, freshly chopped wood chips or a funky conglomeration of smells that we like to think are a good sign of... "freshness?" They're not! You want to smell what you smell on the edge of a wilderness cliff at an awe-inspiring viewpoint with a slight breeze in the air - that's it!

Industrialized manufactured composts use inferior ingredients. Why? They get them for FREE. Organic "soils" and "composts" include ingredients like... RAW fish poop ( NOT composted = eeew!) chicken manure (which is highly unstable, takes 2 years to properly compost, and by that time is void of any nutrients it once held), peat moss (totally unsustainably harvested and void of any nutrients), and "forest products" (chopped up, often completely uncomposted acidic bark that steals nitrogen from the soil and hence, plants) - to name but a few. "Organic" soil mixes are also supplemented with quickly released forms of nitrogen that soon disappear from the soil. They are in the form of only partially composted animal manures (instead of chemical versions of nitrogen like urea present in non-organic compost) and various powders such as cottonseed, soy meal and bone and blood meal (chopped up animal bones and dried blood). The soil realizes no long term benefit from any of this. Although a step up from chemical composts, all organic composts on the market are still a FAR cry from the superior compost making ingredients (i.e. dairy cow manure and alfalfa hay) and techniques (i.e. Biodynamic composting) of our more in-tune ancestors. They are void of vital humus content and have relatively little microbiotic life, bacteria and enzymes. (read more about The BD COMPOST INGREDIENTS, below)

Even when we do have some measure of success using commercial organic methods (feeding the plants as opposed to feeding the soil), we are in fact eating vegetables that fall far short of their nutrient density potential. It is nutrient deficient food, even if it deceivingly looks and even tastes great. We are what our plants eat, and our plants are only as nutritious as the soil they're grown in.

*When I teach children about Biodynamic composting, they learn a miraculous process of alchemy. They touch and smell raw dairy cow manure and green, tender alfalfa. They learn about the magic (the homeopathic amounts of specific fermented medicinal plant preparations) that transform the ingredients into the silky soil they run their hands through, mystified and amazed that it was once cow poop and plant stalks. Children describe the smell of this compost as, "sweetness," "flowers," "fresh," "soil," "air," "Heaven," and "earth." They understand that everything has potential for good – that everything has Divine sparks. I liken soil to our skin and our bodies, explaining that the earth's skin has been damaged and made sick by harmful agricultural practices by humans who don't know any better (including farming land too much without returning enough nutrients to it and spraying harmful chemicals that destroy its skin). Often on their own, children make the connection of spreading the magic Biodynamic compost, with healing our earth's skin, bringing it back to life and growing the best possible food for us to perform and grow our best and brightest.

True Biodynamic compost not only heals our earth's skin, but through harnessing cosmic and ethereal forces and returning these forces to the soil, it enlivens and reinvigorates the earth's skin with unprecedented biological and spiritual vitality rendering it BEYOND SUSTAINABLE.


WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
~Q and A with a journalist~

Recently, a journalist asked me, "can you tell me, in your own personal experience, what the difference is between your Biodynamic compost and organic compost you buy at the store?"

The difference between my Biodynamic compost (true, non-manufactured BD compost) and store bought "organic" compost is... everything!

*Process
~One is the product of a mass produced, industrially manufactured process. Just like other industries, these large scale operations inherently sacrifice quality for quantity in every realm of the process. . Materials are chopped and constantly turned in an effort to speed up “the process” as much as possible, sacrificing the integrity of the process for shipping out larger quantities of product quicker. Particles may be small, but are not decomposed through proper composting. Ingredients sit in enormous piles, consequently heating up MUCH too hot – far above 150 degrees (and 130 deg, ideally) - which kill most or all beneficial bacteria and microbiotic life. The other is an art - it encompasses a sacred ritual and highly skilled, exacting technique passed down by a lineage of world-class, master Biodynamic compost makers and teachers which dates back to Rudolph Steiner. Piles heat up to approximately 130 degrees which kills all pathogens but aids in proliferating all beneficial life. The pile is created with a specific amount of moisture, infused with the preparations and is not disturbed for a period of no less than 3 months to transform. It is a product of alchemy which holds answers to the most critical issues of our time.

*Ingredients
~One uses any number of animal manures and a plethora of other organic materials They are not given sufficient time and conditions to fully decompose (for they must be moved quickly to turn a profit). The other uses the finest ingredients (dairy cow manure and alfalfa hay) known to a lineage of world-class Biodynamic compost makers that dates back to Steiner. Most profoundly however, are the BD compost preparations which radiate cosmic influences and forces throughout the compost heap aiding the transformation of compost material into humus.

*Vitality
~One, by lack of virtue and integrity of its ingredients and its process, is biologically dead. Thus, it is fused with quick release "nutrients" that are quickly used up. The other, by the virtue and integrity of its process and ingredients, is the most biologically and spiritually alive compost on earth, teeming with microbiotic life, bacteria, enzymes and most profoundly, the influence of cosmic forces.

*Physical properties
~One is coarse and dry to the touch (for the material is NOT properly or fully composted and can only retain minimal amounts of moisture). The other is smooth, silky, sexy soil (other people's descriptions!) composed of primarily indistinguishably small particles that hold a cool, moist consistency.

*Results
~One grows nutritionally inferior vegetables - some that may look and even taste good but are nonetheless deficient compared to their potential, and others that (not surprisingly) are weak, stunted, and don't grow healthy and strong for a myriad of reasons that can simply be summed up as poor compost. Vegetables will not grow at all in this compost alone - in ANY organic compost on the retail market. The other grows the most vital food on earth! Vegetables can be grown in (1 or 2 feet of) Biodynamic compost alone - USED AS SOIL - (or spread on fields in inches) with UNFATHOMABLE - visually observable, scientifically verifiable, as well as spiritually/energetically elevated RESULTS! Send a leaf of Biodynamic lettuce to the lab. Its protein content is OFF THE CHARTS!!! Be my guest! In the highest agricultural circles the world over, Biodynamics is regarded as the most advanced system of farming, producing the most nutrient rich and sustainably grown food on earth.


CREATING THE 1ST SOIL OF THE WYNBRANDT FARM - (my 1st answer)

Under the guidance of my 1st teacher - a distinguished veteran Biointensive farmer - my journey growing food began by making 25,000 POUNDS OF COMPOST, made from 12 tons of horse bedding and 3,000 lbs of food scraps that I picked up from a raw vegan restaurant every night at midnight for 3 months. Michael taught me "tons" about compost - from the fine details of how to create a windrow, to the "why" and "how" the compost I was making myself was FAR better than anything I could possibly purchase on the market.

I needed this enormous quantity to mix the correct proportion into the 13 beds in my originally designed garden. I mixed it into my native soil in the following fashion. For 13 beds (4.5ft X 15ft)I dug 2 ft down in the earth, I removed all the soil, put it all through a 1/4th inch screen and shipped out tens of thousands of pounds of rocks in a dozen neighbors black bins over many months. Then I mixed my clay dirt (sans rocks) and my 12 tons of homemade compost 50/50 and filled the beds that I had dug. Essentially it's a 2ft raised bed in the ground with a custom, native soil mixture. It was a labor of love and an incredible experience that has produced most spectacular and consistent results. Nonetheless, I simply couldn't be paid enough to ever do it again! It's just not practical for 99% of the population to take up this strategy. It is an extreme undertaking and a disproportionate amount of work (even for a paid crew) to use financial resources on (even when money is no object) considering there is 1 better method - the best method on earth - filling raised beds of redwood with Biodynamic compost! More on this to follow...


ALCHEMY - CREATING THE FINEST SOIL ON EARTH

That first 12 tons of compost I made was amazing, but the Biodynamic compost recipe and technique that I now practice is leagues beyond that. This biodynamic compost IS SOIL. WE GROW DIRECTLY IN IT. It is in a humic state. Humus is a condition of aliveness and vitality. No other compost we will find is of this quality and in this condition. See for yourself. Choose your compost. Fill a pot with it and try growing food in it. THE MOST STUNNING VEGETABLES I'VE EVER WITNESSED GROW IN BIODYNAMIC COMPOST. However, beyond looks and taste, it's about education - it's about understanding the profound effects this compost has on our food, and in turn, ourselves. The quality of our food depends on the vitality and the "aliveness" of the soil. This Biodynamic compost is the most vital soil - the most spiritually and biologically alive soil on the planet. With the rare exception of clairvoyant and clear channel souls, it takes sending vegetables off to the lab to find out that... the protein content of Biodynamic lettuce is off the charts! Be my guest! Nonetheless, there's much more our most advanced "scientific" tests cannot test, account for, measure and identify. Experts say Biodynamics is 1,000 years ahead of our science!

Utilizing this compost - the cornerstone of the Biodynamic method - my clients grow exceptionally vital food, the same caliber grown at The Wynbrandt Farm.


More about THE BD COMPOST INGREDIENTS:

There are many choices of sources of nitrogen and carbon for composting. They are not created equal. These are the best known sources of each in the world by my lineage of world-class Biodynamic compost makers.

~Nitrogen~
All other farm animals - the steer, horse, chicken, goat, etc. are unsettled in their minds. We observe this in their physical behavior. The dairy cow, on the other hand, is a tranquil serene being. Its manure has energy that the other animals' manure is void of due to their physical behavior. The dairy cow has a superior digestive system which is enhanced by cosmic-life-giving forces in its horns and hooves, enabling the nitrogen in its manure to reinvigorate life within the earth.

~Carbon~
Alfalfa roots grow 14 feet into the earth drawing up extraordinary amounts of minerals and nutrients. It is the single, most vital feed source for cows (and horses and other animals) and they live and thrive off of it solely.


~The BD Compost Preparations~
(DETAILS OF EACH SPECIFIC PREP BELOW)

*The following writing is from The Josephine Porter Institute of Applied Biodynamics (www.jpibiodynamics.org) and The Biodynamic Association of India (www.biodynamics.in):

(JPI)
Steiner designated these particular herbs/materials as those in the plant kingdom which held the particular element(s) in the best possible form and/or ratio for use by the soil.

(BAI)
The preparations stimulate the proliferation of beneficial soil organisms and enzymes leading to the creation of the most vital compost on earth. The preparations are all made from medicinal herbs. One is a liquid and the 5 others are humus-like and rich in beneficial bacterial life and minerals. They radiate cosmic influences and forces throughout the compost heap aiding the transformation of compost material into humus. Each compost preparation is designed to guide a particular decomposition process in the composting mass. In much the same way as a small spoon of yogurt in a large bowl of milk is enough to transform the entire bowl of milk into yogurt, small amounts of the preparations inserted into the compost heap are enough to infuse all of the compost with a plethora of profound qualities (listed below) that collectively contribute to its power and its reputation as the finest soil on earth.

(JPI)
*BD PREPARATIONS*

Yarrow Preparation:
The Yarrow flower bears a relationship to Sulfur (S) and Potassium (K). Yarrow permits plants to attract trace elements in extremely dilute quantities for their best nutrition.

Chamomile Preparation:
The Chamomile flower bears a relationship to Calcium (Ca) and Sulfur (S). Chamomile stabilizes nitrogen (N) within the compost & increases soil life so as to stimulate plant growth.

Stinging Nettle Preparation:
The Stinging Nettle bears a relationship to
Sulfur (S), Calcium (Ca), Potassium (K) and Iron (Fe). Stinging nettle stimulates soil health, providing plants with the individual nutrition components needed. "Enlivens" the earth (soil).

Oak Bark Preparation:
Oak bark bears a relationship to Calcium (Ca). Oak bark provides healing forces (or qualities) to combat harmful plant diseases.

Dandelion Preparation:
Dandelion bears a relationship to Silicic Acid or Silicon (Si) and Potassium (K).
Dandelion stimulates relation between Silica (Si) and Potassium (K) so that Silica can attract cosmic forces to the soil.

Valerian Preparation:
Valerian bears a relationship to Phosphorus (P). Valerian stimulates compost so that phosphorus components will be properly used by the soil.


More about Steven:

In addition to my work and partnership with the earth , I lecture and lead workshops covering various themes in urban farming and gardening for organizations including Hazon (National Food Conference) The Jewish Farm School, Adamah: The Jewish Environmental Fellowship, The Shalom Institute, Big Jewish Tent, LAUSD schools, and various synagogues, community groups and private events. I'm a founding member of the L.A. Urban Homesteading and Gardening Network and Netiya, (a Jewish network that gardens to tithe food; organizes to mitigate hunger in LA; and informs to seed a more just and resilient food system). I'm a passionate, professional musician and song leader, surf instructor and the past director of a children's ocean camp.
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