Lecture by Alan Chadwick in Saratoga, May 16, 1972
Lecture 3, Part 3.3
An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms
The full text of this lecture segment
Contents of this Segment:
Happiness affects vitality; Fresh air; Fertility vs fertilizers; Lorette's system of pruning; Greed in modern agriculture; Relationships and disrelationships between plants; Fava beans as antifungal.
Villa Montalvo Lecture Series
Saratoga, California, 1972, Lecture 3,
Fertilization, Part 3
And this is the whole matter with weeds. Now, I want to get down to brass tacks of fertilizations. And I want to bring home please, a lot of points and suggestions. The food that we eat, when we eat food, you can in a mild way—and I trust that no medical person will pounce upon me and say, you don’t know what you’re talking about because I don’t—but, in a very ordinary way of speaking, will you admit, that the things that we eat, we extract the juices of by the juices of our body, extracting the juices out of what we eat, and making vitality to us. That is just a very vague, brief statement.
Plants, and plant life and growth in nature, is far, far more emphasized in that process than we are. Now, you see, all the time I am beginning to edge towards this matter of what fertilizers and fertilizations are, and how they act. And I will tell you why I am going round about. You have heard, and you’ve probably not understood any better than I certainly do, because I don’t, that you can have beautiful soil, full of minerals, full of fertilizers, and a plant—you are told by the scientists—that can’t eat it, it can’t take it in. Why? Well, that’s what the scientists will tell you, why. But nobody can understand it. It’s extraordinary. We are going to deal with it, why, and it will explain itself.
But this is very much a true fact. Do you understand that you can have two youths. You can bake beautiful omelettes, you can make beautiful fruit tarts, and you can feed them both with these wonderful foods. One will swell up and be full of vitality, and the other will look pale and sickly, eating exactly the same food. This is not necessarily due to illness. It could be due to over-study, to mental worry. It could be to emanation of surroundings. It could be to an unhappy home. It could be to endless things, but the point that I’m getting at, it is not essentially due to the fertility of the food. They could both be eating exactly the same thing, with both exactly different results. And this happens, of course, in the whole of the plant world. Happiness enters the scene, if you like to call it. However, I am going to get to one or two other points first, before we get to the plant beds.
In conjunction with what we’ve just talked about about food, let us talk about air. How often have you got into your motor-car, gone to the office, come back and yawned, yawned because you need air, and taken some tea or some coffee, or some wine or some whiskey, and still you haven’t got something that you want?
And you go for holiday, and you’re suddenly in a new place and you’re on the coast where the great waves are rolling in on the beach, and there’s nobody. And there’s a huge ozone coming off the seaweed, and you go, “Aah...Aah...” And you don’t need to eat for days. You’re actually blown up with food and excitement. And you go and play tennis, and you run and you walk, and you ride. You’re absolutely laden with energy. You’ve been breathing wonderful air. You go up a mountain and you ski in the snow, in the rarified, beautiful air, and you feel like a balloon. And somebody says: “Come on, it’s lunchtime.” And you say, “Hell with lunch, I want to do this.” And it’s air, this wonderful thing of air, fresh air, vital fresh air. And that’s a thing which possibly we’re beginning to forget about and overlook utterly.
And that’s our business. But it’s not our business if we do it to nature, to the plants. They’re much more reactive to all that than we are. We have a great deal become divorced with our cultures, our over-civilizations. And we’ve got into cages, and we have our bird-food on one side, and our water on the other and our droppings-board underneath. But they don’t, and they are not accustomed to it. And they don’t get accustomed to it. And then, we’re a little surprised when they don’t eat the fertilizations that we give them. And these are the reasons.
That these matters of fresh air and vitality are part of fertility and fertilization—the subject that we’re going to talk about tonight so much—only can exist at all if there is fertility. Fertilization is merely matter. Fertility is life. And the fertility is the primary. You can give plants and trees and shrubs all the fertilizations that exist, you can pour manure on them, and it doesn’t make an atom of difference. The French, the huge French period of growing, which reached an enormous peak of superbness: pears, peaches, wonderful salads. They grew it to a great, great peak of perfection. And then commercialism said: “More, more more.”
I studied under this madman, Laurette, this wonderful pruner, an exquisite man who discovered the most wonderful laws about pruning of fruit trees that produced more pears on every tree than there were leaves, every year. And the fool, the idiot, he was not satisfied with creation. He said: “Hell, I want more!” And he taught me how to cut leaves in half. Defoliation entered the scene. Anything to get what he wanted. And he couldn’t see that he had gone mad. That he must ask, he must feel the pear tree. He must discuss with the pear tree: “What about you, my dear pear tree?” “What about you, my dear chicken? Do you want night-lights, and be made to lay two eggs a day, and have your neck wrung at ten months?” “Oh, no, I don’t.”
So, there now comes the huge question of biodynamic control. This thing of relationships and dis-relationships. And I’m not going to touch deeply on it tonight, because I’m going to reserve most of this for the next time, because we want to deal entirely with fertilizers tonight. But, in the fact that fertilizers and fertilizations concerns the numerous plants, weeds, and plants that contain matters, they have a huge effect upon each other, one way and another. I have a reference matter here, that I want just to explain about this.
For instance: Tests have been done—and you’ve probably heard about it, it was one of Pfeiffer's tests, actually—that they grew nettles and mint together as a test. And then, because they wanted to extract peppermint oil form the mint. And they found that when they produced a bed of mint in three rows they got less than one percent of peppermint oil from the extraction. When they grew the nettle, one line of nettle, in between three rows of peppermint, they got over two percent of peppermint oil from the peppermint. In other words, the inference of the vitality of the nettle changed the atmosphere, the emanation for the mint. And of course this is exactly what happens in the whole of this relationship of plants.
I myself, at this Santa Cruz garden, grew tomatoes the first year, on the bank, and got three-thousand, five-hundred pounds of tomatoes. Then entered fusarian and verticillium wilt. And I immediately remembered problems that I’d had in South Africa, and I immediately grew in the winter, the Fava bean, or Broad Bean. Vicia Fava, as the scientists are suddenly waking up last year to discover the enormous juices in the Fava bean and they have termed it this wonderful name of Vicia faba. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. However, it’s an enormous bacterial plant. And the juices are full of nitrogen. And apart from that matter, it has a character which withstands most of the fungoid problems, rather like Equisetum does.
Now there’s only one Equisetum that does this. All other Equisetums are nil, and there’s something like seventy-two Equisetums. That’s Horsetail, you know, that prickly thing...