Travel with Shabari and Hugh across Australia
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Hugh Lovel new article on Certification Standards
Collins Creek, NSW to crossing the  Nullabor Desert, West Australia Part 2 NEXT SUNDAY
On 17th May Hugh and I departed on a 7,000 mile (12,000 km) adventure. Traveling from Collins Creek, New South Wales to Harvey, Western Australia and returning on 15th July by way of Melbourne, the Hunter Valley, and Coffs Harbour. Our journey was facilitated by many friends and farmers, the Torbay Catchment Group, Dairy Business Centre and Biodynamic Agriculture Australia. This Newsletter and our next Newsletter will document some of the extraordinary people and places we visited. How lucky we are to travel in our Hundai Terracan. I hope you enjoy meeting all these wonderful farmers, graziers, vineyards. The almost constant companion along this journey was the ocean. A different ocean from Byron Bay and Cairns.  A turbulent churning, cold ocean from Antarctica. Surfers paradise. Fisherman's paradise. Also a Foodies delight. 

Dear Reader, Please patient with me, this is turning out to be a monumental task to report our adventure. I will put out 3 weeks of Sunday newsletter in order to introduce you to numeours friends, farms and vineyards we visited. Enjoy.
Doug Ross
Our first visit was with Doug Ross, whose passion for farming has led him to join our Quantum Agriculture team of consultants. It is a long learning curve and Doug has been progressing on it for several years, working with graziers, vinyards, orchards and crops and amassing one of the larger arrays of soils tests studied. He and his partner Anna, an amazing interior decorator, put us up plus fed us like kings. We enjoyed our evening meal with Anna and Doug and her bright and humorous  teen sons.  Doug took Hugh around to see various operations where he is their soil consultant.
WELCOME DOUG TO QUANTUM AGRICULTURE CONSULTANT FAMILY. He will be teaching "Transition Farming" at Quantum Agriculture Advanced Course 24th August, Sydney.
Rob and Stephanie Gourlay
Next we visited Rob and Stephanie Gourlay,The walked us through their beautiful grounds including their Labyrinth. Rob also shared his lab which smells of so much life force. Growing vats with special herbal formulas. Rob is one of the most exciting scientific minds in our circle of friends and colleagues. Rob has discovered how to join two magnetic north pole ferrite doughnut magnets together to double their north pole effect on water pipes. Using four pairs of magnets his flow through water device can spin water up to stable fourth phase water giving it some very interesting properties that have application in agriculture, irrigation and water treatment. He also showed us a cutting edge health diagnositic instrument and his laboratory where he has developed and produces a beneficial microbial and supplement line. He is teaching at  our Advanced Course in late August in Sydney.
Check out his wonderful agriculture and health products here:

Greenwood Orchards have hosted the annual conference of the BDAAA since 1987.  The orchard is a family affair including Joan and Lynton’s children; Joel, Claire, James and Alex, and Lynton’s sister Debbie Greenwood and her daughter Kate. Meeting another family with three generations of growers and future generations happily assuming the sustainability of their Bio-dynamic farming legacy is so encouraging for us. Good Upon Them.  
Hugh,  Lynton, Debbie and Trevor Hatch discussed updated Biodynamic Standards. Our visit with them left us feeling uplifted for the future of Biodynamics in Australia. Harmonization has occurred. We also were gifted the wonderful organic pear and apple juices. Thanks again Lynton.
We delighted in a farm breakfast with organic dairy farmers Terry and Pauline Hehir.  Hehir who is inaugural chairman and a founding member of the Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia (co-op) - a group of 23 dairy farmers across regional Victoria who are deeply committed to sustainable farming.  
Hehir says it’s not something he would have ever expected, given he is simply doing what he loves, but he is particularly proud that the award appears to have been driven by the young people he has mentored over the years including his son Brendan who knowledge delighted us over our eggs. The Hehir family milk 700 cows on organic pastures near Kyabram in Northern Victoria.

Jan, Robert and Alastair Jones at. Tuki Retreat is a special getaway situated on historic “Stoney Rises”. The property is a traditional grazing property, the woolshed, miner’s cottage and stable restaurant being original buildings. The area has been farmed for over 150 years. Robert and his late father hand crafted stone cottages which are elegant and private. They have also crafted the landscape into catch your own trout ponds. Their lovely restaurant has a room filled with fishing gear for hire and Robert is the cheft cooking your trout. 
Jan is the queen of the kitchen and prepared us a feast from thier farm lamb and veggies. We felt like family sitting at the massive dining table by the roaring fireplace. Alastir prepared a fire in the fireplace of our cottage and we cozed up on a cold winter night. We love the Jones family. Find out more with great photos:

lastair Jones is one of our new Quantum Agriculture Consultants and will be teaching at our Australian Advanced Course.  Register Here
Visiting with friends and radionic colleagues Kym and Jane Green in Lenswood, South Australia was the best way to end our first week of travels. We visited their numerous orchards and packing house. Meeting the three daughters and their mates and children filled us with a sense of the best of a farm family. Jane and daughter Sarah cooked magnificent repasts . Winter was setting in and their large woodstove warmed the house beautifully. 
Kym shared with us his Radionic Office where he treats his orchards and groves daily. Very inspiring. Thanks dear friends. 

Hugh has been a Biodynamic and Biological growing consultant to so many Vineyards. However we were stunned to drive through the Barossa Valley with the hundreds of KM of vineyards with no break. Big Name Vineyards. 
We also visited Maggie and Colin Beer's beloved pheasants. And honoring my request Hugh took me to the Maggie Beer Farm Shop. Home crafted pates, turrines, and her beautiful cook books. Value added farming at the best.  
When Colin and Maggie Beer decided to farm pheasants it was just a way of getting out of the city and they had no idea where it would take them. Not only difficult to breed the birds are also tricky to cook largely due to their lack of fat, so Maggie began to cook the pheasants and sell them at the farm to encourage people to buy, and so began her food odyssey
We spent two nights in Port Lincoln. We were seeking great seafood. The cold pure waters of the the South yield the pure oyesters, 
A natural deepwater harbour makes Port Lincoln attractive to large bulk grain carriers for topping up loads from shallower ports in South Australia and Victoria. Grains and seeds are the principal exports and fertiliser and petroleum products are the major imports.

During 2012/2013, 1.89 million tonnes of cargo was moved through Port Lincoln.

Local Port Lincoln Seafood and Fish

Arnd Enneking and family have added Farm Stay cabins and campground to their farm program. He is a well educated farmer who is in training to become a  Quantum Agriculture farm consultant and Fieldbroadcaster Installer. We are inspired by his story. 

Listen to Shabari interview of Arnd
By our tenth day we were ready to cross the Nullabor and were on the quest for local oysters as we drove from Port Lincoln to Eucla in Western Australia. There in the greek fishersherman's village of Cedua we found the Oyster Bar right on teh highway. We could see the oyster beds. Ocean everywhere and we feasted; 

"Crossing the Nullarbor", for many Australians, is a quintessential experience of the "Australian Outback". Stickers bought from roadhouses on the highway show "I have crossed the Nullarbor", and can be see The Nullarbor Plain is a former shallow seabed, The Nullarbor has a desert climate, with arid to semi-arid conditions. Inland, summers can be scorching hot, with daytime temperatures close to 50 Â°C (122 Â°F), while in winter nights can drop well below freezing. Closer to the coast, the temperature is milder with more rainfall in the winter months. n on vehicles of varying quality or capacity for long distance travel. 
The Eyre Highway, which connects Norseman in Western Australia to Port Augusta, was carved across the continent in 1941. At first it was little more than a rough track, but was gradually sealed over the next thirty years. The last unsealed section of the Eyre Highway was finally sealed in 1976.[17] Unlike the railway, though, it crosses the plain at its southernmost edge rather than through the centre.
My Bear, Aloha leads the way through
Vegetation in the area is primarily low saltbush and bluebush scrub. A large part of the Nullarbor Plain is now a National Park.

The fauna of the Nullarbor includes communities of crustaceans, spiders, and beetles adapted to the darkness of the Nullarbor Caves and the underground rivers and lakes that run through them. Mammals of the desert include the southern hairy-nosed wombat which shelters from the hot sun by burrowing into the sands, as well as typical desert animals such as red kangaroos and dingoes. An elusive subspecies of the Australian masked owl unique to the Nullarbor is known to roost in the many caves on the plain. The grasslands of the Nullarbor are suitable for some sheep grazing and are also damaged by rabbits.
If there are no trees or hills, the shortest way from A to B is definitely direct. Across the southernmost part of the Nullarbor Plain stretches the longest straight road in the world.
The first motorcar crossed the Nullarbor Desert in 1912. The modern road is tarred and you know you will be battling with boredom, heat, cold... and yourself as it is a long time to spend in your own head.
The road is called the Eyre Highway (named for John Eyre who crossed the Nullarbor Plain in 1841) and connects Norseman in Western Australia with Port Augusta in South Australia, a distance of 1675 km.

Camels along the highway.        Wombats and Kangaroos can severely damage vehicles.        

There is a roadhouse every 200 km or so, so there's nothing to worry about. You can get accommodation in several places and there are many opportunities for free camping as well.
Watch the Whales from the cliffs of the Nullarbor
The Bunda Cliffs have one of the most unforgettable views in the entirety of the Nullarbor Plains, if not the entirety of South Australia: a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and some of its most astonishing visitors–the Southern Right Whale. Find the perfect spot to listen to these gentle giants sing, and to watch them frolic and do somersaults.
The cliffs were formed when Australia separated from Antarctica approximately 65 million years ago. The Bunda cliffs are a rare glimpse at the Nullarbor, and by extension, the world: a chance to look at history in layers.
Some of the layers that form the cliff’s limestone are made up of marine sediments that have fossils of worms, molluscs and other prehistoric creatures embedded in them. The height of the cliffs vary from 60 to 120 meters above sea level, capped by the
Nullarbor’s windblown sand laid down between 1.6 million to 100,000 years ago The variety of sights and experience waiting for an adventurer in the Nullarbor is a testament to how beautiful the Earth is.
Your Pathway to Resilient Farming
Hugh Lovel and Shabari Bird and Quantum Agriculture consultants: Wayne Rankine,
Heinz Gugger, Jason Simmons, Doug Ross, Alaistair Jones, Brett Sanders, Lex & Karen Langridge, Arnd Enneking   Health Discussion with Rob  Gourlay
24 August-27August Part  1  $750 new Students $600 Reviewers
In depth explanation of Hugh Lovel’s Biochemical Sequence
  • Learn how to interpret Total Soil Tests
  • Save thousands in soil amendments
  • How plants and Pastures thrive
  • Biodynamics and Beyond
  • Fermentation of Foods and plants
  • Lively evening discussions with other farmers
  • Educational evening discussions on Human Health  
28 & 29 August  Part 2  Tuition $200 for 2 days  $150 Reviewer                
Develop a Quantum program for your farm’s highest potential.Broadcast healing energy patterns to your farm and family, Paper Radionics, Computer Radionics, Radionic Equipment, Radionics for Healing, Agro-Homeopathic Remedies. 
All Participants are encouraged to live with the community at the beautiful Golden Grove Healing Retreat in Newtown, NSW  with many affordable choices of housing from private to 4 person shared rooms. Room cost includes breakfast. Please add $23 per day for lunch payable to Golden Grove.  Our evening meals will be in local restaurants followed by evening classes and discussions. 
 RESERVE YOUR ACCOMODATION SPACE DIRECTLY WITH GOLDEN GROVE          Phone: 02 9557 1642    We invite all participants to join us daily after lunch in the Golden Grove gardens to renovate their healing space. Please brings bulbs, seeds, plants, or shrubs to add to our Volunteer
project. This will also be a time of discussion on visual Soil assessment. 
REGISTER HERE: d/1OFVbU6Pa2_hJy9sJSyYGxEyqStB_rM6POezLqTFQzME/viewform?usp=send_form                      02-6633-1455  
Hugh Lovel's article penned today 26th July 2015  
Collins Creek, Collins Creek, New South Wales

Biodynamic Certification Assures Nutrition 
As Well As Purity

By Hugh Lovel


In 2015 Standards Australia adopted a new Biodynamic Standard requiring biodynamic growers to perform, at least once, both soluble and total tests of their soils and show evidence of remediating deficiencies. This is best practice in conventional circles which recognize that soluble nutrients wash away and what is really needed is for nutrients to be insoluble but available.

Soluble testing estimates what is available rather than looking at what is there. At the quantum level, biological processes can work wonders in shifting soil chemistry in desired directions. Biodynamic methods, which work with life processes, can turn elements that show up in total tests into available nutrients, and if something is already present it makes little sense to apply it. The biodynamic rule is:  If it is there, make it work; if it is not there, apply it as a remedy. It is amazing what biodynamic preparations can do to make what is present available, but it doesn’t make much sense to try to make what is not present available.
Consumers Expect Quality
Organic and biodynamic certification should assure consumers of both purity and quality. Consumers don’t want toxic crap in their food, but they also expect it to be nutritious. How can they be sure? Our Australian biodynamic standard requires soil testing for soluble and total nutrients, with inputs applied as needed. So at present only biodynamic certification assures nutrition as well as purity.
Biodynamic growers generally believe more nutrients show up in more complex forms in their produce than in conventional or organic produce grown on similar soils. Most organic and conventional growers work from the belief that plants only take up such nutrients as are soluble. Biodynamic growers differ. They include silicon as an essential nutrient, and they work with biological processes that release minerals from soil totals, even if these minerals might otherwise be unavailable to less dynamic processes in conventional and organic systems.
Here we see two different points of view.  Grower One has a heavy clay paddock with a soluble phosphorous level of five ppm. He doesn’t do a total test, only a soluble one. As recommended by his local dealer, he applies urea and superphosphate, which eat into the living reserves of his soil and release trace minerals and major nutrients in a flush that later wears off. Everything that doesn’t leach ends up locking up more solidly (becoming less available) than before. Repeated applications of urea and super use up the soil’s living reserves, and the result is a very hard, lifeless soil.
Grower Two, a biodynamic neighbour, has the same soluble phosphorous level of 5 ppm, but his total test shows 1500 ppm P. There is no actual phosphorous deficiency, but soluble copper is extremely low at 0.2 ppm. Soluble copper is an essential co-factor of phosphorous, so crops and livestock look phosphorous deficient when lacking copper. However, Grower Two’s total test shows copper is 37 ppm, which is quite abundant. Yet, it too is locked up since this high magnesium clay binds tightly to itself. It is sticky when wet and rock hard when dry. Grower Two looks elsewhere for his soil’s true deficiencies.
Something Different
Biodynamics teaches us that life arises at boundaries, edges and surfaces. For a soil to release its nutrients we need to expose its surfaces and get it to crumble. Biodynamics also teaches that sulphur is what life ‘moistens its fingers with’ to work into the physical. A modest amount of gypsum (calcium sulphate, sold as clay breaker) applied to a sticky clay can help enormously, along with biodynamic preparations, to make a soil crumble, expose the surfaces of its particles and release what is there. The remedy is not applying phosphorous and copper, which only look deficient on the soluble test; but rather to remedy the sulphur deficiency that keeps all the other nutrients from working. The challenge in biodynamics is understanding the life processes which make the elements in the total tests accessible.
A Better Idea
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, who Rudolf Steiner tutored and advised his course of studies as his agricultural protégé, migrated to America after WWII and in due time set up laboratories doing both soluble and total soil tests at Spring Valley, NY. He found soils commonly contained enormous reserves of N, P and K. However, harsh NPK salts like saltpetre and phosphoric acid appeared to get miraculous results. By killing off soil biology and releasing precious reserves they temporarily increased yields even as crop quality declined. As growers poured more and more ammonia, urea, triple super and muriate of potash into soils, the fertility increasingly declined. Yet, fertiliser industries lobbied governments and passed laws so only highly soluble NPK salts could be sold as fertilisers. The soluble fertiliser approach was taught in universities as though it made perfect sense—as if farmers, like lemmings, were expected to race suicidally off cliffs. Farmers everywhere took to using up their fertility, calling it profit and going bankrupt, farm after farm. Farmers left the land in droves, and farms were consolidated at the expense of diversity, the backbone of synergy and ecological abundance. But Pfeiffer had a mission, based on a better idea.
Total Testing
Total testing, coupled with insight into biological processes, switches the deficiency targets from N, P and K to sulphur, silica and lime, with boron and other co-factors warranting greater attention, since there is a sequence of how biological processes work. Sulphur is the key in the ignition switch that unlocks the surfaces of soil particles where life arises. It exposes the surfaces of sand and clay particles which release silica from their abundance. Boron, a component of clay, combines with silicon, the basis of capillary action, to provide the levitation that draws sap upward from the roots. This provides uptake of calcium, the trucker that carries amino acid/protein chemistry into plants, to provide for growth and reproduction. Photosynthesis is a first priority, as chlorophyll is a big amino acid complex that requires magnesium to capture energy. At this point phosphorous comes into play to transfer and store energy as sugars, whereupon potassium guides these sugars to wherever they need to go.
How Biodynamics Works
Each step in this process depends on all the preceding ones or it fails. N, P and K depend on sulphur, boron, silica and lime to work. All the herbs used for biodynamic preparations have a strong relationship with sulphur, with yarrow as the epitome of sulphur’s activity with potash. Using sulphur, dandelion delves deep to rescue boron and demonstrate the finest example of silica activity. Chamomile uses sulphur to activate the digestive, nutritive activities of lime. And nettles, the protein-rich remedy for anaemia, organise and distribute energy along with magnesium, iron, phosphorous and traces. Phosphorous doesn’t transfer energy between structural silica and digestive lime without copper, zinc, manganese and other co-factors in plant chemistry, but it comes to its highest expression with valerian when it combines with oxygen in blossoming and reproduction.
Nitrogen is ever present in the air that caresses the surfaces of soil particles where life arises. Rarely is either nitrogen or phosphorous deficient in soils, though a lack of molybdenum, manganese, copper, zinc or cobalt sometimes keeps these from working. Likewise, the highly mobile potassium, a key component in plant fibre, is abundant in most clays, manures, fibrous plant residues and ashes. Unless long term harvest and removal have hauled it away, potash rarely is deficient. Yet, if a soil actually is deficient in something a total test reveals what is needed.
The Ideal and the Real
Keep in mind a farm works best when it produces all it requires from within itself—especially its needs for growth and reproduction. That’s a biodynamic axiom. Any inputs from outside the farm should be considered as remedies for a farm that has fallen ill. The reality is most farms today are sicker than dogs suffering from blindness, gout, kidney failure, depression, cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis. Using NPK like amphetamines and steroids coaxes yet another harvest at the expense of resilience. As farmers battle nature’s messengers—weeds, pests, diseases, droughts and floods—they raise this Armageddon with nature to epic levels. Nature’s gifts are seen as problems rather than resources, while nature, in her near infinite forgiveness, awaits a farming Epiphany.
Biodynamic farmers ought to be so observant of the life processes of their farms that they spot all deficiencies by observation, but in reality farmers don’t know enough. Soil testing by combining both soluble and total tests is a good way to train growers’ powers of observation so they apply the right amendments and preparations in amounts truly needed as remedies. In guiding Pfeiffer’s studies of chemistry, medicine and biology Steiner intended this approach to lead to agriculture’s finest hour, and in the process reverse the decline in how our environment provides our own personal vitality.
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