The Biodynamic Calendar in a Nutshell.
The calendar we use is the one rediscovered by Maria Thun. It offers a practice from antiquity that aligns our work with the wider environment of the universe, and enables what's best for the plant (and ultimately us) to be the focus of all activity. In the calendar, the Moon has the greatest influence in determining what work to carry out, when and with which crops.
The Moon is seen to pass through 12 constellations and, in doing so, mediates the elemental energy associated with each in turn. The elements relate to the parts of a plant as follows: Earth-root, Water-leaf, Fire-fruit/seed and Air-flower. By working with plants on days of suitable influence an enhancement is made to the part of the plant that we would want to eat.
The jobs to do and when to do them are related to the ascending and descending of the Moon, which is different to waxing and waning. The Moon is observed to rise further North each night (ascending) for about 2 weeks and then moves South (descending) over a similar period of time. Sap rises more strongly during the ascending Moon, so it is an excellent time to harvest above-ground crops for storage as they are filled with vitality. When the Moon is descending it is best to carry out any pruning (reduced sap-flow means that cuts heal more quickly) and it is the ideal time for planting/transplanting (plants connect better to their new environment). Other jobs such as weeding and seed-sowing can be done during either the ascending or descending period, but with reference to the appropriate elemental influence for the crop in question.
By working with the Moon in this way we create the conditions that allow our plants to become the best they can be, and therefore they do us the most good when we eat them. So if you want healthy, nutritious, flavoursome food then look to the Moon for guidance.