This is a classic amongst the planting calendars – the 2011 calendar is the 49th edition!. Although I am familiar with the German edition there is also an edition that is available for North America (The North American Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar 2011 ISBN 0863157564):
Maria Thun uses the sidereal zodiac and also pays especial attention to the Moon’s monthly changes from highest northern and southern declinations. This is not to be confused with the Moon’s apogee and perigree – which she also considers. When the Moon has reached her highest northern declination and begins to “descend” is the period that Maria Thun calls the planting period. This is the best time to sow or set plants as the lunar processes working on them are directed toward the soil and encourage good rooting, which is very important for a plant. When the Moon has reached her most southerly declination and once again “ascends” the planting period is over. Here the lunar processes are directed toward the rising of the plant sap through the stem into the leaves and fruit. This is for example the best time to harvest especially if the harvest is to be stored.
Maria Thun also classifies plants as “root”, “leaf”, “blossom” and “fruit” plants. Each plant type is associated more strongly with a particular element. A “root” plant, like carrot, beet or the potato is an “earth” plant. A “leaf” plant, like salad, cabbage or spinach is a “water” plant. A “blossom” plant, like the rose is an “air” plant. And a “fruit” plant, like the pea, tomato or apple is a “fire” plant. Caring for each of these plant types when the Moon is in that particular element insures the best possible results. Remember Maria Thun uses the sidereal zodiac. She has rigourously experimented from the very beginning. And so for example she will explore what happens when Kohlrabi, a “leaf” plant is sowed on a leaf, fruit, root or blossom day. Her results? Kohlrabi planted and attended to on a leaf day is round and tender. If it was planted and attended to on a fruit day it tends to become bumpy and slightly hard. On root days it becomes woody and develops a rough outer skin and finally on flower days it tends to bolt.
Maria Thun also associates the planets to the elements in a unique manner:
- Saturn, Mercury and Pluto are “fire” planets
- the Sun is an “earth” planet
- Jupiter, Venus and Uranus are “air” planets
- Mars, Moon and Neptune are “water” planets
This particular association with the elements also has a meteorological component. Fascinating and quite honestly I am quite intrigued that the Sun should be an “earth” planet.