Today, in The Telegraph there’s an obituary on Maria Thun, a very prominent person in biodynamic farming.
The principles of biodynamic agriculture were first proposed by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in 1924. He spoke of life forces not detectable by the physical senses, yet linking together the universe and all living things. He believed that the energy of plants can be affected not only by human actions and the weather but also by the energy of the moon, stars and planets. Decisions about when to sow and prune, he suggested, should be made according to patterns of lunar and cosmic rhythms.
Beginning in the 1950s Maria Thun decided to subject his principles to controlled trials on her farm on the outskirts of Darmstadt in Germany, beginning with radishes. Planting the vegetables when the moon was in different constellations, she discovered, resulted in their growing into different forms and sizes.
(One wonders — perhaps someone even knows the answer, I don’t, but I suspect what it might be — if her trials have been replicated by any other researchers, even better by any researchers independent of the anthroposophical movement!