Energy and the Growroom
Energy is a loaded word. It allows our lights to turn on, it can result in deadly radiation and, most importantly, it regulates how cells—the most basic form of life—work.
Simply put, energy defines and regulates life. There is a delicate balance and intention involved in a cell's ability to regulate itself. Consider cell membrane pumps and channels. Pumps transport solutes across the boundary of the cell wall against a concentration gradient.
Channels allow solutes to flow back out. The pump and the channel are the check and balance of the cell. They ensure that potassium concentrations are higher inside the cell and that higher levels of sodium and chlorine are on the outside. If the cell didn't know what it needed or have the ability to use energetic gradients to accomplish this deliberate homeostasis, we would not have life as we know it.
Making Sense of Growroom Lighting
We take things like this for granted, but there are always opportunities to penetrate deeper into natural truths. For instance, when growing plants indoors why do we consider the wavelengths that occur in the visible spectrum, but not others?
Do we imagine that plants are not affected by them? The electromagnetic spectrum (EMF) is defined by light waves and, in addition to the visible portion, is comprised of radio waves, infrared, x-rays and gamma rays. Do we imagine that simply because these frequencies are outside of our visible spectrum that they have no influence on plants?
It's easy to be confused when discussing the idea of frequencies. We measure light and sound in the same way (hertz), but they are actually different phenomena—the EMF does not encompass sound waves.
Light, electricity, and magnetism are all manifestations of electromagnetic radiation and do not need a medium to travel through, but sound waves are like ripples in a lake or a flag. They rely on the molecules in water and air to get from A to B, which is why light waves travel through space and sound does not.
While it may be confusing, it is by no means foreign. We use TV remotes and cell phones on a daily basis, yet seem uncomfortable discussing the idea that these wavelengths and frequencies have an effect on anything but their intended destination.
Potential Benefits of Frequency Spectrums
It would be prudent to consider the potential benefits of these frequency spectrums to plants, but also the possible detriments if they are not naturally organized. Not only are we completely separating ourselves from any sort of natural environment in an indoor growroom, but we are also setting up myriad artificial energy fields with the ballasts, fans, timers, etc. being used.
Standard magnetic ballasts operate at 60 Hz (or, cycles per second), which is the frequency of the AC voltage they run on. This means that each lamp switches on and off 120 times per second, resulting in a barely perceptible flicker and a noticeable hum. (Actually, about 25% of the population is sensitive to ballast flicker and hum and can become physically ill with symptoms like headaches, nausea, itching and burning eyes, tension or eye fatigue.) Also, all of the energy is artificial.
There are ways to harmonize these unnatural energies in your growroom, similar to the chips designed to reduce bad EMF from mobile phones. This can be done by creating a crystal grid, using the form of the vortex and even the presence of highly potentized organic matter, such as biodynamic compost.
Potentize might also be a word people are unfamiliar with. This concept is used in homeopathic medicine and biodynamic agriculture. To potentize means to influence the whole with energetic organization; to make more active and productive, or to energize and create synergy.
It is the act of bringing higher order, or resonance, through dilution. This is the opposite of the materialistic model we have adopted in the modern world. Normally, when we add more of a substance we consider it more concentrated, but Nature marches to the beat of a different drum.
This is also true when it comes to how energy is utilized. Many human technologies are explosive and wasteful; there is very low energy transfer and the result is destruction and degeneration. Nature, on the other hand, operates via implosion, which helps build up living systems and is regenerative.
So, your growroom or garden is organized in straight lines, but can you find this kind of rigid symmetry in a forest? Aren't plants in Nature allowed access to more than the 17 elements found in conventional hydroponic nutrients? Does a river run in straight lines like the nutrient solution in a standard drip line? (Think of the difference between the vortexial motion accomplished by the meander of a healthy river and the massive fish kills, erosion and general poor health of straightened rivers.) Nature does not work in symmetrical order and the lowest common denominator, but texture, spirals and chaos. Could it be that we are only paying attention to part of story?
One thing is for sure: the better you feel about your garden, the better it will grow. We forget how vital the human involvement is in farming. Everyone has a different way to express these ideas in the garden (and there is no right and wrong), but the idea is simply to take the above concepts into consideration and apply them. Simply put, consider the effects of subtle energies on growing plants—because, the truth is, we don't at the moment.
Of course, one should not expect to be able to replicate outdoor natural phenomena with any exactness indoors. However, with persistence and research, we can tap into these principles in order to enhance the life force of our plants.
Putting it Together
All of these concepts are ideas we don't have to consider when growing plants; however, when we do, we open up possibilities that were not seen or benefited from previously. We truly maximize the genetic potential of our garden. A healthy growing situation is balanced in all physical, mineral, biological and energy aspects. biodynamics is the only method of agriculture that consciously addresses the energetic aspects of living systems. Think of organic gardening as treading water and biodynamics as swimming where you want to go.
Growing plants for what they need, rather than what we need from them is what's wrong with the world. It's why food is becoming emptier and degenerative disease is increasing with no explanation.
We know very little about what plants want. Often, we are too smart for our own good. We take advantage of our knowledge every time we use a hydroponic fertilizer or indoor grow light. Knowing what a plant needs, we can provide this for them artificially and our eyes are not capable of noticing the difference until pests and disease manifest.
We have conquered the physical side of gardening, but doesn't it beg the question of what we might be missing? Is it possible that a human can replace everything desired by a plant in an indoor environment? The answer might be no, but we don't know yet as we are scarcely even trying.
People such as Rudolf Steiner, Viktor Schauberger, Wilhelm Reich, Nikola Tesla and many others were aware of these natural energies and put them into practice a long time ago. They generated their understanding through trial and practice with an undiluted and penetrating focus into the mechanisms of the natural world.
You can too. Hopefully an experimental seed has been planted here. Start your journey on the backs of these giants. After all, what better arena is there to test some of these natural principles and techniques than an indoor growroom?
So, ask yourself, when was the last time you considered the life force of your garden?
Written by Evan Folds