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Esoteric humbug or effective holistic approach? The lunar phases

October 15, 2018 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Often dismissed as esoteric by skeptics, whereas “proponents” point out the positive effects: organizing life around the phases of the moon. While the influence of the sun on plants is undoubted, it is different with the moon. Despite lacking scientific evidences, various groups confirm its effectiveness. Gardening according lunar phases is quite known and popular. SomeGreen Pearls® partners also use the moon phases in the hotels’ everyday practice.

The phases of the moon

The moon has four phases: the new moon, first quarter, full moon, and the third quarter; some sources also include the moon’s position in the astrological signs. After roughly 29.5 days, the Moon has orbited the Earth returning to its starting point. Aligning with the lunar phases is predominantly based on the assumption that the Moon impacts the water on earth: depending on the lunar phase, more water and nutrients can be found in the plant’s roots or flowers. Thus, epigeal plants should be planted during the first quarter, whereas plants and root vegetables growing hypogeal should be planted during the third quarter. Bushes and trees should not be cut during full moon since they dry out easily in this phase.

Forgotten knowledge

Not long ago, our ancestors naturally considered the lunar phases for their activities among other things in agriculture. “Some may say this is humbug, but we have learned from our ancestors and incorporate the phases of the moon in different areas,” commented Dietmar Walder from the Leitlhof in the Dolomites the approach. However, not only the lunar calendar serves as a source of inspiration, but also the old and traditional knowledge is taken into account – the lunar calendar is only one part.

Gardening according to the lunar calendar

The Pustertal in the Dolomites is famous for potato farming since the climate is too harsh for other crops. The phases of the moon are naturally respected by most farmers for generations. No one can afford disregarding them: the experiences have shown strong pest infestation or even crops completely failing as a consequence. During planting and harvesting at Leitlhof’s hotel garden, the calendar is therefore always taken into account.


Everything is interrelated

Back to nature and its treasures is the motto of the vegan Bio-Agrivilla i pini in Tuscany. The hotel describes its garden as a “safe haven which invites to tinker, explore and experiment.”  Experimenting with everything that is natural and supports nature. Not only permaculture plays an important role here, but also “friendships” among plants, nettle slurry, a humus retention basin, and the phases of the moon. The holistic approach is consistent here: forgotten fruit and vegetable rarities grow on fossil clay soil, planted and irrigated according to the lunar phases, of course, because plants become more resistent. The earth and all living beings are fully respected here: “As vegan organic farmers hatred does not exist in our garden, animals and plants are friends. And not because it sounds romantic. Each microbe has its place. For us there are no weeds, just wild herbs.”

Lunar phase harvested wood for a spa-temple

The moon phases are not only crucial for more or less successful gardening. In theHotel Lamm in Baiersbronn in the Black Forest, selfness and relaxation in harmony with nature is central. For this purpose, it has created its own spa-village: among other things, different saunas in log house style, a natural sauna constructed of tree logs, and a traditional bathhouse are surrounded by lush nature. Another special feature is the structure using the wood of white firs which was beaten in the correct phase of the moon. The advantage of “lunar harvested wood” is that “there is less juice in the wood; it therefore rips or twists less,” explains the Hotel Lamm.

Back to Nature

Concerning the lunar phases, opinions differ on this issue: whether it is humbug or valuable knowledge, people will consider the moon’s impact as implausible as long as scientific evidence is lacking. Nevertheless, experiences show it is worthwhile looking at. Rediscovering nature and its small and large interrelations is helpful, just like implementing methods when pesticides did not exist or were not widely used. To put in the words of the Bio-Agrivilla: “We learn daily from nature while observing her. Thinking in contexts and correlation.”

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