8. There are two kinds of warmth for plants, a leaf-and-flower warmth that is dead, and a root warmth which is living. The moment warmth is drawn into the earth by the limestone it is changed into a certain condition of vitality. Air, too, is alive in the soil and dead above. Soil is full of aerobic, live beings, much more so than air.
Earth and water, on the other hand, become more dead in the earth than outside it. By losing life they become receptive to distant forces, especially in mid-winter.
9. The minerals in the earth become under the influence of the most distant forces between January 15 and February 15. These are the crystal-forming forces. Before and after this period, minerals ray out forces particularly important for plant growth. We make practical use of this knowledge when we buy manure-filled horns during winter.
10. For tilling the soil, we must know the conditions which enable distant forces access to the earth. We can learn this from the seed-forming process.
It is when a seed matures, when its protein is the most complex, that it disintegrates into chaos and the entire universe is able to stamp itself upon the seed. That which we see as a plant is always the image of some constellation. Steiner is telling us that pollination is an incomplete process. Afterwards, something happens in the seed, this turning into chaos, that opens it up to receive forces from the universe, making it become the particular species its parents were.
11. The only way to help bring the new plant back to earthly forces is to place it in a humus-rich soil. When plant life has not reached the chaos of seed-formation, we plow it in to improve the humus content of the soil. The flowering stage is the time to cut and incorporate cover crops.
12. Steiner encourages us to heighten our observational powers. “We can trace the process quite exactly. We can see this directly.” Earthly forces work in the horizontal leaf and flower formation. The seed at the end of the vertical stem irradiates the leaf and flower with distant forces.
13. Plant-leaves would not be green with just the earth forces in them. The sun forces living in the leaves makes them green. Colored flowers not only have the sun forces, but also the supplementary forces which the sun receives from the distant planets. In red flowers we see forces of Mars, in yellow or white flowers we see Jupiter, and in blue ones, Saturn. These forces, as we have seen, work most strongly underground in the roots, but does shine out in the color of the flowers.
14. In a plant we have the cosmic nature in the root, with just a little present in the coloring above. But in a much divided root, like those of grass plants, the earthly nature is working downward from its normal place above the soil level. The sun lives in the green leaves between root and blossom. The cosmic, distant forces work upward from inside the Earth with the help of silica, and the earthly forces work downward with the help of calcium.
15. These plants with much-divided roots are the fodder plants which really build good soil. The best soils in the world are the great plains and savannahs where grass grows and gets grazed periodically for centuries. We mimic this by rotational, intensive grazing or the growing of grass and grain cover crops. These are silica plants with sharp, pointy leaves. When the cosmic is help up in the stalk, not shooting into the flowers, silica is working as in the plant, horsetail. We will use this practical information later to make an antifungal preparation.
16. On the other hand, if we want the cosmic forces to not shoot upwards but to remain below, we would put the plant in a sandy soil. Remember, clay helps transport silica forces upward. Potatoes do not need to shoot up into seed production, so they like a sandy soil to enhance stem foundation near the root. We must always be able to distinguish between cosmic and earthly forces.
17. Steiner then proceeds to explain that humanity was able to create the different kinds of fruits from primitive varieties by this kind of knowledge and instinctive wisdom. We must re-discover it, and again new knowledge in order to enter again into the whole Nature-relationship of these things.
18. The silica receives light into the earth and makes it effective there. Humus, which stands nearer to the earthly-living nature does not receive light, it gives rise to a light-less working.
19. Regarding animals, this is the peculiar relation. If on any farm you have the right amount of animals, these will give the farm the right amount of manure. The farm is healthy in as much as it provides its own manure. The farm is healthy in as much as it provides its own manure from its own stock.
20. From the nose towards the heart of the animal, the distant forces are at work. In the heart itself the sun is at work, and from the tail back towards the heart the inner planets have influence. Besides direct sunlight, we have light reflected by the moon. Its effects are only from behind the animal.
Steiner asks us to learn to read the form, and suggests studying skeletons at a museum. You have the true contrast of the sun and the moon in the form and figure of the animals head and the attachment of the thighs, and you will be able to discover a definite relationship between the manure and the needs of the earth where the animal is grazing.