Classical touch in capsicum growth
AS SOON as you hear the gentle strains of Chopin emanating from David D’vash’s greenhouse you can tell he’s a farmer who likes to do things differently.
The Mullumbimby capsicum grower plays classical music to his plants for eight hours a day in the firm belief it helps their growth.
“Plants are living things, and I believe the input we put into the plants is going to be seen in the output,” he said
His plants’ morning music session consists of four hours of Western composers like Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, piped from the surround sound system in his 0.6ha greenhouse. This is followed by four hours of Indian ragas (a traditional melodic type of Hindu music). The rest of the day is kept for silence.
Mr D’vash said the plants didn’t necessarily react to the type of music played, but the sound vibration created.
Heavy metal music is forbidden in the greenhouse, because it actually kills plants.
Mr D’vash said there was plenty of research to indicate plants reacted to music and this was reflected in his own experience.
“I notice that the rows closer to the speakers are actually looking better than those further away.
“And sometimes I have the feeling the plants are turning towards the speakers.”
Better yields from his plants and stronger resistance to disease were among the music’s benefits.
Mr D’vash sells his produce at local fruit shops like Eden’s Landing in Mullumbimby and at farmers’ markets around Brisbane, where customers are always interested in talking about his musical farming methods.
He knows his approach is considered unconventional, but says it is part of a wider philosophy about humans and their relationship to food.
“It brings about a conversation and awareness that food is not just food, we’re dealing with living things. It’s about how we treat plants and animals.
“Even if it doesn’t make a difference you know that if someone went to the extent of playing classical music to a plant, they care.”