“The most important thing is to make the benefits of our agricultural preparations available to the largest possible areas over the entire earth, so that the earth may be healed and the nutritive quality of its produce improved in every respect. That should be our first objective.”
Rudolph Steiner founder of Biodynamics
What is Biodynamic Agriculture?
A different viewpoint is required when approaching agriculture from the biodynamic perspective. In our “conventional chemical” or “organic” approach to agriculture, we tend to think in terms of substances (or more specifically, chemical requirements that can be met by this or that substance). In chemical-based agriculture, we bring nitrogen to the soil via ammonia or urea, and in organic-based agriculture we bring nitrogen via manure. For phosphorous the substance of choice is super-phosphate or rock phosphate. We are thinking in terms of chemical substances or NPK, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil. With biodynamic agriculture and biodynamic preparations, we learn to think in terms of forces in addition to substances. This does not mean discarding all knowledge of soil chemistry; it means we need to go beyond solely the chemical point of view. Just as the effects of the force of gravity or the force of magnetism can be observed without actually being able to see these forces, so too can we recognize the forces that are released through biodynamic preparations.
Biodynamic agriculture originated out of the spiritual scientific research of the Austrian scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposphy and Waldorf education. In 1920s Europe, the use of chemicals in agriculture was causing great concern for a number of farmers and soil scientists; especially with regard to its effects on seed viability, deterioration of food quality, and health related problems in both livestock and crops. In 1924, Steiner presented a series of eight lectures on these issues, which are now published as Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture. During this lecture series, Steiner gave indications for producing several different preparations to be used in agriculture which are now referred to as Biodynamic Preparations (BD preparations).
This definition of Biodynamics is taken from the Josephine Porter Institute for applied Biodynamics. http://www.jpibiodynamics.org/
How do we apply Biodynamics on the farm?
As a Demeter certified biodynamic farm we provide our own on-farm fertility through: biodynamic compost, cover cropping, and crop rotation. All of our direct-seeding and transplanting happens in correlation with our Biodynamic planting calendar. The calendar breaks down planting into 4 categories: leaf, root, flower, fruit. We therefore break our fields and planting beds into these same groups. We also apply Biodynamic preparations in our greenhouses, fields, and compost heaps. We have been applying Biodynamic preps to our entire property for over 4 years and each year we continue to see an increase in the vibrancy of the land and the crops.
For education and local resources on Biodynamics please visit: http://www.goodfarmers.org/index.php