What is Biodynamic Agriculture?
Biodynamic agriculture was the first modern “organic” approach to agriculture. Initiated in 1924, when Rudolph Steiner gave a series of lectures to farmers in Poland in 1924, it emphasizes the importance of developing intimacy with Nature.
Biodynamic farming honors the spiritual forces of nature, and the effects of the moon, the planets, the stars and the sun. Farmers build complex and living soil, and ecosystems, including a lively dynamic between Heaven and Earth. In such an environment, plants grow exceptionally well without any sort of chemicals: the food is tasty, nutritious and very satisfying. Steiner encouraged farmers to imagine their farms as living organisms. He described how to make
certain preparations to help activate the soil communities and allow plants to take in energy. He advocated practices to maintain the integrity and balance of life on the farm, including the balance between the number and kind of animals, the amount of pasture and field crops, and wild and tended areas.
Steiner emphasized farming as a high calling, one in which the inner life of the farmer and the outer life of the farm go together. As farmers develop their own sensitivity to the farm, its soil and its animals, they “know” what to do, even if they cannot explain it. Farming, in this approach, is a fine art.
Hugh Lovel introduced me to biodynamics. His book, A Biodynamic Farm serves as a good introduction. It is available through Acres USA, www.acresusa.com. More information about biodynamics is available at www.biodynamics.com.