What is Biodynamics?

Biodynamic farming is the oldest organic certified farming system (certified by Demeter). It was founded in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner through the inquisition of a handful of German farmers who were back then concerned about the degrading soil fertility (around that time, the first artificial fertilizers appeared). Steiner gave on Whitsun 1924 the introductory lecture of a week long lecture series, where he introduced the totally new and unconventional way to farm. Or perhaps an very old way to farm. 😉

Rudolf Steiner. With Kind Courtesy of the Rudolf Steiner Archive http://www.rsarchive.org
Picture: Rudolf Steiner. With Kind Courtesy of the Rudolf Steiner Archive http://www.rsarchive.org

Dr Rudolf Steiner was a Philosopher, Scientist and spiritual teacher. He founded the Anthrophosphical Society (Anthroposphia = (anthropos = “human”) and σοφία (sophia = “wisdom”)), the first Waldorf School, Anthroposphic Medicine, Eurythmy and many more things. Biodynamic farming is practised in 60 countries on more than 161,074 hectares of land. There is a big admiration of biodynamic wine by wine lovers – it it said one of the best vineyards are biodynamic. It has gained in recent years a lot of popularity, particular in India, as the solution to deprived soils and Monsanto and Co. A wonderful film which shows the popularity of Biodynamics in India, or how biodynamics works in practise is „One Man, one Cow, one Planet“ by South Cloud Films (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33M5UB-OUW0)

bd500spray

A key part of biodynamic farming are the so-called preparations, which are also applied on the „World Biodynamic Farming Day“. Steiner spoke about horn manure, horn silica and a variety of compost preparations, that are all composed of herbs, such as Dandelion, Chamomile, Oak Bark, Nettle etc. These preparations are used to rejuvenate, vitalise or fertilize and applied in small homeopathic doses to the soil or the compost.

Additional to this, biodynamic farming has a high standard for animal welfare (i.e. cow have still their horns), the farmer aims to have on the farm self sustaining cycle (and uses ideally no materials from outside the farm).

Biodynamics is not only for farmers, everyone can do it in their own backyard – even on a 10 square metre small garden. A good way to learn about biodynamics is to join the many facebookgroups or join a local garden group.

You can also visit a local farm or join a group on the ‘World Biodynamic Farming Day’ or check out infos on your national biodynamic association. (see list below). Sometimes farmers offer open days or farm walks or give small courses.

https://www.facebook.com/DemeterUSA/videos/1683859908296344/

Facebookgroups:

Biodynamic Agriculture and Growing in North West England  (For North West of England)

Biodynamic Community (International Community)

Biodynamic Community Otago (Facebookgroup of Otago Group/USA)

World Biodynamic Farming Day Community (Worlday Group)

Biodynamics Made Easy (This group born after a workshop with Shane Joyce, where he shown us Biodynamics methods in a simpler way than usually presented)

Central Minnesota Biodynamics Impulse

Biologisch-dynamische Landwirtschaft (German speaking Group)

Purchasing the Biodynamic Preparations:

Please go to the Worldmap and select for your country. http://worldbiodynamicfarmingday.org/worldmap/

Biodynamic Associations:

Please go to the Worldmap to find your local Office. http://worldbiodynamicfarmingday.org/worldmap/

Specific Infos about Biodynamic Preparations:

A very good overview and detail description can be found on the Website of the Josephine Porter Insitut. https://jpibiodynamics.org/preparation-info/bd-prep-instructions-articles/

Another good presentation can be found at Services Biodynamie in France.

http://www.biodynamie-services.fr/en/biodynamic-preparations/

and many more, such as Demeter International, every Biodynamic Association and Individual Farmers…

Films:

One man, One Cow, One Planet, Available free on Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33M5UB-OUW0

The Alchemists, by Friges Fogel https://vimeo.com/180061523

And many more films on youtube.

Books:

Agriculture Course: The Birth of the Biodynamic Method by Rudolf Steiner

Biodynamic Gardening: For Health and Taste by Hilary Wright

Biodynamic Gardening: Grow Healthy Plants and Amazing Produce by Monty Waldin

Extraordinary Plant Qualities for Biodynamics by Jochen Bockemuhl and Kari Jarvinen

Gardening for Life: The Biodynamic Way by Maria Thun

Grasp the Nettle: Making Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Work

The Biodynamic Year: Increasing Yield, Quality and Flavour by Maria Thun

Principles of Biodynamic Spray and Compost Preparations by Manfred Klett

And many more……

Scientific Studies:

The Most comprehensive collection has been published by the Agricultural Section in Dornach 281 Pages of how Biodynamic Preparations have been used. http://www.sektion-landwirtschaft.org/fileadmin/landwirtschaft/Pr%C3%A4parate/The_biodynamic_preparations_in_context_web.pdf

A Collection compiled by Demeter International. https://www.demeter.de/biodynamic-research