What is Biodynamic Agriculture?
Biodynamic agriculture focuses on enhancing the life processes of nature. We work to create self-contained farm individualities. Each BD farm develops its own identity based on the relationships between the animals that provide fertility for the soil, the fields that provide food for animals and people, the plant life, the meadows, the orchards, the forests and the wetlands giving space for birds, insects and other wildlife. These interrelations support a healthy farm capable of producing quality, health-giving products.
Farm balance and health are further encouraged by the use of biodynamic compost preparations and field sprays. These special preparations are made on the farm from common medicinal herbs and animal sheaths. They help the soil and plants to relate to the form-giving forces behind nature.
A variety of regenerative farming techniques are used, including crop rotation, composting, interplanting, careful treatment of livestock to ensure both longevity and quality, and seed saving. In addition, influences from the moon and other planets are taken into account. In essence, the farmer becomes the conductor of an orchestra, working with nature, recognizing weaknesses in the farm and working to strengthen the whole farm organism.
The human aspect of biodynamic farming must not be forgotten. It gives farmers the chance to work with nature, not against. The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movement grew out of biodynamic farming, with people recognizing the need to support the farm and its farmers, while receiving quality food in return. Many BD farms also receive regular visits from school children, as well as from adults looking for a chance to reconnect with nature.
Biodynamic agriculture seeks to actively work with the health-giving forces of nature. By enlivening the soil, food can once again properly nourish people. Biodynamic practitioners work to balance the life-forces and heal the earth, without the use of chemicals. We use our knowledge of nature, our powers of observation and a variety of sustainable techniques.
For excellent, down-to-earth descriptions of biodynamic agriculture and its relationship to organic agriculture, view:
*** Aric Anguonie and Kathryn Aunger of EartHaven Farm in Eastern Ontario:
*** Jeff Poppen in Tennessee:
*** And Mary Forstbauer in British Columbia:
Here is also an excellent basic guide to biodynamic agriculture from the Association for Research on Biodynamic Practice, in France: