Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms, emphasizing balancing the holistic development and interrelationship of the soil, plants and animals as a self-nourishing system without external inputs. As in other forms of organic agriculture, artificial fertilizers and toxic pesticides and herbicides in Biodynamic farming are strictly avoided.
THE FOCUS OF BIO-DYNAMICS BioDynamics uses particular preparations designed to enhance the living processes and help the plants and animals to reach their full potential. Bio-dynamics is about balance of the soil, plants and atmosphere, and it is also about yummy nutritious, flavour full food, healthy animals and a healthy Farm.
BIODYNAMIC PREPARATIONS: Sometimes called Organics Plus, biodynamic agriculture makes use of biological preparations that stimulate life in the soil, and silica preparations that assist photosynthesis, assist sugar production, and strengthen plants against fungal and insect attack.
ENERGISING THE WATER: Energizing the water that carries the biodynamic preparations to the soil and plants is modeled on the way nature renews water in the ocean, river or stream so that it can carry life. This can be done in different ways. 3 of the methods we can use are 1) stirring by hand, 2) creating a vortex with flowforms which simulate the action of a stream or river and 3) using a stirring machine.
PLANTING CALENDAR: We already do things by the yearly seasons. We can do things by monthly and daily seasons as well and like micro nutrients, these influences are more subtle. The calendar is based on astronomy with over 40 years of practical field studies and demonstrable results.
HISTORY OF BIODYNAMICS The development of biodynamic agriculture began in 1924 with a series of eight lectures on agriculture given by Rudolf Steiner at Schloss Koberwitz in what was then Silesia, Germany, (now in Poland east of Wrocław). The course was held in response to a request by farmers who noticed degraded soil conditions and a deterioration in the health and quality of crops and livestock resulting from the use of chemical fertilizers. An agricultural research group was subsequently formed to test the effects of biodynamic methods on the life and health of soil, plants and animals.
Following Rudolf Steiner’s agricultural lectures of 1924, Biodynamic farming took hold in Europe. In the 1940’s, English Baron Lord Northbourne, agricultural professor at Oxford and Biodynamic farmer at his family’s estate in Kent, coined the term “organic” from Steiner’s view of “the farm as organism.” In the 1950’s, influenced by the rise of Biodynamic farming in Europe, the American J.I Rodale popularised the term organic in his publication “Organic Gardening.” Because of their allied history, both methods shared a focus on soil health, condemned the use of synthetic chemicals, and encouraged the use of compost, cover crops, and holistic pest and weed management.
BIODYNAMICS ADAPTED FOR AUSTRALIAN CONDITIONS Although he was very clear about how and why to make and apply the biodynamic preps, Steiner also says many times throughout his Agriculture lectures that his ideas were indications, that more work needed to be done, and people should not be afraid to try variations out for themselves. He even responded to a question about whether stag bladders could be substituted for something else in the yarrow preparation by saying ‘It is entirely possible that somewhere there is another suitable kind of animal - perhaps indigenous to some corner of Australia.’
WHY BIODYNAMICS CONSULTANCY FOR YOUR FARM
The advantages you gain from the Biodynamic method is in health of both pastures and animals. The pest problems, such as red-legged earth mite and lucerne flea have practically disappeared with the aid of some extra Biodynamic spraying. With the cows bloat disappears. And I have also seen the stopping of drenching all the cattle. “It was not until another Biodynamic farmer who lived and farmed next had sons that worked as stock inspectors and watched their cattle go through the abattoirs, and found that their livers were clean, that I had the confidence to give away drenching altogether. “ As years go by, the soil and root structure has improved and humus levels have increased.