Biodynamics 101

bee shelterBio=Life Dynamic=Active

Biodynamic Agriculture is a farming practice that embraces life’s activities to produce exceptionally nutritious and flavorful food. From the tiniest micro-organisms out to the cosmic reaches, biodynamic farmers strive to embody the idea that everything plays a part in our health and well-being. Biodynamics is a spiritual. ethical and ecological approach to creating a diverse and balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility from within the farm itself to the extent possible (see diagram below).

A Healthy and Good Farming Practice

 > Biodynamic Agriculture >
 > Healthy Soil Healthy Choices

 V

Healthy Compost Healthy Cows
^ Healthy Plants Healthy Body and Mind  <
 ^ Healthy Poop  <

Biodynamic methods were first described by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925, an Austrian-born scientist and philosopher) and have now spread to all continents on thousands of farms, vineyards and home gardens. Community Supported Agriculture, like the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, was pioneered by biodynamic farmers in an effort to create not only ecological but also social and economic sustainability. While homeopathic preparations made from manure, minerals and herbs nourish the soil, the community of farm members are socially and spiritually nourished by their commitment to tend the earth in a kind, honest and joyful way.

Biodynamics is more than just holistic agriculture. For those who practice it, biodynamics cultivates an awe and reverence for the fact that our earthly existence is interwoven with the entire universe, creating the right mood for healthy thoughts and actions. We grow delicious produce, and so much more!!


References

Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association:
Junction City, OR and East Troy, WI
www.biodynamics.com
262-649-9212
Conferences, seminars, books and a quarterly journal on biodynamics

The Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Bio-Dynamics, Inc.:
Woolwine, VA
www.jpibiodynamics.org
276-930-2463
Biodynamic preparations and advice on how to use them

Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
www.SteinerSchool.org
734-995-4141 Lower School (pre K-8th grade)
734-669-9394 High School (9-12th grade)
Waldorf curriculum with lots of gardening and outdoor education

Stella Natura
Kimberton, PA
www.stellanatura.com
610-469-9686
Biodynamic Planting Calendar

Steiner Books/Anthroposophic Press
Herndon, Va
www.steinerbooks.org
703-661-1594
Books and calendars


Suggested Readings

The Agriculture Course
by Rudolf Steiner

Nine Lectures on Bees
by Rudolf Steiner

Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living
by Eknath Easwaran (Nilgiri Press 1993)

Grasp the Nettle: Making Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Work
by Peter Proctor (Random House, New Zealand, revised edition 2000)

The North American Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar
by Maria and Matthias Thun

Toward Saving the Honey Bee
by Gunther Hauk