Professional Education in Ecological Agriculture and Biodynamics
Biodynamics, although actually the Godmother of modern, western ecological farming and gardening - is something that only recently has become part of the more general, public discourse.
A philosophical, yet at the same time a highly practical method, based in large measure in renewing older common sense methods for our time (like composting, plant teas as natural pesticides and plant food, cover cropping, excellent rotations, strong biodiversity and so on) but also with several important unique innovations (seeing the farm as an individual as a farm management concept, self-sufficiency in inputs as an ecological and economic ideal, full scale homeopathics as both prevention and first line of defense) biodynamics has been adopted and adapted by gardeners and farmers all over the world for the last 86 years - and more recently even by some of the world's leading (more famous) growers. However, its true value lies in what it can do for you personally and for those who eat the foods you produce.
Interestingly, biodynamics starts with a spiritual look at the human being, nature and the universe and finds therein a source of insights, ideas and ideals for an ecological and economic renewal of agriculture. In many ways, it seems to me a bridge between the spiritual wisdom of the Eastern past - and native people's from everywhere's past - and the modern, initially Western realities of a complex, technological age.
Here a brief, very general overview.
Dr. Rudolf Steiner
Biodynamic Preparation Stirring
Rudolf Steiner, Anthropsosophy, Biodynamics, Ecological Agriculture
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher, author, educator and social activist. He was an unusually gifted person whose ideas have been used successfully in many fields besides agriculture, including finance, education, medicine and architecture. His philosophy, spiritual science and cultural initiatives are called "anthroposophy." His ideas and suggestions for agriculture constitute the beginnings of the modern, ecological agriculture movement in the West.
Steiner was concerned with re-examining and renewing agriculture out of a modern, ecological, economic and social - yet also spiritual - understanding of life on earth, of human and cultural development. He was deeply concerned about the degeneration of agriculture (as with other aspects of human civilization) and made every effort to show how life is not just a materialistic / mechanistic reality, but that spiritual and psychological realities actually are the more significant and at the foundation of all life. He was also a champion of individual human freedoms, individual spiritual development and the self-determination of all people, everywhere.
Biodynamics was a name given to the ideas and ideals, principles and practices offered by Rudolf Steiner for agriculture by a group of early adopters - not by Steiner himself. He referred to these ideas and suggestions as principles of anthroposophical agriculture.
Anthroposophical agriculture (biodynamics) is practiced successfully around the world, in many countries, cultures and ecological conditions - both East and West, North and South, notwithstanding diversity of religious, philosophical, cultural, economic and other considerations by practitioners convinced of its spiritual and ecological practicality and long term value.
Although biodynamics can be understood in many ways, it is foremostly an attempt to understand how nature as a whole really works, how the substances, forces and beings at work in nature interact and form a whole, living physiology - and how to work successfully, naturally and ethically within nature's system of substances, forces and beings.
Although philosophical in framework, biodynamics is a very practical way to farm and garden - and not hard to learn. It requires a bit of mental preparation and study - this, however, leads to a fuller, richer understanding and practice.
Biodynamic farmers and gardeners focus on food quality through soil health, high biodiversity, humus building, natural pest prevention and control, integration of crops and animals - both wild and domestic - and an ever increasingly subtle and intense relationship to the land and its creatures. They also make every attempt to work with and not against natural rhythms, the year's and season's tendencies, the types of soil and climate they have - working to support natural health in every conceivable way.
Fundamental to biodynamics is a meditative approach to work and life. A consideration for the sacredness of all life and the needs of all beings and at the same time a deeply respectful inquiry into how we can meet the social, economic and ecological needs of our time.
Although every effort is made for accuracy - no advice or suggestion is intended for personal or professional use without consultation. All ideas, methods and suggestions need to be thought through carefully for every individual situation. Everyone must take action under their own responsibility. Neither the author or persons associated with him can take responsibility for your actions.