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Biodynamic agriculture

Biodynamic agriculture was the first form of scientific organic agriculture. Today, it is practised all over the world. It works in harmony with the natural processes and rhythms of nature, taking into account the influences not only of the climate and soil, but also the planets and the stars.

The biodynamic approach to organic farming practice has as its roots a series of agriculture lectures given by Rudolf Steiner, at Koberwitz, the estate of Count and Countess Keyzerlink, in 1924.

The impulse that led to the lectures was twofold and is well worth a mention, as these same issues concern us just as much today. Firstly, the farmers of central Europe found their yields diminishing alarmingly over time, and realised that their traditional farming methods were no longer effective. Secondly, based on his great interest in the health and future of the human being on earth, Steiner claimed that it was of utmost importance that human nutrition be based on food produced from a living soil, in harmony with the greater influence of the cosmos.

In the early years of the biodynamic movement quite astonishing results were achieved by a small number of devoted followers. During the Second World War the movement went more or less underground and its recovery afterwards was very slow. In the '60s and '70s many young people sought apprenticeships on biodynamic farms and the biodynamic trademark, DEMETER, became widely recognised. Biodynamic farmers are well known internationally for taking part in Organic development, both with regard to standard making, and for the high quality of their produce.

To become a recognised biodynamic farmer, one has to abide by the standards laid down by the European Organic Regulation 2092/91 and its amendments, as well as following the International Biodynamic Guidelines for production, and most importantly to become familiar with and to use the biodynamic preparations. There are two important spray preparations, and six compost preparations, Chamomile, Stinging Nettle, Oak bark, Yarrow, Dandelion and Valarian. The aim when using the preparations is not necessarily to increase the yield, but rather to improve the quality of crops, especially from a nutritional point of view. Instructions for making or acquiring these preparations can be got from the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Ireland. By becoming a member of the association, one can gain contact with others working biodynamically, attend workshops, conferences and receive the Irish and British BD Newsletters.

The Approved Biodynamic Inspection Body is Demeter Standards, and they can be contacted at the same address as the BDAAI., at the Watergarden, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
Fax and phone 056 54214. The association has a lending library.


Rudolf Steiner

" How different it is in all that is here said out of Spiritual Science! Underlying it as you have seen is the entire household of Nature. It is always conceived out of the whole. Therefore, each individual measure is truly applicable to the whole, and so it should be. If you pursue agriculture in this way, the result can be not other than to provide the very best for man and beast. "

- Dr. Rudolf Steiner