Licenses in over 60 countries worldwide, biodynamic farming is an ecological and ethical approach to gardening and agriculture. While it isn’t as widely known, this method of farming has long been established since the 1920s and continues to evolve. It integrates a scientific understanding of nature to develop various ways of improving growing and nurturing food, including thoughtful adaptations to scale, landscape, climate, and culture.
What is Biodynamic Farming?
Considered as one living organism, biodynamic farming is made up of interdependent elements such as fields, forests, animals, soils, compost, and people. Farmers and gardeners that practice biodynamic farming work together to harmonize these elements and manage them in a holistic way to maximize each aspect’s health.
This establishes the importance of creating a balance between plants and animals, as both are seen as complementary roles. Take one away from the other, and it can create a nutrient deficiency or even cause pollution from excess manure. With that in mind, biodynamic farms use diverse animals to help cycle nutrients, while the manure produced by these animals is used to nurture the soil. In essence, it creates a conscious relationship that supports and balances the elements as a whole to create better and more fruitful harvests.
What is its History?
Biodynamic farming started in 1924 when philosopher and social reformer, Rudolf Steiner, spear-headed a series of eight lectures to a group of Austrian farmers. The farmers at that time noticed that the vitality of their seeds was degrading in quality due to the use of chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen. With that in mind, biodynamic farming was established to combat this and bring farmers back to organic agriculture to restore fertility back to depleted soils.
Biodynamic Farming and Moon Phase Planting
A substantial aspect of biodynamic farming is coordinating planting seasons according to moon phases. This is called the biodynamic calendar, which is now in its 57th year and was developed by German farmer, Maria Thun, who studied the effects of planting, sowing, and harvesting. It is rooted in the belief that just as the moon has the power to influence tides, it also has the uncanny ability to control the growth of plants.
With that in mind, the ideal time to sow seeds, transplant, bud, and graft is between the new moon to the full moon. On the other hand, going from the full moon to the new moon opens up the opportunity to weed, harvest, reap, plough, and cultivate.
The First Steps to Biodynamic Farming
The most fundamental aspect and area to start is analyzing the state of your soil. Biodynamic farming is all about enriching the soil and stimulating plant growth after all, so preparations using compost is essential.
To start, prepare a compost that is made up of animal manure and other organic wastes. These are vital components that enliven the health of your soil and improve organic matter. When done correctly, it should diminish weeds, pests, and combat disease.
If you are looking for meat from Biodynamicly raised animals, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.