Whether while watching the news, browsing the internet, or talking with some friends, you’ve probably heard of biodynamic farming. Many people assume that the term is synonymous with organic farming, but it is so much more. In the field of agriculture, the process itself is like magic to farmers looking to cultivate crops and produce quality, nutritious food.
Let’s take a trip back to memory lane to understand the history of biodynamic technology and how it has evolved to what it is today. The idea of biodynamics is rooted from philosopher and scientist Dr Rudolf Steiner back in 1924. His lectures to farmers opened the doorway to integrating scientific understanding with a recognition of spirit in nature.
Today, the principle of biodynamics has been applied in thriving gardens, farms, vineyards, ranches, and orchards. The principles and practices of biodynamics are used anywhere food is grown. In the next section, we’ll learn the five principles of biodynamic farming and how they can make a difference in the realm of agriculture.
Plant diversity is one facet of biodynamic farming. This method involves allowing a variety of plants to grow together by keeping the soil healthy. The idea is to mix crops so that these plants work in support of each other. Should a plant depletes a particular nutrient in the soil, the companion plant releases that same nutrient into the ground. Monocropping is an example of conventional farming practice. As an example, both the processes of farm planting and harvesting soybeans are conducted in the same field year after year.
Crop rotation and animal life
As opposed to plant diversity, biodynamics also entails crop rotation and an assortment of animal life. This practice involves rotating crops from field to field while raising varied animal species. Cover crops and green manure work together, helping to ensure healthy soil. Apart from keeping the soil in good condition, this reduces parasites while controlling weeds and pests. This practice is crucial in the whole farming equation.
Composting is vital in biodynamic agriculture. It is suitable for the garden and reduces the amount of rubbish going to the landfill. Compost is an organic matter that has been decomposed via a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner. Compost is rich in nutrients. When spread on fields, the humus stabilizes nitrogen in the soil for crop productivity. Therefore, composting is the source of healthy soil.
It is said that there are nine homoeopathic preparations. Six of these preparations are key to composting. Two are used to stimulate humus, and one other is used to suppress fungal disease on crops. The preparations are based on extracts from animal, plant, and mineral manure. They involve the process of dynamization where each extract is diluted into sprays. The solution is used then sparingly to treat compost, soil, and plants.
Last but not least is the biodynamic principle of lifeforce. Lifeforce is said to separate biodynamic farming from other agriculture. It is essentially the acknowledgement of cosmic forces that play a role in the life of the farm. Cosmic forces include things such as moon phases, celestial cycles, and seasonal cycles, among many others. The idea is that biodynamic farming is more than earthly influences such as biology, physics, and chemistry.
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