Posted by: Mahdi Ebrahimi | December 7, 2007

Biodynamic Gardening – The Wave of the Future or Going back to the Past:

The Past is now the Future:

Humans are by nature foragers; we look for food everywhere, from the time of the caveman to now, when we are inundated with every kind of food that can be packaged and placed on a shelf. In the beginning humans chased their food, a savage existence. They never thought about planting or maintaining the animals they hunted for food up until an actual system for agriculture was designed by the Sumerians, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers begin and flow south for over one thousand miles to the Persian Gulf.

The Sumerians built many small farming villages that flourished. They dug simple ditches to funnel the water from the rivers to their crops, planting fields of wheat, barley and vegetables. Several hundred years later, independent city-states like Ur arose. With the advent of the first basic biodynamic gardening system like that of the Sumerians led to more food and a population explosion and the world’s first civilization. Today biodynamic agriculture is becoming more widespread. With the last year of poisonings, lead paint disasters, food that comes from the factory latent with bacteria, more and more people are looking to learning how to grow their own vegetables and fruit in organic, healthy ways. More people are moving to living more “green” and sustainable lives, learning that over-consumption is unhealthy for humans as well as the soil and animals. Biodynamic agriculture works within the basic principles in nature and applies that knowledge of life forces to bring about a balance and healing to the soil. Biodynamics works without injecting the harmful additives from today’s chemical industry into the food source. It is the oldest organized approach to farming. Beginning in the 1920’s, biodynamics is built upon the premise that the more self-sufficient a farm, the healthier it will be. The heart of biodynamics uses special homeopathic preparations that help enhance the soil, plants, and animals thus the human be healthier in mind and body. In 1924 Rudolf Steiner laid the foundation for a new way of thinking about the relationship of the earth and forces of nature that form the world. His work showed how health of soil, plants, and animals depends on reconnecting with nature and the creative forces of the universe which at the time were becoming lost and the natural forces rapidly becoming depleted through modern means.

The Beginning of Biodynamics:

The biodynamic agriculture of today grew out of eight lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. It is an advanced farming system that is gaining attention for the emphasis on food quality and soil health. Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian scientist and philosopher. He gave his lectures to a group of farmers near Breslau {the lectures are now published in English as “An Agricultural Course”}. The course lectures, taught by Steiner and were a response to observations from farmers about how their soils became depleted after using turn of the century chemical fertilizers. They noticed degraded soil conditions and deterioration in the health of crops and livestock, thus beginning the first ecological farming system to develop as an alternative the chemical agriculture.

Biodynamics in Explanation:

In biodynamics the grower sees the farm as an organism, a self-contained entity. The farm has its own individuality and emphasis is placed on the integration of crops and livestock, recycling nutrients, and soil maintenance, along with the health and well-being of all and the farmer as well. The farmer must think about the interactions within the ecosystem of the farm which naturally lead to a series of holistic management practices which must address environmental, social, and financial aspects of the farm. Tenets of biodynamic agriculture are that food raised biodynamically is nutritionally superior and tastes better then the food produced conventionally. And while biodynamic farming is a lot like organic farming in many ways it is set apart from organic agriculture by its use of the spiritual science of anthroposophy, also founded by Rudolf Steiner and having its emphasis on achieving the balance between the physical and higher non-physical realms which acknowledge the influences of the cosmic and terrestrial forces to enrich the farm, the products and the inhabitants with life energy. Biodynamics can be understood as a combination of the biological agriculture practices that include well known, organic farming to improve the soil and dynamic practices which are intended to bring about the harmonious influence of the metaphysical aspects of the farm and to adapt to the natural rhythms such as planting during certain phases of the lunar calendar. The Biodynamic Practices:

The biologic practices of biodynamic agriculture are the use of green manures, cover cropping, composting, companion planting, integration of crops and livestock, tillage, and cultivation. The dynamic practices of biodynamic agriculture use the influences of special compost preparations, special foliar sprays, planting by the calendar, peppering for pest control, homeopathy, and radionics. Now everyone knows or has an idea of the biologic practices but it’s the dynamic practices most are not familiar with such as peppering. Peppering is a method of pest control which is valued in controlling everything from weeds and insects to possums, rabbits, and rats. The aim of peppering is to inhibit the reproductive potential of any plant, insect, or animal one applies the method to. Radionics was founded by Dr. Albert Abrams (1863- 1924), a native of San Francisco, under the original name of ERA – Electronic Reactions of Abrams. The details about pest control using radionic instruments, While there is extensive research on many variants of radionics used for farming and gardening, one example is: Simply place a crop or field soil sample in the slot. The computer is able to connect via this sample to the crop or soil that the sample is representing. Then, enter a request into the computer. You could write something like “All weevils leave this field now so that this crop flourishes.” Follow a simple procedure and run the program for a short length of time. With this and other techniques, organic farming and high yield, nutritious crops are the result. You can even program them for good storage characteristics and other details. That’s all there is to it. It is easy as well as completely organic because no pesticides or chemicals are used.

Biodynamic Preparations and Compost:

There are a varied amount of preparations to choose from in biodynamic gardening. They consist of mineral, plant, or animal manure extracts, usually fermented and applied in small amounts to the compost, manures, soil or directly on the plants after a diluting and stirring procedure called dynamization. These preparations are intended to moderate and regulate the biological processes, as well as to enhance the life forces of the farm and are used in homeopathic quantities which are extremely diluted. The compost for the biodynamic farm is a fundamental part of the method, it serves as the way to recycle the manures and organic waste, stabilize nitrogen, and build soil humus, thus enhancing soil health. The biodynamic compost emanates energetic frequencies which vitalize the farm. More specific instructions on preparation, placement, and the making of biodynamic compost can be found in a booklet from the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association in San Francisco, California. As you have seen, there are many areas to biodynamic gardening and agriculture from plant rotation, planetary influences, and community supported agriculture. It has been seen that the quality of the food grown in a biodynamic garden is far more nutritional and better tasting even if mainstream science adheres to that no difference exists between biodynamically grown or organic grown foods. Biodynamics uses scientifically sound organic farming practices that build the sustainability of the soil, plant, and animal health. The area that is harder to grasp for some farmers/gardeners is the emphasis of the energetic forces and astrological influences of the biodynamic experience. The fact is that as a world community, more and more countries will have to start accepting that the looming possibility of returning to the old world ways of farming in order to sustain the ever growing population might be the only way to save our food sources and food sustainability over many more centuries to come. The fact remains biodynamic farming is gaining wider recognition and acceptance as a way to control better food quality, teaching community supported agriculture, and proven, productive yields of nutritious, high quality foods.

source: americanchronicle.com

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