What does Biodynamic mean and why is it so important to agriculture?

You are probably familiar with the word organic when it comes to food, but what does Biodynamic mean and why is it so important to agriculture?

 

Organic and Biodynamic are very similar – both are grown without GMO and chemicals. The main difference is that Biodynamic farming uses several principles to nurture the soil,  plants and animals. These principles are regenerative to the planet’s ecosystem and boosts the soil’s natural fertility. Conventional farming, on the other hand, typically deteriorates the soil.

Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) is the founder of the biodynamic approach to agriculture (he also founded Waldorf education.) He was a highly trained scientist and respected philosopher.  Steiner, in the early 1900s, was one of the first to warn that the widespread use of chemical fertilizers would be devastating for agriculture. Steiner was concerned that western civilization’s approach to agriculture would bring destruction to the environment. He concluded that the mechanistic view of nature, that was starting to take over agriculture, would eventually be devastating for the soil, plants and animals. With the development and use of artificially produced fertilizers and pesticides, farmer began noticing declines in the health and fertility of their crop and land.

In 1924, with a small following of farmers, Steiner started teaching them about a unique approach to farming by seeing the farm itself as a single, self-sustaining organism that thrives through biodiversity and that contributes to the well-being of all living things. With a comprehensive approach to soil, plant, animal and human health, Steiner developed a set of preparations that are added to compost to give soil a boost.

 

Biodynamic_Compost

Biodynamic compost improves the soil

 

Several scientific studies have concluded that biodynamically tended soils show higher biodiversity and higher levels of microbial activity than soil on organic farms. High level of beneficial microbes are a great thing – the busier the soil, the better!

 

One study focused on one of the compost treatments unique to biodynamics. After analyzing the microbiology of the preparation, the researchers speculated that it positively affects soil by regulating hormones and acting as a biostimulant.

Another study compared biodynamically and organically-managed vineyards. This study found that biodynamic grapes had higher Brix, phenols, and anthocyanins than their organic counterparts.

Around the world, Biodynamics is alive in thousands of thriving farms, orchards and vineyards. Biodynamic farmers now use Steiner approach as a holistic, ecological and ethical way to farm. With a thoughtful adaptation to landscape, climate and culture, the principles and practices of biodynamics can be applied anywhere food is grown. Biodynamic farmers have established a worldwide reputation for creating socially responsible farms with organic products of the highest quality and flavor.

By following a clean and holistic farming approach, Biodynamic Coffee is always free of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers. And the best part – it’s delicious because great coffee comes from healthy soil!

by Pernilla Cadenheim