Rudolf Steiner

The Founder of Biodynamic Farming.

The history.

It all began in 1924 with a series of lectures on agriculture by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, a highly respected European philosopher and scientist. It was his take on agriculture that became the opposing view to those who, at the same time, were initiating the rapid movement for widespread use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. By 1928, Demeter® had become the official certifier of biodynamic farming in Europe. In the 40's the term "organic" was coined by an English biodynamic farmer and agricultural professor at Oxford. He said that this term was inspired by Steiner's view of the farm as a single living organism. As biodynamic farming was picking up steam in Europe by the 1950's, the term "organic" started to grow popular in American agriculture. Still, it wasn't till 1985 that US Demeter® Certification was established.

Only when we look back to where it all began can we fully understand the meaning of biodynamic. It was Steiner who felt that everything produced on a biodynamic farm would be better, because the focus was on managing the entire farm as a single interdependent organism rather than a series of individual parts. A majority of fertilizing on a biodynamic farm, for example, would come from recycling all the organic material generated on the farm to grow crops, as opposed to synthetic chemicals or stripping the natural resources from another location and transporting them to the farm. Bottom line, the farm sets the limit for what it can produce, and is not forced to do any more than it was meant to. This "natural limit" prevents humans from overusing the earth's natural resources, and protects the environment by drastically reducing CO2 emissions that come from transporting, mining and refining these materials.

"To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world," - Rudolf Steiner.

 

Basic Biodynamic® principles and practices.

Biodynamic®  farming is founded on the belief that the farm is an organism unto itself. It is capable of meeting its own needs. The guiding principle is total sustainability in agriculture for the good health of the people and the planet.

Nutrient-rich soil is the foundation. The nutrients come from the farm itself, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the farm by using less fossil fuels for transportation of elements typically used on other farms. Included are the cover crop, decaying plant matter and animal manures which are turned into compost.  The best compost.

Fermented herbal and mineral preparations are used as compost additives and field sprays.  These preparations are made from materials fresh off the farm, itself.  And, the constant flow of natural water through the farmland is cycled through the system to prevent waste. There is life in everything.

The gravitational pull of the Earth, placement of the sun and change in seasons provide the land and plants with a biological clock.  The farmer follows the calendar, moon and stars to keep track of time because the right amount of time is cructial for all living things.

 

Additional Rudolf Steiner Resources:

Books

   Steiner Books
   Rudolf Steiner Press

Reference, Education

   Rudolf Steiner College
   Rudolf Steiner Web
   Anthroposophical Society - Rudolf Steiner Library

 

To top