Food Production - A Model For The Future
Modern agriculture is causing topsoil to be eroded at 3 million tons per hour (that’s 26 billion tons a year!). The carrying capacity of the earth is almost spent. To maintain our comfort zone consumerist lifestyles we will soon need five earths to sustain us in the style to which we have become accustomed. The mantra of free trade has failed the world’s poor but there is a better way and Biodynamic agriculture may be the only answer we have left.
What is Biodynamic Agriculture?
'Bio' comes from the Greek word which means life, and 'dynamic' means a moving force. Hence biodynamics is life as a moving force.
Biodynamic farming principles and methods are based on the teachings of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner who in 1924 outlined a method of agriculture that seeks to actively work with the health-giving forces of nature. He developed the technique in response to the degradation and nutrient depletion of European soils at the time.
Biodynamics is the oldest non-chemical agricultural movement in the West, predating, by 20 years, the organic farming movement.During the early decades of the twentieth-century farmers started using inorganic fertilizers such as nitrogen "condensed" from the air. Steiner believed that the introduction of this chemical farming was a very detrimental.
- Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925)
Steiner was convinced that the quality of food in his time had degraded, and he believed the source of the problem was chemical farming's use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Steiner considered the world and everything in it as simultaneously spiritual and material in nature, an approach termed monism. He also believed that living matter was different from dead matter. In other words, Steiner believed synthetic nutrients were not the same as their more living counterparts.
Biodynamics revolves around using a set of eight homeopathic-like animal, mineral and plant based preparations. These preparations are used at certain times to align with the rhythms of the Earth, Sun, Moon, planets and constellations. Followers of this method of farming believe that energy and life comes from the astronomic features in a rhythm, and activities such as planting and adding preparations are keyed to the astronomical events improving the quality and quantity of the foods.
Biodynamic farmers attempt to understand and work with life processes and they try to build their understanding of the mineral processes used in conventional agriculture. Biodynamics is a holistic system that considers the farm an organic system. As such, it also includes livestock.
Organic and biodynamic agriculture both consider a healthy soil as the foundation of healthy plants, animals and people. In fact, a healthy, well-structured soil, rich in humus and high in biological activity is a prerequisite for any sustainable agricultural system.
Vortexing (activating) Water - A Biodynamic Principal
Decades of use of biodynamic methods on farms around the world has shown that rich, healthy soil qualities can be effectively promoted using biodynamic techniques. These techniques also reverse soil degradation.
Pest and disease control on a biodynamic farm is usually managed by developing the farm as a total organism/system. When specific pest and weed control is required products are made from the weeds and pests themselves. Not requiring expensive and dangerous chemical based products.
'One Man, One Cow, One Planet' is a film that will help you to see the far-reaching benefits of biodynamic farming.
From your backyard to mass scale agriculture knowing where your food comes from, how it is grown and how to grow it yourself is a 'must have' skill for health independence and sustainability.
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