What is Biodynamics?
Biodynamic agriculture is sometimes not too different to organic agriculture as far as many agricultural activities such as cultivating the soil, hay making etc. are concerned.
The idea behind it, however, is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
The current scientific view point is that organisms, as they develop, create consciousness.
To put it into simple words: there is matter and then there is consciousness (spirit).
Biodynamic principles are based on the opposite view point: first there is consciousness (spirit), and out of it matter is created. This means in order to REALLY understand the world, we would have to focus on its origin which is of non-physical nature, rather than analysing matter which is only a result of the former. Because we grow up in a world where the current scientific point of view is being taught to us, it is very hard for us to understand what biodynamics is. But science today is progressing at a high speed and it is known now that our mind can influence and change our genetic code which means that consciousness can regulate matter and the ideas behind biodynamics might not be so far fetched.
But it is not necessary to understand all that in order to understand that biodynamics works. Many farmers and growers apply biodynamic principles without understanding them completely.
It is a life long struggle and hard work to come closer to an understanding of the forces behind nature. One of the reasons why biodynamics is not better known and wider spread.
In the end it is the result that convinces people, not the philosophy or reality behind it.
Most clearly can this be seen in the wine industry. Biodynamic wines become increasingly popular because wine experts have developed a high sensitivity to the quality of wine and can therefore taste the difference.
We as farmers have the task to develop the same sensitivity to everything around us as much as we have to regain sensitivity to the quality of the food we eat. Our fields, our animals and crops tell us when we succeed and also when we do not!
Practically speaking biodynamics means that we regard a farm as a complete organism in which the different organs (animals, fields, orchards, gardens, streams, forests, lakes etc.) have to have the right relationship to each other just as the organs in a human body do. If this harmony is not created and maintained, the organism will fall ill.
We therefore try to balance our farm, rear the right amount of animals to provide enough fertility for the crops, which in return feed the animals and us.
No fertilizer is brought in from the outside, no medication is being used unless to save a life and no feeds should be purchased unless it comes from a biodynamic farm near by.
The aim is to create the right conditions to ensure the soil, the plants an the animals are healthy. Remedies like fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and medications are not needed as long as we get it right.
To achieve this in the current social and economic climate is a challenge and I do not claim the we get it all right at all times. The biggest problem is that managing a farm in a biodynamic way is more labour intensive and therefore the products are likely to be more expensive. It starts with the fact that a biodynamic farm cannot be anything else than a diverse farm for the reasons mentioned above. This is one of the BIG DIFFERENCES to organic farms. It is possible to run an ORGANIC pig farm without growing anything else and to buy all feeds in from the outside. Biodynamically this is not possible.
BUT it is not only the farmers responsibility to get it right. We rely almost completely on YOU, our customers, and your willingness to buy biodynamic products at a higher price. Many of us are not prepared to do that. In the end it is the question if it really IS more expensive in the long term.
The decline in the quality of our food since the agricultural industrial revolution as seen a proportional increase of illnesses, both physical and mental, allergies and depression and a much higher increase in the use of medication and food supplements. Imagine you can buy food that is so healthy and so full of vitality that it makes food supplements completely unnecessary! Imagine you can buy food that supports your thinking and strengthens your will!! These are really the benefits of biodynamics, besides the fact that it uses less energy, remains mostly local and does not ever pollute the environment. On top of it it needs a lot of people and as employer Tablehurst Farm, on 670 acres, secures a living for 18 people and 4 apprentices in the local community!!!