Biodynamics

 

Biodynamics is a practice of agriculture that considers the relationships between, and influences on, all of the soil, plants, animals and people in the context of the material, as well as the unseen cosmic and spiritual forces and influences that they exist within.  It is as much a practice of engaging with the plants, animals and land as a farmer or gardener and helping facilitate the best of health and balance within the particular characteristics of the place one is working, as it is the continuing practice of developing one’s own faculties for perception and understanding of the whole of these dynamic influences.  Ultimately, biodynamics is about nourishing of place and what grows and lives there for its own sake, as well as for the purpose of providing food capable of nourishing human spiritual development and evolution.

The biodynamic approach considers the farm as an organism in itself and fosters the intimate relationship between the farm, the farmer(s), the life forces of the land, the local ecosystem, and the influence of the sun, moon, and planets in the lifecycles of plants and soil life.  We use homeopathic plant and mineral-based preparations to support the life forces of the land, soil and plants.  In following biodynamic practices, we prefer to use materials coming from the land itself rather than bringing in outside materials. This includes materials for building soil life and fertility, but also involves things like growing and maintaining as much of our own seed supply as is practicable, as well as nourishing ourselves as much as possible from our own food grown here on the farm.

The following helps understand the paradigm of thinking necessary to embrace biodynamics:

One principle man has to grasp, otherwise no development will be possible in our crucial time.  Seek the truly practical life, but seek it in a way that does not numb you towards the Spirit that is working in it.

Seek the Spirit, but do not seek it out of greed for the supersensible from supersensible egoism;  But seek it, because you want to apply it unselfishly in practical life, in the material world.  Make use of the ancient principle: “Spirit is never without matter, matter never without spirit.”

So that you say:  We intend to handle all material matters in the light of the Spirit, and we shall seek the light of the Spirit in such a way that it will kindle in us a warmth for our practical deeds.

Spirit that is led into matter by us;  Matter that is shaped by us until it reveals the Spirit it contains;  Matter that receives through us the Spirit revealed;  The Spirit that is brought by us to and into matter.

All this will build that active and vivid substance, which can take humanity into real development;  Into that kind of progress that the people of today, in the deepest and most worthy longings of their souls, can only but yearn for.

- Rudolf Steiner