Biodynamic® farming is regenerative farming.
Producing healthy, pure food that is farmed in a way that helps to heal the Earth so that our kids will inherit a better planet for tomorrow.
The Beginning of Biodynamics
Biodynamics was born in 1924, when Dr. Rudolf Steiner was approached by a group of European farmers after they had noticed a rapid decline in their seed fertility, crop vitality and animal health. Dr Steiner then created a series of lectures where he presented the farm as a self-sustaining, living organism. Biodynamic® farming is the best model of Regenerative Agriculture.
What does biodynamic mean?
Biodynamic comes from the Greek words "bio," meaning "life," and "dyn," which means "force." When applied to agriculture, "Biodynamic" means working with life’s forces or processes.
Biodynamics and the use of GMOs
Biodynamic farming is adamantly opposed to genetic modification organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, gardening and food processing. International biodynamic standards forbid the use of any GMOs and ingredients, including animal feeds, that would never occur in the natural world. These are the very principles upon which the evolution of all living things has been based for millions of years. A biodynamic® farm aims to produce everything on the premises, including seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and even feed for livestock.
Organic vs. Biodynamic
The international biodynamic certifying group, Demeter, was established in Europe in 1928, and in the United States in 1985, while the National Organic Program (NOP) was established in the United States in 2002. NOP is crop-focused and allows for a designated section of a farm to be certified. Biodynamic® certification, on the other hand, is farm-focused. It requires that the entire farm be certified using NOP standards as a baseline, and then takes that a step further by requiring additional standards be met before certification is awarded. Biodynamic farms are built to integrate every living organism within the system, including all plants, livestock and farmers, creating a closed-loop system of farming. It aspires to transform and maximize the health and vitality of the farm's every aspect, and to improve the way we farm through an ongoing relationship with Nature.
Biodynamic farming is all about building nutrient-rich soil
- The backbone of biodynamic farming is the creation of nutrient-rich soil in which to grow nutrient-rich produce. This is achieved by using crop rotation and growing cover crops (crops grown specifically to add nutrients to the soil) and natural compost.
- Biodynamic farms require a biodiversity set-aside of ten percent of the total farm acreage to attract beneficial insects and animals that prey on crop-damaging pests. Wetlands, grasslands, and forests are all are considered an integral part of the farm's life.
Farm-generated natural green compost
- Biodynamic farmers and growers use specially made herbal preparations to enhance and enliven their compost, soils, plants, animals and farm. Just as wine growers use biodynamic techniques to ensure their grapes express the essence of their vineyards, the same principles apply to growing all biodynamic fruits and vegetables. Production is never maximized at the expense of the health and integrity of the biodynamic farmer's land or the health and quality of the food they produce.
Farming according to nature's cycle
- Biodynamic planting and harvesting are structured around lunar and astrological cycles that are said to play a role in the the cycle of the plant, much in the same way that the lunar cycle affects the tides and vitality of the ocean.
Biodynamic farming can reverse climate change
- Other than the ocean, the soil holds the most carbon of any other place in the world, which is important for the natural balance of the earth and what we grow in it. Unfortunately, agricultural practices have degraded our soil to the point where much of it isn’t able to hold carbon. As deforestation and industrial agriculture methods take over massive portions of the world’s agricultural areas, the carbon in soil is released into the air as Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This increases the amount of CO2 in the air and contributes to global warming and climate change. By using organic fertilizer, no-tillage, crop rotation, and composting soil, Biodynamic farming practices take an environmentally friendly approach that can recover from degradation and actually reverse the process. These practices take CO2 out of the air and instead absorb it. This concept, called regenerative farming, has been shown to absorb nearly 3% of global carbon emissions. Some scientists estimate that with enough regenerative farming, the global carbon emissions absorbed back into the soil could be up to 15%. Studies show that the soil may be our best chance to reverse the effects of global warming and CO2 emissions.
Maintaining the purity of the finished product
- Twelve Biodynamic processing standards, developed for specific product types, require minimal manipulation so that the agricultural ingredients and manufacturing processes used define the product.
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