Biodynamic Agriculture

Biodynamic agriculture is a method of farming that envisions the farm as a self-contained and self-sustaining organism, with all aspects of the farm treated as an interrelated whole. In an effort to keep the farm, the farmer, the consumer, and the earth healthy, farmers go beyond organic practices, such as avoiding chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and utilizing compost, crop rotation and cover crops, to rely on special plant, animal and mineral preparations and the rhythmic influences of nature to maintain a productive farm. They also set aside a minimum of 10 percent of their total acreage for biodiversity. The Biodynamic claim is legally defined and audited by the Demeter Association, Inc. This holistic method of agriculture is certified by a third-party agency and, unlike many programs, the entire farm, versus a particular crop, must be certified and inspected annually. Having emerged as the first non-chemical agricultural movement approximately 20 years before the development of "organic" agriculture, biodynamic agriculture became popular through the work of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner and has continued to grow. Read our article on "Innovative Agriculture" or visit the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association for more information. (AWA)