What is Biodynamic Farming?
Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant, and animal health. – “What is Biodynamics?” Biodynamic Association
Based off the work of Rudolf Steiner,this method of agriculture takes a step further than organic farming. It treats the farm as a living entity with multiple working parts and a myriad of influences that effect it as a whole.
In order to be considered, a farm needs to meet a complex but rewarding standard. Here are some of the guidelines:
- Must preserve local biodiversity
- No monoculture, must have crop rotation
- Soil must have biodynamic preparations (which have been sourced from the farm or local region)
- Irrigation must emphasize water conservation
- Encouraged to integrate livestock into farming techniques
- Use self-sustaining fertility dynamics (recycling livestock manure, using crop rotation to not deplete nutrients)
- Absolutely no use of GMO-derived seeds, inoculants, or livestock feed
Jrjohnson Biodynamic Farms
Ralph Johnson of Jrjohnson Biodynamic Farms is a San Luis Obispo farmer who has been “planting by the moon” for more than thirty years. He sells his biodynamically-sourced plants, seeds, and produce at farmer’s markets all over the county. He also co-hosts the Biodynamic Gardening Report, a local podcast and radio segment that gives the Central Coast weekly updates about how to bring biodynamic practices into their own gardens.
Here is a sample of the Biodynamic Gardening Report: