BDAASA strives to strengthen, promote and advance the practice of biodynamic agriculture in Southern Africa
What is Biodynamics?
Biodynamic Agriculture is an approach to sustainable organic agriculture that is inspired by the philosophy of Anthroposophy as developed by Rudolf Steiner in the late 19th – early 20th century. A series of eight lectures by Rudolf Steiner, captured in a book called The Agricultural Course, formed the foundation from where biodynamic agriculture was developed. This development is ongoing – truly ‘Farming for the Future’.
In the term ‘biodynamic’ the bio refers to the biological (organic) aspects of agriculture (i.e. the physical soil, water, plants, animals etc.); whereas the dynamic refers to the cosmic formative forces that underlie the physical world. Biodynamic agriculture respects the fact that the whole of the universe, i.e. the planet earth and the whole surrounding cosmic space with all its heavenly bodies, forms one indivisible whole and should be managed as such.
Principles of Biodynamics
- Regeneration – sustainability is not enough
- Integrating well-being of nature and human beings – we are part of the picture
- Creating a living context within which human beings, animals and plants can thrive and develop
- Include animals in a way that respects their well-being, while producing nutrient dense food, nourishing the soil and protecting wildlife
- Agriculture is contextual – of its ecology, landscape and culture
- Ecological responsibility – Caring for resources, including packaging and transport impacts
- Social responsibility – Support community development and a cooperative approach throughout the supply chain
Biodynamic farmers use a range of specially formulated herbal and/or organic preparations to enhance soil, plant and animal life, fertility and vitality. They develop their farms into unique and distinct individualities that use a minimum of external inputs. Their aim is to produce the highest quality food, fibre and timber with no or very limited negative impact on the environment. In an effort to create a harmonious whole, the farmer works with the natural and cosmic cycles, rhythms and forces that regulate life on earth.
3 Categories of preparations, for specific purposes.
Horn Manure (500) a field spray applied late afternoon to moist soils that encourages growth and development of the plant (Moon forces)
Horn Silica (501) a field spray applied into the atmosphere early morning on clear sunny day, to encourage nutritive and structuring development of the plant (Light forces}
The 6 preparations added to the compost that enable the soils to respond and be sensitive to the formative forces from the planets and into the plants
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The Farm Organism