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Biodynamic Gardening and Agriculture

Biodynamic Gardening and Agriculture

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless, the awakening of resistance. Life may grow from it as from a seed.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Flight to Arras

  • The foundations of holistic agriculture
  • The Nature of Life: Looking to the Cosmos
  • The Living Earth and the Farm Organism
  • The Working of Cosmic Energies in Plant and Soil
  • Supporting and Regulating Natural Processes
  • Working Practically with Astronomical Rhythms
  • Biodynamic preparations and their application
  • Seeds: Nurturing a Vital Resource
  • Water: The Foundation of Life
  • Healing Outer and Inner Landscapes
  • Food Quality, Nutrition and Health
  • Community supported Agriculture
  • Looking to the Future

Biodynamic agriculture is a form of agriculture very similar to organic farming, but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Initially developed in 1924, it was the first of the organic agriculture movements. It treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock as ecologically interrelated, emphasizing spiritual and mystical perspectives.

Biodynamics has much in common with other organic approaches – it accentuates the use of manures and composts and excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include its treatment of animals, crops, and soil as a single system, an emphasis from its beginnings on local production and distribution systems, its use of traditional and development of new local breeds and varieties. Some methods use an astrological sowing and planting calendar. Biodynamic agriculture uses various herbal and mineral additives for compost additives and field sprays.

In this course you will:
  • Gain a deep understanding of the relationship of earth, life and human beings from scientific and eco-spiritual perspectives.
  • Expand your understanding of the principles, preparations and practices of biodynamic agriculture techniques.
  • Learn how to replenish your depleted soil and re-establish biological diversity.
  • Get hands on experience through farming, which you can start using immediately.
  • See the farm as a self-contained unit – The Farm Organism.

Biodynamic Agriculture

“Let us then work together in this way; it will be a genuinely conservative, yet at the same time a most radical and progressive beginning. And it will always be a beautiful memory to me if this course becomes the starting point for carrying some of the real and genuine ‘peasant wit’ into the methods of science.” (Rudolf Steiner)

We explore people’s relationship to Nature through history and the realm of agriculture. We gain an understanding of how our current agricultural practices based on chemical farming are developed from a materialistic viewpoint of the world, where all entities are perceived and conceived as individual parts. We explore the need for a new outlook in agriculture, one which encompasses the totality of Nature and identify how biodynamic agriculture can solve many of the problems associated with conventional agriculture through a science that is in harmony with the very essence of Nature. We explore current “organic” systems of gardening and agriculture (bio-intensive, Masanobu Fukuoka, organic, Permaculture) in comparison to biodynamics.

Biodynamic Practice: Working with the Formative Forces in Nature

To be able to work with biodynamic agricultural practices we must begin to open our minds to the invisible realm of forces in Nature. We gain an understanding of what Dr. Steiner referred to as a merging of terrestrial and cosmic realms and how the influences of these two realms are manifested on Earth. We must acknowledge that growth depends on a balance of energy relationships.

  • Biodynamic Preparations 500-501
  • Biodynamic Preparations: Maria Thun’s barrel compost, Hugo Erbe’s preps, etc.
  • Preparations for spreading and incorporating preparations
  • The Art of Vortex Stirring
  • Biodynamic compost preparations BD502 to BD507
  • Preparation BD508 (Equisetum arvense – horsetail)
  • Using the Biodynamic Planting Calendar
  • Rhythms in Nature
  • Within the Living Realm
  • Goethean observation
  • Biodynamics – A Total Farming System
  • The Importance of Humus
  • The Element of Water
  • Taking and Reading Soil Profiles
  • The Art and Science of Compost Making
  • Biodynamic Methods of Pest and Weed Control
  • Green Manuring and Crop Rotations
  • Orchard management and Tree Paste
  • Biodynamic Animal Husbandry
  • Biodynamic Plant Pathology: Disease Prevention and Pest Management
  • The four elements and three-folding

BOOK: The Genius of Place: Rudolf Steiner, Bill Mollison, Biodynamics, Permaculture, and the Esoteric Tradition (How do we go about discovering the soul and spirit of the land?) By Wayne Weiseman © will be published in 2019