Biodynamic agriculture is a set of agricultural practices viewed as an alternative to traditional agriculture. In terms of its process and goals, it is similar to organic agriculture. Biodynamics integrates the natural environment into a farm’s broader vision. The goal is to produce enough food to meet consumer demand while maintaining a sustainable and healthy environment. 

The History

Biodynamic agriculture originates from the ideas and work of Rudolf Steiner. In 1924, Steiner began the biodynamic agriculture movement, focusing on soil fertility and plant growth as well as the integration of livestock into farming. Steiner held a series of lectures in modern-day Poland, answering questions from local farmers who experienced problems with the degradation of their soil quality. The class was small and less than half of those in attendance ran their own farms, but Steiner’s lectures sparked a movement that persists today. 

Plant Diversity

One of the main principles of biodynamic agriculture is plant diversity: mixing and matching plants that can support each other in symbiotic relationships. This will make your farm more durable and profitable in the long term. Conventional farming is mostly based on monocultures. This leaves farmers without anything to fall back on and damages the soil over time.


Composting is another crucial element of biodynamic agriculture, putting the animals and waste of your farm into practical use. Composting creates healthier, more profitable soil from resources you already have on hand. Specific steps must be taken for composting in biodynamic agriculture, but it shares many principals with the process we are familiar with. For farmers, it’s an additional source of work, but well worthwhile. 

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is another important principle to this particular approach. The process uses the same land to grow more than one type of crop over a period of time, switching between crops to use the land to its full potential. Finding crops that will revitalize the land is key here. 


Understandably, there is scepticism toward this approach in the agriculture and horticulture communities, particularly amongst academics. This is partly due to how Rudolf Steiner approached his work: surrounded by mysticism. Talk of abstract concepts such as life force may not blend well with the more scientific aspects of the process, but it remains a popular approach regardless of criticism. 


When it comes to the issue of certification, biodynamic agriculture checks out. The government must provide certification that proves a farm is organic. When your farm complies with biodynamic processes, it is also considered organic. 


Biodynamic agriculture is based on the work of German scientists working in the field in the early 20th century. It retains many followers to this day, due to practices that have been proven effective.


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Date:Mar 4, 2020


Tags:eco-friendly, sustainability

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