Bio-dynamic and organic farming practices are both more similar than they are different when compared to modern day farming practices. This is because bio-dynamic and organic farming both strictly forbid the use of harmful chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
The main difference between them is that biodynamic farmers create their fertilisers from the resources of the farm itself, whereas organic farmers can buy fertilisers in from outside the farm. For example, a truck-load of chook manure or rock minerals may be purchased for an organic farm and spread out on to the soil. That is not to say that some organic farms don’t create their own fertility on-farm. It’s just not as high in the priorities, philosophy or standards compared to the biodynamic farmer. Biodynamic agriculture is a self-containing, self-sustainable method of farming.
What is Biodynamics?
Bio-dynamics was created by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist, in the early 1900’s. Bio-dynamic farmers use a set of bio-dynamic preparations to add soil biology to the soil or compost instead of a chemical. This soil biology has a composting action to produce humus (the only true plant food). For example, 500 is a preparation used as a spray that is made from cow manure and refers to the millions of micro-organisms contained in it. These act like a broad-spectrum probiotic to break down the root systems, leaves and manures to compost them.
The farmers are trained to know how soil biology works and use certain techniques to maintain and increase humus levels.
The goals of the bio-dynamic farmer include;
- To grow the most nutritious plants possible and to build health for the end user.
- To use a closed farm system that has very little, if anything, brought onto the property to treat the soil or plant.
- To increase the humus bank in the soil, so there is enough for future crops. If there is a lack of elements or unusual climate conditions then some substances may be needed to fix a situation. In this case, permission must be received by the farmer from the certifying body, before proceeding.
So, what are the benefits of eating biodynamic and organic produce?
Bio-dynamic plants look individual, are naturally sized, lighter green in colour and have upright leaves. The root system is mostly small and hairy and the produce lasts a long time in the fridge. This is in contrast with the produce you find in a supermarket that has been fed water-soluble fertilisers. It all looks the same (factory-like), go limp quickly and lacks in flavour. Bio-dynamic and organic food are better for the environment as they have not been grown with harmful chemicals. Thanks to the sustainable farming practices that add more nutrients back into the soil, the food is generally more nutritious and flavoursome.