Biodynamics: The Beginning

Is Biodynamics Also A Spiritual Practice?

by Pauline Antonakos

Biodynamics arose out of a philosophical movement called anthroposophy. Rudolph Steiner produced eight lectures on agriculture in 1924. He encouraged the individual to spiritualize the material and materialize the spiritual to create healthy practices in agriculture that would heal the rift between the material and spiritual. Why? Because thoughts are as real as objects. The spiritual landscape is populated by spiritual beings and those spiritual beings are constantly interacting with us. For him, the highest principles of being are freedom and compassion. By freedom he means acting with real intention. When you work on having compassion for others (cultivating respect for people, animals, air, land, and water) you will develop freedom for yourself and cultivate an atmosphere of freedom for others. There is greater freedom in giving than taking, and more compassion in collaboration with nature (birds, bees, neighbors). Say, Yes, to systems that rejuvenate and, No, to systems which extract. Add your positive life affirming creative contribution consciously and intentionally to the food you grow and eat, and that food will in turn feed your spirit and your soul. Then, you can become a creative catalyst for a bright new future for humanity.

How is the compost made? The method makes use of unique fermented substances which can be used as sprays and compost inoculants. When compost is treated with the Biodynamic method, it develops faster and achieves higher temperatures. This suggests more microbial activity, leading to faster maturation and greater reduction of pathogens. According to a Washington State University study, the Biodynamic compost has greater nutrient holding capacity (65% greater nitrate content, more bacterial content and less fungal content) than conventional compost which leads to better structure, and does not produce offensive odors. Biodynamic compost quickly decomposes organic matter, re-assembles these compounds into complex humus, fixes nitrogen from the air so it is bio-available for plant nutrition, and increases the availability of minerals by also transforming these to a more bio-available form. When the compost is applied to the soil it holds the soil and improves its structure, preventing leaching of nutrients and is full of beneficial soil organisms and colloidal humus. Thus the soil is easier to prepare and cultivate and improves water absorption and penetration. Root growth is stimulated. Healthy micro life is fostered and maintained in the soil. It also does not need to be turned.

Where can I purchase the materials? Compost inoculants can be purchased from Josephine Porter Institute @ Pfeiffer Biodynamic compost starter is $12.50. Because it contains all six preparations it is considered adequate to make a home garden biodynamic. One other preparation is the Pfeiffer field and garden spray ($27.50). This preparation is well worth the price as it can immediately be sprayed all over an existing yard to re-inoculate and re-invigorate your soil while you wait for the compost to develop maturity. You can use it when planting or transplanting to stimulate germination and root growth or when turning cover crops to increase soil microorganisms that aid in decomposition and transform to stable humus. It can also be used as a foliar spray or seed soak. It is a real jump start to a healthy garden.

This entry was posted in How To Grow, Knowledge Base, Natural Products and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.