I came across bio-dynamic food growing many years ago and have only just come across it again after seeing a feature on a TV cookery programme.
Bio-dynamic food is about the spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. First developed in the 1920s by Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) a highly trained scientist and philosopher.
In 1924, a group of farmers concerned about the future of agriculture requested Steiner’s help. Steiner responded with a lecture series on an ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture that increased soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Steiner’s agricultural ideas promptly spread and were put to the test internationally and Biodynamic agriculture is now practiced in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. [wiki]
A central aspect of biodynamics is that the farm as a whole is seen as an organism, and therefore should be a largely self-sustaining system, producing its own manure and animal feed. Plant or animal disease is seen as a symptom of problems in the whole organism. Steiner also suggested timing agricultural activities such as sowing, weeding, and harvesting to utilize the influences on plant growth of the moon and planets; and the application of natural materials prepared in specific ways to the soil, compost, and crops, with the intention of engaging non-physical beings and elemental forces. He encouraged his listeners to verify his suggestions empirically, as he had not yet done. [wiki]
If you would like to know more about Bio-dynamic gardening and food production below are links to some great books, click on them for amazon:
The above book – is the original biodynamic sowing and planting calendar, now in its 52nd year. This useful guide shows the optimum days for sowing, pruning and harvesting various plants and crops, as well as working with bees. It includes Thun’s unique insights, which go above and beyond the standard information presented in some other lunar calendars. It is presented in colour with clear symbols and explanations. The calendar includes a pullout wallchart that can be pinned up in a barn, shed or greenhouse as a handy quick reference.
The above book – Maria Thun, a pre-eminent expert in biodynamic cultivation methods – sometimes referred to as “premium organic” – has here compiled over 100 of her best gardening tips based on 50 years’ research. Find out: * how to produce abundant and tasty crops; * how special preparations can transform your soil and produce; * how the moon affects planting and growth; * the difference between ‘root’, ‘leaf’, ‘blossom’ and ‘fruit’ plants; * what the best storage methods are; and much more. Accompany the author on a journey through the seasons and discover lots of new tips and suggestions. There is a wealth of advice here for gardeners seeking to manage nature responsibly and successfully.
The above book – With these talks, Steiner created and launched ?biodynamic? farming?a form of agriculture that has come to be regarded as the best organically produced food. However, the agriculture Steiner speaks of here is much more than organic?it involves working with the cosmos, with the earth, and with spiritual beings. To facilitate this, Steiner prescribes specific ?preparations? for the soil, as well as other distinct methods born from his profound understanding of the material and spiritual worlds. He presents a comprehensive picture of the complex dynamic relationships at work in nature and gives basic indications of the practical measures needed to bring them into full play.