The aim of of biodynamic farming and gardening is to revitalise nature, grow nourishing food and advance the physical and spiritual health of humanity. Each biodynamic farm or garden is conceived of as an organism with its own individual qualities and diversity of life. Reliance on home produced compost, manures and animal feeds is a key objective and external inputs are kept to a minimum.
The history of the Biodynamic movement began in 1924, when a group of European farmers approached Dr. Rudolf Steiner (noted scientist, philosopher, and founder of the Waldorf School) after noticing a rapid decline in seed fertility, crop and animal health. Steiner held a series of lectures that presented the farm as a living organism: self-contained and self-sustaining, entirely responsible for creating and maintaining its individual health and vitality, free of any external and unnatural additions. This was in sharp contrast to the concurrent “Green Revolution” which advocated the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Following Steiner’s lectures, Demeter was founded in Europe in 1928 to support and promote Steiner’s agricultural methods, called “Biodynamic”.
Over the years, Demeter certified Biodynamic farming has maintained its expansive view of the farm as a living organism. In addition to the requirements of organic certification, Biodynamic standards include a biodiversity set aside of 10% of total land, rigorous processing standards that emphasize minimal product manipulation, and perhaps most importantly whole farm certification (versus a particular crop or area). It is the highest paradigm of sustainable farming, offering one of the smallest carbon footprints of any agricultural method.