People often give a complicated explanation by referring to biodynamic agriculture as an “organic plus”, but in reality biodynamic offers a holistic approach to nurturing soils, biodiversity, resilience and tuning into seasonal cycles, with the aim of long-term ecological sustainability.
What is Biodynamic Agriculture?
The term biodynamic derives from Greek: “bio” is life and “dynamic” means forces. A special word that contain the porpose of that agriculture to allow ourselves, soil and plant life to become more receptive and powerful, respecting the nature’s process in order to produce high quality food.
Biodynamic agriculture is an ecological farming system that views the farm as one self-contained and self-sustaining big organisme. The health of the farm animals, the farmer and the Earth are view as integral parts that make up the whole.
Biodymanic farmers avoid synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers and trangenic contamination and focus on optimise the potential of natural elments and cycles in order to work with ecological principles. Plant tea are used to combat weeds and the main biodynamic methods include six different compost preparations using the healing properties of herbs such as yarrow, valerian and nettle. One key aspect of biodynamic agriculture is the use of lunar cycles to time important task such as sowing, planting and harvesting.
The main differences between biodynamic and organic agriculture
The principle difference between biodynamic and organic agriculture is that the first one considers the entire farm as a single entity without the need for outside inputs.
Organic Farming is a commitment to the principle of health, ecology, fairness and care, which we can resume in:
- For the principle of the health, all organic farming should sustain everything involved in the process, from the soil to the people who consume the food.
- The principle of the ecology says that the practices should work with ecological cycle and systems.
- Organic agriculture should be practiced in ways that are fair to the environment.
- According to the principle of care, organic agriculture should be managed in a responsible manner to protect health of people, animals and environment.
Definitively, organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the environment, promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
Even if biodynamic and organic agriculture can seem similar, biodynamic has a great focus on astrological cycles and the ideas of the farm as single organism.
Here some more details about Biodynamic agriculture:
- Biodynamic farms remain enclosed from their ecosystems as it is possible
- They are structured around lunar and astrological cycles
- They are built to integrate all the living organism within the system (plants, livestock, farmers)
- The soil is the central component of all biodynamic farms.
- A farm is considered biodynamic if almost the 10% of the total acreage is designated to biodynamic agriculture.
Also similarities between organic and biodynamic farms exist: both of them grow their food without use pesticides, herbicides or GMOs, both practices produce healthier food and produce, both respect ecological processes and environment. In the end, both agriculture way respect food, environment and people who consume.