Biodynamic agriculture is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms, with an emphasis toward balancing the holistic development, emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system.
Biodynamic approach include the use of fermented herbal and mineral preparations as compost additives and field sprays and the use of an astronomical calendar to determine times of planting and harvesting. Each compost preparation is designed to guide a particular decomposition process in the composting mass.
Biodynamic agriculture conceives of the farm as an organism, a self-contained entity with its own individuality. Emphasis is placed on the integration of crops and livestock, recycling of nutrients, maintenance of soil, and the health and well being of crops and animals; the farmer too is part of the whole. A farm is conceived of as a holistic, self-contained entity, within which soil, crops, animals, and the farmers are interdependent parts. Important features include the use of livestock manures to sustain plant growth (recycling of nutrients), maintenance and improvement of soil quality, and the health and well being of crops and animals.
Biodynamic agriculture sees the basis of pest and disease control arising from a strong healthy balanced farm organism. Composting, fertilization and pest control were to be achieved using natural farm resources, and chemicals or growth hormones were strictly forbidden. Farmers were urged to study the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and planets to provide guidance on planting, crop rotation and harvesting. Where this is not yet achieved, it uses techniques analogous to fertilization for pest control and weed control. Most of these techniques include using the ashes of a pest or weed that has been trapped or picked from the fields and burned. The resultant ash is then sprinkled on the field, with the theory being that the presence of the ash will deter pests. Biodynamic farming turned out to be a great success, yielding crops of incredible purity and potency and helping to spawn the organic movement that’s so popular today.