I am pleased to say that our audience, the people who seek out and enjoy our wines are typically educated, open-minded folks, eager to learn and to grow.
Not a day goes by without my being asked a provocative question that leads to very exciting exchanges. I just love these direct interactions. One of the regular questions I get asked is “What is biodynamic farming?”
The article below has just crossed my desk, and with the full permission of its author, Roberta Cicchitti, I am pleased to be able to share it with you now.
Read, enjoy, check out our Biodynamic wines and get back to us with more provocative reflections!
Do you believe in biodynamic farming?
There are very strong rhythms that greatly influence soil, plant, animal and human behavior.
Who is the founder of Biodynamic agriculture ?
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was a highly trained scientist and respected philosopher, who later in his life came to prominence for his spiritual-scientific approach to knowledge called “anthroposophy.” He came to the conclusion that western civilization would gradually bring destruction to itself and the earth if it did not begin to develop an objective understanding of the spiritual world and its interrelationship with the physical world. Steiner is the founder of the biodynamic approach to agriculture that embodies triple bottom line approaches: ECOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY.
What is biodynamic agriculture?
By principle biodynamic agriculture is solar system agriculture. The solar cycle is the most powerful cycle both in terms of season and in terms of day and night. So the sun determines what happens in the morning and what happens in the afternoon . The lunar and planetary rhythms express themselves in a secondary way in the living world. The position of the moon in its cycle waxing and waning, in its ascendant cycle ( or spring moon) and descendant ( or autumn moon when the planting is done) influences how plant behave. There is also the sidereal cycle when the moon passes in front of various constellations ( Virgo, Cancer, Leo etc)
How do farmers put Biodynamic agriculture in practice ?
In current biodynamic agriculture lunar and planetary calendar are widely used. This is the work done by Maria Thun who gave the idea that plants could be helped to develop their organs for better fructification, root formation, leaf formation or improve the quality of flowering according to lunar movements. Think about how the moon influences the ocean tides this has been fully proven! Those principles are hard to implement because of time restriction. When implemented they provide useful qualitative aspects.
Which are the benefits of Biodynamic farming?
Studies have compared Biodynamic farming methods to both organic and conventional methods, and most studies suggest that Biodynamic farms have:
1. Superior soil quality;
2. More fertile and stable compost piles;
3. Stronger crop vitality;
4. Decreased reliance or complete elimination of outside inputs such as fertilizers or pesticides.
Is there a body that certifies Biodynamic agriculture?
Demeter is the only association for products from Biodynamic Agriculture. Only strictly controlled and contractually bound partners are allowed. A comprehensive verification process insures strict compliance with the International Demeter Production and Processing Standards, as well as applicable organic regulations in the various countries; without a gap, through every step, from agricultural production to processing and final product packaging.
Last question is:
“Why biodynamic products?”