Sacred Garden

Biodynamic Farming in Action

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    Ruby and Amber’s Organic Oasis, located in Dorena, Oegon.

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    Companion planting and flowers for pollination at Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, California.

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    An insectory planting in a vineyard at Benziger Winery in Glen Ellen, California.

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    Cover crops, like these oats and clover at Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, New York, help to protect the soil and produce green manure.

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    A flowform at Raphael Garden in Fair Oaks, California brings vitality to the water that nourishes their gardens.

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    Beekeeping houses at the Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York.

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    Abundance at Turtle Creek Gardens in Delavan, Wisconsin.

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    Dairy cows at Zinniker Family Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

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    Draft horses and solar power provide the “energy” at Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, California.

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    River Road Gardens in Tucson, Arizona, partners with the local Waldorf School to provide both a community CSA program and on-farm education for the students.

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    Biodynamic education at the Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York.

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    CSA shareholders help harvest garlic at Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, New York.

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    Chesapeake BioDynamic Network in College Park, Maryland is one of many regional groups meet regularly across North America to deepen their understanding of biodynamics.

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    Farmer working with the compost at Zinniker Family Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

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    Making the cow horn-manure preparation, which increases soil fertility and encourages renewal of degraded soils. College Park, Maryland.

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    Burying the horn-manure preparation at Zinniker Family Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

There is a silver lining to the era of post-materialistic devolution of values. In the depths of the crisis brought on by these destructive trends, a new, individualized, eco-spiritual consciousness of the world is emerging. From thousands of humble, everyday peoplefarmers, eaters, scientists, educators, artists and business peoplea grassroots awakening to the ecological and spiritual realities that sustain the earth and her creatures is taking place. This new consciousness, I would suggest, is the ultimate source of inspiration for the growth of the ecology movement of the 1960’s, the health food movement of the 1970’s, the environmental movement of the 1980’s, the organic farming movement of the 1990’s, the local food movement of the 2000’s, and a host of other allied movements too numerous to mention. It is also, of course, the inspiration for the biodynamic movement which seeks to demonstrate the many practical ways this new consciousness can bring renewal to the earth and to the practice of agriculture.
– Robert Karp
(Excerpted from Agriculture and the Sacred. Read the article here.)

On Biodynamic Farming

Biodynamic farmers and gardeners strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem through the integration of crops and livestock and the enhancement of biodiversity of all kinds. Through these practices they seek to generate health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself rather than through the use of off-farm inputs. They work to renew the health of the earth through cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant, and animal health. Key tools in this effort are the biodynamic preparations, which are made from fermented manure, minerals, and herbs and are used to restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality, and flavor of the food being raised.

Additionally, the arts of composting and beekeeping have also been identified as highly important in biodynamics through the application of holistic insights into the deeper processes of nature. For many biodynamic farmers, the farm finds its ultimate fulfillment as a center for educational activities, farmer training programs, and social, spiritual, and cultural renewal. Drawing on the social and economic ideas of Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic farmers pioneered the community supported agriculture (CSA) concept, which supports famers, the land and community.

The above gallery of images seeks to illustrate these proceeses by offering visual examples of biodynamic farming in action.

Click the names to read more about the Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association or RSF Quarterly.

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Robert Karp is a writer, thinker and social entrepreneur informed by the social, economic and spiritual insights of Rudolf Steiner. Robert is the Executive Director of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association and is the founder of New Spirit Farmland Partnerships, which helps organic farmers gain access to farmland by facilitating partnerships with social investors. Robert’s writings include an analysis of the sustainable food and farming movement in light of Rudolf Steiner’s economic insights titled Toward an Associative Economy in the Sustainable Food and Farming Movement. Recently, Robert has written several articles on GMOs, including Strengthening the Heart of the Food Movement: Biodynamics and the Deregulation of GMO Alfalfa and Toward a Holistic Approach to the Threat of GMOs, and an article on the role of biodynamics in the food movement called Biodynamics and the Dignity of the Farmer.

Read more about Robert Karp

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