Biodynamic agriculture first originated in central Europe but is now practised in farms, vineyards and gardens all over the world. At the heart of the biodynamic approach are the eight preparations – Horn manure, Horn silica, Yarrow, Chamomile, Nettle, Oak bark, Dandelion and Valerian – which are often produced by local biodynamic practitioners using well-established recipes. But as the biodynamic approach expands beyond its European origins, its methods have been increasingly adapted to meet the needs and challenges – climates, fauna, seasons and regulations – of different regions around the globe. This fascinating book presents the results of a unique study, carried out by the Agricultural Section at the Goetheanum, Switzerland, into how the biodynamic preparations are used in fifteen countries worldwide, including Egypt, Brazil, New Zealand, India and across Europe. The detailed case studies explore how the preparations are modified to suit their locations, as well as offering an insight into the work of each practitioner and how their understanding has evolved over the years. This book is a valuable reference into the production and application of the preparations around the world and an inspiring endorsement of how biodynamic principles hold true in such varied environments.
Christian von Wistinghausen, Wolfgang Scheibe, Hartmut Heilmann, Eckard v. Wistinghausen and Uli Johannes König
Publisher: Penguin Random House New Zealand Limited
The expert guide to biodynamic farming and gardening. In this revised and updated edition of Grasp the Nettle Peter Proctor tells the reader how to apply biodynamic methods of farming and gardening to a wide range of conditions in New Zealand and in other countries. The book provides practical observations and techniques, and relates these to the spiritual scientific knowlege upon which that biodynamic practice is based. Peter gives tips on how to recognise healthy soil and pasture, and on how to make your own biodynamic preparations. He also gives examples of farms that are successfully using biodynamic methods. This book aims to assist biodynamic farmers and gardeners to observe the processes of life and growth, and to understand how these processes are governed by cosmic forces, so they can use this knowlege in applying their practical skills. Peter Proctor, past national field advisor for the NZ Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association, now teaches and advises farmers on biodynamic methods around the world.
This book tells the untold story of the organic farming movement and its massive impact on the world of agriculture and society. Organic farming turned the gaze of millions of people, institutions, and governments backwards to look at the past as a source of guidance and wisdom. It changed our consumer habits and our ethics, demanding that we think about how our food is grown and the effect our daily habits have on nature. Based on newly discovered archives, italso reveals the towering personalities of Albert Howard and his second wife Louise as overlooked champions of the environmental movement.
The Essential Guide to Sustainable Food Systems for Students, Professionals, and Consumers
Author: Darryl Benjamin
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: Food service
In Farm to Table, Darryl Benjamin and Chef Lyndon Virkler explore both the roots of our current, corporate food system malaise, and the response by small farmers, food co-ops, chefs and restaurateurs, institutions, and many more, to replace the status quo with something more healthy, fair, just, and delicious. Today's consumers are demanding increase accountability from food growers and purveyors. Farm to Table illuminates the best practices and strategies for schools, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and other businesses and institutions, to partner with local farmers and food producers, from purchasing to marketing. Readers will also learn about the various alternative techniques that farms are employing - from permaculture to rotation-intensive grazing - to produce better tasting and more nutritious food, restore environmental health, and meet consumer demand. A one-of-a-kind resource, Farm to Table shows how to integrate truly sustainable principles into every juncture of our evolving food system.--COVER.
Is organic and biodynamic food worth the higher price consumers often pay? Which aspects of us are nourished by the food we eat? How can different methods of growing and cooking food best preserve the life energies in our food? In recent years there has been a growing awareness of the quality of the food we eat, allied to a mistrust of many aspects of large-scale 'agri-industry'. In response to these concerns, many consumers turned towards buying organic or biodynamic produce. Our current financial climate makes those buying decisions difficult for many people. Organic food is often more expensive, and tests by conventional scientists claim to show that is has no extra nutritional value. This book questions whether these claims have any basis. Gill Bacchus concludes that modern scientific methods simply cannot reveal or measure the true life processes that give quality to our food. Exploring ideas from organics and Rudolf Steiner's biodynamics, the author discusses how the Earth's formative energies, especially sunlight, are essential to the healthy life of plants and animals. The living energy in our food is either enhanced or destroyed by our chosen methods of farming, processing and cooking. She argues that the health not only of our bodies, but also of our consciousness, thinking and emotions, depends on nourishing ourselves wisely, and gives advice on how we can learn to find and choose food that is 'full of life and light'.
“Charles Massy has written a definitive masterpiece that takes its place along with the writings of Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, Masanobu Fukuoka, Humberto Maturana, and Michael Pollan. No work has more brilliantly defined regenerative agriculture and the breadth of its restorative impact upon human health, biodiversity, climate, and ecological intelligence." --Paul Hawken In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is the story of how a grassroots revolution—a true underground insurgency—can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food. Using his personal experience as a touchstone—from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health—Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way. At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope. It’s not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.
The Classic Guide to Biodynamic and Organic Gardening
Author: Wolf D. Storl
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Various studies have shown time and again that small organic farms and home gardens are capable of producing more food per acre with less fossil energy than large-scale commercial agricultural installations dependent on machines and toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This classic book by Wolf D. Storl, a respected elder in the practice of permaculture, details how food is grown holistically and beautifully by traditional communities around the world, and shows how to apply their ancient wisdom to our own gardens. With interest in natural, sustainable, organic and local food at an all-time high, people are looking beyond their farmers markets and CSA cooperatives to hyperlocal ways of growing healthy, delicious produce in urban gardens and their own backyards. Culture and Horticulture details time-tested methods that are as effective today as they were hundreds of years ago. On the practical front, the book works as a manual for creating and maintaining a bountiful harvest. It explains how to build the soil to maintain fertility; how to produce compost; how to plant, sow, and tend the various fruit and vegetable plants; how to rotate crops and practice companion planting; how to set up a favorable microclimate; how to deal with so-called weeds and pests; how to harvest at the right time; and finally how to store vegetables and herbs. Special emphasis is given to the art and science of composting, the compost being the "heart" of any self-sufficient garden and a model for the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. At the same time the reader is introduced to the wider aspects of horticulture, to its historical, philosophical, and cosmological contexts and social relevance. Gardening is a cultural activity, shaped by peoples' thoughts, wishes, and needs as well as by their cultural traditions. The author, an anthropologist by profession who has investigated the gardening practices of indigenous people throughout the world and worked for many years on biodynamic farms and in his own food garden, will introduce the reader to Rudolf Steiner's vision of the garden as an organic unit, embedded in the context of terrestrial and cosmic forces. Storl explains the importance of cosmic rhythms (solar, lunar, and planetary), the role of biodynamic herbal preparations as "medicines" for the garden organism, and the so-called "etheric" and "astral" forces. The book presents a vision of the garden as seen through the eyes of "Goethean science," a magical place where alchemical transformations of material substances take place.