Hello Fellow Readers,
As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as such in the 1940’s, soon after chemical alternatives were introduced and folks began to notice the negative impacts to health and our environment. Original farming done for thousands of years before chemicals was called traditional farming. Hence one could say organic farming is indeed traditional farming. Farmers such as Grandpa worked off the land which became an autonomous ecosystem of sorts; the manure coming from livestock that were fed from the plants grown on the farm cycled nutrients back into the soil.
Scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) concluded, long before our contemporaries, that we’d gradually destroy the earth if the relationship between the spiritual and physical world was not understood. Steiner recognized the spiritual side of our universe and our earth which inspired his concept of “anthroposophic agriculture” that later became known as the biodynamic method in agriculture. In 1924 Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures to farmers and citizens from six countries who noticed a decline in soil conditions, quality of crops, and heath of livestock due to the use of chemical fertilizers. These lectures became published and biodynamic farming was born.
Biodynamic farming is about improving humanity and the health and wellbeing of animals and crops. Methods include crop diversification, crop rotation, and avoidance of chemicals. Rather, fertilizing with outputs from the farm itself such as fermented manure, minerals, herbs and decaying remnants from crops. Essentially its traditional farming with a spiritual and astrological focus; planting and harvesting in conjunction with earthly and planetary influences. For example, tides are highest during the new and the full moon, when the sun and moon are lined up with earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it causes moisture to rise in the earth which encourages growth.
Biodynamic farming became the basis of Community Supported Agriculture which began in North America in the 1980’s. Consumers and farmers work hand in hand honoring the health of our earth using organic practices while being socially responsible to the community it serves.
One of our local community supported gardens is Genesis Farm right here in Blairstown NJ. “It’s about more than just vegetables,” their website touts, “the direct link between members and farmers puts the ‘culture’ back in ‘agriculture.’ As a result, our community begins to reconnect to the earth and to each other.” Garden Dilemmas? Askmarystone@gmail.com