Biodynamics, as originally set out in Rudolf Steiner’s series of lectures on agriculture given in 1924, offers a way of farming that connects the individual with the land, the community and a sustainable future. In our turbulent times, this becomes ever more important.
Both Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch are biodynamic farms. A biodynamic farm functions as a strong, self-sustaining and vibrant single organism that recognises and respects the basic principles at work in nature. It is a complete system in which all the different components of the farm are seen as parts of a greater whole. With farm animals at the centre, a self-sustaining, balanced and harmonious environment is the result.
Special manure and herb-based preparations are applied to the fields and compost to enhance and stimulate the microbiological life in the soil and improve fertility. These have been shown to significantly improve the health and well being of soil, plant and animal as well as enhancing the vitality, flavour and keeping qualities of the produce for the benefit of the consumer. With the soil sequestering up to 25% more carbon than conventional farming methods, the health of the planet is also cared for. Biodynamics is a sound basis for sustainable food production.
Further to this the biodynamic farmer recognises that the life of a farm is exposed to wider as well as to internal farm-based influences. The more subtle rhythms associated with the sun, the moon and the planets form the basis of an annually produced planting calendar. This guides the farmer towards appropriate times for cultivation and sowing for maximum quantity and quality.
The result is a rich and diverse farm built on sound organic principles that is embedded and sensitised to its surroundings. It produces food with such an individual quality that, as with wine, it can be described as having the ‘terroir’ of the farm – the sense of the place where it was grown.
Biodynamics is a sound basis for sustainable food production