vineorganic
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Biodynamic Farming

I own an organic wine company and have also started selling biodynamic wines. I have been reading a lot of literature on "biodynamic" farming and I am still a little bemused, can anyone shed any light on this for me? I just want to understand what it is beyond the fact it is a holistic approach to farming. Any help will be much appreciated.

Thanks

Lynsey

opabinia51
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I must admit that I have never heard of biodynamic farming before but, from the etymology of the name I would think that it entails farming with local organisms included in the agricultural approach, am I correct in this assumption.

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It seems like biodynamic is somtimes used interchangeably with organic. Although true biodynamic viticulture seems to me to be quite unscientific, especially with it's attention to lunar cycles and stuff like that.

Years ago I read an article about some truly kooky stuff done by a Frenchman over in the Napa wine country- although the resultant wine was reportedley good. So go figure.

I was in the California wine country (Dry Creek area) just two weeks ago. I should have asked!

Here is some more information about [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine]Biodynamic Viticulture[/url].

opabinia51
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Hey, thanks Roger! It would be great if some of our members wree biodynamic farmers and if they would help to educate us all about this process.

Lunar cycles are actually very important for plant and animal life as far as the duration of sunlight is concerned. If I have time, I'll do some journal searching on the topic.

pixelphoto
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biodynamic farmers and organic farmers are two different ball games in my book.
I met a few of the biodynamic farmers in my area and they are out there. A good explanation would be pagans in my opinion. They pray to the plants and the sun and the planets and everything. Its as much a religion as it is a way of life for them. They also don't mind using meat in their compost. Organic is strictly against meat or oils or grease in compost.
To be nice they are a different breed the biodynamic people.
They use many of the same organic standards that we do but they go way beyond that and do other things too. Rather odd in my opinion.

mckeeby
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Biodynamic gardening

I am currently farming biodynamically at home and I must say that not only is it tedious but also open to interpretation. I work for a local wine store and have encountered biodynamics in wines often. I had the opportunity to ask a BD winemaker the day to day how-to's. I also read all the material I can get my hands on. The internet is pretty good about the history but vague about BD specifics. It basically it comes down to this. Certain times are more favorable to plant, transplant, fertilize, and harvest based on how the astrological signs line up. There is a bit of spiritual superstition as far as spraying certain combinations of composted weeds and ground cow horn in order to prevent fungus or promote healthy development. In order to remove pests, you burn them and spread the ashes over the soil. No one really tells you how to fertilize or what to use but common sense would tell you to use fertilizer that is good for the earth (preferably your own compost which is alive due to the preps). The book that gave me the best idea to get started is the Biodynamic Sowing Planting Calendar by Maria Thun and Matthias Thun, which looks to be about $10. If anyone is curious write me and Ill be happy to share as much or little as I know. It is a little silly but we will see if it works. My father keeps asking to see my rain dance pictures.

doccat5
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I'd never heard of this either until I ran across this thread. Very interesting concept. I'd like to gather more information on the subject, but I can certainly see similarities between using organic growing methods and this type of methodology. It's a different way of looking at the whole picture, if I'm understanding the theory correctly.

Btw, 25 years ago, people were saying equally "diverse" comments about those of us NUTS who were practicing organic methods to grow food. Been there, done that and GOT THAT T SHIRT!! LOL Now I get phone calls to please explain how that works....LOL

Just because a theory is new and different doesn't mean it's wrong, it just means it's new and different. Btw, gardeners still use the Farmer's Almanac to plant by phases of the moon..and that works. LOL Their compilation of data on the subject of planting by cycles of the moon is extensive and impressive.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

NewjerseyTea
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I knew biodynamics rang a bell for me. Rudolph Steiner, Austrian philosopher and founder of the Waldorf Schools was very important in this movement. There was a well run local farm (NJ) using these principles that you could buy shares in for the season that produced vegetables almost year round.

pixelphoto
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I should clarify a few things.
1. Not all biodynamic farmers are weird. I have met a few nice people who clearly have their feet on the ground when talking with them. Even they said some of the stuff in biodynamics is "weird" (their words).
2. Biodynamics is hardly new its been around dare I say longer than "organic" its just recently had a resurgence. I think because of people looking into organics more people run across biodynamic and think hey I'll try that too.

If you ever get a chance please read my Steiners writings and check out some of the transcripts from some of his lectures on biodynamics and life in general.
While you can skim some good information off the top there are also some really out there kind of things involved. It somewhat reminds me of L Ron Hubbards so called religion / cult / scam called scientology. Google that one you will be amazed. And remember l ron is a science fiction writer but people take it seriously. LOL :)

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imagardener2
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Well, I guess I've ben practicing biodynamics and didn't even know it. :)

I tested the validity of planting/harvesting/weeding/etc by the sign of the moon and in so many ways it showed itself to be of value. Thus, I have gardened that way for decades. (A side note: I accidentally broke a branch off a plant recently and decided to root it rather than throw it away. Only problem it was the wrong time of the moon. I was shocked when after 2 weeks it appeared to be putting on new growth and looked great. Then 1 week later it turned to absolute mush. All the other plants/cuttings/seedlings around it are still doing fine, so it wasn't the conditions.)

As to the composted weeds and ground cow horn, I have a friend that swears since he started using weed tea on his yard it has never looked better than it does right now.

And why not cow horn? It's an obvious protein and who knows what else. Who knows what all it could be good for? I mean, corn meal is suppose to help keep weeds down...

And finally, in order to remove pests, you burn them and spread the ashes over the soil? I had a friend, now gone, that swore the best way to keep bugs away was leave the dead ones right where killed them in your yard. She claimed the other bugs could sense their remains and wouldn't go there. She had a beautiful yard.

Who knows!
"Our elders instruct us to always walk upon Mother Earth with respect, gentleness, and with thankful hearts. We must never deviate from the fundamental precept of stewardship, or we will be capable of causing great harm."

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