Planet proof: The biodynamic farm perspective

Planet proof: The biodynamic farm perspective (Pexels, Gelgas Airlangga)

The biodynamic farm approach: Thanks to the latest Goetheanum online training we can now all grow climate-resilient, healthy vegetables and play a role in a healthier future of the planet.


Whether we are a farmer with a lot of experience or someone with a vegetable garden: If we choose to use a biodynamic perspective, we can expect a more resilient crop, also in times of extreme climate. Plus, we will be doing our bit for the planet, says the Swiss Goetheanum School of Spiritual Science. So, the school is currently offering new online science-based courses and podcasts in the biodynamic farm approach. Now everyone in the world can get on board with this kind of "slow" farming.

We may know the highly-educated scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner from schools around the world that are based on his philosophy; where children are provided the space to develop their own potential. But, as the father of the biodynamic approach to agriculture? This may be new to most of us.

Be that as it may, according to the Goetheanum when we put Steiner's philosophies and agriculture together, we have the power and knowledge to cultivate a healthy crop that is resilient in all types of climate.

Climate change may be causing droughts, flooding and crop failures, the Rudolf Steiner biodynamic farm approach can also play a part in countering climate change. It can also improve the health of the planet, animals, nature and humans, argues the school, which has conducted its own research that shows that biodynamically-cultivated soils can cope better with extreme events such as drought stress due to their higher humus content.

A significantly different perspective

So, how does the biodynamic way of farming work? We could start by taking a look at the individual conditions of a particular region, a Goetheanum spokesperson explained. This in itself provides a significantly different approach to how farming is generally done.

"The starting point of biodynamic agriculture is understanding the existing situation and the local environment," explained Jean-Michel Florin in more detail. He is the joint leader of the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum, which is organising the new courses, and according to Florin, this is actually "an approach that enables the effects of climate change to be tackled." 

The idea behind a dynamic type of farming is that everything is alive and undergoing change, and according to the Goetheanum, for a biodynamic farming approach we also need a bit of scientific knowledge, such as that related to the relationships between plants and soil. Having an understanding of the different biodynamic cultivation methods and animal husbandry, is another aspect of this kind of farming.

“The starting point of biodynamic agriculture is understanding the existing situation and the local environment"

Biodiversity in a cereal field, photo by Lin Bautze

Taking our sweet time

In addition, taking our time to absorb and learn about all of the aspects of this kind of farming is something that pays too, says the school. Lin Bautze, scientific co-worker in the Section for Agriculture explained further: "If we take time to observe our own farm carefully, we are investing in a resilient holistic farm concept." She added: "This is also apparent in the profitability of the farm. Biodynamic farms look after their soils, and invest in such things as crops that can cope better with drought stress and the effects of climate change."

Bautze herself has visited biodynamical farms and gardens all over the world and analysed their working methods, and she has documented her findings for an initiative called the Living Farms project. Reflecting on one of her visits to a farm in Lithuania, where cereal crops are grown without agrochemicals, she said: "The Martinelis family farm has very high yields compared to the regional average."

Now, with the new podcast and online science-based courses, the Goetheanum Section for Agriculture hopes all this knowledge and experience will be accessible worldwide to all those who are interested.

“The Martinelis family farm has very high yields compared to the regional average"

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Brand new, international Life Mindstyle magazine, reflecting a variety of perspectives in different aspects of our daily lives. Are our perspectives our own? Are they good for us, for others, for the world? They might be, they might not be. Either way, wouldn't it be good to know? Be curious and see where it may take you. 

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