Biodynamic agriculture developed from the classes taught in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner to a group of farmers concerned about the loss of nutritional value of their products. Since those days, the impoverishment and contamination of food has worsened exponentially, due to the prevalence of a food production model oriented to profitability. A model that openly ignores the sacred role of agriculture for human societies.
Monocultures, deforestation, soil destruction, loss of diversity, chemical contamination, autoimmune diseases are increasingly evident consequences of an agribusiness that has subjected the true farmers and favored the big landowners and the chemical corporations.
They took over our food. Biodynamic agriculture is a rebellion movement against the current food system, which seeks to restore the health of our soils, rebuild the relationship between producers and consumers, and return its sacred value to agriculture, understood as the basis of the preservation of the species.
Currently, biodynamic agriculture starts from the fundamental concepts of organic agriculture and adds a set of principles that broaden its scope. Based on the work we have done with Alan York, a pioneer of biodynamic viticulture in the USA who died in 2014, we have identified 4 fundamental principles that guide our agriculture:
1. Promote biodiversity
Conventional agriculture is mainly oriented to profitability. In this scheme, monoculture seems a necessary solution to obtain efficiency. However, nature does not follow industrial principles, but favors complex interactions that ensure the evolution of the whole system. It is our task to create a biodiverse environment, with different plants and animals that promote a healthy ecosystem for the proliferation of different crops that are useful for humans.
2. Use of preparations
This is one of the most controversial aspects of biodynamics, since it prescribes ancestral practices of soil and vegetable nutrition, offering explanations that are more intuitive than scientific. From our perspective, the use of the preparations is a constitutive part of the practice, and there are possible biological and nutritional explanations for its effectiveness. Our attitude in this aspect is mainly exploratory, since we do not consider that these practices are contrary to ecologically effective principles. In addition, these practices can be complemented with other highly effective modern practices in the restoration of soil, such as the use of compost, compost tea, cover crops, etc.
3. Observe interactions at 360 degrees
Biodynamic agriculture promotes a holistic model that includes plants, the people who produce and the people who consume them. This requires being attentive to all interactions, both within the agricultural system, as well as with its environment and even with the cosmos.
4. Develop the productive unit as a closed system
This principle seems fundamental for the development of a viticulture with identity and respect for the terroir. A closed system minimizes the input of external materials (fertilizers, herbicides, selected yeasts) and waste output. In this way, man does not take or discard anything, reproducing the cycle of nature. At the same time, it ensures the preservation of the true character of the place.