Biodynamics, is derived from two Greek words, ‘bios’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘dynamos’ meaning ‘energy’. It is a sustainable method of farming based on natural processes, founded in 1924 by Dr Rudolf Steiner. This Austrian philosopher was asked to present a series of lectures to a group of farmers in Germany looking for alternative methods on how to strengthen the vitality of their crops and livestock, after they had noticed a gradual deterioration of plant and animal health. These lectures form the foundation of biodynamic food production for optimum nutrition. They inspired numerous biodynamic farmers around the world, including Bob Williams and Alex Podolinsky who began practising Steiners’ indications and spreading the impulse around Australia.
Feeling inclined to adopt a less conservative southern hemisphere approach, relevant to Australia’s diverse agricultural landscape, a group of NSW farmers met in 1989 to discuss, explore and develop their own biodynamic methodology.
They formed an association to foster the learning and development of biodynamics within a supportive network of like-minded individuals. The group eventually became Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Ltd (BAA) a not-for-profit company based in Bellingen NSW, in 2007. This association has continued to grow, supporting many members from all over Australia who are engaged in a wide range of agricultural activities.
Our vision is to promote biodynamic agriculture as a proven and sustainable method, treating the farm or garden as a living organism which produces food that nourishes and vitalizes humanity.
The key activities of BAA include;
• producing and distributing high quality biodynamic preparations;
• conducting workshops and field days on biodynamic techniques;
• providing a variety of resources, books, guides, and newsletters; and
• providing advisory services and support to assist members along their biodynamic journey.
We are currently at a tipping point where society is being challenged by serious issues such as the decline in human health and nutrition, resource depletion, soil degradation and global warming. As more and more farmers and gardeners become aware of these global issues and their impact, they are being forced to look for sustainable alternative methods.
Biodynamics offers simple and clear ecological, social and economic solutions that harness the earth’s natural energies and resources. It is not just an holistic agricultural system but also a powerful foundation for progress in all aspects of life connected to nutrition and health.
Over the past 25 years, Biodynamic Agriculture Australia has established a solid foundation of knowledge and resources through practical collaboration with farmers and gardeners. This has also involved the exchange of ideas with other associations embracing a vision for agricultural sustainability.
Through this publication, our mission is to introduce biodynamic wisdom to mainstream producers as a viable option for the future of agriculture. An important part of this mission is to educate consumers about the intrinsic nutritional value of biodynamic food.
In coming issues of Plenty, we will continue to expand on the activities of BAA, and explore alliances with other like-minded organisations, highlighting the information and resources available for anyone beginning, converting or further developing their biodynamic practices.