Biodynamics – Demeter
Biodynamics is a matter of the heart. It is above all an intensive interaction with everything that surrounds us. From nature we create power; it forms, moulds and nourishes us. By observing and examining nature we can find many answers which often lie deeply hidden away and require us to be in harmony with our farm.
Already at the beginning of the 20th century some farmers were recognising the fact that the new farming practices with its artificial fertilisers and cross-breeding burdened fruitful development and even rendered it impossible. They asked the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner about his thoughts on this topic, and so it happened that Steiner held a total of eight lectures in Koberwitz bei Breslau in 1924, setting down the founding ideas of organic agriculture. What followed was the founding of the Demeter organisation and the Demeter Institute for Biodynamic Research, which, together with research, a quest for new findings and continuous advances, carried these ideas through to today.
The focus is the running of farms, which, with their individual fauna and flora, form part of the environment. The ultimate goal of biodynamic Demeter work is the development of a living farm organism which encompasses livestock breeding, the farm’s own seeds and feed, as well as its own natural composted fertiliser. The ultimate objective is that the farm develops into a well-balanced, individual entity.
The cosmos (from the Greek κόσμος, kósmos, meaning world [order] and also decorum) is the external expression of the spiritual world order, which develops over the course of time. This world order not only comprises the laws of nature but also always has a moral dimension, thus making the cosmos the embodiment of order.
In opposition to the cosmos we have chaos, where the spirit retreats from external appearance. And it is precisely here that we can interfere creatively, when through our actions and also through our spiritual work we remould the chaos and, with the help of cosmic rhythms, create and bring order. Ultimately, this is our task as creators and co-creators – to interact responsibly with our ecosystems, our surroundings and our living space.
The deeper meaning of all cosmic development therefore lies in living beings progressing in various ways from being takers to being givers i.e. transforming from creatures into creators.
At Demeter, the production and application of biodynamic preparations constitutes a significant part of the farming activities throughout the year and follows the solar rhythms and the vegetative and generative timing of plant growth.
These preparations challenge modern Man and the prevailing opinions held in the field of natural sciences with regard to active substances. It calls for the acceptance of an intuitive and spiritual dimension in today’s purely mathematically rational view. It requires us to again recognise and accept the effect of fine ethereal matter, as did our ancestors for whom this formed a part of everyday life.
Working with preparations connects farmers spiritually with the soil and plants. It is difficult to describe, but one feels something captivating, something incomparably great and indicative of a spiritual force, yet we cannot fully understand it.
It allows us to experience an inner connection with all living beings, it brings order to the life processes, creates harmony, strengthens weak growth and stems overgrowth.
One can describe biodynamic preparations as remedies, soil improvers and plant strengthening agents which revitalise the soil.
The preparations are produced from plants (yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian), cow manure or quartz powder. We prepare them in our work group together with many other Demeter farmers. When we meet during the equinox, our work takes on a festive atmosphere.