Before Organic there was Biodynamics
Today, most people can find organic products and commodities in a local grocery store. The certified organic label is on products from meat to beets to soap to candy. Many people don’t know that before organic there was biodynamic - the oldest clean farming method in modern western agriculture. Biodynamic farming was a visionary response to the industrialization of agriculture, says Elizabeth Candellerio of Demeter (the certifying body for biodynamic farming). Steiner’s method, created in the 1920s, is a sharp detour from the prevailing practice of commoditizing our food production. The methods are well established in Europe, but in the U.S. it is the best-kept secret to healing the earth, for now.
Wisdom of the Past
Demeter was named for the Greek goddess of agriculture, who is usually shown holding (or wearing) wheat. The organization is the oldest independent biodynamic certification body. It was registered in 1928 - predating organic labelling by more than 40 years. It is a label certified “Highly Meaningful” by Consumer Reports Greener Choices Initiative, which evaluates the validity of labels and the standards they are held to.,
The two methods share many ideas, but biodynamic takes clean farming further. Organic farming adheres to a list of “don’ts” - don’t use pesticides, don’t genetically modify, don’t irradiate. Biodynamic farming follows the same don’ts and adds some “do’s” - do look at the interconnected health of soil, plants and animals on the land, do get your resources from within the farm, do interact with the “living farm organism” every day, do add naturally produced enhancements and fertilizer to the soil and crops, do stay attuned to the cycles and rhythms of the natural world.
Biodynamics at Foxhollow
Biodynamic certification is a highly rigorous process and we’re proud to have 720 acres of biodynamic certified grazing land since 2016. The remainder of our farm has been using biodynamic methods since 2006 and are working toward certification.(Side note-Foxhollow is also American Grass Fed Certified - also rated Highly Meaningful by Consumer Reports).
In the next post, we’ll share why we believe our lofty goal - to heal the world through farming - is totally achievable. In the meantime, let us know what questions you have about biodynamics. You could see your question as a featured post soon!