Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Introduction to Biodynamic Agriculture at Know Your Vegetables, Monday Dec 15th 6:30 PM

This Monday evening, we'll be having another installment of Know Your Vegetables. I'll be presenting an introduction to Biodynamic Agriculture. Biodynamics is a field of agriculture that has developed from an initial series of lectures, Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture, presented by Rudolf Steiner in the summer of 1924.

In 2006 and 2007 I farmed at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Harlemville, NY. While I focused primarily on the 12 acres we had in vegetable production, the farm also had a dairy herd that played a central role in the life and fertility of the farm. Hawthorne Valley has played a leading role in the development of Biodynamic Agriculture in the eastern United States, alongside: the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY and the Josephine Porter Insitute (JPI) for Applied Biodynamics in Virginia.

Biodynamics has a national certifying agent, Demeter USA. I'm not aware of any certified biodynamic operations along the Southcoast though there are a few growers who are using practices associated with Biodynamics.

On a slightly different note, I've been working on a brief resource list for Know Your Vegetables. One site I'm sure to include is ATTRA (the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service), they are a great resource for gardeners and farmers of all experience levels; they regularly publish information on a wide array of relevant topics. Back in 1999 they published information on Biodynamic Farming & Compost Preparation.

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