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Biodynamic – 100 Years of Healing the Planet Through Agriculture

By 18 June 2024July 1st, 2024No Comments

This June marks a ground-breaking milestone in sustainable agriculture: the 100th anniversary of biodynamics. Originating in 1924 from the visionary teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic farming has grown from a small, pioneering movement into a globally recognized and influential approach to farming that integrates
ecological, ethical, and spiritual principles.

Concerned about the declining health of soils and crops due to industrial farming practices, Austrian philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner introduced a new agricultural philosophy that emphasized the importance of considering farms as holistic ecosystems. His series of lectures, now known as the Agriculture Course, laid the foundations for biodynamic farming—a method that combines organic farming principles with an understanding of the ecological and cosmic rhythms that influence the natural world.

Global Celebrations and Reflections

Throughout 2024, biodynamic communities, farmers, researchers, and supporters from all continents are coming together to honour this centennial achievement. Events include international conferences, local farm tours, educational workshops, and special events showcasing biodynamic produce. These celebrations aim to reflect on the past century’s accomplishments, share advancements, and inspire future generations to continue the journey of truly regenerative agriculture as demonstrated by the 42-year scientific study comparing different farming methods which showed that the only method of farming to continue to increase soil organic carbon over such a length of time was biodynamics. (1)

A Century of Growth and Innovation

From its humble beginnings, biodynamics has flourished into a vibrant global community. Pioneering farmers have adapted Steiner’s principles to diverse climates and cultures, creating resilient farming systems that prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and ecological harmony. Today, biodynamic certification, represented by the Demeter label, is recognized worldwide as a mark of quality and integrity in sustainable agriculture.

There are many champions of biodynamic farming, some of whom include:

  • The producers of the world’s most sort after champagne, Cristal, who have been using biodynamic methods since 2012
  • Michelin starred Chef Skye Gyngell insists on biodynamic produce in her restaurant Spring London and also at Heckfield Place’s Marle and Hearth restaurants (Heckfield’ s market gardens and tree nursery are fully Demeter Certified)
  • Camilla Al Fayed opened her biodynamic restaurant Farmacy in 2016 and has a biodynamic plot in Kent supplying the restaurant with fresh seasonal produce
  • Three Michelin starred restaurant Piazza Duoma uses produce from its own biodynamic garden
  • Tablehurst Farm in East Sussex won the BBC Food and Farming awards in 2022
  • Also noteworthy is the Sekem Project in Egypt – sustainable agriculture in the desert through biodynamics
  • Nicky Oppenheimer and his wife, Strilli have restored the once glorious gardens and farm at Waltham Place farm back to health with biodynamics and have been certified Demeter since 2006.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Biodynamics

As the world faces unprecedented environmental challenges, the principles of biodynamic farming are more relevant than ever. The next century of biodynamics promises to build on a rich legacy of innovation, further integrating scientific research and traditional wisdom to address the complexities of climate change, soil degradation, and food security.

Biodynamic Association is the primary organisation that actively represents biodynamics in the UK. It achieves this through offering: free information and advice, membership, supplying the biodynamic preparations, its journal Star & Furrow, alongside it’s well respected Certification scheme that awards the Demeter trademark. 

Join the UK 100th-anniversary celebrations! Click here for a comprehensive list of events and activities.