Biodynamic Agricultural Association
Biodynamic is a sustainable approach to farming inspired by Rudolf Steiner. We offer membership, workshops, events, training, books and DVDs, ready-made biodynamic preparations, advice, and regional groups. We offer organic and biodynamic certification.
Tel: 01453 759501
Biodynamic agriculture delivers a structure for true sustainability
The Sustainability of Biodynamics
In a rapidly changing world beset with uncertainty, biodynamic agriculture delivers a structure for true sustainability. By its very nature a biodynamic farm is sustainable. It is a complete and holistic system that functions, like our planet, as a single organism. All the different components of the farm are seen as parts of a greater whole; the result is a balanced and harmonious environment.
Outside inputs are kept to a minimum by looking for self-reliance from within. This is critical if land is to be managed both ethically and sustainably. Biodynamic farmers, like many organic farmers, recognize that all that is needed on a farm is already there. The presence of animals, the employment of organic methods and the use of fertility building rotations guarantee the strength and vibrancy of soils, plants, animals and humans.
Some of these practical, self-sustaining principles have been recognized in the last twenty years under the banner of ‘permaculture’, Bill Mollison’s idea of a specific design system for sustainable living. This self-regulation can also be seen in the forest farms and homestead gardens that are the signature of many Asian and African countries. While in tune with these principles, biodynamics goes beyond these practical elements in its acknowledgement of nature’s diverse influences and the need to implement them on the land.
Biodynamic farmers recognize that the life of the farm is constantly exposed to influence from the wider universe. The rhythms and patterns associated with the sun, the moon and the planets have led to the use of an annually produced planting calendar. This guides farmers towards appropriate times for cultivation and sowing for maximum quantity and quality.
Herbal preparations are applied to the fields and compost to enhance the biological and microbiological life in the soil and access higher levels of fertility. In the process, 25 per cent more carbon is locked up than under conventional methods.
The result is a rich and diverse farm, sensitized to and in balance with its natural surroundings. It produces food with such an individual quality that, as in winemaking, it can be described as having the ‘terroir’ of the farm – the sense of the place where it was grown. As such, biodynamic is a sound basis for sustainable food production.
The BDAA is committed to caring for the environment. The organisation and its employees make every effort to reduce their carbon footprint and to use materials and suppliers that have a low environmental impact. The BDAA is also committed to social justice and fair trade. Discrimination of any sort is not tolerated with regard to employment of staff and activities of the BDAA.
Click here for a short film about biodynamics
On-Line Biodynamic Course Goes Live
The UK Biodynamic Association (BDA) is proud to be launching the first ever on-line, fully accredited distance learning course in Biodynamic Agriculture – Principles and Practices. The program has been developed and will be run by the BDA’s Biodynamic Agricultural College (BDAC) located in Forest Row, East Sussex, England.
Arjen Huese, one of BDAC’s Course Leaders, wrote the course together with other staff in response to an increasing demand for an on-line course building on the experience and success of the courses BDAC has been running for over the last ten years. He comments, “It became evident to us all at BDAC that an on-line course in Biodynamics is a great way to reach more people and spread the insights in the Biodynamic methods to farmers, gardeners and all people interested in sustainable food production.”
Going live in January 2012 with the ‘Introduction to Biodynamic Agriculture’ module, in total ten modules will be rolled out over the following two years. The modules feature a wide range of topics including Composting, Astronomy, Etheric Formative Forces and Community Supported Agriculture. Each module runs for three months and includes eight lessons each with a video and detailed lecture on the subject. There is a task associated with each lesson and these are marked by the staff member at BDAC presenting the module. In addition, students have access via the website to a Virtual Learning Environment with forum, chat-room and wiki-pages.
The course is aimed at complete beginners right through to professional gardeners and farmers. The learning pathway is extremely flexible as each course module is individually accredited. To attain the full Diploma students complete all ten modules. Some tasks are practical and students will require access to a garden, allotment or farm to complete them in order to achieve the qualification.
Patrick Holden, Patron of the BDA, comments, “In offering courses to all those who have a thirst to acquire new food production skills, the Biodynamic Agricultural College has emerged as a shining beacon of hope for the future."
Prospective students can view a free preview at www.bdacollege.org.uk where they can see for themselves this inspiring and accessible new course.
Biodynamic Agricultural Association
BDAA Office, Painswick Inn Project,
Gloucestershire GL5 1QG
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