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The care of the earth has been a cultural task for thousands of years. Nowadays the conservation of the cultural landscape and the concomitant production of high-quality food are enabled solely by a deliberate renewal of agriculture. People who practice biodynamic farming want to facilitate this by seeking the joint development of humanity and the earth, acquiring the necessary knowledge and putting it into practice in the farming operations. The result is a sustainable agriculture which assumes environmental, social and economic responsibility for the future.
Eight lectures held by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 form the "Spiritual foundations for the renewal of agriculture." Long before the term "ecology" became fashionable, Steiner developed the idea to understand agriculture as an organism and to design it accordingly and individually on each location. Soil and soil life, plants and animals are by nature in close mutual interdependence. A diversified crop rotation, harmonious organic fertilization, species-appropriate husbandry with on-farm feeding and targeted shaping of the landscape, for example by planting hedges or wet biotopes and forest management, form the basis for the intensification of natural cycles.
Healthy agriculture arises from the targeted promotion of the life processes. Preservation and increase of the natural soil fertility, increase of the resistance of plants to parasites and diseases, production of high quality food which enhances vitality for humans and animals are the goals of such types of agriculture. The substances which are used in the farming operation should originate from the living animals and plants shall evolve over generations in harmony with the location. Forces and interactions, environment and the cosmos are integrated into the farmer’s work in accordance with their rhythms and laws.
Biodynamic famers and gardeners increase and harmonize the soil fertility and the life processes, support self-regulating forces in the ecosystem and produce a distinctive quality of food by using naturally processed preparations derived from medicinal plants and sheaths of animal organs.
Agriculture does not evolve independently from the society. Its social responsibility is assumed by biodynamic farms which create training opportunities and jobs, explore new social and legal forms that are suited for agriculture, integrate social therapeutic tasks, bring urban and rural areas closer to each other.
Demeter represents nowadays the only world-wide organic association. The guidelines of biodynamic agriculture are considered to be the most comprehensive and stringent throughout the world; they are based on Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical view of the world and his recommendations for a living agriculture. About 120,000 hectares are worldwide farmed in accordance with Demeter guidelines.