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When Rudolf Steiner gave these lectures eighty years ago, industrial farming was on the rise and organic methods were being replaced in the name of science, efficiency, and technology. With the widespread alarm over food quality in recent years, and with the growth of the organic movement and its mainstream acceptance, perceptions are changing. The qualitative aspect of food is on the agenda again, and in this context Steiner’s only course of lectures on agriculture is critical to the current debate.
With these talks, Steiner created and launched “biodynamic” farming—a form of agriculture that has come to be regarded as the best organically produced food. However, the agriculture Steiner speaks of here is much more than organic—it involves working with the cosmos, with the earth, and with spiritual beings. To facilitate this, Steiner prescribes specific “preparations” for the soil, as well as other distinct methods born from his profound understanding of the material and spiritual worlds. He presents a comprehensive picture of the complex dynamic relationships at work in nature and gives basic indications of the practical measures needed to bring them into full play.
Any gardener who already works with biodynamics will tell you the difference it has made to his or her garden. From crispier lettuce to more intensely-flavoured onions, biodynamics is a great way to get your garden to produce tasty, nutrient-packed fruit and vegetables. The ideas behind biodynamics can sometimes be difficult to explain, however, and appear rather strange to those who are new to the technique. Hilary Wright, an experienced and passionate biodynamic gardener, guides the novice through the key points, whilst never losing sight of the ultimate goal: a healthy, abundant garden. Easy-to-follow step-by-step illustrations, explanatory diagrams and colour photographs show how biodynamic techniques can work for any gardener.
• how to produce abundant and flavorful crops
• how special preparations can transform soil and plants
• how the moon affects planting and growth
• the difference between root, leaf, blossom, and fruit plants
• the best storage methods
• much more
Join the author on a journey through the seasons and discover great new tips and suggestions. The Biodynamic Year contains a wealth of advice for gardeners who wish to care for and manage nature more responsibly and successfully.
”Very practical and valuable guide, evidence of what a healthy relationship with the earth can do to provide nourishing food to sustain us.”
How to Grow More Vegetables: Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine
A classic in the field of sustainable gardening, HOW TO GROW MORE VEGETABLES shows how to produce a beautiful organic garden with minimal watering and care, whether it’s just a few tomatoes in a tiny backyard or enough food to feed a family of four on less than half an acre. Updated with the latest biointensive tips and techniques, this is an essential reference for gardeners of all skill levels seeking to grow some or all of their own food.
“I have yet to see anything more thorough or informational all in one book. I discovered this book from a friend and loved it so much that I bought it. I was so excited about all the information that I was learning I wanted to show my mom. She laughed a little and said she had that book too…. hahha… she did indeed. her’s was from 1982 it’s third publish date… now I know why my mom was such a good gardener. :) chapter 1 dives right into the history of the science of gardening. through the chapters you learn how to get the most for your money…. literally. row planting vs group mound planting, all that you need to know about compost, companion gardening (the best part of the book in my opinion), fertilization, seed basics (or I should say seed thorough), watering, when to plant what and where, it covers flowers and herbs, where to plant things in your garden (includes charts and picture plans), and also talks about the ecosystem of your garden and how bugs affect it’s health. Plus much more.”
Created from indications by Rudolf Steiner around 1924, and based on a deep understanding of the life forces at work in nature, farming and gardening with biodynamic methods are spiritual, artistic, and sophisticated forms of organic horticulture that nurture and enhance the earth. It emphasizes the interdependence and unity of all the elements of an ecosystem or landscape—including soil, plants, animals, and weather.
“I ordered this book to begin with because of the foresight of Rudolph Steiner. He realized many years ago that we would begin destroying the land, air and water. His methods of holistically rejuvenating our land masses and treating them with care is a concept which he is known for. Putting this into practice should be a personal responsibility that each of us carries. Instead of depleting our resources, let us protect them so they are available for our children’s children.”
A Farmer’s Love is the story of the author’s spiritual journey and how his relationship to the Earth evolved from an experience of basic utility to an experience of abiding love. Farmers seldom bare their souls in books, but Walter Moora struggled and wrestled the words in this book from his heart. He offers more than specific descriptions of farming; he tells his life story as a biodynamic farmer and how he learned the lessons of creating healthy ecosystems on the farm through biodynamic preparations and by planting according to the stars. The author learned early in his farming career that working with Nature is infinitely more satisfying and ultimately far more successful than working against Nature with chemicals. His experience of farming biodynamically on four continents taught him to listen to what the land itself asks for. A Farmer’s Love explains how nutrition in the food we eat comes directly from nutrition in the soil in which the plans grow. The book also explains ways the author learned to work with the soil to make it nutrient-rich without the use of synthetic chemicals. It chronicles Walter’s experience of learning both the physical and spiritual aspects of creating a whole, healthy farm ecosystem. Through his life experiences, the author learned to trust his intuition, to take risks around his values, to find his soul’s destiny, and to deal with death and loss by trusting that the very best things can come directly from the very worst things. This story is for those who want to enrich their spiritual connection with the Earth and for budding farmers everywhere who are interested in caring for the Earth in a new way.
Plants have many qualities which can be harnessed for use in health and beauty products. In biodynamic gardening and agriculture, one of the most important uses of plants is in spray preparations and in compost mixtures, where different plants can bring very different benefits. This beautifully illustrated book looks at the qualities of seven everyday plants – yarrow, chamomile, nettle, valerian, oak, dandelion and horsetail – and shows how their nature and habits relate to the positive characteristics they can bring to biodynamics. It considers, for example, how the nettle with its almost geometrically-precise leaf growth and extensive dessicating root system can bring order to otherwise chaotic soil decay. This book is illustrated with fifteen colour and over fifty black and white photographs and drawings.
Tompkins & Byrd is a compendium on the science and metaphysics of soil, agriculture, and the environment. Going beyond the rudiments of biology, the authors demonstrate that the inherent life force woven through all plants, stones, soil, water, and air is central to our survival, and our relationship to the soil is of vital importance to our future. You will not find this kind of valuable information in a textbook. It will change your life. Quote: A single microbe reaching maturity and dividing within less than half an hour, can, in the course of a single day, grow into 300 million more, and in another day to more than the number of human beings than have ever lived.
I cannot recommend this book enough. You will be amazed by some of the concepts presented here. You will not look at the soil or plants or the natural world in the same way after reading this book. There is so much going on behind the scenes in the natural invisible realms if we develop the eyes to see. And nature is just waiting for us to get it!
E.M. Schumacher (Small is Beautiful) called Englishman Alan Chadwick “the greatest horticulturist of the 20th century.” Chadwick was a student of Rudolf Steiner, an early advocate of organics, and founder of French Intensive Biodynamic System. He railed against the tragic policies of corporate agribusiness, while cultivating gardens of sublime beauty and production in the 60′s and 70′s throughout the United States. Nearly everyone practicing biodynamics today has been kissed by the Chadwick transmission. Up until now his unique artistic approach and deep perception of nature were unavailable in writing. Performance in the Garden harvests sixteen incredible, inspired and practical talks that will help us, as herbalist and friend Paul Lee aptly put it, “replant the vital root of existence.”
Reviewer says : “This was like jumping off a diving board into the depths of my garden!! The guy is brilliant and eccentric – but stay with him!! Some parts of his talks were hard for me to follow – but I was hooked on his obvious relish and delight in giving these teachings to his students. The chapters on fertility and cultivation were great – my favorite chapter was the one on bees (Ch 10). On the whole he offers an incredible, beautiful and rich understanding of plants and gardens. The book is definitely worth your while… on many levels.”
I studied biodynamic gardening with a man who had the good fortune to become a student of Chadwick’s. After reading this book, I can clearly see why my teacher was so enthusiastic and precise about his gardening. Chadwick takes the garden to a whole new level, one you cannot help but appreciate. A truly worthy read.
Large-scale agriculture tends to view a farm as a means for producing a certain amount of grain, milk or meat. This practical book argues instead for a holistic method of farming: the farm as a living organism. This is the principle of biodynamic farming. The author, an experienced farmer, takes a down-to-earth approach. Based on an example farm of around 60 hectares, he recommends the ideal numbers of livestock: 12 cows, 4 horses, 6 pigs, 10 sheep and 120 hens. This mix is drawn from Osthaus’s deep understanding of nature, animals, agriculture and the cosmos, and from his many years of personal experience as a biodynamic farmer and teacher. The result is a healthy, balanced and sustainable farm. This is an invaluable book for anyone considering setting up a farm, or developing their existing farm with new biodynamic methods.
A recognized standard, this guide offers much-needed information for private biodynamic gardening-a type of organic gardening that involves working with the cosmic forces. Included are full details on using the Star Calendar for planting times, making one’s own compost, implementing crop rotation, mulching, cultivating herbs and flowers, and coping with pests and diseases. An increasingly popular form of gardening, it appeals to many gardeners who are seeking alternatives to chemical fertilizers and systemic pest and disease control.