All About Biodynamic Farming
When will we realise that by polluting the earth with chemical fertilisers and pesticides, we are only polluting our food? Thankfully, the world is slowly beginning to see a shift towards organic farming and living. “Ground yourself, become one with the Earth and treat her with care, and she will nourish us and heal our bodies and mind.”
Image Source: https://www.theguardian.com/
In today’s day and age, you might do well to stop eating and drinking completely. This is not an exaggeration, especially if the reports that have shown up over the last couple of years are anything to go by. With food getting contaminated with chemicals, beginning right from the farming process itself, by the time most fruits, vegetables, milk, and even grain and poultry get to us, their nutritive value is in serious doubt. While organic farming has been proposed as one way out of the cultivation mess, now, biodynamic farming seems to be the new way of ensuring healthy food is grown. Here’s how.
What is biodynamic farming?
According to the Biodynamic Association, “Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself”. The thing about this kind of farming is that it works in totality, keeping the environment and the economic aspect of cultivation in mind, and it does all that without the use of any chemicals. Biodynamic farmers love to use natural manure and herbs etc. to create healthy soil, which, in turn, produces healthy food. While this kind of farming has been practiced in patches for over a century, it is only in recent times that it has gained such prominence and generated a huge amount of interest.
How is it different from organic farming?
Organic farming has always been considered the way of the future, as at the heart of this kind of farming is an awareness that we need to work with our environment, not against it. So while some of the principles are the same as those adopted by biodynamic farmers, one of the key differences between the 2 is that the latter is based on the lunar calendar, while organic farming relies on natural methods of farming. A biodynamic farm is one that conforms to the organic roster, and goes beyond it. For example, in organic farming, while you can use some imported pesticides and fertilisers that are considered safe, in biodynamic farming, you have to work within the farm and draw on goodness from within.
Will biodynamic farming work?
One of the biggest criticisms of this method of farming is that there is no real science behind it, as it draws on a philosophy rather than a scientific method. At present, there is no method to test or certify produce that is a result of biodynamic farming, but then again, when organic farming was introduced, people were skeptical about its efficacy too, and over time, it has more than proved its mettle. While on the surface of it, the 2 types of farming have a lot in common since they shy away from the use of pesticides, it will be a while before farmers in India, at least, embrace biodynamic farming wholeheartedly, since the yield is limited and the costs high.