Re: Re: Biodynamic Farming Info?

In article , jhaskett@asrr.arsusda.gov writes:
> I concur with the earlier posting that suggested the article
> "Biological Dynamic Farming - An Occult Form of Alternative 
> H. Kirchmann, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1994, 
> 17 3-187. The abstract states in part:
> "...(Steiner's) instructions were based on insights and inner 
> from spiritualistic exercises and not on agricultural 
> many of his statements are not provable simply because 
> clear hypotheses cannot be made as his descriptions were unclear and 

> not stringent. Those predictions that can be tested scientifically 
> been found to be incorrect. It was concluded (in the article) that
> Steiner's instructions are occult and dogmatic and cannot 
> to the development of alternative or sustainable agriculture."
> Jonathan Haskett
What a pity the author of this article did not do some up-to-date 
research.  Here in New Zealand many farmers are farming 
biodynamically.  They are successful and sustainable. The farm I am 
involved with of 1,000 acres  supports sheep, beef cattle and is 
involved in building up a sizeable dairy herd as a source for its 
planned milk products programme. They also run small scale pig and 
poultry operations, plus grazing for race and show horses.  Commerical 
vegetable growing and an extensive tree raising and planting programme 
are also included.

Other farmers are contributing in the areas of dairying particularly 
and biodynamic growers are successfully holding their own in citrus 
and avocado growing to name just the higher profile areas.  One of our 
leading winemakers who consistently wins international gold medals 
also grows his grapes biodynamically.

Pfeiffer's early work on microbes and composts gives the lie to the 
statement that there is no scientific basis for biodynamics as does 
the paper in Science April 1993 by Reganold et al showing the 
sustainability of biodynamics especially with regard to soil 

Our farm has also been the site of various other scientific 
investigations including work on the dung beetle, blow flies and fish 
farming - we have a unique mullet farm.

I would not point anyone to Steiner's works as an introduction.  The 
Biodynamic Farm by H.H. Koepf and the Coming Revolution in Agriculture 
by Dr Harold Willis offer more practical perspectives on biodynamic 
farming - there is some controversy in bd circles over Willis' view.   
Soper's book on gardening is also, as I remember, relatively free of 
the mystic elements.

Kirchmann's conclusion reminds of a MAF scientist critical of 
biodynamics who featured in a TV programme on this topic - "Yes, well 
we see that it DOES work, but we don't see why it SHOULD work."  So 
therefore it is dismissed!