Re: Biodynamics and Sustag (fwd)

Tom Hodges (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 06:06:14 -0700 (PDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 15:17:47 -0700
From: "Habitat Farm:Dennis and Renee Lapierre" <>
Subject: Re: Biodynamics and Sustag

>Biodynamics differs from the other alternative agriculture movements
>basically by the use of the so-called bio-dynamic preparations, which
>are mineral, plant or animal extracts, most of the times treated by
>some months of fermentation buried in the soil and applied in quite
>small proportions to organic manures, to the soil or directly on
>plants, sometimes after dilution stirring procedures called
>dynamizations. One can easily trace a parallel between Bio-dynamics
>in Agriculture and Homoeopathy in relation to Medicine (Scofield, 1984),
>both consisting in wide but controversial fields of work and research
>(Davenas, Benveniste et al., 1988) whereas still very promising for
>their basic holistic approach to phenomena and their low-cost,
>low-input, high independence characteristics (Deffune, 1986).

As a farmer, I'm wondering just how this method of using bio-dynamic
preparations is done in a low input fashion. Unless you are talking about a
manure pile, with straw and whatever else gets added in during a winter's
accumulation, that is left for a while to cure and is then spread on the
field (pasture, in my case), I'm not sure what you mean.

As for the rest, I can certainly agree. In my experience it takes a
significant period of time to reach a comfort level with the land....years,
I think. It became especially apparent after having moved from one region to
another. There is subtle differences in topography, soil composition,
weather patterns, forage composition, drift patterns of the livestock when
allowed to graze extensively, that all make for a complicated new puzzle.
No book, in my view, can tell you what is needed on any individual piece of
land for it to be farmed optimally and sustainably. It is knowledge that can
only come from experience and from paying serious attention to a myriad of
little indicators. Science is one thing. Experience, ones own, and the
experience of others in the neighborhood is equally, if not more important.
I suppose in some respects one can then allow for a notion of spirituality
to enter into it. I can never resist the temptation to tell those who ask
about such things ....." go to church? Hell, I'm in church right here,

Dennis Lapierre
Falkland, B.C., Canada