Updated: Feb 28, 2019
First things first, what is biodynamic farming?
You might have heard of the term through the grapevine or through a science class in high school, but might not have mentally registered what it actually is (speaking purely about myself if that's not obvious enough). Well, I'm here to clear the air. Considering all my blogs are really just a way for me to take time to sit down and learn about a topic, then share it with you all :) So let's dive in, shall we?
The process of biodynamic agriculture has been around since the 1800s, and honestly probably even earlier, but this is when the details of the practice were first documented. Biodynamic farming is one of the first methods of organic agriculture, which involves growing crops with a specific spiritual and holistic approach that doesn't degrade or stress the soil and environment. Old-school biodynamic farmers would grow crops according to the moon phase and star positions, but this isn't what sets biodynamic farming apart from organic farming...
Biodynamic Farming VS. Organic Farming
Biodynamic farming is technically a form of organic farming, but in today's day and age, the regulations for certified organic farming stand weaker against the long traditions of biodynamic farming. Biodynamic crops are grown without the use of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Unlike organic farming, which makes exceptions for the use of certain broad-spectrum natural pesticides such as rotenone, ryania and sabadilla. You might be thinking, "natural pesticides, what's wrong with that?" Well cocaine is natural, and snake venom, poisonous mushrooms, lead... I can go on, but my point is that "all natural" and "organic" doesn't always mean safe.
The good news, however, is that there is no exception for the use of harmful natural and chemical intervention with biodynamic agriculture. Instead, biodynamic farmers utilize practices like crop biodiversity, cow manure fertilizer, and natural predator/prey relationships. During my biodynamic farming research that brought me deep deep into the abyss of the internet, I found a really cute quote from a biodynamic farmer that made me smile:
"For example, on Chester's farm, the wildlife is vital in dealing with infestations. Last year, the [biodynamic] farm had a slug problem. 'I could have poured Sluggo and that would have killed them off,' Chester says. 'But instead, I let the wildlife sort it out. As a result, I'm producing duck eggs that have been enriched by an escargot diet.'" — Excerpt from The Guardian's article Biodynamic farming is on the rise – but how effective is this alternative agricultural practice?
After learning more about biodynamic farming, I began to question why the heck it wasn't more mainstream. Unfortunately, this question brought me back to the concept of mass factory farming. Biodynamic agriculture often has trouble producing large enough crop yields to maintain the demand of the population. That being said, we are seeing a rise in biodynamic product as more and more people are noticing the quality of produce grown in healthy, nutrient-rich soil... specifically wine and coffee.
I've yet to find a biodynamic wine, but after reading wine aficionados boast about biodynamic wine on the internet for the last 4 hours, I'm on the hunt. Taking recommendations. Slide in the DMs :) Email works too.
If you've been following along with me on Instagram, then you probably noticed that I found my new favorite coffee, which is also how I was introduced to the world of biodynamic farming.
Biodynamic Coffee is a whole bean coffee grown by a small women-run family farm in Honduras. Two of my coffee connoisseur friends, Greg and Dominque, partnered with this farm to make biodynamic coffee easily accessible to more individuals, and to help bring awareness to the ancient environmentally-friendly farming practice that biodynamic is. Greg and Dominque roast each batch made-to-order, and package the beans in 100% compostable packaging. They truly made no compromises when it comes to growing, roasting and packaging their product— and that's what every consumer should stand behind.
Do you have any favorite biodynamic products? Specifically, wine? Your girl is on the hunt! Send me recs/questions/concerns via email. Always love to hear from you guys :)