WHAT IS BIODYNAMIC AGRICULTURE?
BIODYNAMIC AXGRICULTURE: Bio (life) dynamic (processes); Biodynamic agriculture involves working with life processes.
This does not mean physical substance or chemistry are ignored. The biodynamic approach to agriculture emphasizes life processes which have potent organisational (syntropic) effects to engage minerals and chemical reactions. The use of what are called ‘biodynamic preparations’ establishes, increases and enhances life processes. The question is, what is a LIFE process and what are the life processes we are talking about?
Nineteenth and twentieth century physics focused on life-LESS processes. With these energy flowed from higher concentration to lower concentration, as without life all energy flows from order toward chaos in a process called entropy. However, it became recognised in the mid twentieth century that order also arises out of chaos. It does this cyclically at boundaries or surfaces, which means energy flows from lower to higher concentration over time periods that begin and end in a process called syntropy. Life processes are syntropic, and a variety of these can be distinguished in regard to plants, so let’s look at what these are.
In the soil, the processes involved in life are mineral release, nitrogen fixation, digestion and nutrient uptake. These are related to the lime complex commonly referred to as the CEC or as cations. Because biodynamics comes from an awareness of the influences of the context on life processes, these processes are correlated with the planets between the sun and the earth, namely mercury, venus and the moon.
However, plants live both in the soil AND the atmosphere, and in the atmosphere the processes are quite different and complimentary to the soil processes. What goes on in the atmosphere is photosynthesis, blossoming, fruiting and ripening. These processes are related to silica and to the planets beyond the sun and the earth, namely mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
In large part, biodynamics involves getting a dynamic interplay going between what goes on above ground and what goes on below.
Plants draw in energy and carbon—the basis of life—via photosynthesis. By doing so, they build up sugars and carbohydrates in their sap during the day and a portion of this drains down to plants’ root tips and are exuded into the soil around the tender young root growth of the plant. This feeds a honey-like syrup to the soil foodweb which uses the energy to release minerals such as silica, lime and phosphorous along with various trace mineral co-factors that provide for nitrogen fixation.
Nitrogen fixation is VERY energy intensive as it takes roughly 10 units of sugar to fix one unit of amino acid. Moreover, nitrogen fixing microbes don’t just gift the nitrogen they fix to plants. However, protozoa and other soil animal life eat mineral releasing and nitrogen fixing microbes, thus excreting a steady stream of freshly digested milk-like nourishment rich in amino acids and minerals chelates, which the plant takes up from the soil. This milk-like nourishment is the basis for chlorophyll assembly in the leaf and for the duplication of the DNA and the protein chemistry basic to plant growth.
From the biodynamic point of view it is enormously important that the soluble salt levels in the soil are as low as possible while the insoluble but available nutrients stored in humus are abundant. Partly this is because when the plant takes up amino acids instead of nitrogen salts the efficiency of the plant chemistry is dramatically increased and photosynthetic efficiency is multiplied. Also, soluble salts in the soil are toxic to the nitrogen fixing and mineral releasing micro-life in the soil as soluble salts amount to their waste, in which case they shut down and fail to function as might be expected of any organism which had to live in its own waste.