If you like to hang around health food stores and peruse the labels, or if you meander the internet poring over the latest and greatest sustainable and eco-friendly products, you’ve most likely heard mention of bio-dynamic farming.
You probably nodded your head and filed it away with the other latests and greatests that have a moment of glory.
In fact, bio-dynamic farming in one form or another has been practised for centuries. It isn’t going anywhere. We’re hoping it soon takes over the world.
In a nutshell, bio-dynamics is a traditional (and in our case somewhat fanatical) approach to the natural world and our food systems that results in blissful taste.
So, what’s it all about?
Bio-dynamic farming was ‘invented’ early in the 20th century. We’ve inserted those little squiggles around the word ‘invented’ because reinvented might be a more apt phrase.
It is based on the work of philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner. Herr Steiner was an incredibly smart and incredibly nice chap who had his clever fingers in many pies, including developing Australia’s education system.
Naturally (see what we did there?) it has continued to evolve since the good old days through farmers and researchers working together. Today, there are thousands of gardens, farms, vineyards, ranches, and orchards around the world using the principles of bio-dynamics.
For us, bio-dynamic farming is the new organic, and (we hope) the future of agriculture. It’s enough to make one blush. It involves a holistic, ethical, and ecological approach, and its principles apply to all areas of farming.
From the land, to the land
The essence of bio-dynamic farming is to be self-contained and self-sustaining. Bio-dynamic farmers abhor the use of fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides, and refuse to use external feeds and items that may compromise the quality of their herds or their land. Instead, they allow their sacred land to follow natural cycles by using traditional farming methods.
In other words, what happens on the farm stays on the farm.
It may sound a bit mystical, and it can get technical, but trust us, the proof is in the pudding. Or at least the tasting.
Bio-dynamic and organic: besties forever
Organic and bio-dynamic are similar. More similar than different, however, bio-dynamic goes further.
We’re fond of organic, but over the moon about bio-dynamic and believe that there are differences which make a difference.
Like organic farming, bio-dynamic farms don’t use genetically modified organisms, artificial fertilisers, synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones. We both think they are evil.
We see the farm is a single living organism that doesn’t need any outside input. So whereas an organic farmer may bring in seeds, organic fertilizers and so forth to soup up their land, we believe our farms can (and should) help themselves.
Things like compost, feeds and nutrients are made on-site where possible. It’s not that we don’t like strangers. We’re very friendly. We just think it is better to be safe than sorry.
We are both focused on things like preserving soil quality. But again we take it just that bit further to make sure the soil structure is in the most natural state possible.
In fact, it has been said that we are growers of soil rather than growers of plants. And that’s not far from the truth (you can pick a bio-dynamic farmer by the dirt under her fingernails).
For the technically inclined, a bio-dynamic farm needs to be certified organic before it can earn the more stringent bio-dynamic certification. This is why bio-dynamic is sometimes referred to as a supercharged version of organic.
It’s not magic. It just tastes like it
There are many different principles within bio-dynamic farming. Every farmer has their own variation that they swear by.
Some veer more to the spiritual side than others. They plant according to the lunar calendar. And use homeopathic theory. Some may even talk to their plants and livestock, just to be friendly.
To others, this is mumbo jumbo. For them it is more about being sensible. For example, it makes sense to plant with the seasons instead of using growth hormones to force crops to grow all year round. And it makes sense not to sprinkle the fertile, nutrient-rich earth of South Australia with a modern Agent Orange.
But all bio-dynamic farmers care deeply about the health and wellbeing of their land and their animals.
We know that the cows providing the dairy for our yummy range of products are living in the cow version of paradise.
The proof is in the pudding. Or at least the yogurt and milk that goes into the pudding.
A match made in farming heaven
Happy land, happy cows. Happy cows, happy dairy makers. Happy dairy makers, happy dairy eaters.
That about sums it up. But we’ll natter on anyway.
Bio-dynamic farms have their own processing standard for dairy. This is a Good Thing. The standard is well above that required from conventional Australian farms. So the milk we source from our local farmers is of the highest quality. It is literally the crème de la crème.
And yes, we would say that. But in our defence, proper scientists say it too. Studies indeed show bio-dynamics stabilizes nitrogen and increases soil life.
There are those who insist this has real benefits for the health of you and your family. Now, we’re not the sort to claim our products are a miracle food, or that they are a cure for everything that ails us.
But we do believe that having Mother Nature on your side is better than having Her against you.
And that at the very least, ensuring our lovingly-prepared milks, cheese, quark and yogurts are free from the evils of modern chemicals ensures that they are full of good taste.
Sustainability that sustains itself
Sustainability is quite the buzz word these days. But we bio-dynamicists have been buzzing on about it for almost 100 years. It is at the heart of everything we do.
We tread so lightly on the ground we farm that we almost float above it.
We take as granted that if you don’t apply nasty pesticides to your land, these nasty pesticides can’t contaminate your land. Not to mention the waterways, the wildlife, and eventually you.
But that’s just the start.
Bio-dynamic practices can bring life and sensitivity to the soil through oxygen and nitrogen.
The ‘bio’ part of our name means ‘life’. But could also stand for ‘biodiversity.’ Bio-dynamics and biodiversity go together like peaches and cream. Like the birds and the bees. You get the drift.
Our farmers have told us that their farms crawl with pollinators (even if they mostly fly). Their soil is a stew of microbes and earthworms and other creepy-crawlies. They have more plants, more spiders, more butterflies. Basically, they have more more. It’s really cool.
Bio-dynamic farming is very labour intensive. But our farmers aim to keep their farms self sustainable and as natural as possible whatever the cost..
Why we do what we do
Okay, so we’ve shown how bio-dynamic farming is good for the land.
But that’s not the most important thing.
We’ve shown how it is good for our animal friends.
But that’s not the most important thing.
And we’ve shown how it is good for you, and good for our wee planet.
You guessed it, those aren’t the most important things either.
The most important thing is what all this results in.
And that, modesty be damned, is the best-tasting dairy you’ve ever tried.
Give it a try at your nearest fine food emporium.
To find out even more, visit our range of products today.