The fundamental principle of Demeter bio-dynamics is to understand and foster the continual production of humus in the soil. BD practices take into account everything from the cycle of the moon and stars to the planet’s soil, plants, animals and people.
When compared with other organic growing methods, Demeter BD stands out due to the way it treats animals, crops and soils as an single, inclusive, self-sufficient ecosystem. Plants are viewed as part of the wider environment, not simply as growing in an isolated patch of soil.
The Demeter BD growing method includes the use of unique biological preparations to activate and rejuvenate the soil. These preparations allow plants to feed naturally from the humus-rich, well structured soil and to grow with optimum health, nutrition and vitality.
Demeter bio-dynamics in Australia
The Australian Demeter Bio-Dynamic Method was pioneered in Australia by Alex Podolinksy over 60 years ago. Since the early 1950s Alex has been at the forefront of BD farming in Australia, helping to shape Demeter BD agricultural principles both in Australia and around the world.
Australian farmers have to work with some of the worst soil and climatic conditions in the world – this has helped inform Alex’s development of the Australian Demeter BD Method. He now lectures and trains farmers across Australian and overseas.
The soil and plant quality resulting from use of Demeter BD allows farmers, such as the Harms, to grow delicious produce without using artificial or synthetic chemicals, additives, fertilisers, or genetically modified organisms.
In bio-dynamics we are builders of health, not healers of sickness. – Alex Podolinsky
The Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI) is accredited by the Australian Government as an Organic Approved Certifying Organisation. The BDRI owns the Demeter bio-dynamic trademark in Australia, and is the only Australian organisation approved to certify that operators meet the exacting quality standards of Demeter. Use of the Australian Demeter symbol indicates that produce has been grown and processed according to the standards of the BDRI.
Properly practised, it [the Australian Demeter Bio-Dynamic Method] has successfully redeemed soil structure, even reclaiming salinity affected land back into healthy agricultural production. – Australian Demeter Bio-Dynamic Biological-Dynamic (booklet)
The Demeter difference
Unfortunately, a number of alternative ‘bio-dynamic’ farming methods are in use today which are not producing the same high quality food and fibre as the Demeter method.
Consumers can be confused by this as the produce is still marketed as ‘bio-dynamic’. However, if a product carries the Demeter trademark, you can be guaranteed of its quality.
Practitioners of the Australian Demeter BD Method:
- remain faithful to the original indications of Rudolf Steiner
- use the quantity and quality of BD preparations in accordance with Ehrenfried Pfeiffer’s research
- support the potency of the BD preparations by applying the practical methods developed by Alex Podolinsky.