Shifting into a New Relationship with the Earth
As proposed by the Deep Ecology movement, we need to move beyond superficial responses and ask deeper questions that challenge deep seated assumptions about the way we see ourselves and the world we live in. Our materialistic worldview which considers life as emerging from matter, our bodies as objects, and the Earth as a “thing” in space, is a major obstacle to the required changes that must happen. Sustainable solutions to ecological challenges require experiencing ourselves as part of the living Earth. We must change how we relate to the Earth in order to be able to appropriately respond to her, and fulfill our role in protecting her. We can only do so if we consider the Earth as a living, super-organism existing through as sensitive a balance of forces and conditions as our own living bodies.
Sustainable solutions to ecological challenges require experiencing ourselves as part of the living Earth.
The shift to an immaterial paradigm allows us to see and experience the Earth as living, and to fully experience our interdependence with her through the very sustenance for life that she provides. When we begin to experience the subtle, immaterial dimensions of nourishment, we change our relationship to the Earth to one of a deep, immaterial, energetic wholeness.
This holistic relationship to nourishment and the production of food, and considering the farm as a living organism, intimately related to the Earth as a living super-organism, is the foundation of Biodynamic Farming. The biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of successful gardens, farms, vineyards and agricultural operations of all kinds and sizes, on all continents, and in a wide variety of ecological and economic settings. Biodynamics is not just a holistic agricultural system, but also a potent movement for new thinking and practices in all aspects of life connected to food and agriculture. It is the study of the interaction of the subtle fields and energy flows between the Earth, plants and animals.
The field of biodynamics explores energy patterns and cosmic forces and the ways in which they affect plant growth. This facet of biodynamics involves projecting homeopathic potencies as resonant fractal patterns, or patterns of energy, upon fields of growing plants (or individual plants) directly into the life energy fields of soil and atmosphere. The food value of their products is high. This quality is achieved through obtaining an optimal relationship between soil-born growth factors and atmospheric and cosmic influences with attention to rhythmical patterns. The bio-dynamic method is a true method: a coherent procedure that is holistic and multi-dimensional.
When we begin to experience the subtle, immaterial dimensions of nourishment, we change our relationship to the Earth to one of a deep, immaterial, energetic wholeness.
Biodynamics is considered to be perhaps the oldest organized alternative agriculture movement in the world. It began in 1924 following a series of lectures by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, at the request of German farmers (Koepf, 1989). Within a few years, interest spread to several European countries, and the US and Canada. Today, farmers, gardeners, advisers, and scientists are organized into biodynamic associations, some of which have their own research facilities. Certified biodynamic products (for example, those with the Demeter label) surpass the criteria for certified organic.
Instead of using sustainable approaches, many farms use agricultural fertilizer containing mainly Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. However, this travels to the aquifers, polluting the water network, rather than staying in the soil. If farmers used homeopathic remedies instead, this destruction would be prevented. Apart from being much more expensive than homeopathic remedies and contaminating the ground water, the herbicides and fungicides they use are made from fossil fuels and lead to further pollution.
Like organic farming, biodynamic farming uses no synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and instead emphasizes building up the soil with compost additions and animal and green manures, controlling pests naturally, rotating crops, and diversifying crops and livestock. A major difference is that biodynamic farmers also use specific homeopathic preparations to their soils, crops, and composts to enhance soil and crop quality and to stimulate the composting process (Koepf et al, 1976.) These preparations are made from cow manure, silica, flowers of yarrow, chamomile, dandelion and valerian, oak bark, and the whole plant of stinging nettle, prepared and dynamized according to homeopathic principles.
Experimental trials using the homeopathic dilutions of the biodynamic preparations show that the homeopathic dilutions do indeed influence plant growth, often in the same manner all other substances do, but with a fraction of the material. Nicolaus Remer presented his research into the homeopathic preparation of Silica in his book “Laws of Life in Agriculture” (1995, USABDA). The Homeotip for this month’s newsletter is an introductory guide to using homeopathy for plants.
Biodynamic Farming, as a branch of Holism, brings witness to the exquisitely inter-accommodating coherency of the universe and her awe-inspiring beauty.
Glen Atkinson began experimentation with homeopathic biodynamic preparations in 1980 on various vegetable and fruit crops. A pinnacle in this trial process was reached in 2001-02, when three of his mixtures of preparations were trialed by the premier research facility in New Zealand, Hort Research. These trials showed a) frost protection on apples being effective to –4C. At –2C very little damage occurred at all, b) a 20% increase in photosynthesis and a 30% increase in stomatal conductance on grape vines and c) a 50% reduction in the incidence in high bird damage on ripening grapes.
Subsequent trials have also shown products that increase dry matter, reduce nitrate levels in pasture, reduce water levels in plants, to mention a few.
This has brought innumerable farmers to conclude there is no doubt that homeopathic preparations are indeed carriers of dynamic activity. Dr Steiner’s approach to life is that ALL life’s manifestations are a result of the interaction between four energetic forces or fields which he called Spiritual, Astral, Etheric and Physical. It is through these forces that life forms are created and maintained. The process of creating food through photosynthesis is an energetic, quantum process that succeeds in capturing energy, light, cosmic information, and congealing it into the form of food.
Thus, an apple is not just a “mix” of various molecules. The apple is formed through an intricate energetic process of patterning “fields”. It is through this context that we begin to understand nutrition holistically. In our Nutrition Basics course, for example, we come to know that nourishment is much more than chemicals, vitamins or minerals. Eating is a relationship, a communication of life forces, of energy fields, encoded in light and congealed into food. Eating is a celebration of the interconnectedness of life, an engagement with and an acknowledgement of the forces that animate all living beings.
Biodynamic Farming, as a branch of Holism, brings witness to the exquisitely inter-accommodating coherency of the universe and her awe-inspiring beauty. It brings the gift of a continually deepening relationship with ourselves, and the interconnections of the web of life.
(1) Bio-Dynamic Agriculture, Practical Applications of the Bio-Dynamic Method, H. Koepf, Bo B. Petterson, W. Schaumann, ed. Anthroposophic Press, 1976, 3rd printing.
(2) Purin D’ortie & compagnie, Les Plantes au secours des plantes, B. Bertrand, J.-P. Collaert, E. Petiot, éd. Édition de Terran.
Judyann McNamara – ND, DHom, CCH
Originally a physicist and biomedical researcher, Judyann has had a clinical practice for over 15 years, has held conferences since 1984 and has been a teacher of courses in physics, health sciences, homeopathy, holism and spirituality since 1975. To learn more about Judyann, visit her profile page in our Professional Directory or click here to read more posts by Judyann.