“There is one rule in the garden that is above all others. You must give to nature more than you take. Obey it, and the earth will provide you in glorious abundance.”― Alan Chadwick
With these words, Alan Chadwick expresses a universal truth that has by and large been ignored in the current world view of our society. Fortunately many are now reawakening to this Given. Rather than starting with the question of “How much can I squeeze out of this land so as to maximize profits?”, our approach starts with listening to and observing what is true and beautiful and good about what is needed for the land to grow in abundance. Out of these observations, the appropriate composition of the components of the farm are determined. The right proportions of fertility can then be created within the farm itself, the right amount of pasture for its animals is preserved, and the diversity of the ecosystem is protected and encouraged to thrive within the farm. The economic viability of a sustainable farm organism then arises out of these decisions. In the more typical approach to agriculture today, the reverse approach is used; start with how to make the most money and then develop the model around that answer. We choose to practice the opposite approach.
Biodynamics is a holistic, sustainable form of agriculture developed out of a series of lectures given in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher, scientist, and esotericist. It is comprehensive in scope, taking into account everything from the cycles of the moon and stars to the soil, plants, animals and people. Its ultimate goal is to make each garden or farm a healthy self-sustaining ecosystem. It was the first ecological farming system to develop in response to the rise of synthetic chemical and specialized agriculture after the turn of the 20th century and reflects Steiner’s belief that in the future, humanity’s work with the land must become sacred. It is now practiced by growing numbers of advocates worldwide both on commercial scale farms and home-scale gardens.
Restoration Agriculture is the intentional restoration of healthy, functional ecosystems as the context for economically-viable farm operations. Perennial crops, livestock, fungus, and pollinators are integrated to produce abundant food, fiber, and fuel and simultaneously restore critical ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water purification and infiltration, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity.