As part of the project "Living Farms: Potential of Biodynamic Places to Grow beyond Global Change", visits will be made to study 15-20 biodynamic farms throughout the world. The thoughts, strategies and options for action of the very varied biodynamic farms in times of global change will be made visible and accessible through short videos, publications and events. This will enable those in practical agriculture and advisory services as well as consumers to access the repertoire of possibilities of biodynamic farming sites. This access will enable a united growth towards the challenges of global change.
We live in a time of global change. Our environment, our social interactions and our understanding of economics are undergoing constant change. The agricultural sector is also facing a series of pressing changes. Climate change, the loss of soil quality and quantity, loss of biodiversity and the pollution of water resources pose new and urgent challenges for agricultural practice. The question of how to live a healthy life becomes ever more crucial. This includes a healthy diet from healthy food grown on healthy soils. By eating these foods, we encounter their unique quality, developed on their local farm, in its particular landscape. By choosing this food, we say “yes” to this type of production. We make a decision about the nature of our environment. This means that the farm and the consumer are interrelated. These relationships can be as diverse as the farms themselves. You could call this a food laboratory, a unity that expresses the interactions of the people involved and their surroundings.
In addition, new economic models such as associative economics raise hopes for a sustainable future for the agriculture sector.
Nevertheless, the negative effects of global change force farmers to react quickly in order to avoid a loss of production and profitability. This demands a new view of our agricultural production system and our behavior as consumers. We need innovative concepts in order to master the balancing act of a sustainable agriculture for human beings and the environment. These concepts must be tried and tested, easy to implement and quick to learn and experience for the different farms worldwide.
Many biodynamic farms have been founded and developed based on the inspiring concepts of the “farm organism” and the “agricultural individuality”. Today, we recognize that these farms can be motivating examples that can cope with and build resilience under global change. The improvement of soil fertility and animal welfare, innovative practices in plant breeding, the connection of value chains, lively food workshops around a farm and further ideas have come about through biodynamics and are already being put into practice. These can be a stimulus for the future in view of challenges such as climate change and problems such as food waste. The project “Living Farms: Potential of Biodynamic Places to Grow beyond Global Change” will visit and study some of these farms to create short videos which can provide encouraging examples wherever needed: in the field, in the stores, in kitchens and in offices.
Global change brings new opportunities to connect quickly with one another. New media help to inspire, learn from one another, exchange and grow together. It has never been as easy as it is at the present day. Networking offers the potential for open, inquisitive, participatory dialogue to explore the opportunities and challenges of agriculture in our time.
From May 2019 to February 2022, 15-20 biodynamic farms worldwide will be visited, studied and described for the project “Living Farms: Potential of Biodynamic Places to Grow beyond Global Change”.
The national biodynamic associations and players worldwide will be contacted to enable a diverse, lively and authentic collection of biodynamic places. These contacts will send in their suggestions so that they are involved in the project from the start. To ensure that the final collection of farms and places represents a geographical and thematic diversity, the suggestions will be discussed in the team of the Section for Agriculture and selected based on administrative and financial feasibility.
Besides different geographical locations, climatic regions and landscapes, the selection will include a wide range of economic structures and personal biographies of the farm personnel. The diversity of the biodynamic movement will be presented with its repertoire of possibilities to face global change.
The film maker Philip Wilson (89tasten) will accompany the farm visits. The aspects for filming will be discussed with the farm personnel. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with key farm personnel will address the different aspects of farm management. Besides purely factual agronomic aspects such as farm size, profitability, etc., this will illustrate personal biographical elements.
The results of the visits will be presented in the form of short videos and published at regular intervals. The videos will be accessible on this website, but also on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The results will also be presented in full in a book publication and at various events and workshops.
Granstedt, Artur & Kjellenberg, Lars (2019). Der Landwirtschaftsorganismus als Forschungsgegenstand – Langzeitversuche zum biologisch-dynamischen Anbau in Skandinavien 1958-1990. Lebendige Erde 3-2019, Darmstadt. https://www.lebendigeerde.de/index.php?id=heft_2019_3
König, Johannes (2018). Präparate und Landwirtschaftlicher Organismus. Lebendige Erde 4-2018, Darmstadt. https://www.lebendigeerde.de/index.php?id=heft_2018_4
Olbrich-Majer, Michael (2018). Der Mensch wird zur Grundlage gemacht – Landwirtschaft als sich entwickelnder Organismus. Lebendige Erde 3-2018, Darmstadt. https://www.lebendigeerde.de/index.php?id=heft_2018_3
Mück, Ulrich (2018). Organismus – landwirtschaftlich oder marktorientiert? Markt und Konsumenten gestaltet die Landwirtschaft. Lebendige Erde 2-2018, Darmstadt. https://www.lebendigeerde.de/index.php?id=heft_2018_2
Hurter, Ueli (2018). Die landwirtschaftliche Ganzheit: Biodynamiker verstehen Landwirtschaft ale Organismus und eine Art Individualität. Lebendige Erde 1-2018, Darmstadt. https://www.lebendigeerde.de/index.php?id=heft_2018_1
Steiners Impulse (4/2016). Jeder Hof ein individueller Organismus. Demeter e.V., Darmstadt. https://www.demeter.de/sites/default/files/public/pdf/steiners_impulse_demeter_biodynamisch.pdf
Vogt, Günther (2000). Entstehung und Entwicklung des ökologischen Landbaus im deutschsprachigen Raum (pp. 98-197). Stiftung Ökologie und Landbau (SÖL). Bad Dürkheim.
Rozumek, Martin und Beismann, Michael (1997). Anthroposophische Erkenntnis- und Handlungsansätze zur ökologischen Frage. Studie im Auftrag der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft in Deutschland (pp.146-192), Heidelberg.
Steiner, Rudolf (1924). Geisteswissenschaftliche Grundlagen zum Gedeihen der Landwirtschaft. Landwirtschaftlicher Kurs (GA 327). Insbesondere der Zweiter Vortrag (10. Juni 1924) und Achter Vortrag (16. Juni 1924). Goetheanum Verlag, Dornach. http://anthroposophie.byu.edu/vortraege/327.pdf
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