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The Science of Biodynamic Agriculture; Geoff Bassett; WA Lecture tour; AU ADVANCED COURSE; Darby Smith
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The Science of Biodynamic Agriculture

By Hugh Lovel
http://www.quantumagriculture.com/articles/science-biodynamic-agriculture

Biodynamic Agriculture is a comprehensive method of self-sufficient agriculture that produces exceedingly nutritious food. It grew out of Rudolf Steiner’s agriculture lectures which were given in response to the chemical methods introduced in the mid nineteenth century.Steiner’s understanding of the roles of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen and how individual agricultural operations lived and grew between the lime and silica poles of nature was both scientific and practical. He identified the processes essential to life and introduced natural remedies to catalyse these processes so farm enterprises can supply what they need from nature’s abundance.

Biodynamic agriculture, the oldest of organic methods, is a science based, holistic, regenerative agriculture that works with life processes to achieve self-sufficient, quality production of high vitality goods. It grew out of the insights of Rudolf Steiner, whose agriculture lectures at the estate of Count and Countess von Keyserlingk near Koberwitz, Poland, 1924, addressed the shortcomings of chemical agriculture.

In his twenties Steiner received his scientific training in maths, chemistry and biology at the technical institute of Vienna and earned his Doctorate in Philosophy with his treatise, The Philosophy of Freedom, which advanced the proposition—now accepted as proven in Quantum Physics—that observer and phenomenon are inseparably linked. Clearly the choice of what we look for is a factor in determining phenomena. Indeed, what we look for is determined by our concepts, without which we have no grasp of what our senses encounter.

Hired by a publishing house to edit the scientific writings of German literary giant, J. W. von Goethe,
Steiner was inspired by Goethe’s holistic explanations of the processes behind physical, measurable occurrences. Measurement is fixed at a time and place, but over time living things keep changing. Without moment-to-moment measurements of these changes no processes emerge. Goethe noted that the butterfly in a museum case was only a corpse, and the processes that had animated it were gone. Yet, elusive though they might be, these processes were real.

Steiner, who was clairvoyant, investigated folk lore, herbal medicine, Eastern religions, native cultures, homeopathic medicine and many other disciplines to acquire the concepts and vocabulary to make sense out of his impressions of nature. Particularly in the last years of his life, his medical and agricultural lectures conveyed a profoundly insightful and all-encompassing approach to understanding the maths, physics and chemistry of how living organisms function and how their problems can be dealt with. Most of his agriculture course focused on this chemistry, physics and biology of life. His remedies for biological processes took into account the environment in the broadest possible sense—the rhythmic motions of the sun, moon and planets relative to the earth’s rotation and revolution in the context of the starry universe. His agriculture lectures convey a profound grasp of how specific activities occurring within living organisms relate to the surrounding universe.

His insights include viewing each property as a self-contained organism, whether a large farm or a small garden. The biodynamic method establishes the relationships between cosmological cycles and the activities occurring within the operation.

Since the days of early Greece science held mathematics preeminent amongst scientific disciplines. Ever since Archimedes and Aristotle the mathematical description of life has been the Holy Grail for understanding mankind, nature, the earth and the universe at large. Sir Isaac Newton’s calculus, laws of motion and theory of gravity awed the scientific world more than anything since Euclid’s geometry and the Pythagorean Theorem. And yet, Newton only explained how an apple falls from the tree, not how it gets up there.

At the time Rudolf Steiner began his studies Bernard Riemann’s non-Euclidean geometry was expanding the thinking of all mathematicians. Projective geometry—the all geometry—showed that every system that defined things by their internal composition had a counterpart that defined the same things relative to their surroundings. Steiner had the insight that a mathematics of living organisms required both points of view, the content and the context. It was the boundary between content and context where life arose. Living organisms were products of their surroundings.

During Steiner’s time science was deeply enthralled with the belief that all dynamic systems ran down and lost their available energy. Never mind that this concept—entropy—failed to explain how living organisms grow and reproduce. More realistically, Buckminster Fuller coined a word for the life process, calling it syntropy. Still later chaos theory recognized that from seemingly infinitesimal causes organisation arises at boundaries. Benoit Mandelbrot showed how graphing boundaries reveals beautiful, organic forms of infinite complexity. Finally, toward the end of the twentieth century Rupert Sheldrake showed how quantum mechanics explains many of the otherwise mysterious characteristics of living organisms. At the time of his agriculture lectures, however, Steiner alone among his scientific peers grasped how the enormous forces of the surrounding cosmos affect living organisms—how a seed grows into a tree and yields apples in sublime defiance of both gravity and entropy.

For the human organism the outer universe meets the body at the skin, the digestion, the eyes and other senses, but most importantly in the lungs and at the diaphragm. Life would expire in mere minutes without breath. Thus when Steiner looked at the earth as a living organism he compared the surface of the earth to the human diaphragm.

The activities below the surface he related to Mercury, Venus and the Moon and the activities of the digestive tract, the urinary system and reproduction. These influences enter the soil from the atmosphere and become active within the earth.

On the other hand, the activities above the surface he related to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and the activities of the limbs, the liver and respiration. These influences stream forth from deep within the earth, and are active above the earth’s surface.

Everything that takes place between the earth and the sun works within the soil, and everything that takes place beyond the earth and the sun works above the soil. Increasing and enhancing the interplay between these two activities is what makes agriculture thrive.

Steiner contrasted the hungry, greedy lime with the aloof, aristocratic silica. In agriculture there is always this dance between polar opposites—night and day, winter and summer, nitrogen and carbon, legumes and grasses, soil and atmosphere, inner and outer planets, sedimentary and igneous rocks, plant reproduction and food production. The lime processes in the soil relate to mineral release, nitrogen fixation, digestion and nutrient uptake. The silica processes in the air relate to photosynthesis, blossoming, fruiting and ripening.

As a system, biodynamics helps us balance and enhance agricultural activities, how they fit into bigger and bigger pictures and what the causes and consequences of various things may be. It helps us make sense of and strengthen the biological activities on our farms so they thrive and produce great results.

For Steiner, knowing things was to put them to work. He drew great inspiration from Goethe, who studied the work of Paracelsus, the renaissance physician who established the role of chemistry in medicine. Paracelsus described a remedy as ‘like a spark that, though it has no weight, can set a house afire.’ Steiner’s remedies for agriculture were like sparks of life that took root and grew. Like seeds these remedies could be sown and re-sown, again and again bringing generation after generation of living activities to the soil, the air above it and its plants and animals.

These remedies, known today as the biodynamic preparations, are of two sorts—the field sprays and the herbal compost preparations. Steiner’s field sprays used cow horns as sheaths to focus the resonant energies of the earth on materials packed within the horns and buried either over winter or over summer in the soil. This thoroughly imparted the characteristic energies of the season, transforming the substances within the horns. For the lime polarity he filled the horns with cow manure and buried them over the winter. For the silica polarity he used fine silica powder buried over the summer. Though he identified clay as the mediator between lime and silica and alluded to making a clay remedy in his second lecture, he did not make specific recommendations in his agriculture course. However, traditions are that in making these remedies beforehand he filled the open end of each horn with a plug of clay. In Australia it has become common practice to make both summer and winter horn clay.

He also gave instructions for making six herbal remedies to improve and enhance composts, and a seventh herbal remedy to use in case of wet conditions and excessive nitrification. These procedures can be found in the Agriculture Course and other biodynamic publications.









Sidebar:

How Steiner focused on agriculture as the culmination of his life’s work is recounted in Adalbert Graf Von Keyserlingk’s book, The Birth of a New Agriculture, Koberwitz 1924. Steiner’s motivation is also revealed in Ehrenfried Pfeiffer’s account of a question Pfeiffer asked him on a train to Stuttgart after the Agriculture Course.

“How can it happen that the spiritual impulse, and especially the inner schooling, for which you are constantly providing stimulus and guidance bear so little fruit? Why do the people concerned give so little evidence of spiritual experience, in spite of all their efforts? Why, worst of all, is the will for action, for the carrying out of these spiritual impulses, so weak?” I was particularly anxious to get an answer to the question as to how one could build a bridge to active participation and the carrying out of spiritual intentions without being pulled off the right path by personal ambition, illusions and petty jealousies, for these were the negative qualities Rudolf Steiner had named as the main inner hindrances. Then came the surprising and though-provoking answer. “This is a problem of nutrition. Nutrition as it is today does not supply the strength necessary for manifesting the spirit in physical life. A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will and action. Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this.”

A nutritional problem which, if solved, would enable the spirit to become manifest and realize itself in human beings! With this as a background one can understand why Dr. Steiner said that “the benefits of the biodynamic preparations should be made available as quickly as possible to the largest possible areas of the entire Earth, for the Earth’s healing.”
 

 Above article from Hugh Lovel's book    ORDER HERE




Meet Geoff Bassett: Quantum Agriculture Consultant
, farmer, biodynamic grower, dear friend and teacher at Quantum Agriculture Advanced Courses


http://www.quantumagriculture.com/shop/workshops/quantum-agriculture-2015-au-advanced-course-newtown-nsw

Geoff Bassett is a farmer who is passionate about agriculture that is aligned with nature, and realizes its importance for the health of people and our world. His whole farming career has been working towards creating agricultural systems that improve the health of the land and the nutritional value of the food it grows. Geoff’s skills in field and results observation have directed his farming decisions.  Geoff’s own experience is that sustainable, profitable output comes from healthy, fertile soil. 
 
Geoff is committed to prosperous family farms. He believes they are essential to  quality food production.
 
He mentors and motivates farmers in transitioning to restorative agricultural methods to ensure long-term viability knowing it is the farmers  who make the changes.
 
Geoff’s passion for learning practical knowledge led him to Hugh Lovel Quantum Agriculture Advanced Course . He is now a senior Quantum Agriculture Consultant and teacher of Visual Soil Analysis at these Advanced Courses. He continues his education in biological farming methods which best serve his farming clients and their budgets.  
 
Geoff’s Story
Geoff always wanted to be a farmer. He grew up on his family’s grain and livestock farm and schooled in Inverell, NSW. Geoff was not inspired by University courses at the time, so he started working full time on his family’s property.
 
Geoff believes ongoing education is critical to success. He studied through TAFE and a variety of other courses to glean more ideas and skills.  Geoff studied at the “University of Hard Knocks” and is still enrolled!! His professors have been numerous, with farmers and their creative minds amongst the best.
 
In 1985 Geoff visited a farm in Tasmania that was successfully using strip grazing with portable electric fencing. On his return home Geoff invested in portable electric fencing and began high density rotational grazing. 5 years later the “Cell Grazing” schools came to Australia and Geoff learnt refinements of his grazing practice from Stan Parsons.
 
In 1995 Alan Savory came to Australia promoting Holistic Management and taught the importance of field observation and monitoring changes in ecosystems.
Geoff adopted many of Alan’s techniques and also refined his skills in field observation.
 
Geoff’s farm prospered under holistic management and high density grazing but the plant communities and farm ecosystem appeared to hit a ceiling, which they could not break through. There was more to learn.
 
In 1999 Arden Anderson was a big influence in Geoff’s education with the introduction of Biological Farming. Comprehensive soil testing was followed with a complete nutrition program, which also included soil biology. The use of microbe friendly fertilisers and the application of biological cultures and their food sources took Geoff to a whole new level. Arden also introduced Geoff to Radionics.
 
Combining this soil nutritional knowledge with existing successful practices, Geoff’s farm broke through the ceiling that had limited its natural abundance.
 
Geoff was asked to hold a field day, which showcased his farm and from there other farmers started to seek his knowledge. So his soil consulting business began.
Geoff started with 4 graziers and through word of mouth and successful stories, he now consults with over 100 farmers while still engaged in his own farming venture. These people include sheep and cattle graziers, grain farmers, sugar cane, dairy, orchardists, green keepers and home gardeners.



 
Australian grain and livestock farmers have been squeezed with low prices, high input costs and poor seasons for most of the last 25 years. This has made high input farming, whether conventional or biological, a very risky business.
 
Geoff searched for more cost effective solutions and felt there was more to learn.
It was then that he met Hugh Lovel. Hugh has been a great mentor for Geoff, again passing on more field observation skills, refinements in fertility programs and Biodynamics. Hugh has inspired Geoff with a passion for learning about Nature and the science that explains some of it.
 
Geoff’s consultancy is based on holistic principles. He gives independent advice and works with farmers to create permanent changes to their farms.  Geoff creates soil fertility programs, which maintain short-term profits whilst building toward long-term soil health and resilience. Improving soil structure is a key component, as well as increasing Humus for storing more soil moisture and carbon. There are a multitude of soil products on the market now and Geoff believes in good programs, not going from product to product.
 
Geoff and his partner Fiona are both passionate about creating positive change in rural communities through raising awareness of health of soil, plants and ultimately us. Healthy soils provide people with healthy food. Farmers are the linchpin in creating healthy communities
.

 

 

Restoring Our Farms
Quantum Agriculture AU Advanced Course
Golden Grove Healing Retreat House
Newtown, NSW 

Monday 24,25,26,27 August
Tuition for new students: $750    Reviewers: $600


Friday and Saturday  28 & 29 August,  Tuition $200 Quantum Course

Advanced Farm Healing using Radionics programs, Agro-Homeopathy, Dowsing, and estate clearing and weather modification.  Introducing Quantum Agriculture Radionic instrument being manufactured by Kelly Research, How to develop a program for your farm.

REGISTER HERE
 
Quantum Agriculture Annual Advanced Course 2015 will be held at the peaceful and healing facility of the Golden Grove Healing Ministry in Newtown, NSW. A short train ride from Sydney airport. Make your room reservations directly with them and do it soon. Shared twin rooms
 
Restoring our Farms becomes easy, creative and inspiring. Through observation of the cycles and seasons with the use of Comprehensive Testing, application of balanced program, minerals, developing biodiversity, catching carbon, building soil resilience through living biology, moderating weather effects, filling the ecological niches we restore our farms.
Learn how to develop self-sustainable, resilient farms and soils and healthy atmosphere for raising our children, crops and animals.
In depth exploration the Biochemical Sequence originated by Hugh Lovel. 
 
We will educate/vacate and enjoy the healing energies of the Golden Grove gardens.  Our new format for the course is divided into two separate but contiguous classes.
Restoring Our Farms   Biochemistry, Hugh Lovel agronomics,
What is in our soils?  Comprehensive Soil testing, what it means, how to do it, how to interpret them?
 

Accommodations with Breakfast and Lunch Provided

Golden Grove Healing Retreat http://goldengrove.org.au/contact-us

Pricing for accommodation: Please add $23 per day for lunch and morning tea

Rooms with shared bathrooms (incl breakfast):
Single Room per night is $60 (pensioner concession is $55).
Two people per night is $85 ($43 per person)
Rooms with ensuite bathrooms (incl breakfast):
Standard cost per night per person is $75.
Two people per night is $95. ($48 per person per night)
3 Beds ensuite $115 ($39 per person)
For family sized rooms and additional numbers please enquire further.

 
Please reserve your room as soon as possible with Golden Grove   (02 9557 1642)
Tell them you are with Quantum Agriculture.  Please note: due to the healing mission of Golden Grove, no alcoholic beverages on campus.  In the evenings we will dine out at different local restaurants which have brilliant choices of beverages.  We are thrilled to have such a special retreat to conduct our courses at and we are asking all participants to volunteer time after lunch to revive their gardens and plant flowers. Tools will be provided by Golden Grove.  Bring flower bulbs, Biodynamic seeds and preps.


PLEASE RESERVE YOUR PLACE IN THE COURSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THROUGH GOOGLE FORMS:
 
 

 

Quantum Agriculture Consultants are Earth Restorians, they have exstensive training by Hugh Lovel in Total and Tissue Testing of soils and plants, they attend our annual Advanced Course Trainings and most importantly , they have high level of integrity, are spiritually aware and committ to every farmer and property they serve to deliver excellence. 


Quantum Agriuculture  consultant installing a Hugh Lovel designed Fieldbroadcaster on 6000 acre station
http://www.quantumagriculture.com/field-broadcasters/quantum-field-broadcasting


                                                                           
Our certified consultants
                                         

QUANTUM AGRICULTURE CERTIFIED CONSULTANTS

Comprehensive Soil Testing;on site consultancy;  Installing Fieldbroadcasters; dowsing, Radionic treatments; agro homeopathic products

 

US

Gary Freeborg    biodiversity@inbox.com
 
Skip Miller          skipmillercitrus@yahoo.com
 
Mark Tally          fulvic32@gmail.com

Australia

Geoff Bassett       geoffbassett@live.com.au

Heinz Gugger      info@maryvalleyorchards.com.au

Wayne Rankine    Propaearth@gmail.com

Douglas Ross        douglasrross@gmail.com

Jason Simmons    sales@theoverseersaddlery.com.au

 

South Africa

Nicolene Jobert      nicolenejbrt7@gmail.com 

Johnathan Grieve   Jdg@avondalewine.co.za

 

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
HERE WE COME.

    May 30 & 31   June 3 & 4
Bornholm Hall  
Lower Denmark Road   Bornholm, WA

These workshops are provided through funding from South Coast Natural Resource Management and the State NRM Office of Western Australia. 

   http://www.torbay.southcoastwa.org.au/workshops.html

 

Introduction to Biodynamics

6th & 7th June
 

 

 







Learn about biodynamic farming from one of the world’s leading experts, Hugh Lovel, author of A Biodynamic Farm and the newly published, Quantum Agriculture: Biodynamics and Beyond. 

The workshop  introducess participants to practical aspects of biodynamic farming and gardening. Participants learn the philosophy, theory and ‘how-to’ of biodynamics.

Biodynamic Agriculture is unique in its focus on improving and enhancing life (bio) processes. We are all carbon based life forms, and Biodynamic Agriculture improves and enhances carbon capture. The key to plant growth is the dynamic interplay between what goes on above ground and what goes on below. Photosynthesis, Blossoming, Fruiting and Ripening occur in the atmosphere. Mineral release, nitrogen fixation, digestion and nutrient uptake occur in the soil.

Sponsored by Biodynamics Agriculture Ausralia Ltd     Biodynamics.net.au

Who is this workshop for?

The workshop is designed for teaching farmers and gardeners as well as vintners the easy methods of applying Biodynamic preparations. Hugh will explain step by step how the Biodynamic preparations work and why they are used as well as presenting exact formulas for their application.

What’s included?

Workshop Program -Day 1

  • Principles of Biodynamic Practice for small farms and gardens
  • The Biodynamic Preparations
  • Lunch (Bring your own)
  • Theory of Principles of Biodynamic Composting
  •  Practical- BD500 and 501 Stirring and Application

Workshop Program-Day 2

  • Building a biodynamic compost
  • The Important Role of Humus
  • Lunch (Bring your own)
  •  

Teacher Biographies

Hugh Lovel

Hugh gained broad experience in biodynamic farming while operating a market farm and the first CSA (Community-supported agriculture) in Georgia feeding 80 families from six acres. His farm was home to the annual South-East Biodynamic Conferences for 12 years. Hugh maintained a small herd of cows from which he made raw milk cheese for his members. He learned through many mistakes how to become successful at building sustainable humic soils, how to harvest and preserve his produce and how to best utilize the biodynamic preparations.

Hugh migrated to Australia in 2005 to teach, consult and write. Hugh serves on the national board of Biodynamic Agriculture Australia, the largest membership Biodynamic organization in the world.

He currently serves on the Standards Australia committee for Organic and Biodynamic Products which sets certification standards in Australia and for export. He and his wife Shabari Bird are the founders of Quantum Agriculture Consultancy and live in Australia and in Georgia.

Shabari Bird

Shabari Bird has been a biodynamic gardener since 1974. She co-founded the first Waldorf School in Georgia. She is the widow of Christopher Bird, co-author of “Secrets of the Soil” and “Secret Life of Plants”. Shabari and her husband Hugh Lovel, who was her neighbor in Georgia for 32 years,split their time between Australia and the US. Shabari teaches on a variety of topics including Quantum 

 


http://www.fairharvest.com.au/course/introduction-to-biodynamics-6th-7th-june-2015/

 

Fermented Grains which your family will love  taught by Shabari Bird

June 10 @ 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

http://www.fairharvest.com.au/event/fermented-grains-which-your-family-will-love-10-june-2015/

SPRING ON SUN DOG FARM

By Darby Smith of Sun Dog Farm in Blairsville, Ga.

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Life is an explosive force. There is no better time to witness this than early Spring. As the seeds emerge, the buds pop, and the ephemeral wild flowers set into bloom, the lush greenery is once again utilizing the power of the sun to expand, renew and reclaim. The roots and flowers of these plants embrace the essences of the celestial bodies to sculpt the world around them and restore texture to the valley. Praying mantis nests quiver with the activity of this year’s population, anxious to emerge. Thrushes and sparrows sing songs to the dance of new insect life, and hawks of all tribes congregate to surf the thermal lifts above our heads. Tadpoles have hatched, the bats are on wing, snakes are sunning themselves, and the season of sowing is here.

The farm transforms as the days grow longer. Seeds of all Spring and Summer varieties have burst, spreading their cotyledons, and our cold frames offer up the first of the transplants to be relocated in the garden. Navigating the rain and Stella Natura Planting Calendar, we continue the annual process of breaking down cover crop, preparing, and seeding the landscape. During this time of increased natural creativity and creation, I am reminded of the clean slate that exists in Spring. Throughout our lives it is inevitable to get distracted and ignore our inner voice. Spring acts as a fresh start, beckoning us to wake up by looking inward and acting outward. We have shed the burdens of 2014 and move into 2015 with limitless possibility. All we have to do is act.

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Action is the agenda on all layers of the farm organism and surrounding ecology. Pregnancy gives way to lambs and chicks as fecundity hangs heavy in the foggy morning air. Wildlife carry out their intoxicated battles, bringing forth new life without a thought about what the world will hold for their miraculous contributions. As we transition from winter into the season of green, the energies on the Earth are shifting. The center-seeking polarity of limestone spent the winter months coaxing the forces of the cosmos inward, storing within the soil the powers to spur the explosion of Spring, buried under the happy biology of decomposing life.

As the days grow in temperature and light, the influences of Silica bring those energies from the soil into the atmosphere. Silica, governing the essences of reproduction, delights in the warm weather and utilizes the biological pathways constructed over the winter, in partnership with carbon structure, to create and enhance the edible fruiting bodies that grace our fields. As we continue our march into the season of tomatoes, watermelons, peppers, and eggplant, miracles are happening on every level of this complex exchange.

The nutrients within the soil have gone through an incredible transformation just as spectacular as any caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis. As the roots snake their way deeper into the humified soil, microorganisms meet them with nutrients mined from the sub soil. The roots respond symbiotically, as nature is prone to do, with delicious, sugary root exudates that keep the biology alive.

358Elliot Smith Sundog Farm

This relationship allows the plants to seek the nutrients they need to complete biological bridges necessary to grow leaves, produce flowers, and eventually create complex structures that we get to eat. The more balanced the nutrients are in the soil, the more expedited and harmonized the growth pattern of the crops. And so it goes, from weeds to trees, grasses to kale, life building upon life in an attempt to fill every nook and cranny with something to share, a place to hide, and or something beautiful whose artistry could only exist within the boundless imagination of the natural world.

This time of action calls to our weary, weathered souls and brings with it a renewed energy to seek harmony within our own growing beings. As our muscles are reminded of their strength, of their seasonal movements and challenges, our minds become stabilized by the busy schedule of the season racing for the finish line. Before we know it we are a part of it; our entanglement with it molding us into the rhythm of our valley. I walk at night, when the frog songs and insect choirs synchronize and sway, and I can hardly tell where the soil ends and my feet begin.

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Darby and Elliot Smith recently purchased the farm which Hugh Lovel farmed for over thirty years. Their dedication, courage, love and devotion to the earth are inspiration to us. Darby is an extraordinary writer. She touches the very essence of soil and atmosphere. This was penned from the same desk that Hugh Lovel built to write his first book" A Biodynamic Farm" . Blessings upon Darby and Elliot for the future of Sun Dog farm. 
 
Copyright © 2015 Quantum Agriculture, All rights reserved.


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