A very good short introduction to B.D> was written by Herbert H. Koepf in
the book "Biological Husbandry: A Scientific Approach to Organic Farming",
B. Stonehouse, Ed., London, 1981, pp.237-250. He summarizes three major
aspects of biodynamic farming:
"1. Sound farming and gardening techniques, no matter whether old or new;
2. Such principles as diversification, recycling, excluding objectionable
chemicals, decentralized production and distribution etc., ideas held in
other biological movements. Since the 1920's, biodynamic farmers have
developed the execution of such principles, and also reintroduced useful
traditional techniques; [my note - such as composting of farm manure]
3. The specific biodynamic measures and concepts as they evolve from
Steiner's spiritual teaching, which mold the method into a consistent whole."
Those questioners who want to examine only the third aspect miss the
point. Yes, it is what is essentially different about Bio-Dynamics. But it
fits into a rather larger whole. And I might say that I find the whole
system to be conceptually finer than other biological systems of
agriculture. One does need to approach it with an open mind.
This same paper does discuss several scientific studies of B.D. and gives
references for them. Most is European and not in English. I should point
out that Will Brinton of the Woods End Agricultural Institute and the
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute have done some recent research. I do
not have access to it at this time but if they could be drawn into this
discussion it would be fruitful.
Finalyy, I have to say that some of the questions raised in the discussion
seemed to be quite reductionist. To this, I can only reply: A flower is
not (just) a reproductive structure. Food is not (just) a commodity. And
farming is certainly not (not even just) an industry.
Central NY Crop Management Association