What Is Biodynamics?

The Pfeiffer Center's garden is run according to the biodynamic method first indicated by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) in his Agriculture Lectures of 1924. Responding to farmers who were concerned about the declining health and vitality of their crops, plants and animals, Steiner described an approach to plant and land care that combined novel techniques of building up healthy soil with a renewed awareness of all the forces at work in the farm organism: among and between the soil, plants, animals, and humans, as well as the cosmos itself.

Rudolf Steiner set forth the principles of a modern, organic agriculture that works with life-regulating processes and subtle catalysts such as trace elements and enzymes. He emphasized that each farm is an organism in its own right, with an organism's powers of self-healing.

Above all, how we work the land and how we obtain our food must be both thoroughly practical and thoroughly grounded in a living awareness of the unseen forces that act upon the material environment around us.

Biodynamics intends not merely to maintain, but to raise the vitality of the soil and its produce, and in this way biodynamics elevates our aspirations. Rather than aiming for mere sustainability, we in the biodynamic movement study and follow practices that actively heal and enliven the earth as we work it.

A comprehensive review of biodynamics—including principles, techniques, and related research—can be found on this page. More information and resources can be found on our links page and our page of articles and resources.


Images of Koberwitz, Birthplace of Biodynamics

In the fall of 2008, Steffen Schneider of Hawthorne Valley Farm visited Koberwitz, Poland, where Rudolf Steiner delivered the Agriculture Lectures in 1924. Koberwitz Castle is now municipal offices, and the estate was long ago broken up, but the room where the course was held has been preserved, and a plaque marks the entrance that was used by those who attended the course. Our thanks to Steffen for providing these images of Koberwitz:

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