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“Healing the planet through agriculture”

Hawthorne Valley Farm • Ghent, New York

Biodynamic Farm

Hawthorne Valley Farm • Ghent, New York
Grgich Hills Estate • Rutherford, CA

Biodynamic Farm

Grgich Hills Estate • Rutherford, CA
Hoskins Berry Farm • Kings Valley, OR

Biodynamic Farm

Hoskins Berry Farm • Kings Valley, OR
Avena Botanicals • Rockport, ME

Biodynamic Farm

Avena Botanicals • Rockport, ME

Marketplace Notes...

Feeding Our Souls

“We must continually bear in mind that the human body is the tool of the spirit…. We can ask ourselves whether we make our bodies unfit for the execution of the intentions, aspirations, and impulses of our lives if we become bound by and dependent upon our bodies through an unsuitable diet.”  Rudolf Steiner  “Nutrition: Food, Health, and Spiritual Development”

In the Preface to the “Agriculture Course”, Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, German soil scientist and biodynamic advocate, recounts a fascinating conversation he had with Dr. Rudolf Steiner back in 1924, shortly before Steiner gave the agricultural course.  They were speaking about the need for a deepening of people’s esoteric life and Pfeiffer asked him why people weren’t able to more fully develop their spiritual lives, despite their interest in doing so.  Why did people have such a difficult time carrying out their spiritual intentions?  Steiner answered: “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.”

Talk about “food for thought”.  As a society we feel confident in our ability to measure the nutritional value of food, but have you ever considered that there may be more to it then that?  Our concept of nutrition is based on our foods’ ability to impart health to our body, but what about its ability to strengthen our soul?  In our culture’s singular focus on measuring calories, vitamins, fat, minerals, are we limiting our perspective and understanding of what true nutrition is?  Should we expect more from our farming, and from our food?

Biodynamic agriculture considers the farm or garden to be a self-contained organism that exists in a larger framework of a living, dynamic cosmos. The aim is to work with those energies within the farm system in order to increase the health and vitality of the soil, the crops, the farm animals, even the farmer.  But biodynamics was never just focused on agricultural techniques.  It was conceived of as a new way of thinking about the connection between farming, nutrition, and our spiritual nature.  Steiner gave much thought to the effect of foods on the whole human being- the physical, psychological, and the spiritual. He pointed out, way back in the 1920’s, that people “in our modern age” have increasingly lost the instinct for what is good or bad for them to eat.  Steiner explained that in addition to the physical substances food provides for our nutrition, it also needs to provide vital forces for the development of our higher spiritual capacities, and acknowledged this to be a factor reducing people’s ability to make strides with a more spiritual nature. 

Steiner spent his life thinking about the spiritual realities at work within the realms of nature and throughout the universe.  He explored the inner nature of the human soul and spirit and their potential for further development.  Steiner believed that history is shaped by changes in human consciousness, changes in which higher spiritual beings actively participate.  In other words, we can’t as a society evolve until we ourselves evolve.  Biodynamic agriculture was Steiner’s answer to how we can build the inner resources necessary for this important work. He taught us to think about increasing the vitality of the food we eat, in order to increase our own vitality, and in doing so be more equipped to build a healthy social order.  Steiner wanted to nurture a path of knowledge so we are able to meet society's deep and urgent needs. 

Biodynamic food to feed your body and your soul.  Nutrition that addresses the physical, the psychological, and the spiritual.  Now that’s good medicine.  And speaking of good medicine, be sure to check out our featured farmer Deb Soule of Avena Botanicals Herbal Apothecary and Gardens, who has dedicated her career to the healing power of plants.  When we asked Deb if there is a connection between healing ourselves and healing the planet she said “I believe biodynamics offers ways to restore forces to nature that can help restore the overall health of our planet and support humanity’s potential to live as awakened and loving people.”  Our thoughts exactly.

- Elizabeth Candelario
Co-Director, Demeter Assoc.

 

 

“I relate to the conversation Steiner had with Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, identifying humanity’s lack of spiritual development as ‘a problem of nutrition.’ I believe biodynamics offers ways to restore forces to nature that can help restore the overall health of our planet and support humanity’s potential to live as awakened and loving people.”
- Deb Soule
Avena Botanicals Herbal Apothecary and Gardens

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