Fair Trade, organic, biodynamic…wait. What was that last one? Is that like the bionic man? What is biodynamic? The biodynamic association Demeter was formed in 1928 and was named after the Greek god of agriculture. Biodynamic describes an approach that treats each farm as its own ecosystem. It is similar to certified organic farming, but takes it a few steps further. Biodynamic farmers take a step beyond organic and sustainable using various holistic remedies to treat the soil and integrate livestock to create a biologically diverse habitat. The biodynamic farms follow the same certified organic farming practices to be free of synthetic pesticides, but include some other key biodynamic points:
1) Creating their own ecosystem. Biodynamic farms depend on a minimum of outside nutrients, which means they must generate it from inside using livestock and cover-crops. Earthworms, bees, livestock and plants all play an important part and work together to keep the farm in harmony.
2) Working with seasonal and cosmic cycles. Lunar phases are taken into account when planting and harvesting. Sound silly? The tides are affected by the moon. Why not plants? Biodynamic farmers see results in their farming from following natural planting cycles. These practices are rooted in the Old Farmer’s Almanac and Native American land management.
3) Keeping the farm in balance. Biodynamic farmers homeopathically treat their farm with a series of specially created natural preparations to treat compost, soil and plants.
There are a relatively small number of farmers who have converted to biodynamics because it takes a huge commitment of time and money. It is more labor intensive, yields are generally not as large and consumers don’t understand the difference. Until they taste it. Biodynamic offerings of wine, chocolate, tea have a noticably authentic flavor and natural healthy quality unmatched by more traditional types of farming.
Drexelius Chocolates carries Claudio Corallo, who is a biodynamic chocolate maker. Check out his chocolate and taste the difference for yourself.
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