Biodynamic agriculture takes organic farming one step further. The Biodynamic view is that a farm is a closed circuit. For example, water used for agricultural purposes should be reclaimed and reused. Farm animals should consume the cover crops left between vines and their waste should be then replaced between those vines to rebuild the soil.
It’s an appealing philosophy that also includes homeopathic treatments, various fermented and steeped brews replacing chemical applications. It also includes a scheduling philosophy that involves the movement of the planets as way to identify peak times for various farm and cellar activities.
While there is tremendous anecdotal evidence that Biodynamics have a profound impact on farming and winemaking, some statements by the movement’s main philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, have opened the philosophy up to ridicule. Exhibit A: Steiner taught that because disease may be caused by bad karma, interfering with the path of an illness may cause a patient to have to compensate for any effects in a future life.
Photo courtesy stefano lubiana wines via Flickr/CC