Biodynamic agriculture is the original organic agriculture movement and considered the “Rolls Royce” of organic farming. Beginning in Europe in 1924, the movement started as a response to the growing push to convert WWI weapons manufacturing into chemical fertilizers for an infant industrial food system that today controls much of what we consume and contributes to much of our worlds health, social, economic, and ecological issues.
Like organic, biodynamic agriculture differs vastly from conventional agriculture, prohibiting the use of chemical fertilizers, GMO crops, and harmful pesticides and herbicides. It differs in that the biodynamic approach holistically treats the farm as an individual and everything the farm needs can be found within itself.
While organic agriculture may rely heavily on imported fertilizers like fish emulsion and kelp meal, biodynamics focuses on the use of time tested manuring and composting techniques we call the biodynamic preparations. These preparations harness life-regulating processes and subtle catalysts to help create conditions for healthy growth.
It is well understood that we use the sun to grow plants, however biodynamics teaches that the moon, planets, and other celestial bodies have a profound etheric effect on all of Earth’s living things.
More and more, our guests want to know exactly where their food is coming from and how it is getting to their table. Together with our farm, farming practices and relationships with other local farms, our guests have never been closer to their food sources. Our guests realize that, along with fitness activities and spa treatments that wellness is not just WHAT you put into their body but how it gets there is equally important.
While organic is a daily household word, not all guests realize what it takes to keep a farm organic (or in our case, soon to be biodynamic)…educating our guests on the philosophies of companion planting, worm castings as fertilizer for healthy soil, and composting techniques help guests understand the extent of practices that take place to keep chemicals out of our farm.
As The Lodge at Woodloch’s Blackmore Farm strives to become fully biodynamic, we are reminded every day of the ways in which we can feed the world and heal the Earth while breaking the chains of a harmful industrial food system.
Submitted by Derrick Braun, Farmicist
About Derrick Braun
After receiving a Culinary Arts degree, Derrick Braun went on to complete his bachelor of science in the Culinary Nutrition program at Johnson & Wales University. While most of his classmates pursued their work share programs in medical institutions like nursing homes and hospitals, Derrick decided to learn about food and health from the “ground” level, and established an internship at The Anthill Farm, an organic fruit and vegetable farm in north east Pennsylvania.
He helped create the Lackawaxan Farm Company (LFC), a farm cooperative that is the main source of local produce for the Lodge at Woodloch and many other restaurants and families in the region. Before coming to The Lodge, he was able to help start two farm to table restaurants in the area as well, but because of his passion for the soil, he could not be contained in the kitchen for long and is now in his 3rd year as The Lodge at Woodloch’s fruit and vegetable farmer.
“I guess I always felt like a rebel without a cause, but now things like community building, land restoration, as well as feeding and educating others have replaced my fervor for writing (unanswered) angry comments on company message boards and sore throats from screaming at rallies. Food sovereignty is still my goal, but the garden is now my protest.”