The Waldorf educational philosophy strives to develop students’ intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner by encouraging imagination and creativity in students.
The field of biodynamics – which is an ecological, ethical, and holistic approach to farming, gardening, nutrition, and food – has a similar philosophy to the Waldorf educational system.
What is biodynamics, and how is it incorporated into Waldorf’s philosophy?
Keep reading to find out.
What Is Biodynamics?
Biodynamics integrates scientific understanding in farming with a recognition of the spirit of nature.
A biodynamic farm is a living organism, composed of the interconnected elements of fields, plants, animals, forests, soils, and people; biodynamic farmers work to nurture and integrate these elements to support the health and dynamics of the farm as a whole.
These farms respect and nurture the biodiversity of individual systems and landscapes; this diversity in plants and animals is beneficial, bringing different relationships to the land and improving the resilience and health of the farm itself.
What Does The Biodynamic Approach Do?
Biodynamic farming treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks.
These methods ensure unity of the farming systems, resulting in healthier animals, plants, lands, and outputs.
This approach has many benefits for the farm itself, and for its outputs.
It Cultivates Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety of life in a particular habitat. Biodynamic farms are inspired by this biodiversity and the uniqueness of individual landscapes.
By cultivating all of the aspects of a biodynamic farm as one, it encourages biodiversity.
Biodiversity in plants amplifies the health and resilience of the farm organism; biodiversity in animals brings different relationships to the land and diversity to their manure.
It also prevents nutrient deficiency in animals by raising them alongside plants, and prevents pollution from excess manure that can be caused by raising only animals.
It Encourages Fertility
Biodynamic farms work to generate their own fertility.
They work to achieve this by creating their own compost; they bring together a diversity of animal manures, plant material, and soil from the farm to create a source of strength and fertility for the whole.
Biodynamic compost is cultivated with the medicinal herbs chamomile, yarrow, stinging nettle, oak bark, valerian, and dandelion.
These herbs help the compost by:
● Magnifying healing qualities
● Stabilizing nitrogen and other nutrients
● Multiplying microbial diversity
● Fosters the growth of bacteria and fungi, which act as the chemical decomposers of compost
Biodynamic farms also utilize cover crops to contribute to on-farm fertility, and crop rotation to balance the needs of the crops.
It Enhances Soil And Plant Health
The compost produced by the farm improves soil and plant health.
The farm also may utilize horn manure, which is made from cow manure buried inside a cow horn, to enhance its soil.
The farm may also use horn silica, which is made by burying ground quartz crystals inside a cow horn, which increases plant immunity, enhances ripening, and strengthens photosynthesis.
Horsetail tea may also be used, which prevents fungal diseases in plants and soil.
It Works In Rhythm With The Environment
The earth, moon, sun, and stars have a natural rhythm.
Biodynamics observes these natural rhythms, and how they influence the plants and animals of the farm.
These rhythms can indicate optimal times for sowing, harvesting, and planting.
It Contributes To The Needs Of People
Biodynamic farms contribute to social and economic health by embodying economic, social, and ecological stability.
Many biodynamic farms work together with schools, restaurants, medical and wellness facilities, and other organizations, connecting all aspects of life to food and land.
Why Is Waldorf Academy Interested In Biodynamics
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf education method, also founded the biodynamic agriculture system.
As a result, the philosophy is similar.
Both biodynamic agriculture and the Waldorf method of education follow Steiner’s approach known as Anthroposophy, which optimizes natural means for health and well-being; this can apply to both education and farming.
Furthermore, both biodynamic agriculture and Waldorf schools focus on social responsibility.
Contact Waldorf Academy
At Waldorf Academy, we encourage our students to have close ties to nature and our planet, and learn about the importance of biodiversity.
Children can greatly benefit from a connection to plants, soil, and animals that can be gained from biodynamic farming.
Here at Waldorf Academy, we work closely with biodynamic farms and utilize them as part of our educational system.
If you or your children are interested in learning more about biodynamic farming, contact Waldorf Academy today.
We can meet with you and your child, and show how we can help your child grow and nourish themselves and the world around them.