Spiritual AgriculturePosted: March 30, 2009
Thanks to a link on the NoImpactMan site, I read the first article in a two-part series about spiritual environmentalism in Orion magazine. The author, Curtis White, discussed environmentalists’ fear of using spiritual language in their defense for the earth. I guess it’s easier for policy makers to dismiss an environmentalist’s plans as those of a doped-up hippie if he/she uses phrases such as “respect for life.”
However, Curtis argues that it is this philological fear that is holding back environmentalists from taking down the Monsanto-like idols. He urges environmentalists to embrace the spiritual nature of nature and to avoid the sterile political language that policy makers and earth-wreckers alike are comfortable with. This article got the synapses and nerve endings in my already over-worked brain sparking thoughts of agreement.
About a week later I came across the term “biodynamic agriculture.” As any slightly incredulous reader would do, I looked up the phrase in google and discovered an underground world of spiritual farming – something I’m sure Mr. Curtis could appreciate. Biodynamic farmers treat farms as living organisms and use holistic approaches to farming. Or, more eloquently put on the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association website, “The fundamental principles of biodynamic farming and gardening – a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the earth-organism to that of the entire cosmos.”
Biodynamic farming veers off the straight and narrow science behind traditional farming into a more holistic ideal of food production. However, it sticks to its own careful practices to preserve soil fertility, especially the organic humus bacteria layer that revitalizes the soil. This approach includes compost preparation and specific guidelines for manure storage.
The BFGA also recently announced the start of the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship program where every yoga-loving farm enthusiast can register for a two-year certification program that includes on site farming as well as classroom rhetoric.