All posts tagged: biodynamics

The ‘Care Crops’ of Chacara Garden

There’s ‘Cash Crops’ and then there is ‘Care Crops’. W hen you see Moacyr Copani, Gardener at Chacara Garden, Weleda Brazil tending his gardens of over 40 of medicinal plants it’s easy to spot the difference. This level of care doesn’t stem from greed… but something much deeper and personal than that. This garden is his life – from the very moment he was born, in the simple brick house on the property. Moacyr tends to the land with his brother Paulo with as much care as their father – the first gardener who planted these very gardens himself. Even though Moacyr Snr is now in this 80’s, the three men still harvest together, it’s tradition. How it all began. As you know, I love ‘meaningful coincidences’. This garden has another great story that will give you goose-bumps for sure. Weleda Brazil was founded in 1959 by Dr. Gudrun Burkard and her husband Pedro Schmidt. They moved to the now famous wine region on San Roque, São Paulo and laid down their roots with a …

The growing interest in ‘el natural’ lifestyle

Argentina has a history long associated with natural medicines. One that is only growing in popularity with so many Argentinian’s seeking out a more natural lifestyle. ‘People want to know where our raw materials come from.’ Stefan Niewind, Managing Director of Weleda Argentina. I went on a journey find out when the ingredients come from for you. To find this natural treasure trove I left the vibrant city of Buenos Aires 800 kilometres behind to visit Jorge Gusto – the manager of Weleda medicinal garden in the quiet mountains of Córdoba. ‘The soil in the Córdoba mountains is rich in quartz crystals which provide the plants with a lot of energy to grow.’ Jorge Gusto Jorge is the ‘green hands’ that tends the 3.5 hectares of land, 1280 meters above sea level. These gardens cultivate almost all of the plants Weleda needs for the manufacture of their anthroposophic pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in Buenos Aires. The gardens themselves are a picture of health. Bees are buzzing, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing… ‘Here we …

‘Horn Manure’ – Is it a load of bull?

Hear me out then feel 100% free to make up your own mind. Stuffing cow horns with manure and burying in a pit for 6 months may sound little woo-woo to some. But the rich compost that comes from it is the foundation for biodynamic farming. When did Biodynamic farming come about?  Steiner developed the Biodynamic farming principles in 1924 in response to farmers requests for his thinking about the declining quality of their produce and yield of crops. His biodynamic philosophy was his way of improving the stability and richness of the soil by enhancing its organic matter, by avoiding synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides – to give the produce back its vitality. Ok, we are all keeping up with that. Where we may lose a few people is that he also claimed that “cosmic vital forces” have a large impact on plants and animals. He recommended processes of using cow horns as vessels to vitalize the soil. The process goes a little like this. Cow horns are filled with manure (this is called …

Healthy soil. Healthy people. 

Biodynamics 101 Biodynamics is a massive topic, one very hard to distil down. I asked Rob from The Warrah Society Biodynamic Farm to give me the simple low down. The Global Garden journey will give us lots of opportunities for a deeper understanding of Biodynamics, but for now let’s start at the start. In 1924, German farmers came to the founder of Weleda, Rudolf Steiner with their concerns about increasing use of chemicals deteriorating the quality of their soil. The philosophies Steiner shared with them during this time became the principles of Biodynamic farming that are so popular today. These principles are fundamentally very simple. ‘Less chemicals going into the earth means less chemicals going into human beings.’ What is Biodynamic farming? Biodynamics is a farm-forward approach to healing the planet through conscious agriculture. It’s about nature helping nature by taking the art of farming and enriching it with a philosophical and spiritual meaning. With the purpose to create ecological, social, and economic sustainability. ‘Biodynamic farming is much more than a method, it is a …