I was getting out of the car to pick up my first CSA share when my friend Ali handed me this leaf to taste. There was bitterness, firmness and a nice kick of spice, as you would expect.
But there was more.
Underneath all these flavors and textures, there was an energy I had never experienced in food before. It was like eating life itself. I felt as if my body was streaming with life forces. All from one. single. bite! This was how I first came to meet biodynamics.
Biodynamics is a form of agriculture inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner. Back in the 1920's, a group of farmers came to Steiner, concerned about the changes they were seeing in the fields: the lower yields, the decreasing nutritional value of crops, the diseases etc. So Steiner gave a series of lectures on agriculture out of which the biodynamic agricultural methods were born.
The basic premise of biodynamics is to treat the entire farm as one living organism and as such to strengthen it and treat it homeopathically. There are biodynamic initiatives all over the world and an international association and certification program.
Since tasting that first leaf of arugula (and many more biodynamic meals since then), I've had an ongoing interest in its workings, and once I moved into this house with its gardens and fruit trees, I knew it was time to sign up for a course. I'm currently enrolled in training through the Pfeiffer Center, though there are numerous other trainings available. Over the next weeks and months I will share with you some of what I am encountering there.
Whether you adore Steiner or think he's a hoax, I do believe that the biodynamic approach to agriculture has a lot to add to the debate over food we're facing in the western world today. I hope this is of some interest.
|making a biodynamic preparation|