Resilient agriculture in a changing climate

Resilient agriculture in a changing climate

23 August 2022 Sebastian Jüngel 561 views

Climate change causes droughts, flooding and crop failures. The Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum sees a possible option for action in the idea of Rudolf Steiner‘s biodynamic farm organism. One feature of this is starting from the individual conditions of a region.

“The starting point of biodynamic agriculture is understanding the existing situation and the local environment, an approach that enables the effects of climate change to be tackled.” This is the conviction held by Jean-Michel Florin, joint leader of the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum. It requires scientific knowledge of the climate-related interactions between plants and soil as well as knowledge about biodynamic cultivation methods and land-based animal husbandry.

“If we take time to observe our own farm carefully, we are investing in a resilient holistic farm concept”, says Lin Bautze, scientific co-worker in the Section for Agriculture. “This is also apparent in the profitability of the farm. Biodynamic farms look after their soils and invest in such things as crops that can cope better with drought stress and the effects of climate change.” Lin Bautze has visited biodynamically run farms and gardens all over the world, analysed their working methods and documented this in the ‘Living Farms’ project. For example in Lithuania, where the cereal crops grown without agrochemicals on the Martinelis family farm “produce very high yields compared to the regional average”. The scientific DOK comparative study in Switzerland also shows that biodynamically cultivated soils can cope better with extreme events such as drought stress due to their higher humus content.

The vision of the Section for Agriculture is to ensure that the knowledge and experience of biodynamic agriculture is accessible worldwide to all those interested. With this in mind, they have recently launched a podcast and a number of online courses.

English by Lynda Hepburn

Podcast Perceiving a biodynamic farm
Online Course The farm organism for planetary health: a biodynamic perspective on climate change, ecological balance and the responsibility of the farmers for our agriculture future,12. September bis 3. Oktober 2022

Image Biodiversity in a cereal field (Photo: Lin Bautze)