But what exactly is biodynamic farming?
Biodynamic Farming Is Working With Nature, Not Against It
To answer that question of what biodynamic farming is, let’s go back to the beginning, all the way back to 1924. When the father of biodynamic agriculture, Rudolf Steiner, developed this unique form of growing crops, he sought to bring art, a little bit of spiritual understanding, and a whole lot of intuitive problem-solving to farming. His method called for a slower, gentler way of working in tune with the earth. Instead of merely extracting from its bounty, the farm was viewed as a self-managing ecosystem worthy of a carefully balanced selection of cultivation practices.
But in the following decades—as mechanized, large-scale agricultural production expanded worldwide—his slow-farming methods were overshadowed by speedier approaches, at great cost to our planet. Today, conventional farming methods, which rely on soil-depleting synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, profit-based planting calendars, and crop monoculture among other things, are said to be responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s quite a negative impact.
Here at Ned, we are on a mission to re-establish that long-forgotten symbiotic relationship between earth and humans. That’s why we were overjoyed to learn that Steiner’s regenerative agriculture system, often called “organic 2.0,” provides both the answer and the preventative to today’s climate crisis—and also just so happens to produce supreme, high-quality full spectrum hemp oil.
High Quality Oil Comes from Healthy Soil
According to the Demeter Association, which certifies farms as Biodynamic, the problem with conventional farming practices is that they draw carbon out of the soil and release it as a gas into the air we breathe. Over time, that excess carbon dioxide has combined with other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide to form a blanket over the earth, trapping heat inside our atmosphere, and ultimately warming our planet. As we all know, science has shown us that climate change is responsible for numerous problems, from extreme weather events to an increase in infectious diseases and habitat loss.
In contrast, biodynamic farming heals the earth through agriculture. It accomplishes this by using the sun to draw carbon back into the soil, where it’s meant to be. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb light energy and carbon dioxide from the air. They use a little of the carbon for themselves, and then release what they don’t need through their roots, back down into the microbiome of the soil. This vibrant ecosystem of soil bacteria and fungi releases minerals and elements, allowing the soil to store and conserve water effectively and properly nourish our food crops.
Decades ago, Steiner observed the power of this miniature universe, and he developed unique soil preparations to aid its growth, which farmers still use today. Rather than look to the soil and the farm as something to be extracted from by any means necessary, he emphasized a self-sustaining approach to agriculture.
Find the Answer On the Farm
While most organic farms emphasize healthy soil management practices, biodynamic farms go a step further: they keep it local. Hyper-local. When the farmer encounters a problem, that farmer is tasked with the extra challenge of finding a solution within the farm.
For example, you won’t see Ned's farming partner importing fancy organic fertilizers from the outside to work the farm. Instead, he harnesses the natural relationships found in the farm’s environment, using worms to aerate the soil and relying on local robins to keep the worm population in balance. He also plants in tune with cosmic rhythms through a time-tested calendar that prioritizes earth’s natural processes over farm-profit schedules.
All Good Things Take Time
You can see why Ned hemp plants are super happy to be along for the ride on the long, slow journey toward biodynamic certification. Each is closely observed and cared for, working together with insects, animals, and soil to produce the best quality full spectrum hemp oil—and doing their part to help reverse climate change, one carbon dioxide molecule at a time.
At Ned, we believe that as a living planet, no longer do we need to extract, isolate, and otherwise micromanage the natural balance and bounty Mother Earth has provided us all along. We place our trust in the wholeness of the ecosystem our farming partner cultivates, and the wisdom of the decades-old traditions his practices were borne out of.