Bio-Dynamic Agriculture is often referred to as Enhanced Organic Farming. It is a form of Organic Agriculture and Regenerative Agriculture. It is a holistic approach to farming that doesn’t use toxic chemicals. Bio-Dynamic farms create farm fertility from on-farm resources. As part of the certification requirements, Bio-Dynamic Farms meet the “National Standards for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce”.
Bio-Dynamic farming uses preparations that have a biocatalyst effect to produce humus. At Beechworth Natural Farm, a substance made from cow manure called prepared 500 is used to add micro-organisms to the soil. These micro-organisms compost the roots and turned in crops in-situ, thereby creating humus and developing soil structure. Humus provides food for the plants to grow nutritious produce.
Bio-Dynamic farmers have observed that plants which feed on humus grow differently to those that are fed with a water-soluble fertiliser. Water-soluble fertilisers include animal manures, seaweed extracts and chemical based fertilisers. They can be used in a conventional or organic growing system. When used, the natural process of nutrient uptake is altered. Instead of only being able to access minerals during the hours of photosynthesis, plants are able to ‘feed’ all day and all night. This causes excessive un-natural growth of a plant, similar to humans having free access to food and sugars. Plants that have been ‘overfed’ are oversized, have floppy leaves and have big taproots. Plants that have fed on humus are smaller, have upright leaves and have many small hairy white feeder roots.