The basis for biodynamics is centered around the science of alchemy. Alchemy, like chemistry and physics, explains how nature lives and works. Alchemy does not try to break things down into simple formulas or elements as science does, but looks at how all life forms and actions are interdependent on one another. This is similar to the holistic view of eastern medicine, naturopaths, and the agriculture oriented Farmer’s Almanac. Alchemy is not just about a philosophical way of life or about turning iron into gold. It is a much larger and broader science.
So what does all this mean as it applies to growing wine grapes (or any agricultural products)? It means that as we determine our farming practices, we look at all aspects of nature and how they interact with each other.
Some examples would be:
Viewing the grapevine and its interaction with the soil. Regardless of the nutrients in the soil, if the roots of the grapevines are not interfacing properly with the soil, the plants cannot utilize those nutrients.
Viewing the health of the grapevine. That health includes the nutrients it has, how efficiently they are being utilized, the immune system, it’s growth cycle, and the cycle of nature surrounding it.
Viewing the farm or environment as an entire entity. Having diverse plants around the vineyard to provide nutrients to the soil and as shelter for good insects and other life forms. Those good insects and other life forms keep everything in balance and keep unwanted pests from overtaking the vineyard.
Viewing the cycles of the solar system. Just as the Farmer’s Almanac tells us when the best time is to plant potatoes, understanding the location/cycles in our solar system helps us understand what stage life forms are in, whether it is a nutrient absorbing cycle of a grapevine or a busy time for bees.
So another, more simple, description of biodynamics is: Practicing in harmony with all of nature.
What do you think of this description of biodynamics? Simple enough? Is it easy to see how it affects the wine in your glass? Or do you think it could be broken down even more?