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we do we farm biodynamically?



the basics

Biodynamic is derived from two Greek words, bios (life) and dynamos (energy), indicating that the farm should be treated as a living system. Regenerative biodynamic farming is all about wholeness. It is about connecting with nature and our senses. It is about giving back to the land rather than taking. It is about tending to the roots rather than the symptoms. It works on the principle that there is an inherent interconnection between different species at the soil macro and micro levels which work together to create balance and resilience to challenges such as insects or harvesting. Everything plays a role. When we see an insect on a plant, we ask “Why are you here?” or “What are you trying to tell me?”. We work with the force of nature, not against it, for after all, we are a force of nature too. Food that is produced in this way nourishes and revitalises humanity. 


soil structure

One of the most foundational principles is improving soil structure, as this is where the plant ‘brains’ dwell. Here are our top tips:

  1. Never dig the soil, always build on top

  2. Keep the soil well covered by planting cover crops

  3. Apply compost enhanced with biodynamic compost preparations

  4. If space allows, rotate crops so that half the land is put back to permanent pasture or used to grow green crops (a grain and legume in combination)



the moon

Beyond this, biodynamic farming looks to the moon for guidance on when to plant and harvest. For example, optimum germination of seeds occurs just before a full moon - time to sow! Leafy plants are tended to on different days to root plants depending on the zodiac. The earth inhales in the evening and exhales each morning, causing a rising and falling of sap within plants. Can you see how biodynamic farming brings us into closer relationship with nature?



The word 'compost' comes from the Latin ‘compositum’, meaning 'that which is put together'. It is the carrier of life force in the soil and it is life that we are looking for, not just food. A healthy compost is made from a blend of nitrogenous (this is ‘green stuff’ with a high nitrogen content such as fresh animal manure, green plant material, kitchen waste, blood, bone meal) and carbonaceous (this is ‘brown stuff’ with a high carbon content such as cardboard, hay, straw, shredded tree prunings, dead leaves, sawdust, dried seaweed, dried maize stalks), formed in layers. Overtime, these materials break down to form a rich humus which can be spread on top of soil to improve soil structure and water retention, to feed the soil and to provide an immediate nutrient source for crops whilst also supporting micro-biological life and earthworm activity. By way of alchemy, base materials have been transformed into green gold!


Moisture, air and warmth are all very important. Too much air will cause ammonia to be released too quickly and the heap will dry out. Too little air or too firm a heap causes it to turn sour. Too much water and insignificant nitrogenous material will create a cold heap that leaches out nutrients. Too little water leads to quick activity followed by complete inactivity. Everything in life is about balance!


If you are making compost at home ...

You will know when it is ready when it easily breaks down between your finger and thumb and can be moulded into a shape. Look out for heat too!



compost preparations

In biodynamic farming, preparations are added to compost heaps to bring about additional activity. At Brown’s we make a simple stinging nettle (Latin: Uritica dioica; Kikuyu: Hatha) concoction which has unique healing properties for humans and plants alike. Nettles help to break down soil into iron so it can be better uptaken by plants. They also bring magnesium, sulphur and silica into soils, helping plants to grow tall and strong and bring light into the soil during winter months.


cow pat pits

In many parts of the world, cows are viewed as sacred animals and so that which passes through their digestive system is also deemed as sacred, cleansing both the environment and the soul whilst fostering positive energy.


In biodynamic farming, we ideally first allow cow manure to ferment before applying to the compost to increase the availability of nutrients that will then be added to the soil. This is done by mixing crushed egg shells with fresh fresh cattle dung and putting the mixture into clay nyongos. The mixture is left for a whole year so that the mixture goes through an entire seasonal change. Afterwards it is transferred into a 200L drum with the addition of rainwater. For an hour, the mixture is dynamized by stirring in a clockwise direction followed by a counterclockwise direction and then a clockwise again, and so forth. Each time the direction is changed chaos is created, the water is enlivened and the surface area increased to enable it to better receive energy from the cosmos. Finally, the dynamized mixture is added to the compost heap.


Try dynamising water home ...

Stare into the water as it is stirred.


Do you see the spiral-shaped vortex that gets created?

Do you notice the water starts to thicken in consistency?

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