AUSTRALIAN DEMETER BIODYNAMIC
Australian Demeter Biodynamic is the name used to identify the Biodynamic method developed in Australia by Alex Podolinsky, since 1952.
It is based on Biodynamic preparations of the highest organic quality, which have been refined in Australia under Alex’s guidance, working from the insights of Rudolf Steiner and the scientific experimentation of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer.
The practical application of the farmers of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia (BDAAA) has established Australian Demeter Biodynamic as a world leader in the development of:
the humus on which that soil depends for its fertility and resilience
the growth of healthy plants under the influence of the sun and produce of the highest quality in both flavour and nutrition
The success of the method depends on plants feeding themselves according to nature, through nutrients which are held within the humus content of the soil, not through water soluble nutrient in the soil water.
Ideally, each farm operates as a closed unit, using the preparations in combination with the soil, climate and seasonal variation with which the farmer works.
Q. – Is Demeter Biodynamic the same as organic?
A. – Demeter Biodyynamic can be defined as an enhanced organic certification applying the strictest standards. Our Biodynamic research and practice in Australia has produced a totally new and dynamic approach to farming, with over 60 years of experience and practical application refining the Biodynamic method to suit Australian conditions.
Q. – Where do I find farmers and other food produce suppliers that are certified Biodynamic?
A. – Refer to www.demeter.org.au for a list of existing certified Biodynamic growers and suppliers.
Q. – What do I need to do to begin farming using the Demeter Biodynamic method?
A. – Visit www.biodynamic.com.au for books, and DVDs and more information on how to get started with Biodynamic practices.
Q. – I’m a small home grower and would like to know more – what do I do next?
A. – Visit this page which will guide to you some books, dvds and more information on how to get started with Biodynamic practices.
A HISTORY OF BIODYNAMICS
The beginnings of Demeter Biodynamic go back to 1924 in Austria. Then Rudolph Steiner gave a series of eight lectures introducing the fundamental principles of a new organic agriculture method. These lectures were developed following the concerns expressed by a group of property owners. The fundamental principles were developed into what we now call Biodynamics.
Rudolph Steiner asked at the time a young scientist, Ehrenfried Preiffer to determine the most effective method of making each preparations and how to apply them. At that point there was no one with the capacity to develop the overall sustainable farming method to insure soil building and plant structuring power of the Biodynamic preparations.
Alex was gifted in many areas of human endeavour but chose as his main focus the development of the Australian Demeter Biodynamic method. With help from the pioneering Australian farmers, he took the original impulse of Rudolph Steiner and developed a practical Biodynamic method based on quality and results, rather than just an anthroposophical belief that Biodynamics works, as it came from Steiner. Results that presented to farmers an objective reality of what quality preparations and practical approach could achieve. His development of prepared 500 was a major step in bringing the influence of the preparations to large farms.
Alex was dynamic, vibrantly creative, artistic, actively perceptive and he gifted his knowledge to the world. He was emotionally deep with an astonishing intellect. When giving lectures the intensity of his concentration was obvious. He didn’t speak with abstract concepts. He created living pictures through his words. He would find the most exact, moral and true way of characterising his subject–devoid of exaggeration and ambiguity.
He forged on undaunted in the face of scepticism and outright opposition from the agricultural establishment. His impulse saw the development of mechanical stirrers and practical spraying equipment suitable for broad acre use. During the late 1950s and early 1960s he founded the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia, The Bio-Dynamic Research Institute and registered the Demeter Trademark.
Around this time he began testing and recording the increasing organic matter levels of his soil. He spoke extensively of the importance of this work for both the health of the soil and the climate. His unique description of plant metabolism clearly and simply explained the need to feed plants from humus rather than with water soluble salts. For decades he travelled extensively throughout Australia voluntarily mentoring farmers.
Alex also took the method back to Europe and established new pioneers of the method in different European countries, finding the appropriate farmers to work with in developing the method there and finding the right people in Europe to make quality preparations. While not getting to visit Asia, Alex and his work are having a major impact on soils in many Asian countries.
He taught us well and many farmers around the world are dedicated to continuing Alex’s work in developing and teaching the practicality, reality, integrity and quality of the Australian Demeter Method across the globe.
In 2019, Alex Podolinsky passed away peacefully just shy of his 94th birthday. He lived at home on his farm in Powelltown, Victoria until the end of his life. With perception, vibrant energy and creativity, he gifted knowledge to the world.
SUPPORT FOR GROWERS
Support for larger, commercial farmers interested in adopting the Australian Demeter Biodynamic method is provided by the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Australia (BDAAA). Support for smaller growers and home gardeners is provided by Biodynamic Growers Australia (BDGA).