So, what exactly is biodynamic farming? It’s placed in contrast to conventional farming, Mark Osburn told us, which uses a wide array of synthetic, manmade products to grow wine grapes. Most wines are farmed conventionally, so the use of these chemicals and compounds is widespread. But biodynamics, by contrast, focuses on “basically eschewing all sorts of synthetics, these chemicals like fungicides, herbicides, pesticides,” Osburn explained.
Biodynamic and organic farming have a lot in common, but according to Osburn, “biodynamic takes it many steps further, and it really focuses on the actual farm itself, like the microcosm. You want to enrich, nourish, and allow your microcosm to thrive, so you’re using a lot of local preparations, you’re bringing in livestock, you’re installing beehives probably, you’re planting cover crops to include more diversity, and you really want the soils to speak, you want them to be alive. And that’s where it all starts, in the soil. So it’s about really making your microcosm thrive with a biodiverse system.”
Most agree that farming biodynamically is better for the environment. “When biodynamics is practiced on a small scale, I think it absolutely is better for the environment, ten-fold, compared to conventional farming,” Osburn said. We don’t yet know what the effect of biodynamic farming would be if we as a society were to practice it on a large scale, but its small-scale use is certainly promising.