If you haven't yet, first check out What is Biodynamics? When you’re ready to learn more, here are some recommended ways to delve further into biodynamics:
One of the best ways to learn the basics or deepen your knowledge is through participating in a workshop led by an experienced biodynamic educator. To find out about current offerings, view the Biodynamic Association’s list of educational centers and training programs and interactive calendar of events across North America and beyond. You can also order audio recordings of workshops from the 2012 Biodynamic Conference, or take the Oregon Biodynamic Group's free online introduction to biodynamics class. Scholarships for biodynamic courses and workshops are available through the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund.
The Biodynamic Association offers a wide variety of books on biodynamics and related topics through our webstore in partnership with SteinerBooks. Introductory books recommended by our staff and board members include:
- Biodynamic Agriculture, by Willy Schilthuis
- The Biodynamic Year: Increasing Yield, Quality and Flavour, by Maria Thun
- Cosmos, Earth and Nutrition: The Biodynamic Approach to Agriculture, by Richard Thornton Smith
- Culture and Horticulture: A Philosophy of Gardening, by Wolf D. Storl
- Gardening for Life – The Biodynamic Way, by Maria Thun
- Grasp the Nettle: Making Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Work, by Peter Proctor
- Soil Fertility, Renewal and Preservation, by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer
While not an introductory book, a core text for understanding biodynamics is Rudolf Steiner's "Agriculture Course," the series of lectures he gave to European farmers in 1924 which initiated the biodynamic movement. The lectures assume a background in Steiner's philosophy and terminology, so newcomers to Steiner's work may not find the Agriculture Course to be very accessible. There are several editions available, but we recommend Agriculture: Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture, translated from the original German by Catherine E. Creeger and Malcolm Gardner. This text is also available as an audio recording.
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Connect with a regional or thematic group, or join a study group. Visit our resources & community page to learn about:
Demeter is the organization which certifies biodynamic farms. Their Biodynamic Farm Standard, which certified Biodynamic farms must adhere to, encapsulates the core principles and practices of biodynamics.
Online, you can find an excerpt from The Real Dirt on Farmer John about the biodynamic farm organism, a short video of Alan York of Benziger Winery talking about the concept of biodynamics, the "Barefoot Farmer" Jeff Poppen making the distinction between organic and biodynamic, and ASM News' Why cows should keep their horns. The following feature-length films feature biodynamic farms and farmers:
The Biodynamics journal is full of articles, farm profiles and helpful information for newcomers to biodynamics as well as veterans. The Journal has been published by the Biodynamic Association since 1941, and is available to our members in online and print versions.
The Biodynamic Association’s biennial conference brings together hundreds of biodynamic farmers, gardeners, educators, activists and more for four days of inspiring keynotes, informative workshops, networking and great food. Our next conference will take place in 2014.
Each of these calendars includes background information on the relationship between plants, earth and the cosmos as well as practical instructions for using the calendar to plan your farming and gardening. Calendars are available through the Biodynamic Association’s webstore in partnership with SteinerBooks.
- Stella Natura Biodynamic Planting Calendar
- North American Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar by Maria & Matthias Thun
- Northern Astro Calendar by Brian Keats
If you are serious about becoming a biodynamic farmer or gardener, consider enrolling in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program, the Biodynamic Association’s program for beginning biodynamic and organic farmers, which combines two years of structured on-farm training and mentoring with a course of classroom study in biodynamics.
Many people learn best by doing, so go ahead and start using biodynamics where you are, whether you have a large farm or an urban container garden. Many people start by applying the biodynamic preparations to their compost and soil, or working with a planting calendar (see #10). Several of the introductory books listed in #2 above, as well as Tom Petherick's article Getting Started with Biodynamic Gardening, offer more suggestions and instructions. You can also find a biodynamic consultant to help you explore ideas and create a plan. Contact information for consultants across the continent is in our online Biodynamic Directory, and scholarships for advising are available through the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund.