Biodynamic farms are one example of vital, healthy agriculture without importing fertilizers and other amendments. Biodynamic farmers continually research new advances in fertility and agricultural systems management, and look forward to implementing new practices that fit our family, our farm and our bio-region.
Biodynamic farmers are called practitioners because the practice of nurturing the soil and farm organism goes hand in hand with the production of crops. Rudolph Steiner, the father of Biodynamic Agriculture, incorporated composting and nutrient cycling principals from around the world with his personal observations of living systems to develop the foundation for Biodynamic practices.
Biodynamic agriculture recognizes that the living soil is the heart of a farm. Vibrant, living soil is the key to growing healthy plants and in turn feeding healthy animals and people. Over time, all successful agrarian civilizations developed farming systems that were in concert with their surroundings, recycling nutrients and not dependent on outside inputs. By nurturing and feeding the soil the farm continues year after year,into future generations.
The use of the Biodynamic concentrated composts is required on certified Biodynamic farms. Their use nourishes the soils and the plants and helps balance the living energies on the farm. Luke Frey, one of the 12 Frey children, initiated Frey Vineyards transition to Biodynamics in 1996, and made Frey Vineyards the first winery in the U.S. to be certified Biodynamic. Luke makes all of the preparations, grows the needed herbs, raises their animals, gathers their precious manures, and stores the preparations. The finished preparations are stirred into water and applied to the soil, or added to compost piles. By making their own compost and preparations, they are no longer dependent on fertility inputs from off their property.
The Biodynamic agricultural model overcomes the problem of input substitution organic farming, which simply replaces a chemical input (fertilizer or herbicide) with a naturally derived product. Frey Vineyards support organic farming on all levels, but it is important to consider which inputs are being brought onto the farm, where they are sourced and what the long-term implications of their extraction and distribution are.
Information on Biodynamic Wine Growing provided by the Frey Family Winery.