Produced by Maggie Fazeli Fard & Clare Major
“Biodynamic” agriculture looks a lot like organic -- it disdains synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and incorporates cover cropping and compost. It looks similar, that is, until a farmer buries manure-filled cow horns to harness cosmic rays. In biodynamics, that’s field preparation #500. There are eight others, involving combinations of plant matter, animal parts and powdered quartz crystals, which are either applied directly to plants or incorporated into compost, following astral calendars.
But biodynamic agriculture is not simply a hobby of the lunatic fringe; rather, biodynamics is a growing trend among farmers and vintners who see it as the “Rolls-Royce of organics” -- purer, more elite, rising above the organic fray.
So what IS biodynamics? Who's doing it? And is there any science to back it up? Maggie Fazeli Fard takes us behind the scenes for a hands-on look at three California farms where biodynamics is a way of life -- cow horns, sheep skulls, and all.