Large-scale agriculture tends to view a farm as a means for producing a certain amount of grain, milk or meat. This practical book argues instead for a holistic method of farming: the farm as a living organism. This is the principle of biodynamic farming. The author, an experienced farmer, takes a down-to-earth approach. Based on an example farm of around 60 hectares, he recommends the ideal numbers of livestock: 12 cows, 4 horses, 6 pigs, 10 sheep and 120 hens. This mix is drawn from Osthaus's deep understanding of nature, animals, agriculture and the cosmos, and from his many years of personal experience as a biodynamic farmer and teacher. The result is a healthy, balanced and sustainable farm.
This is an invaluable book for anyone considering setting up a farm, or developing their existing farm with new biodynamic methods.
'A short but invaluable book taking the view that a farm is a living organism... This is more than just a book for the farmer, but rather one for anyone who would like to understand and work with Nature.' -- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Winter 2010 'This beautiful, simple book takes the reader on an intimate journey with the author as he shares some of his experiences of developing and running a Biodynamic farm... A clear, heartfelt understanding is used to explain the causes of the inferior milk quality from an industrial, dehorned cow... As in all the chapters, spiritual aspects run alongside the material with seamless ease... The book is rounded off with some personal experiences which made me realise that what I have read is only the tip of the iceberg of both Karl-ernst Osthaus agricultural knowledge and the power and potential of the Biodynamic methods.' --Star & Furrow, Winter 2011
Karl-Ernst Osthaus was born in Germany in 1926. After the war, he became a farmer, practising biodynamics for over 50 years. In his later years, his focus was on seed raising, as well as teaching. He died in 2008.