Encouraging Biodiversity

There is an urgency to restore our planet’s biodiversity and organic and biodynamic farming is a step forward in the right direction. 35% more birds and 23% more insects are found in organic farmland thanks to the creation of natural habitats and the absence of chemical and synthetic pesticides. Biodynamic farmers and growers encourage biodiversity on their farms and gardens, as a priority, so their crops can benefit from this balancing effect.

Demeter stands for biodiversity – to underpin this, in 2013 it was included in the chapter “Biodiversity” of the Demeter Standard: the biodiversity areas on Demeter farms must amount to at least 10% of the farm area. Biodynamic agriculture goes the extra mile to encourage the diversity of plants and animals in our landscape.

Biological Diversity

Collaborating with nature's stakeholders

Demeter growers understand the mutual interdependencies in the ecosystem and collaborate with all of nature’s stakeholders. Worldwide, they create biotopes for all living things on their farms – from the smallest insect to the largest animal and all of the life in between. While conventional farming erodes soil and plant life over time due to the use of chemical fertilisers, bulldozers and monocultures, biodynamic farming restores fertility, sequesters carbon and regenerates insect, plant and animal life.

Biodiversity in our Standard

Due to the Demeter Standard at least 10% of the farm’s total area is dedicated to biodiversity, which is unique to biodynamic farming. The farm must show a commitment to the maintenance of farm biodiversity. This can include elements such as the maintenance of rare or endangered breeds of plants and animals, and fostering bird and insect life by providing habitats.

Biodynamics Cultivates Biodiversity

Biodynamic farms and gardens are inspired by the biodiversity of natural ecosystems and the uniqueness of each landscape. Annual and perennial vegetables, herbs, flowers, berries, fruits, nuts, grains, pasture, forage, native plants, and pollinator hedgerows can all contribute to plant diversity, amplifying the health and resilience of the farm organism.

Diversity in domestic animals is also beneficial, as each animal species brings a different relationship to the land and a unique quality of manure. The diversity of plant and animal life can be developed over time, starting with a few primary crops and one or two species of animals – even as small as earthworms or honeybees – and adding more species as the farm organism matures.

Relationships in Nature

Biodiversity – Diversity on all levels

Habitat, retreat, breeding place, food source – Demeter farms can offer all this to wild animals and insects with their meadows, fields and hedges. In this way we contribute our share to stabilising ecosystems.

Humming and buzzing in the fields

Flower strips, wildflower strips and field margins help to increase the diversity of flowering plants by 80% and provide food for pollinators. 3-7 times as many bee species and more flower-visiting insects are found on ecologically managed land. Field birds are also gradually returning to organic farmland, where they find a variety of food, breeding and refuge opportunities.

Earthworms revolution

Biodynamic farming promotes the development of arthropods and earthworms by avoiding herbicides and synthetic chemical pesticides, by low and purely organic fertilisation and by careful soil management. On our farms, 50 to 80 % more of these small soil optimisers are present in the field and together with beetles, ants and a good portion of soil fungi, they make our soils particularly loose and fertile.

Diversity instead of uniformity

Today, seeds are mainly in the hands of a few large seed companies that breed high-performance varieties whose seeds have to be bought anew every year. We promote plant breeding that is independent of seed companies and advocate for locally adapted seed-resistant varieties such as the carrot Rodelika or the beetroot Robuschka.

More Biodiversity

Biodiversity is in the DNA of Biodynamics

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