Fifty Years of Biodynamic Farming: Essays From the Field (Paperback)
A magnum opus, Fifty Years of Biodynamic Farming: Essays From the Field is Henning Sehmsdorf 's tribute and testament to biodynamic living and farming. In writing and editing this collection of thirty-two essays, Sehmsdorf has created an enduring work that will be an invaluable tool for students and practitioners of holistic and self-sufficient food growing. Dozens of topics are organized into seven chapters, and their consideration is comprehensive. From personal histories with biodynamics to nutritionally-whole foods, herbal medicine, solar-powered micro-irrigation to the spirituality of the farm, Sehmsdorf and his colleagues reveal and discuss farming as a practice both sacred and personal.
The authors take on gluten intolerance, ecological livestock raising and the case for responsible animal care, bee colony collapse and concepts such as Goethe's theories around color and plant morphology. Favorite essays include Sehmsdorf 's life and farm partner Elizabeth Simpson's "The Viable Family Farm," and Sehmsdorf 's own "Home Food Security" and "Farming for Health," all stunning in their scope. Or, the conceptually brilliant "Emergy (Embodied Energy) Analysis of S&S Homestead Farm" by Andrew Haden (with Sehmsdorf). In his concluding essay, "The Spirituality of the Soil: The Idea of Teleology from Aristotle to Rudolf Steiner," Sehmsdorf 's unifying apprehension of cosmos and life as indwelling, transformative, and spiritual is manifest. It's what has powered his fifty-year farm plan, and what keeps Sehmsdorf researching, discovering, and creating today.
Together with Simpson, Sehmsdorf has built a life of deep connection, with commitment to service and education. Fifty Years of Biodynamic Farming is a unique study, and exceptionally useful for any student or practitioner of organics or biodynamics, or life, really, as it is nothing short of a treasure trove of lessons from lives truly lived with great curiosity, meaning, and beauty. (Gigi Berardi, Author FoodWISE, biodynamic cheesemaker, Shaw Island, WA; Director, Resilient Farm Project; Professor, Urban and Environmental Planning & Policy, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University).