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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

New Cultural Impulses Arising from Biodynamic Agriculture

Initiatives that inspire

Dear Friends of ELIANT,

Almost everything that we need comes from agriculture – our food as well as the fibres used to make our clothes like cotton, wool and leather. Arizona Muse, a leading American model became actively engaged with environmental issues when she discovered that large amounts of pesticides that are potentially harmful to farmers, are used in the production of cotton. She also learned that sheep are frequently managed without regard for their true nature. She then set out to find a sustainable and pesticide-free form of agriculture that treated animals in a respectful and appropriate way and found biodynamic agriculture very convincing. She set up the DIRT Foundation and is now campaigning to convert more and more areas of land to biodynamic agriculture and thereby increase its long term fertility.

How sustainable is biodynamic agriculture?
Various scientific studies such as those of the Institute of Agriculture and Food Sciences in Kaunas, Lithuania; the University of Kassel - Witzenhausen, Germany, the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture in Frick, Switzerland as well as many other universities and research institutes, have shown that biodynamic soils are notable for their populations of soil fauna and microbial activity as well as mycorrhizal fungi. This serves to increase soil fertility on the one hand and on the other improves the quality of food by having amongst other things, a higher concentration of antioxidants. Skinner et al have also demonstrated that far smaller amounts of greenhouse gases are released from biodynamic soils.

Biodynamic agriculture – an impulse for social change
Biodynamic agriculture is a cultural impulse. It can also help solve some of the burning economic, cultural, political and ecological issues of today. Examples of this can be found for instance with Sekem, Egypt as well as the Limbua-Group, and the Mbagathi Rudolf Steiner School both in Kenya. Standing behind all these developments are people with initiative and the courage to put their ideas into practice.

Take on the future
The founder of the German drugstore chain dm, Götz Werner, died on 5th February this year. He supported the 2008-2010 campaign by ELIANT to collect one million signatures by having the lists of signatures laid out in the branches of his company. His support for the idea of an unconditional basic income influenced an entire social movement. His life's motto was "take on the future". We will always remember him with gratitude.

We would love you to help us by sharing this newsletter and make ELIANT more widely known. The more there are of us the greater is our influence on civil society and with it the possibility to really «take on the future».

With warm thanks and greetings on behalf of the ELIANT team

Michaela Glöckler

We are deeply grateful for any donations you can make in these none too easy times.