Brook Le Van – Regenerative Biodynamic Farming

System Posts: 121 admin
edited November 2020 in Home Grown Food Summit 2020

imageBrook Le Van – Regenerative Biodynamic Farming

Brook Le Van

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  • sonbyrd
    sonbyrd Posts: 29 ✭✭✭

    Though i enjoyed the content, i felt the speaker perhaps underestimated listeners, implying that we don’t know about quantum physics, Rudolph Steiner or applied astrology. Yes there was some great new info and it was very interesting. What he's doing at this ranch is great; he just didn't seem very “inclusive.”

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin
    edited May 2020

    I generally don't say anything negative... but the arrogance was palpable. Not impressed.

  • Dorothea Lowe
    Dorothea Lowe Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I love Rudolf Steiner and I am so happy to hear that there is an American out there who understood his teachings and put it into practice. I so agree that a farm or ranch is an entity all its own and just like an orchestra needs a conductor, so an agricultural enterprise needs a loving heart that understands the individual workings and keeps all the parts in order. An amazing presentation, thank you so much!

  • Paul
    Paul Posts: 6

    I absolutely loved it, other than the phlegmy throat clearing, I thought Quanta Banana did a great presentation and the only thing I noticed was that he seemed to be walking on eggshells to keep it from seeming too far out on the whacky side of the metaphysical. I was so afraid he was going to go into religious witnessing and asking if I knew what Jesus would do for a Klondike bar... But he didn't, and it was really really good, even though he only scratched the surface of biodynamics, it was understandable considering the amount of information he had distilled down into a introductory lecture. I also have to disagree with previous comments, I consider myself of having an above average level of intelligence and common sense and I didn't feel he talked down to anyone nor was he arrogant (not one tiny bit). He was understandably proud of his test results, and I would have loved to have seen the results from other farms for comparative value, but that is a huge accomplishment and the direct result of a ton of very hard work. Pointing to it was his proof of concept and important to say here are 3rd party test results that show how effective this has been. So... Bravo Quanta!!!

    I have personally logged quite a bit of time studying biodynamics and Rudy Steiner's work (I first started with a 4H project back in the 1970s) and some of it can seem quite hokey and spiritual/tribal and very much on the whacky side of the metaphysical. But in defense of biodynamics, much of it is real science that is simply realized far before it's time of real understanding. Many tribal rituals and "procedures" simply work and deliver results, even though they are not fully understood, they just work, they deliver results time and time again. Quanta lightly touched upon some of it so lightly that I'm not fully convinced he understands it the same way I do, but he just may and have backed away do to the egg shell issues. When some things (like a cows horn) go into the ground and are in a specific earth stable environment, they can grow very specific bacteria (in abundance), bacteria that we couldn't grow in concentration under other circumstances, like say a lab. Several feet under soil is a very stable environment for bacteria and due to our infantile knowledge of soil microbiomes, that would be very hard if not impossible to reproduce in a real lab. So while burying a mixture in a cow horn seems pretty hokey on the surface, it is tribal wisdom that was passed on and it just simply works. I believe we will understand the science later, down the road, once we gain the knowledge to understand what is really going on down there.

    I'm a devout atheist with a pretty good science/engineering background and I approach this stuff with just as much, if not more skepticism that anyone else. But I love scientific experimentation, controlled environments, controlled experiments, and don't consider anything true unless I can reproduce it again and again and again. I too consider my farm/garden to be a big place of experiments and it provides a ton of entertainment and enjoyment and mental exercise. I keep my daily farm journal along with journals for each specific aspect of a particular livestock, crop, garden, husbandry, projects, experiment, etc. and I always include scanned copies from my biodynamic calendars and farmers almanac with all of it. I consult both publications on all my planning for anything I am doing. And I do this because over the decades, I have seen how often they are spot on/dead right, in their predictions/forecasting (and it's fun to fart around with, but it's only fun because of how right it has consistently been).

    So my farming/gardening is always 100% organic, and mostly biodynamic, and I still do and test biodynamics all over the place and some have proven rock solid and some I am still on the fence about. But you would be very foolish to discount Biodynamics because I have seen it work and prove itself so many times, over and over and over again. As any science minded person knows, it's not a successful experiment unless you can duplicate it and control it, and I have done both as well as tried my best to disprove them in any way I could (sometimes breaking something leads to better understanding and ah ha moments of discovery). Some day science with have a much better understanding of how the billions of microorganisms in each teaspoonfuls of good organic soil work/balance/harmonize. We currently know more about the surface of the moon than what is alive, less than on inch under our feet.

    Thank you Marjory for bringing this and thank you Quanta for sharing. And for anyone that might be skeptical, please, go find a local biodynamic farm/vineyard, whatever, and see if you can visit them and learn more (once the pandemic is over). Don't discount tribal knowledge, it is completely different from old wives tales and superstitions, and much of biodynamics is old tribal wisdom that Steiner amassed and delivered to the world (back in 1924, 96 years ago). And ponder this for a moment. The moon has a cycle of 28 days, a woman's menstrual cycle is about 28 days, the tides rise and fall with the moon. Most people, and I do mean the vast vast vast majority of them, really don't understand gravity nor magnetic force, it's kinda of like a Dunning-Kruger effect. They kinda know what they are, and have a general idea what they are, but they don't really understand them, that mass and attraction is everywhere and influenced by things as far away as planets in our own solar system and magnetism is a separate force happening at the same time, and they both fluctuate, and many times in predictable ways according to distance and position of relative mass. Many people have no idea how alive the land is and how sensitive it is to these forces even though they see something as massive as the ocean, yet made of tiny non magnetic water molecules, reacting to it 4 times a day with high and low tides. How significant is it? How can you try to direct any of that to help/benefit your land? How can you better feed your soil. If it can make the ocean rise and fall, how does that affect plants and water in the soil? I don't grow food, nature does, I just work hard to give her what I hope she wants, needs, and likes. And sometimes, all that living stuff under our feet, needs a little help and sometimes Biodynamic stuff can help it and speed up recovery and revitalize it, and make it happy. So if you are feeling a little adventurous, have an over active mind, like to experiment and don't mind ways that may seem odd or downright goofy, It's well worth looking into and it is exposure to some old wisdom that you can't learn anywhere else, most of that knowledge died out several generations ago. It's cool that we still have some of it to learn from.

    -Peace, Love, and Hippy Thoughts-


  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    I enjoyed the presentation. There is so much to this subject that an hour only barely scratches the surface. What Paul says is correct. Just because we don't know "how" something works does not invalidate the subject. For instance, I do believe there is a scientific basis for Astrology and I'm not talking about the newspaper generalities. Years ago I decided to investigate Astrology to "see if there was anything to it". The deeper I delved, the more I could not disprove it at all, quite the opposite. I even went so far as doing my natal chart (this is a chart that shows the placement of planets, the sun, the moon at your exact moment of birth) as well as for a few friends. At the time this meant purchasing several reference books, doing math applications, etc. Of course now all that is computerized and you can get the specifics with a few key strokes lol. That is just my example of how things can be real even if we don't understand it. It can be mind boggling and almost paralyzing when you start realizing all of the things that cause a certain reaction. There is always a smaller particle lol. The timing of planting has been a big deal for as long as humans have been doing it. What is added or subtracted to the soil, including when that is done, effects the outcome. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    Really enjoyed the presentation.