Biodynamic Farming Methods Lead to Bigger Harvests

Learn how the French/biodynamic method of intensive farming leads to bigger yields with less need for water, chemicals and energy.

| May/June 1976

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    Intensive gardening methods reduce the need for water, fertilizer and energy.
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    A comparison of crop production between traditional and biodynamic methods.
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    Some harvests actually doubled from year to year with the biodynamic farming method.

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The world's population is off and running and crying, "Feed me if you can!"   

"OK. But give us more ," answer the spokesmen of agribiz. "More money and more machinery and more fossil fuels and more chemicals." "Wait a minute," interject a few thoughtful souls. "There isn't any more. Not for long, anyway. We're going to have to do the job with less."   

And that's just what John Jeavons and the folks at Palo Alto's Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula in California are doing.   

Who We Are

Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula is a non-profit, tax-exempt, California-based organization that was formed in the early 70's to promote and carry on environmental research and education. In 1972, we began experimenting with biodynamic/French intensive food production techniques on a 3-3/4-acre community garden called "Common Ground".

Our findings thus far indicate that the method may soon make it possible to grow an entirely balanced human diet on 1/4 to 1/20 of the area presently required by conventional means . . . and that such yields can be accomplished using as little as 1/2 to 1/16 the nitrogen fertilizer, 1/2 to 1/16 the water, and 1/100 the energy expended today by mechanized agriculture.

Considering the current state of the world (overpopulation, widespread malnutrition, diminishing availability of land, dwindling fossil fuel supplies, and all the rest) we feel that such findings are vitally important. We also suspect that many of MOTHER's readers will be interested in sharing our discoveries. Who knows? Maybe some of you will even want to start similar experiments of your own!

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