Anthroposophy | Anthroposophy or spiritual science is a view of life that includes both spirit and matter. It sees plants in a slightly unusual way, as having four organs to their development: the root, the leaf/shoot, the flower and finally the fruit, meaning the part which contains the plant’s reproductive seed. These archetypal four organs also relate to the four elements (or ethers): the roots to the earth, the shoots and leaves to water, the flowers to air/light, and the fruit/seed to fire or heat.

Considering individual vines or farm crops as being made up of four organs is the first step in understanding entire vineyards or farms as being individualities or organisms in their own right. When anthroposophical farmers picture the agricultural individuality or farm organism they do so as though it were a person standing with his/her head in the soil (Hugh Courtney: 3/1993). Weleda, a German-based pharmaceutical company pioneered the development of anthroposophical medicines from 1921 by following Rudolf Steiner’s advice, selecting specific plant “organs” to treat specific human conditions. Plant roots (earth) which compare to the human head provide remedies for problems in the nervous (thinking, senses) system. Leaves and stems (water) provide remedies to treat the human rhythmic organism (heart, lungs, circulation), while the fruit or flowers (willing) serve the sexual and metabolic (digestive) system. Healthy farm organisms should be resilient, self-sufficient, and produce not just healthy crops but farmers of healthy mind and body too; as though the farmer and his animals are running around in the belly of the farm (Hugh Lovel: 2000, p.53).

Bibliography

Hugh Courtney., ‘Biodynamic Preparations’, Applied Biodynamics 3/1993, p.3-4.

Hugh Lovel., A Biodynamic Farm (Acres USA, 2000), p.53.

Monty Waldin., Biodynamic Gardening (Dorling Kindersley, 2015).

Monty Waldin., Biodynamic Wine (Infinite Ideas, 2016).