On 3/1/19 3:10 PM, Mark Lipton wrote:
On 2/28/19 8:59 PM, graham wrote:
On 2019-02-28 3:11 p.m., RichD wrote:
The former is a mix of pseudoscience and astrology. The latter has some
credibility as it seeks to minimise the use of pesticides and fungicides.
Just to be clear, the former is based on the teachings of Rudolf
Steiner, who combined various historically based agricultural practices
with his own astrological explanations. The latter is based on the
IFOAM standards and certification, which have mostly amounted to
elimination of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture.
Although most people I know dismiss various aspects of biodynamie as
woo-woo pseudoscience, it is also true that many of my favorite
producers do follow biodynamic practices. From my conversations with
them, it seems that the prevailing attitude is "it doesn't do any harm,
and I like the way my wines turn out using it."
Underlying both approaches is the idea of soil health and biodynamic
practices do more for soil health than most of the organic
certifications do. For instance, you can be organic and still do
machine harvesting and tilling of the fields, resulting in soil
compression. Additionally, a lot of organic agriculture merely
substitutes "natural" fertilizer (animal dung) and pesticides (marigold
extract) for chemical equivalents and it's not entirely clear how much
benefit is derived from this substitution.
As we've learned more about what's going in the soil, it's clear that
mycorrhizomal health is an integral part of vine health so it makes
sense to do as little as possible to root structure and mycorrhizae.
While I agree with the approach, I find the $10,000 charge that Demeter
charges to use the designation fairly outrageous.