A name become accepted

Anthroposophical agriculture becomes known as bio-dynamic agriculture following the Swiss custom. The adjective becomes the noun biodynamics and very often ‘BD.’

John Paull notes:

Biological-Dynamic Methods

1928 Ehrenfried Pfeiffer refers to “Dr. Steiner’s biological-dynamic methods” (1928, p.34) and this appears to be the earliest characterisation of anthroposophic agriculture as “biological-dynamic”. The term is used once only in that article. Pfeiffer reports that: “the indications given by Dr. Steiner have been utilised with the utmost success”.

Pfeiffer’s account is a report of a meeting of “practical agriculturists”, who “met at Marienstein , from December 10th to 12th, 1927”, at “Herr Stegemann’s delightful house … for the discussion which dealt in particular with experiments made according to Dr. Steiner’s biological-dynamic methods” 

Pfeiffer has elsewhere stated that: “The name Bio-Dynamic Method of Agriculture was not given by Rudolf Steiner but arose from the circle of those at the start who concerned themselves with the practical application of this new direction of thought” (Pfeiffer, E. (1956b). Rudolf Steiner’s Impulse to Agriculture. Bio-Dynamics(40), 2-15.)

 The December 1927 Marienstein (Germany) meeting is a candidate for the origin of the term ‘biological-dynamic’. Six months after the Marienstein 1927 meeting, Baron Senfft von Pilsach (1928, p.267) declared a new development: “We are at a turning point”. He reported that farmers: “have begun to experiment with our biological-dynamic methods on their own estates, though they are not members of the Anthroposophical Society”.

It was this Marienstein Farmers’ Conference of 8-10 July 1928 that signalled the decoupling of the evolving biological-dynamic farming methodology from its esoteric anthroposophic origins. It also identified a growing consumer awareness of differentiated produce.

Von Pilsach (1928, p.268) recorded that: “The non-anthroposophical farmers were evidently much impressed by the conference, and encouraged to go on working with us. They will now take their share in meeting the urgent needs of the consumer for the improvement of the quality of our foodstuffs”.

Nicolai Fuchs is specific:

In 1929 a conversation with Erhard Bartsch gave rise to the name “biodynamic”, which does not go back to Steiner: Erhard Bartsch had voted for the anthroposophical method Agriculture to be called “organic farming”. Stegemann, however, advocated the term “dynamic farming”, which is probably related to his deep connection to astronomy and weather events. The term “biodynamic farming” is attributable to the combination of these two approaches.



Dr. Almar von Wistinghausen was there!

The practice of Rudolf Steiner’s methods was still known at this time [1927] as “biological manuring”. At a general discussion in the Experimental Circle the name “biological-dynamic agricultural method” was thought more suitable, because it was realised that it was not just a system of manuring but embraced the whole operation of the farm, and was trying to develop it, as far as possible, as a complete individuality, Ernst Stegemann suggested the addition of “dynamic” In the name they were trying to express the effect of the forces through the use of the preparations and the virtuality of the whole concern.