I recently had the privilage of spending time with Simon McLachlan at his farm, Gooligulch, in the Yarra Valley. Simon, previously an Avocado farmer from Queensland has a pedigree in conventional agriculture and found his way to Biodynamic farming after observing impacts of chemical use on his farm and viewing an episode of Landline back in the ’90’s. Simon is not one to rush into anything and his journey to Biodynamics started with IPM, then organics. He sees his use of Biodynamic preperations as a natural extension of his earlier work in organic farming practices.
Simon is now completely involved in the Biodynamic movement and supports his lovely family with these practices on his small farm. Rotating poultry with fallow ground, intensive berry crops and an orchard on the side, Simon has many strings to his enterprises bow. As well as strength in diversity, Simon points out that natural, healthy systems don’t generate the waste that is sometimes associated with this form of food growing. The lower yeailds are also offset by lower input costs, and in this day and age of high fertilizer and fuel costs I think we can all agree that lowering inputs just makes sense.
Demeter Biodynamics is a branch of Biodynamics that offers certification and assistance with education and access to preperations. Biodynamics does involve some fairly “niche” beliefs and Simon wa sfast to poitn out that you don’t have to take a full bite of the apple (to use an unfortunate term) to gain some great advantages of harnessing bacterial cultures on your farm. To find out more, and even do a day course, get in touch with the Demeter Biodynamic group HERE.