What is biodynamic farming?
‘Organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ are buzzwords that have been on the beauty scape for a while now. But although we may see them splashed across product packaging, it doesn’t necessarily mean we really understand them. Take ‘biodynamic’ for example. Every time I used to see the word I’d think of eggs; bright-orange-yoked eggs – but I certainly didn’t know what the word meant in terms of my skin care products (or the eggs either, for that matter!).
So when I was invited to visit Jurlique’s biodynamic farm in the Adelaide Hills – where more than 90 per cent of the botanicals found in Jurlique products are grown – and given the opportunity to chat to its horticultural specialist, Marc Intervera, I jumped at the chance! Here are just a few things I learnt about biodynamic farming and Jurlique…
What is biodynamic farming?
Biodynamic farming is a unique method of organic farming originally developed by Rudolf Steiner that aims to create a balanced, fertile and healthy ecosystem from within the farm itself. “It is an holistic and sustainable approach to farming, which works in harmony with nature and natural cycles,” says Marc. “Crops on the farm are not ‘force farmed’, but are instead encouraged to grow as they would in their natural environment, and we use a rotation process to allow the soil to rejuvenate between crops of the same family.” Homeopathic preparations – which are applied to the earth and atmosphere around the farm – are also an integral part of biodynamic farming, and work like treatments to help nurture and preserve the life force energy on the farm.
Is there a difference between ‘biodynamic’ and ‘organic’?
Biodynamic and organic farming are similar in that no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers are used in either method of farming. “The emphasis [for both] is on good quality soil health without the use of artificial fertilisers, and sound environmental practices,” says Marc. “The main difference between the two is that an organic system grows plants that are nutritionally good for your body; whereas a biodynamic system takes it one step further, encouraging the plants grown to be good for the body AND have the highest vital life force energy when harvested.” In layman’s terms, this means that everything on a biodynamic farm is grown in a way that enables the beneficial entities of the flowers/plants/herbs to be at their most powerful when harvested.
What does this mean in terms of Jurlique’s products?
“Biodynamic farming was used from Jurlique’s inception, and since we really look after the soil and its fertility, and care for the environment and our natural resources, the farm produces a strong crop” says Marc. Jurlique’s farm crop is then handpicked (yes, handpicked!) at the peak of its natural cycle when it’s at its optimum, and its yield is incorporated into Jurlique’s range of skin care products. “Within two hours [of being picked] the botanicals are in our drying shed where we preserve their quality and authenticity,” adds Marc. “These botanicals are then used as the basis of our extracts, which are then used in formulating our Jurlique product range.”
What are the benefits of using skin care products with biodynamic ingredients?
Using skin care products whose ingredients are farmed using biodynamic methods not only means you’re doing your bit to support sustainable farming and good environmental practices, but you can also be assured that your products will be free from chemicals, pesticides and any other nasties. As crops are farmed at the peak of their natural cycle, the botanicals used in your skin care products are also likely to be more potent and of a better quality. “Crops farmed using biodynamic methods have a much more powerful life force energy,” believes Marc. “And while it’s not something you can tangibly measure as yet, in my line of work you get what’s called a ‘farmer’s touch’ – and I can really feel and see the difference in the quality of crops produced.”
bh's Deb and Jurlique's Horticultural Specialist, Marc Intervera amidst the (beautifully fragrant!) Jurlique rose crop
Had you heard of the term 'biodynamic'? Did you know what it meant in terms of your skin care products? What are your favourite Jurlique products?