Who we are
The Biodynamic Association (BDA) is a charitable organisation founded in 1929 to foster and promote biodynamic farming and gardening in the UK. We give support and advice, publish our journal Star & Furrow, and organize regular workshops and conferences. We belong to the worldwide biodynamic movement, inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Lectures, given in 1924. Put simply, our aim is greater vitality for people and planet through more biodynamic acres, more biodynamic food, and more understanding of biodynamics.
Membership is open to everyone interested in biodynamics, whether or not they are practicing farmers or gardeners. The present subscription rate is £35 per annum for up to 2 members of the same household in the United Kingdom; £20 per annum for students, unwaged, and senior citizens; £40 for members in Europe; and £45 for all other countries.
We invite you to join our work by becoming a member.
Our contact details can be found here.
Our Roots in Anthroposophy
Biodynamics was first envisioned by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) in a series of lectures given in 1924. Since then biodynamics has spread and continued to develop worldwide. The Association keeps abreast of its developments in science, nutrition, education, health and social reform. It is linked to the Agricultural Section of the School of Spiritual Science (Switzerland) and affiliated as a group of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain. It is also a full member of Demeter International.
Biodynamics is an international movement, practiced widely in over 50 countries. Currently there are approx 5000 certified biodynamic farms worldwide, though the number of farms, smallholdings, vineyards, gardens and private gardeners practising biodynamic methods is much greater.
Demeter International is the body that sets the standards for certification. To join Demeter is to join a worldwide family of biodynamic organic farmers, growers, artisan food producers, and manufacturers. Demeter International is committed to developing its standards and promoting the Demeter brand; supporting its licensees; providing a resource base for Demeter certified ingredients etc.; and furthering the work of Biodynamics. Its headquarters are in Darmstadt, Germany.
Demeter is the only ecological association that has built up a network of individual certification organisations world-wide. The full scope of its work can be found here.
Biodynamic Association Executive
Peter Brown is Director of the Biodynamic Association. He has farmed biodynamically since he was 21, first on a farm near Cape Town in South Africa for 15 years, then in Germany for 3 years before moving to Tablehurst Farm in Sussex in 1994. In 1996 Tablehurst became one of the first CSA’s in the country, a mixed biodynamic farm of over 600 acres with a farm shop, which includes 3 apprentices and 3 adults with learning disabilities as part of the team.
Office & Social Media Manager
I have worked for the Association since 1999. It is a job I love doing, and I never fail to be excited about this great movement and its potential. Every day, the Association brings me in touch with all kinds of inspirational and heart warming people both here and abroad. It’s like belonging to the best family possible.
My role is to run the office: this involves anything and everything to do with the Association, including assisting with any inquiry you may have about biodynamics, membership, events, regional groups, education, sourcing products, and administering our online shop for books, DVD’s, and biodynamic preparations. I also have responsibility for our enews, Biodynamic Buzz, and help with the day to day updating of our website etc.
Communications Manager and Editor of Star & Furrow
I first met biodynamics in the mid 70s and have since then worked in a variety of biodynamic settings including horticulture, research and food processing. My work enables me to experience the benefits of biodynamic farming and gardening first hand, and is especially fulfilling. My primary role at the Biodynamic Association is as Communications Manager within which I also edit our flagship journal Star & Furrow. I also work for BDA Certification as a Processing Technical Officer and inspector. Research into biodynamics is an ongoing life-long interest and I am currently studying for an MSc in Agroecology at Crossfield’s Institute..
Biodynamic Association Council
Lynda is an award winning food writer, seasoned broadcaster, organic kitchen gardener, and author of several books, including The New Shopper's Guide To Organic Food, and BBC Gardeners’ World Vegetables for Small Gardens. A lifetime supporter of organic food, farming and gardening, and consumer organic advocate, she has been closely involved with the organic movement for over 20 years. Since joining the Biodynamic Association (BDA) Council as a co-optee in January 2016 she has been actively involved in creating BDA’s new website and Biodynamic Buzz e-newsletter, and overseeing promotion of the BDA through Social Media. She is delighted to be part of the BDA community and finds it both heart warming and immensely fulfilling. Her next task is to help nurture demand for biodynamic food, and where to buy it.
Sophie Christopher Bowes
Sophie Christopher Bowes is a life long supporter and passionate advocate for biodynamics. She trained as a teacher (Cert. Ed.) at Oxford Brookes University and spent several years delivering programmes on stress management and women's empowerment programmes to various organizations and companies. She is a former trustee of the Permaculture Association and founder member of an Architectural practice. She currently runs a property development company creating sustainable affordable homes.
Rachael O'Kelly undertook the biodynamic apprenticeship training in 2008 at the ASHA centre in the Forest of Dean. She went on to run the garden as a educational and market garden. Previously a teacher, she strongly believes that connection to the land, the cycle of the seasons and our food is fundamental to our physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Sharing this through experiential learning is her passion. Currently a mother she is learning and experimenting with how best to feed and nourish her family with small scale, back garden biodynamic growing.
John Lister trained in Anthropology and worked in the Venezuelan Amazonas researching the medicinal plants used by the indigenous peoples. In 1980 John set up Shipton Mill, and produces stone ground, organic and Biodynamic flours for artisan bakers throughout the UK. From the gardens surrounding the mill we produce vegetables for our staff, using Biodynamic practices that guide us and help us remain rooted in the landscape in which we live.
Beatrice Krehl trained in landscape architecture but worked most of her life in gardens because she preferred the direct contact with nature to the work in an office. Her deep affinity with nature and its cycles is rooted in the upbringing in the Swiss countryside. During the nine years as head gardener at Waltham Place she became passionate about Biodynamic practices and other methods to regenerate soil and producing good healthy food. Keen to share the collected knowledge about naturalistic gardening, holistic management and composting she gives talks and courses..
I first discovered biodynamics in 2001 while reading Secrets of the Soil. I immediately started gardening using biodynamic methods and saw the improvement in the quality of the soil and fruit I was growing.
I wanted other people to benefit from this method and together with Any and Paul Konig, formed a group to create a Show Garden at the 2004 Hampton Court Flower Show. Following the success of the garden I was asked to join the BDA Council and was a Trustee from 2005-2008. Sebastian Parsons was one of the sponsors of the garden as were Mrs Oppenheimer of Waltham Place and Weleda.
Sebastian and I then decided to produce a DVD called Biodynamic Gardening to explain the techniques. The DVD is still selling well through the BDA on line shop and at events. We were also involved in the creation of the Elysia Biodynamic Garden at Garden Organic - now in the process of being restored - and much of the filming for the DVD was done there.
I very much look forward to becoming a BDA trustee once again and will do all I can to promote knowledge of biodynamics.
Ian is former treasurer of the BDA and now manages the books and preparations.
Chris Stockdale (Chairman)
Chris Stockdale is Chairman of the Biodynamic Association Council. He also manages a small farm in Hereford
In Spring 2011 Patrick Holden CBE agreed to be Patron for the Biodynamic Association. He has a long association with biodynamics, having spent a year on the biodynamic course at Emerson College.
He was formerly the Director of the Soil Association; he is currently Director of the Sustainable Food Trust, which he founded in 2011.Read more about Patrick here
Our family of organisations
BDA Certification is a department within the UK Biodynamic Association, and is responsible for the certification of UK producers and processors to organic and biodynamic (Demeter) standards.
It is a member of the International Biodynamic Association (IBDA) and Demeter International (DI). It is the IBDA, who owns the Demeter Trademark. This is administered by Demeter International, who licenses the Biodynamic Association in the UK to sub-license the use of the Trade Mark in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The Trade Mark is used by all certified biodynamic producers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland is the guarantee to consumers that internationally recognised Demeter (biodynamic) standards are being followed. The standards cover production, processing, labelling, and trade, and apply in more than 50 countries. They are equivalent to, and in many cases higher than, EU organic standards.
Tel: 01453 766296
The Biodynamic Land Trust is a charitable community benefit society, established in 2011 to secure land for biodynamic farming, gardening and food production in the long term. We do this in many ways, including: gift and lease back, bequests, partnerships, community involvement and share offers.
It is directed by a small board of volunteer directors who are elected by members at Annual General Meetings. Members join by investing in withdrawable, non-profit shares. Both individuals and organisations can join, each member has one vote.
The BDA is the custodian trustee of the Biodynamic Land Trust.
Biodynamic Land Trust Ltd
Tel: 01453 367233
Charity XT33649, Community Benefit Society, registration number 31448R
The Biodynamic Association has been instrumental in bringing about the Seed Co-operative, which is dedicated to ensuring a resilient and sustainable food future through seeds. Open pollinated seeds adapt to their local conditions and changes in climate through natural processes due to inherent genetic biodiversity.
We work in three main themes:
- Producing biodynamic and organic vegetable, herb and flower seed, and developing a network of seed growers.
- Breeding new varieties of vegetable seed for organic and biodynamic farming.
- Sharing knowledge and skills about seed saving, plant breeding and the importance of seed and food sovereignty.
Seed Co-operative is the trading name of Biodynamic and Organic Plant Breeding and Seeds Ltd, which is registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 as a Community Benefit Society. The BDA is a custodian trustee of the Seed Co-operative.
Gosberton Bank Nursery
Tel: 01775 840592
Community Benefit Society, registration number 7013
A huge thanks to our loyal publishers, authors and photographers who have allowed us to explain and illustrate biodynamics with their inspiring photographs and work
Will Heap; for photos from Biodynamics in Practice, published by Rudolf Steiner Press.
Tessa Traeger; for photos from Fern Verrow, published by Quadrille.
Dorling Kindersley; for photos from DK Biodynamic Gardening.
Jenny Zarins, for photos in Eat Right, published by Kyle Books.
All these books can be purchased in our online shop.
Individual photo credits
Misty cow: Eat Right © Kyle Books / Jenny Zarins
Pumpkins: © Richard Swann
Cow by fence: © Richard Swann
Pea pod: © Eat Right © Kyle Books / Jenny Zarins
Vineyard: © Richard Swann
Biodynamic preps: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Field prep blog: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Compost prep blog: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Vine: © Richard Swann
Lunar calendar blog: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Spraying: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Research blog: © Richard Swann
Courgette flower: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Lupins: Biodynamics in Practice © Rudolph Steiner Press / Will Heap
Cosmos: © Richard Swann
Vine: © Richard Swann
Single bees: © Heidi Herrmann
Bee swarm: © Heidi Herrmann
Seed collecting: © Organic Growers Association
Seed drying: © Organic Growers Association
Lettuces: © Richard Swann
Chard: Biodynamics in Practice © Rudolph Steiner Press / Will Heap
Cosmos: © Richard Swann
Redcurrants: Biodynamic Gardening DK © Dorling Kindersley / Will Heap
Girl and cow: © Richard Swann
Chickens: Eat Right © Kyle Books / Jenny Zarins
Fruit punnets: Fern Verrow © Quadrille / Tessa Traeger
Group gardening: © Richard Swann
Vineyard: © Monty Waldin
Horns in wheelbarrow: © Richard Swann
Sheep in sunset: © Richard Swann
People talking: © Richard Swann
Elderflowers: Fern Verrow © Quadrille / Tessa Traeger
Gardeners composting: © Richard Swann
Shop scene: © Richard Swann
Bees in cells: © Heidi Herrmann
CSA Organic Health shop © Richard Swann
Vortex: © Richard Swann
Apples: Biodynamics in Practice © Rudolph Steiner Press / Will Heap
Geese: Biodynamics in Practice © Rudolph Steiner Press / Will Heap