What is a biodynamic, sustainable, regenerative farm?
A biodynamic ecosystem is diversified and balanced, generating health and fertility from within itself, and regenerates the local microclimate with increased vitality and habitat viability. Sustainable practices fulfill the needs of the current generation while ensuring continued production for future generations, sometimes referred to as the “seven generations plan.”
A farm embracing these tenets is healthy and financially stable.
As the word implies, heirloom seeds are historical varieties that are passed from generation to generation, like an heirloom possession. In the U.S., they’ve often been brought by immigrants and handed down through the years, sometimes within a single family. Heirlooms are open-pollinated varieties of fruits and vegetables, so they rely on wind or pollinators to transfer pollen between flowers.
“Heritage” is to livestock as “heirloom” is to produce. Many of the breeds originated between the 17th and 19th centuries and are almost exclusively multi-purpose breeds; often, the breeds were nearly lost when specialized breeds were imported to the regions where they’d developed. Historical interest and small homesteads have led to preservation groups, such as the Livestock Conservancy, who work to ensure these breeds continue to exist.
Through some negotiation and a fortuitous set of circumstances, I have committed to taking over a small hops farm. It’s not something I ever thought I’d do, but it’s an exciting step forward for the Farm!