In this new three part series we present an analysis by Dr. Andrea Beste on the similarities, differences and synergies between the organic, agroecological and regenerative farming movements. Part one here outlines the history and current status of the organic movement. A German version of the entire series is also available at the link below.
Early pioneers, bitter resistance, globalization
The first organic farming activities in Europe emerged with the “Life Reform Movement” after the First World Wari, which turned against urbanisation and industrialisation. The aim was to return to a natural way of life: they wanted to settle in rural nature and establish a gardening existence there. This led to a focus on production techniques such as: – fertilisation with rotting organic waste, composting, green manure and green soil cover, gentle soil cultivation, nutrient supply through the recycling of composted urban organic waste and human waste, as well as rock powder.
Even then, problems such as soil compaction, soil fatigue, poor seed quality and an increase in plant diseases and pest infestations led to a rethink in farming. Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) established biodynamic farming with the “agricultural course” during a seminar lasting several days in 1924, which dealt with these problems. In 1928, three years after Steiner’s death, the “Demeter trademark” was registered. Organic-biological agriculture, from which the “Bioland” association emerged, was also developed in Switzerland by Dr. Hans Müller (1891 – 1988) and his wife Dr. Maria Müller (1894 – 1969) at the beginning of the last century. The theoretical basis was provided by the German physician and microbiologist Dr. Hans Peter Rusch (1906 – 1977).
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