DEAR NEW FARM:
I understand that J.I. Rodale broke with the biodynamic movement
at some point in his career. Is there a public record of his
reasoning for this? Thanks for any light you might shed on
Dripping Springs Gardens
We posed your question to New Farm erstwhile editor, organic
farmer and overall great source of all truth and knowledge
George Devault. Here's what George dug up on the subject:
From J.I. Rodale, apostle of nonconformity (Pyramid
Communications, 1974) by Carlton Jackson, Page 102:
"Obviously, the first consideration was preparation
of the soil, and here humus was the most significant ally.
There were two ways of preparing humus: the first was called
'biodynamic', and the second was the 'Indore' method. Biodynamic
humus, developed by Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, consisted of
two kinds of compost heaps, one made exclusively from vegetable
matter and one exclusively from manures. The Indore method
, Sir Albert Howard's creation, featured vegetables and other
plant materials in combination (3:1) with manure. J.I. favored
the latter method because it provided a sounder 'return to
the land' of those things taken from it than the biodynamic'
system. Soil treated with humus, said J.I., became porous,
with ample aeration, and gave the billions of microbial agencies
a chance to do their work, in league with the indispensable
earthworm. This kind of soil had moisture-retaining capabilities
that reduced excessive rain runoff with its attendant erosion."
George adds: “The Soil and Health Foundation (The Rodale
Institute today) did give a grant or two to Dr. Pfeiffer in
We hope that sheds a little bit of light on the subject for
us with comments, suggestions and questions.