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Cynthia Sandberg

biodynamic farming going beyond organic

by erica Goss

Potrero N uevo Fa r m lies in the bucolic Tunitas Creek Valley of Half Moon Bay, one mile from the Pacific Ocean. The farm produces 50 different types of vegetables on a small section of its 300 acres, which includes an area reserved for wilderness. At first glance, Potrero Nuevo may not look much different from other large agricultural spreads on the San Mateo County coast, but this 4-year-old farm is run by a unique set of 90-year-old principles known as biodynamic farming. Farm manager Seth James emphasizes that biodynamic farming is a “whole-farm system” that focuses on retaining the quality of the soil. A biodynamic farm generates all or most of its fertilizer on site, utilizing compost and manure. The farm always has its own animals for fertilizer production—preferably cows because of their superior manure. Biodynamic farms use nine specific preparations to stimulate microbial activities in the soil and compost. These range from horn manure and silica preparations to ones made from herbs such as yarrow, chamomile, and stinging nettle. “Once we started using the compost preparations, our compost was incredible,” James says. As a result, the // continued on page 26 18 | July + August 2011

photographs: lane johnson (8); bottom: courtesy potrero Nuevo farm (4)

Love Apple Farms

Eucalyptus Magazine, July-August 2011  
Eucalyptus Magazine, July-August 2011  

This issue features articles about alternative cancer care, artisan organic ice cream, raw food diet, biodynamic farming and summer fun. Fo...