"There are laws against humans killing each
Societies to prevent cruelty to animals
Ecology targets plants
Mother Earth is treated like dirt"
Alex Podolinsky is one of the outstanding
pioneering individuals in Bio-Dynamics. He is mainly responsible for the wide
spread and highly successful application of Bio-Dynamic farming in Australia. Where it is practiced in situations from
small market gardens up to 10,000 acre (4000 ha) wheat and sheep farms, and
large Station properties. Every
conceivable crop is produced Bio-Dynamically.
Alex (as he asks to be called) took up
Steiner’s challenge of making the Bio-Dynamic method available to “all
farmers”. By applying and refining the
method on his own farm, and then by working closely with other farmers from a
multitude of enterprises since the early 1950’s, he was able to bring the teachings
of Steiner’s down to a more practical level.
He supported his very keen observations with a clear and conscious
methodicity of explanation and understanding.
He was the first to recognise that plants have two types of root
systems; one for the uptake of water which
supports the transpiration process; and much finer white “hair roots” which are
the feeder roots. Under both natural,
and correctly managed Bio-Dynamic systems, these two processes occur
independently of each other (read more). With artifically fertilised, or even
organically fertilised systems, the feeder root system is often impared or even
Due to Alex’s life long dedication to the
Bio-Dynamic Method, he has been at the forefront of providing farmers world
wide with a sustainable, health imbibing alternative Agricultural method. Many Australian, as well as European and from
elsewhere have embraced this practical application of the Bio-Dynamic Method,
which, if correctly applied, does not rely on large amounts or even any, of off
farm inputs, The mark of true sustainablity.
The results of their efforts are clearly visible in the humus formation
and soil re-structuring that occurs on their farms, often in a very short space
In Australia, virtually every aspect
of farming has had to be reinvented by the Bio-Dynamic growers, due to the
fragile state of the denatured soils, the harshness of the climate and the
absence of price supports. Bio-Dynamic farmers
on larger farms have had to fashion the technological means to till, plant, and
spray out the preparations on thousands of acres in a narrow window of
time. This ability has resulted in a new
culture of farming that is able to create biologically active soils of highest
quality out of the most hostile conditions imaginable. As Alex puts it, “Bio-Dynamics gives a chance
for total redemption of soils”.
Alex has dedicated more than 55 years of
his life to organic and bio-dynamic activities.
By the 1970’s he was already a member of IFOAM. All those who have witnessed him representing his
subject comment on the animated fire and inspiration with which he delivers his
message. He is uncompromising in his
insistence of highest professional standards in Bio-Dynamics, and rock solid in
his understanding of how Bio-Dynamics works.
When he walks over field and garden, he seems tireless and spry, his
small, wiry frame full of quickness and ease.
His observing, which he calls “Active Perception”, is unceasingly in practice. He is constantly on the look out for some
aspect of cultivation or management that can be improved by more careful
application of the Bio-Dynamic method.
With real farmers and gardeners, his conversations are brief, to the
point, and professional. He knows they
can understand from the practical aspects of what he says.
Although Soil, the Earth and Real Food for
consumers are Alex’s priorities, he has also been exceedingly active regarding
his other interests: In Education for
instance Alex found both the Melbourne Steiner and Gilgai
Schools, as well as founding homes for
children in need of special care, and training many Steiner and Curative School teachers. In ‘Art
and Beauty of Environment’ he both
designed and built numerous buildings, ranging from domestic houses, to
Kindergartens, School and Curative Function Rooms, and even a Skyscraper. He has a background of education and
psychology; was a performing child and
youth musician and sculptor; has a
strong sense for world history; and was
a successful dairyman and orchardist.
The remarkable success Bio-Dynamics has
achieved in Australia,
which can be traced back directly to Alex’s efforts, makes it clear that it
truly does have enormous potential in world agriculture. These achievements are certainly
awe-inspiring and are why a number of farmers in other countries have sought
his assistance, and taken up the challenge of that practical advice. Linda Bullard (former IFOAM President) after
attending one of Alex’s lectures and field walks in Italy in 1999 wrote: “…I count myself very lucky to have been able
to hear Alex Podolinsky lecture and then to see his teachings so effectively
applied at Agrilatina. That soil transformation
was a miracle! I have never seen
anything like it!…”
Alex has not rested on his achievements.
Despite his age, he continues to farm and to travel around Australia and
overseas, always providing his advice and insight free of charge. Last year he
gave an important lecture to the staff at FiBL (Research Institute of Organic
Agriculture) in Switzerland,
followed by farm visits detailing practical aspects of the Bio-Dynamic
method. Many joined in with the FiBL
team when they wrote to him expressing their thanks and gratitude for his
“mission to open peoples eyes - and minds.”
Read the Address presented by Alex
Podolinsky at the IFOAM 2005 World
Congress held in Adelaide, Australia.
For further information on the Bio-Dynamic
Method, or about publications and teaching videos by Alex Podolinsky visit: http://www.demeter.org.au