Biodynamic farming emerged from the concerns of a group of farmers in central Europe during the 1920s. These farmers had observed a decline in seed strains, cultivated plants, and livestock. To counter this trend, they sought the expertise of Rudolf Steiner, a scientist and philosopher, in 1924. They hoped to gain insights and practical ideas to address the decline.
During the now-famous Agriculture Lecture, Steiner highlighted that the earth was already in middle age and experiencing a decline in vitality due to the increasing materialistic view of the earth as a resource for human exploitation. When the farmers persuaded him to provide his insights on agriculture, he aimed to correct the one-sided, mechanistic view of nature that was prevalent at that time.
Steiner's approach offered a holistic view of life that reconnected the earth and the cosmos. He proposed a spiritual worldview that acknowledged the powerful forces that flow from the cosmos to work within the soil and plants. These forces are essential to agriculture's vital processes, but the soil needs to be sufficiently sensitive to fully harness these beneficial influences.