Anthroposophy in New Zealand

Rethinking conventional approaches to land management, soil management, food production, and animal care.

What is Biodynamics?  

Biodynamics (“biological-dynamics”) is a method of organic agriculture based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner.  The principles of organics and biodynamics rethink conventional approaches to land management, soil management, food production, and animal care. Biodynamics came out of a series of lectures Rudolf Steiner presented in the 1920s when a group of farmers approached him for advice. Biodynamics began in New Zealand in the late 20s when it was used in the management of a farm in Hawke’s Bay. The systems and processes of biodynamic farming continue to be used in gardens and farms around New Zealand and internationally.

Why do people love it?

Biodynamics is a systems approach, where a farm, vineyard, orchard or garden is viewed as a living whole where each activity affects everything else. Management is based on the grower’s own careful observations, plus the results of tests and analyses. In this way, modern technology and traditional knowledge come together to form a highly-effective method of care and management that is particular to the unique needs, environment and conditions of each location.

Why does it matter?

Biodynamics has a low impact on the environment because it uses very limited external inputs and re-uses most on-farm waste. Preparations and sprays are used to stimulate biological activity in the soil and improve retention of nutrients, such as animal waste. Farms are stocked with several different animal species to vary grazing patterns and reduce pasture-borne parasites. Crop rotation is used, including the use of green manures, to enhance soil fertility and control weeds and plant pests. Composting is a very important part of a biodynamic system and there is a shift away from any use of chemical pest control towards prevention strategies based on good plant and animal nutrition and careful cultivar selection.


There are many farms, orchards and horticulture enterprises throughout New Zealand practicing biodynamics. One of the oldest is the farm at Hohepa Homes in Hawke’s Bay, which provides food and also work for the residents living there. There is also a shop at Hohepa and a stall at the weekly Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market. In Auckland, Ceres is one of the longest running purveyors of organic and biodynamic produce. Ceres now provides stock to shops and individuals all over New Zealand. Those interested in exploring biodynamics in New Zealand can find out more from