What is biodynamic olive growing?
For a few years now, biodynamic olive growing has been carving out a niche for itself among the traditional, integrated and organic farming systems. This technique began to take shape in 1924 based on the theories of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian known, among other things, for being the father of anthroposophy and for his contributions to literature, education, art and theatre.
Of the various growing systems mentioned, the biodynamic is the most demanding and restrictive of all when it comes to how the land is ordered, the farming calendar, the use of products for fertilisation and pests, and how the soil is managed.
In this sense, the estates used for biodynamic olive groves are conceived as independent ecosystems. This means that external support is minimized and that impermeability must be guaranteed against possible cross contaminations from adjoining pastures.
Likewise, the biodynamic preparations and fertilisers used must be organic, which is why in the case of the olive grove, livestock tends to be let in so that, apart from contributing manure, the growth of undesired plants is also minimised.
It is also normal to produce compost from the livestock’s excrements together with the by-products obtained in the olive growing activity, such as the leftovers of pruning or the olive pomace oils. The aim of this is to revitalise the microbial activity of the soil and stimulate the tree’s life cycle.
This process, along with pruning, harvesting and other key moments, is determined by a very specific calendar which, taking into consideration the planetary alignment, establishes the specific dates on which each task must be carried out. In general, the objective of biodynamic agriculture is to cultivate an olive grove as live as possible, revitalise the soils where it is cultivated and improve the quality of the oils obtained thanks to the harmony in that agroecosystem.
Biodynamic olive framing is regulated by the private group Démeter, which is responsible for certifying compliance with all of its precepts.
Víctor Pérez, manager of Finca La Torre