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Is organic and biodynamic food worth the higher price consumers often pay? Which aspects of us are nourished by the food we eat? How can different methods of growing and cooking food best preserve the life energies in our food? In recent years there has been a growing awareness of the quality of the food we eat, allied to a mistrust of many aspects of large-scale 'agri-industry'. In response to these concerns, many consumers turned towards buying organic or biodynamic produce. Our current financial climate makes those buying decisions difficult for many people. Organic food is often more expensive, and tests by conventional scientists claim to show that is has no extra nutritional value. This book questions whether these claims have any basis. Gill Bacchus concludes that modern scientific methods simply cannot reveal or measure the true life processes that give quality to our food. Exploring ideas from organics and Rudolf Steiner's biodynamics, the author discusses how the Earth's formative energies, especially sunlight, are essential to the healthy life of plants and animals. The living energy in our food is either enhanced or destroyed by our chosen methods of farming, processing and cooking. She argues that the health not only of our bodies, but also of our consciousness, thinking and emotions, depends on nourishing ourselves wisely, and gives advice on how we can learn to find and choose food that is 'full of life and light'.
Harold Roth is a leading authority on plant/herbal magic. His new book, The Witching Herbs, is an in-depth exploration of 13 essential plants and herbs most closely associated with witchcraft—13 because it’s the witching number and reflects the 13 months of the lunar calendar. The plants are poppy, clary sage, yarrow, rue, hyssop, vervain, mugwort, wormwood, datura, wild tobacco, henbane, belladonna, and mandrake. Roth writes simply and clearly on a vast amount of esoteric information that is not easily found elsewhere and will be greeted enthusiastically by those who already have extensive experience and libraries. It is unique in that it combines mysticism with practical instructions for growing each plant, based on Roth’s 30 years of gardening expertise. Each chapter focuses on one plant and includes information on its unique plant spirit familiar, clear how-to instructions for magical projects, and pragmatic information on growing and cultivating. Roth writes, “This book is a great choice for intermediate-to-advanced witches who would like to work more closely with the traditional witching herbs, especially the baneful plants with their rather difficult spirits. Working directly with spirits is one of the fundamentals of the Craft.” The Witching Herbs is the essential plant-worker’s guide. Roth is not only a successful gardener, but also a magician and scholar of the occult. No other book blends clear, practical gardening techniques with equally lucid and sophisticated plant magic so successfully.
In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in organic and biodynamic produce. Although once marginal and 'alternative', escalating concerns about the environment, health, food quality and animal welfare have brought organics into mainstream consciousness. Biodynamics, a unique development of the organic approach, does not narrowly focus on agricultural techniques. It was conceived as a new way of thinking about farming, nutrition and the world of nature, allowing for a revitalized relationship with the living soil, the elemental world and the cosmos. Originating from a series of eight lectures given by Dr Rudolf Steiner in 1924, biodynamics broadens the outlook of agriculture and the science behind it, leading to a holistic perspective that incorporates astronomical rhythms and unique preparations for plants and earth. The author describes the foundations on which not only biodynamics but also the wider organic movement is based. He builds bridges between mainstream science and Steiner's insights, making it easier for the wider organic and ecological movement to approach biodynamic concepts and practise. This book has much to offer to the beginner as well as to those already involved with biodynamics. Its broad range of topics - including the ecology of the farm organism, food quality and nutrition, community supported agriculture, planetary influences, seed quality, and the vitality of water - contribute to a deeper understanding of the subject. The author is also concerned to promote innovation so that biodynamics moves with the times. An appendix includes details for contacting various elements of the biodynamic world. DR RICHARD THORNTON SMITH was formerly a geography professor at the University of Leeds, specializing in soil science, environment and conservation. Widely travelled, he has a long-standing interest in indigenous and sustainable farming. He was introduced to the work of Rudolf Steiner at an early age, although his full involvement with biodynamics dates from 1990 when he began to participate in training programmes and workshops at Emerson College, Sussex. In 1996 he began a biodynamic extension programme in Sri Lanka, for which he published a book, most recently updated in 2007. Since 2001 he has been an inspector for the Biodynamic Association's Demeter and Organic Certification in the UK. In 2003 he produced an edited selection of Steiner's work relating to agriculture. He is currently a council member of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, and lives in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

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