Julia Stephenson: The Green Goddess

The healthier choice with stars quality
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The Independent Online

Biodynamic agriculture, devised by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, mixes organic farming with elements of astrology and homeopathy and forbids the use of chemicals and artificial fertilisers. Biodynamic farming had a boost when Prince Charles recently adopted some of its principles on his land. No doubt this will mean his organic Duchy Original products will become even more delicious as research proves biodynamic produce tastes better, lasts longer and retains more vitamins and minerals than even organic produce.

I once took a guided tour around Highgrove with the Soil Association, accompanied by various Green luminaries including Patrick Holford and Peter Melchett, known for his brave attack on GM crops which led to a brief incarceration at her Majesty's Pleasure. We brushed past wild orchids, bulrushes, and scented herbal gardens, while birds, butterflies and dragonflies hovered above us. Massive, healthy pigs foraged in fragrant bluebell meadows, no doubt turning up in Duchy Originals pork sausages. I don't eat pork, but if you do, best to opt for these rather than the typical British banger, which is often sourced from inhumane Polish pig factories, which house up to one million animals.

An impressive selection of composting bins means nothing is wasted. My worm compost bin is currently breaking the law. Because of my compulsive plant buying habit I can no longer fit it on to my terrace, so cunningly heaved it on to my neighbour's adjoining flat roof, along with all the other detritus I can't be bothered to dispose of. Old barbecues, broken plastic sun loungers, a huge cracked solar powered fountain and dead plants have all found a good home, much more eco-friendly than a landfill site, I'm sure you will agree. But my trespassing worm compost bin grows heavier and more sodden by the day and I live in fear that it will fall through their roof and they will be woken one night with a shower of worms and half digested vegetable matter. I bet Prince Charles doesn't have this sort of problem.

I tried growing biodynamic vegetables when I lived in Haslemere, but it proved too time-consuming. Fortunately, biodynamic produce is becoming increasingly available at health food shops and farmers markets, while some producers will deliver nationwide. Ring or e-mail the Biodynamic Association on 01453 759501/office@biodynamic.org.ukofor details.

The biodynamic health shop, butcher and restaurant Here will deliver in the London area. Biodynamic meat has higher welfare standards than even organic. While it is a little more expensive, think about eating less, and fool yourself by splashing out on smaller plates. I think I'll give that a go as too much organic chocolate has left me popping at the seams. Thank heavens biodynamic chocolate isn't available, otherwise I'd need a new wardrobe.

But it's only a matter of time as more gardeners and food producers are going biodynamic. While I admire their horny-handed fortitude and am a grateful recipient of their endeavours I am not tempted to join them. I shall toast their success with a recycled glass of Fleury biodynamic champagne.