Promoting life’s potential

Promoting life’s potential

04 November 2021 Sebastian Jüngel 1004 views

Manfred Klett is a farmer and he sees farming as the art and science of relations. The living relations in agriculture are the key to promoting the living beings intrinsic to them. Farming thus becomes a culture-building impulse.

For Manfred Klett, farming is more than a craft practised on fields and in barns. It starts with what is given by nature: with soil, plants and animals. Added to this are dynamic influences such as the seasons of the year or crop rotation, which affect the quality of the soil. Klett, who holds a doctorate in soil science, says it is the farmer’s task to recognize and enable “relations, for instance between the sun and the chlorophyll, lunar rhythms and weather phenomena, blossoms and pollinating insects, earthworms and humus formation.”

Manfred Klett sees farming as an art. By this he means that “an experience built up inwardly as idea comes to external expression via the bridge created by the farmer’s work”. The image he conjures up is in stark contrast to that of modern agriculture, which is often one of industrial processes, bureaucracy, regulations, control and anonymous markets. When farmers create relations “that allow all the diverse crops, domestic animals and arable soils to develop in ideal-typical ways,” then it becomes possible to enhance, out of life’s potential, what has been given by nature. In biodynamic farming this is done with the help of composting and preparations, for instance.

In his book Von der Agrartechnologie zur Landbaukunst [from agricultural technology to the art of farming] Manfred Klett speaks of the essence and history of agriculture and develops the foundations of biodynamic farming in relation to anthroposophy. These include soil, crop rotation, fertilization, biodynamic preparations, agricultural individuality and the forming of farming associations. In taking hold of these foundations, farming has both a social and cultural effect.

Book Manfred Klett: Von der Agrartechnologie zur Landbaukunst. Wesenszüge des biodynamischen Landbaus, Verlag am Goetheanum 2021, 488 pages, CHF 54