- Recognizing, producing, and communicating the specific qualities of biodynamic apples. Read more.
- The Pomaretum – Breeding new biodynamic apple varieties for the future. Read more on www.pomaculta.org
A common focus of the members of the international Working Group on Biodynamic Fruit Production is the quality of biodynamic fruit, apple in particular. In this project, we specifically address the following questions: What are the quality expectations of consumers and producers with regard to Demeter apples? How to recognize and measure biodynamic apple quality? What growing methods are needed to achieve it? And what is the best approach to communicating it to the public?
To keep the discussion on biodynamic fruit quality practical and focused, we address the abovementioned questions through on-farm research experiments. These experiments are visited and evaluated by biodynamic fruit growers, traders, consumers, scientists and students.
The on-farm trial sites are also used for regional training meetings, for instance to improve growers’ observational skills. At a later stage the trials will also provide a platform for information exchange between growers, traders and consumers. Within the framework of this project we will organize an international conference on biodynamic fruit production, every two years. The objectives and ongoing results of the project will be actively communicated to the public.
Six leading biodynamic fruit farms, located in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, are participating in the on-farm trials. The trials, which were planted in spring 2008, are planned to run for 10 years. They will compare the effects of different tree shapes and planting systems on biodynamic apple quality. The apple variety tested is ‘Pilot’, grafted on various root stocks and pruned to different tree shapes.
Once the trees start producing, we will describe and evaluate their fruit quality using various conventional and holistic methods. We will work closely together with scientists from several European research institutes, to enhance our understanding of biodynamic quality concepts, and to improve and develop methods for evaluating biodynamic fruit quality.
Our project is supported financially by the Software AG Stiftung. Their grant covers research activities during the first five years of the project (2007-2011). We are still seeking funds to cover the costs related to project organization (€ 7000 per year).
Participating institutions and contact persons
- Louis Bolk Instituut (LBI), The Netherlands: Dr. Lucy van de Vijver (Project leader) and Pieter Jans Jansonius M.Sc. (Researcher and farmer contact).
- Institut für Biologisch-dynamische Forschung (IBDF), Germany: Dr. Uwe Geier
- Verein für Bildekräfte Forschung, Germany: Markus Buchmann
Six leading biodynamic fruit farms, each representing a unique farming situation, are participating in the on-farm trials. Click on their names below for an impression of the individual farms.
Niklaus Bolliger, Biohof Rigi; Hessigkofen, Switzerland
Benoit van Ossel und Robert Dugast, Coteaux Nantais; Nantes, France
Lothar Krämer, Obstplantagen Krämer; Meckenheim, Germany
Albrecht Denneler, Dottenfelderhof; Bad Vilbel, Germany
Piet Korstanje, Boomgaard ter Linde; Oostkapelle, the Netherlands
Josef Tinzl, Tinzlhof; Laas, Südtirol, Italy
For more information on this project and our working group, please contact Pieter Jans Jansonius, Louis Bolk Instituut, NL 3972 LA Driebergen, the Netherlands, Tel. +31 343 523640
E-Mail: p.jansonius<AT>louisbolk.nl; Website: www.louisbolk.org
Webpage last edited on: 2010-04-14