Darren Aitken is an Australian Demeter Biodynamic farmer, and owner of Vortex Vegies, in Inverleigh Victoria.
Darren has been involved in Australian Demeter Biodynamic agriculture, with the Biodynamic Gardeners Association and the Biodynamic Agricultural Association Australia since 1998, and from 2002 he has been providing training and mentoring to new biodynamic practicians. He started working with farmers from Asia in 2011, firstly in Malaysia, then China in 2013 and Taiwan in 2014. There has been also been training in Thailand in 2016 and interest from other countries. Darren does not advertise or promote his services, but waits until he is invited to provide training in any country and works farmer to farmer. (You can read the reports from these trips on the ‘reports’ menu).
Over these years good farmers have presented themselves in each of the countries, and the number of farmers getting very good results in soil and plant health from applying the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method is increasing. The results obtained and the relationships forged in each country prompted Darren to form the Pan-Asia Bio-Dynamic Association Ltd (PABDA) at the end of 2016. PABDA is a non-profit organisation solely dedicated to the practical development of the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method in the Pan-Asia region.
Pan-Asia Bio-Dynamic Association Ltd Statement of Purpose.
- To work with like-minded individuals and organisations to educate farmers in the Pan-Asia region in the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method of farming.
- To provide practical assistance, tuition and technical knowledge to farmers in the Pan-Asia region to implement this method, with a view to improving farmlands to grow food crops in the way that nature intended, and creating sustainable living soils, clean water and a chemical free environment for future generations.
- To provide funds to assist young farmers in the Pan-Asia region to attend training and to acquire land and machinery to grow food crops using the Australian Demeter Biodynamic Method.
- To bring each country to a level of competence and independence, whereas they provide their own Biodynamic training and advising.
- To implement the above to address, in a practical manner, the issues of food security and food safety.
- To engage individuals and organisations to raise funds to complete our objectives.
“I have formed the Pan-Asia Bio-Dynamic Association to both continue and extend the work I have been doing here in Australia and in Asia. Australia already has strong organisations in the BDAAA and BDGA but something was needed for the farmers of other countries I had worked in, so PABDA was born.
Each Asian country will maintain its own independent operations, but, as requested by them, PABDA will be the overseeing organisation and will negate the need for many small countries to go through the tedium and bureaucracy of starting their own organisations.
I should also add that funding for poor farmers to attend training is a gift, while funding for land and machinery is a no or low interest loan as we want to become self-perpetuating and not constantly chasing funds. At present we are looking for funding from different sources.
I wish to stress that I make no personal profit from this work, but the strong lifelong friendships formed and the results being attained in each country make this work extremely personally rewarding.
You can see the results of our work and read reports of the trips on the website.”
“I welcome the creative work of Darren Aitken to form PABDA, as I welcomed all the wonderful Asian members of PABDA, who Darren has organised to visit our Australian BD centre to learn to make the biodynamic preparations.”