Nirvana Organic Farm carries the certification number 5001, indicating that it was the first NASAA certified property in South Australia. Nirvana was certified as Organic in 1989.
Ten years later Nirvana operators Deb Cantrill and Quentin Jones have again entered the record books by becoming the first NASAA certified Biodynamic property.
Deb helped with the development of the Biodynamic Standards, which was produced in conjunction with the Bio-Dynamic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The BDFGA actually "owns" the Standard. NASAA has adopted the Standard and now trains all inspectors on interpretation and inspection of Biodynamics (not all inspectors will elect to inspect Biodynamic farms).
Deb Cantrill told Acres "we have always been Biodynamic and we are not sure if it will actually make any difference to us. We think it is a good thing to certify Biodynamics separately and allow growers to advertise their Biodynamic status. After all Biodynamics is recognised world wide and is distinguished from organics by other certifiers and in the market place."
"Really there are hundreds of different organic systems with unique styles or approaches, but BD is the one which is identified separately in the market - and it has been going for 75 years."
NASAA Chairperson Jan Denham said "I think it is important that we now offer Biodynamic certification - it is incorporating a whole system now under the NASAA banner. We have always had Biodynamic growers, this move now allows them to market under a Biodynamic Standards. All our inspectors are now being specifically trained to inspect Biodynamics - another first for NASAA."
All the preparations used by 60 - 70 members of the Adelaide Hills Bio Dynamic Group are laid down at Nirvana. The group consists mainly of home gardeners, with some small growers.