Uniquely located in the woodlands of Žemaitija National Park, Miško Sodai is an organic biodynamic crop farm run by Vaiva Jundulaitė Kosienė and her husband Giedrius Kosas. When Vaiva first purchased the property it was merely the site of a tiny old house. The seven thriving hectares that can be seen today are the result of over ten years of curiosity and a lot of experimentation.
From the very beginning, Vaiva and Giedrius have sought out farming alternatives that would allow them to cultivate a healthy, high yield without harming the environment. Largely self taught, their current farming practices stem from reading articles, participating in conferences, talking with other farmers and then experimenting with what they learn. Miško Sodai Farm received its organic certification ten years ago, and, a few years back, was also certified as biodynamic.
Through the years of testing and learning, the soil in the region – a light sandy loam – has been a particular challenge.
“Due to the structure of the soil, we cannot – or more like, do not want to – use chemical fertilizers because they easily drain into the surrounding bogs and water bodies and further aggravate the soil’s structure,” says Vaiva.
To mitigate this challenge and fertilize the land naturally, Vaiva and Giedrius are working to increase the amount of humus in the soil with biodynamic farming methods. All of the green biomass generated on the farm is used towards the production of compost, which is judiciously supplemented with biodynamic preparations to speed up production and add additional nutri tion. The resulting natural fertilizer is spread on the soils.
“The use of our preparations has changed the soil structure,” says Vaiva. “The land has become lighter and paler. Using humus produced by farm products, plants have become stronger and more resistant, and the nutritional properties of the vegetables has improved.”
“The results and yields we’ve achieved on our farm amaze even the traditional farmers using large quantities of fertilizers on fertile lands.”
Today, Vaiva and Giedrius happily share what they have learned and achieved through biodynamic farming with visitors from all over the world.
“We hope that more people will learn about environmentally friendly farms and that our success in this competition will encourage us to contribute to society’s education even more,” says Vaiva.
In 2018, Vaiva Jundulaitė-Kosienė and Giedrius Kosas received the national Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award in recognition of their efforts to reduce nutrient runoff on their farm.
Location: Visvainių village in northwest Lithuania
Type of farm: Biodynamic organic crop farm (7 ha)
Main production: Herbs, vegetables, berries – and products made from them, including spice mixtures, teas, jams and syrups
Key practices: No artificial fertilizers, soil conditioning through composting
National jury motivation: “Owners Vaiva Jundulaitė-Kosienė and Giedrius Kosas make all efforts to sustain the local landscape and biodiversity, and the whole farm is directed towards the full sustainability of natural resources and biodiversity. The implemented biodynamic farming standards do not use any chemicals or artificial fertilizers. Natural bio- dynamic farming methods are used to increase the amount of humus. Farm owners cooperate with other farms, share experiences, and participate in various workshops. Educational lectures and classes are often held for visitors.”